CBD Dosing for Cats: Choosing & Calculating the Right Dose

cannabis cbd cats dosing correctly boulderholisticvet blog post

In this article, I am going to walk you through how to calculate a dose of CBD for your kitty.

My favorite CBD product is HempRx by Rx Vitamins for Pets.

For kitties, I recommend starting with the HempRx Soft Chewz or the HempRx oil. If you have multiple kitties, I recommend using the HempRx Forte to save money. This version is twice as concentrated with over twice the volume.

Products with high levels of CBD are expensive. For this reason, it is most economical to find the smallest dose that is effective for your kitty. There are no industry wide established doses for cats currently. As the cannabis market expands, more resources will be dedicated to research in optimal dosing for cats.

Choosing A Dose

I start with 0.2 mg/kg twice daily and work up to 0.5 mg/kg or higher twice daily. For the average 10 lb cat, this is 1 mg twice daily, working up to 2 mg twice daily. If you are using HempRx Soft Chewz, there are 1 mg in each chew. So, I recommend starting with one chew twice daily and increase to two chews twice daily.

If you are using HempRx, 1 mg equals 2 drops. I recommend starting with 2 drops twice daily and increase to 4 drops twice daily. If you are using HempRx Forte, 1 mg equals 1 drop. The starting dose would be 1 drop twice daily, increasing to 2 drops twice daily. I recommend staying at the starting dose for 2-3 days to ensure that your kitty tolerates CBD and the ingredients in the soft chew.

It is safe to increase the dose past 0.5 mg/kg twice daily. Often for severe pain, seizures or severe inflammatory disease, I increase to 2-3 mg/kg twice daily. For reference, both of my kitties are on 2 mg/kg or more twice daily. I definitely have the HempRx Forte in my fridge! If your kitty tolerates CBD, the only downsides to a higher dose, is a higher cost. 

 

Calculating a Dose

If you want to skip the calculations, I have a dosing chart here. However, if you want to calculate the dose yourself, here is how.

Step 1: Convert your kitty’s weight from pounds (lbs) to kilograms (kg). You can do this by dividing the weight in pounds by 2.2. Let’s start with an 11 lb kitty.

11 lb (division sign) 2.2 = 5 kg

Step 2: Multiply the number of milligrams (mg) in the dose by the number of kilograms (kg). If the dose is 0.2 mg/kg, you would multiply 5 kg x 0.2 mg to get 1 mg.

0.2 mg x 5 kg = 1 mg per dose

Step 3: Use the concentration of the CBD product you are using to calculate the volume of oil you should administer. Depending on the product you are using, this is easier said than done. If you are using HempRx or HempRx Forte, it’s REALLY simple! HempRx has 0.5 mg per drop. HempRx Forte has 1 mg per drop. For example if you need to give your kitty 3 mg of CBD twice daily. You could use 6 drops of the HempRx or 3 drops of the HempRx Forte twice daily.

If you are using another product, you need to know how many milligrams (mg) of CBD is in each milliliter (mL) of oil. Unfortunately there are a few companies that refuse to disclose this information. It is impossible to know if the dose you are using is therapeutic. For this reason, I don’t recommend these products. Once you know how many milligrams of CBD are in each milliliter (ml) you can calculate the dose volume.

For example, HempRx has 15 mg of CBD per milliliter (mL) of oil. If I have calculated my dose to 4 mg of CBD twice daily, I simply divide 4 by 15 to get the number of milliliters of oil I need to give my kitty.

HempRx has 15 mg/ml of CBD

Dose of CBD is 4 mg twice daily

4 mg (divided by sign) 15 mg = 0.266 ml

Dosing past one tenth of a milliliter is difficult. Don’t do it! I would round 0.266 mls to 0.3 mls. For this volume, you could use a 1 milliliter syringe and draw back to 0.3 mL mark. If you prefer to use the dropper in the bottle, you could estimate a third of the dropper. This assumes the dropper holds 1 mL of liquid. For reference 1 milliliter (mL) is equal to a cc.

Is your head spinning with numbers and units of measurements yet?

Feel free to post questions in the comments below!

Sending you and your pet all of my love,
dr. angie signature boulder holistic vet

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68 thoughts on “CBD Dosing for Cats: Choosing & Calculating the Right Dose”

  1. I have been using CBS oil for my 16yo kitty who is Janine weight, arthritis issues and some issues wi 4th h my roommates much younger foster he’s 3yo. It seems to be helping. My concern is proving I livre might sweetie and I am doing everything I can for him but I hace am extremely limited budget so $110 is crazy expensive I have found Pet Releaf cbd oil for less then half that. I realize CBD is having a moment which explains the price points but seriously I know there’s are other pet parents dealing with affordability issues and care for their fur babies. What options are there for those of us who gave limited resources? And note that Amazon does NOT sell CBD oil, they sell everything BUT CBD.

    1. Hi Christina,

      Thank you for reaching out!

      There are so many CBD products out there, that it can be so hard to figure out which ones are quality, and which ones to use. When researching CBD products, we always recommend a few things. First, we recommend ensuring the product is organic and pesticide free.

      It’s also important to ensure the product has a guaranteed analysis. The other piece we recommend is finding out what extraction method they use. For example, HempRx uses CO2 extraction, which is the cleanest method.

      I hope that this information is helpful. Thank you for loving your girl so much!

      Warmly,
      Claire

        1. Hi Kathy,

          Since the HempRx has less than 0.03% THC, pets fortunately will not experience a “high”. However, like all supplements, there is a potential for GI distress (like vomiting or diarrhea). We don’t often see this, but it’s good to start on the low end in the beginning to see how your pet tolerates it.

          Hope that helps!

          Warmly,
          Claire

  2. David von Braun

    The one bit of information that is missing from the discussion is the percentage of CBD in the product being used. All things equal (like purity, amount of terpenes, organic, etc.) some products for Pets are 10% CBD, some are 17% CBD, and even higher. I would appreciate some information regarding this because the dosage of a 10% product will be half as effective as one that is 17% or 24%.

  3. I don’t know if my vet is allowed to discuss CBDs for my cat. Teben is 14 years old and has stage 4 renal disease. She is not eating well and I’d like to know if CBDs are recommended for feline renal disease.

    1. Hi Martha,

      I’m so sorry that Teben was diagnosed with kidney disease.

      CBD can absolutely help with some of the symptoms associated with kidney disease, and is a great appetite stimulant. For kitties, we usually recommend HempRx.

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen Dr. Angie’s blog discussing Holistic Treatment of Chronic Kidney disease, but you can find it here.

      I hope this helps! Keep us posted!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  4. My cat has pretty bad anxiety. She will over groom herself until she’s licked her belly raw. I have a soft cone on her now so those areas can heal. I just bought some cat cbd in a dropper. She’s probably right at 10 pounds. I’ve been just sticking the dropper in her mouth. She won’t take treats or human food. I also don’t want to put it in her food or water because I have another cat that doesn’t need the cbd.

    My question is how much should I be giving her? Is there an easier way to give cats cbd?
    What happens if she gets too much cbd?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Marisa,

      Thank you for reaching out!

      Here is our dosing chart. For a 10# kitty, we recommend either 2-4 drops of the HempRx twice daily, or 1-2 drops of the HempRx Forte twice daily.

      I’m so sorry that administering the oils has been so frustrating! One way that we have seen be successful, is placing the drops directly onto a freeze dried treat (and then let the oil soak it up). This has proven to be helpful for a lot of pet parents! Or have you considered the HempRx Soft Chewz? For her weight, she would get 1 chew twice daily.

      I hope that this information helps!

      Warmly,
      Claire

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Elaine,

      Great question!

      Here is our dosing chart. For your kitty we would recommend starting at 0.75mg-1.5mg/kg twice daily. For the HempRx, that is 2-3 drops twice daily.

      I hope this helps! If you try HempRx, please keep us posted on how it works for your kitty!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  5. I have a five year old cat that we rescued as a kitten. He is very territorial and aggressive with everyone in the house but me. When we have guests, he will follow them around the house hissing and repeatedly attacking them for hours…or days in the case of an overnight guest. When it is just he and I, I am able to get him to relax and he is an absolute a joy. Often, when we have guests, I lock him in my room until they leave. When I come back he will be relaxed, laying on the bed sleeping or grooming himself. He investigates the house when released but never seems agitated. Unfortunately, he will not remove himself to a safe spot and, if I wait to intervene until after he reacts to a guest or another person, he will remain agitated and aggressive long after the fact. He has been examined by a vet (even though he has to be sedated to accomplish a visit) and is 100% healthy from a physical standpoint. I have tried Feliway diffusers with no luck. The vet recently prescribed liquid Prozac. Would CBD be a potential alternative in this situation? Are there other holistic treatments you might recommend?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Melissa,

      Thank you for reaching out! Wow, this sounds so stressful!

      It is possible that CBD may help. For kitties, we recommend HempRx and our dosing chart is here.

      It’s possible that CBD may be one of the components that may help your kitty, but potentially not the only component. For behavioral issues, we often refer our cat parents to Dr. Meishelle at The Cat Behavior Clinic. She is an absolute wealth of knowledge and is hugely helpful!

      Please keep us posted! I hope this information is helpful!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  6. Melinda Alexander

    Hi Dr. Angie! I have an 11 lb kitty, she is young and will be 5-years old this Sept. She is suffering from Malignant Glaucoma in both eyes. We struggle with our doctors as they only prescribe Pharmaceutical Rx eye drop medicine that makes our kitty very ill. She has very strong reactions. What is your recommendation for kitties with Glaucoma? We want to protect her optic nerve from further damage and keep her Interocular Pressure down.

    Thank you for your help and clear dosage recommendations. I loved your post, it was very helpful.

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Melinda,

      Thank you for reaching out!

      Are you and your kitty working with an ophthalmologist? Do they know that the eye drops are making your kitty sick? It’s possible that they can switch to another type of eye drop that may work better!

      Will you keep us posted? You are doing a great job!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  7. I have a one year old cat that seems to be over-grooming. The vet initially thought it was an allergic reaction to poultry so we took him off all poultry products. However, I am more inclined to think he is just an anxious kitty. And now after multiple trips to the vet he just does not trust us and is hardly letting us pet him. We got him at 4 months as a rescue who had been fostered. He came very sweet and socialized with our two year old cat well. Now he rarely sits and lets me pet him and seems very anxious.

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Lee,

      Oh, jeez, I am so sorry to hear bout your boy. It sounds like your veterinarian has done a proper work up to ensure the change in behavior isn’t related to pain or other medical conditions? I’m sorry that he has been so traumatized by his frequent trips to the vet!

      Has anything else changed in his environment that could have triggered anxiety (a recent move, new animal, different people in the home, different work schedule, etc)?

      It’s absolutely possible that CBD could help with his anxiety. For cats, we recommend HempRx and our dosing chart is here.

      I hope that this helps! Please keep us posted!

      Warmly
      Claire

  8. Hello, my cat is having seizures. He’s been seen by a vet and was on phenobarbital for a little over a year which did stop his seizures completely but he was a zombie so the vet wanted us to stop phenobarbital and see if his seizures where any better. Unfortunately he’s having roughly one grand mal seizure every 5 to 7 days. .. I live in New York so there are no vets that deal with CBD at all and I’m having trouble finding good information online. I’ve been giving my cat CBD for over a month and I’m not seeing a difference in his seizures. I started him with a low-dose but he is on an extremely high dose right now and I’m wondering what the absolute maximum dose I can give a 13 lb cat that is having one grand mal seizure a week.
    I would absolutely love any help you can give me at all as I feel lost and confused, all I want to do is what’s best for him and I don’t know what that is

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi James,

      I am so sorry to hear about your kitty’s seizures. I know how overwhelming and scary it feels, and also helpless.

      What product are you using? The max dose would be around 2-3mg/kg twice daily. For your kitty, this is 12mg-18mg twice daily. Work up to that amount to assess how he is doing.

      Will you keep us posted?

      Warmly,
      Claire

  9. I have 5 kitties, four of which are feral. They eat and drink from the same dish. What is the best way to administer CBD oil so that they ingest a safe amount?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Pat,

      That’s a tough one!

      The easiest way to administer the CBD oil is via food. It would make most sense to do this if they were eating from separate dishes, but I know you mentioned they aren’t. The dosing is based off of weight, and so it would be difficult to do for multiple cats with one dish. You could put a few drops in, but it’s hard to know how many milligrams each kitty would receive.

      Would they let you feed them a one of the HempRx Soft Chewz?

      Will you keep us posted?!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  10. My 11lb kitty was recently diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye. He has already lost sight in that eye but I was hoping to get the pressure down to decrease his (probable) headache and avoid surgery. He is a former feral & still very skittish so I haven’t had any luck with eyedrops. I was hoping to try CBD in his food. Should I go by the regular dose on the chart for his weight or should the dose be increased due to the glaucoma?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Melanie,

      Good question!

      We would recommend starting with 0.50m/kg twice daily (for your boy, that’s 2.5mg twice daily) and working up from there if and when needed.

      Keep us posted!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  11. I have s cat approximately 13 pounds. The hemp oil I have is from Charlotte’s Web. It’s human strength. My cat had a mass at junction of small intestine/colon. How much Hemp can I try?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Darlene,

      Great question!

      Here is our dosing chart. We generally recommend starting with 0.50mg/kg twice daily and working up from there if needed.

      Hope this helps!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  12. My cat this worked her tumor Vanished for three weeks on 2 drops a day of “5 to 1 tincture” but now there back. Never stopped the dosing her.It was working. How high can I go what have done wrong?She 9 pounds normally 13 mostly muscle . Please I know to you she just a cat but she my life. The tumors Growing larger but she seems healthy .. I buy what ever you say just tell me. Please

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      I’m so so sorry to hear that your kitty’s tumor is back.

      Do you know what dosage you are giving her? For cats with cancer, we tend to do 0.50mg/kg twice daily on day 1, working up to 1mg/kg twice daily by day 3. For your kitty’s weight this is 2mg twice daily on day 1, working up to 4 mg twice daily by day 3. If you have a product here you can calculate how many mg are in each drop, then you can go from there!

      If you need help deciding on a product, we use HempRx for kitties!

      Please keep us posted. Sending you a big hug during this difficult time.

      Hugs,
      Claire

  13. Hi,
    My elderly boy, Whiskers, was diagnosed with Hyper Thyroid.
    He eats but his weight after 2.5 years of H T is about 3 pounds. He also has arthritis.
    Will CBD help him and at what dosage since he is so frail?
    Kindly,
    Marie

    1. Hi Marie,

      I’m so sorry for our delay in response to your question!

      We see CBD be hugely helpful for kitties with arthritis! Additionally, it’s an excellent natural appetite stimulant, and so I think it has the potential to be very beneficial to your boy.

      For cats, we recommend HempRx and our dosing chart is here.

      Will you keep us posted on how it helps!?

      Hugs,
      Claire

  14. Hi there. I read somewhere that cbd oil has helped with upper respiratory congestion for some cats, have you any knowledge of this? My cat is 8kg (I think that’s 17,6 pounds), the cbd oil is 300mg in 30ml oil. Would you also recommend the 2 drops twice a day for him to start off with?

  15. Hi – I live in upstate NY. My cat has recently took sick, possibly a stroke- appetite and activity went to almost nothing. I give her baby food now to get some nourishment in her. She as these little tics or spasms that come and go. Very small just a slight shake of the head and so on. Saw vet who told me that she was anxious and felt her belly etc and didn’t think any organs were not working properly. Not happy. Its been over a week now and she is not herself at all. Seems spacey. Sleeps most of the time. She is 12. And has always been a healthy cat. So my question is where can I purchase the correct CBD product- – brand etc. CBD oil is now legal in NY but I do not trust the regular retail outlets to know enough to help me. She is not vomiting and something still happens in the litter pan. But sometimes I think she is in pain or nauseous from the look on her face and to not touch her when she gets that way. There are no holistic vets around here that I know of. Can you help me find something to help my cat. Thank you

    1. Hi Judy,

      Thank you for reaching out! I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet kitty’s condition. Has she also seen an internal medicine specialist?

      There are SO many CBD products on the market. We recommend a pet specific product. If you use a product marketed for humans, just make sure that it is free of essential oils and natural flavors! Also ensure that the product is organic and pesticide free, that the extraction method is clean (we recommend C02 extraction) and that they have a COA (certificate of analysis that proves the product has what they say it has in it!).

      For cats, we recommend HempRx and our dosing chart is here.

      I hope that this information helps. Big hugs to you and your kitty!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  16. Hello. If my cat is 5kg in weight and the oil I am proposing to buy is 4.2mg and a 15ml bottle. What do I need to give her for a therapeutic daily dose? I am so confused by the calculations! Thank you

    1. Hi Vicki,

      It does get a little confusing, doesn’t it?!

      Here is our dosing chart. For a 5kg (11lb), we would usually start with 1.5-2.5mg of CBD twice daily.

      Do you know how much CBD is in each drop of your product? Will the company let you know that? Once we get that information, it will be easy to figure out how much your kitty should get daily!

      Hope this helps!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  17. I have two 7 year old cats who both have anxiety issues. I have been giving them cbd in their food twice daily. One drop for in each food dish twice daily. It has really helped! We just got a beautiful new kitten. Will the cbd oil be hazardous to the little one? He is 8 weeks old. Per the suggestion of the store, the cbd oil is unflavored, Mediterranean, 500 mg. 1 dropper equals 16mg of pure cbd. Again I give them one drop at a time. I don’t want my older boys to regress in their behavior (inappropriate urination and anxiety) Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Great question!

      The truth is, we don’t have enough studies to know how CBD effects babies, so we aren’t sure the safety of it’s use with your little one. Are you primarily concerned because he/she may eat out the dish with the drop? Would it be possible to feed them all separately, if so?

      Will you keep us posted?

      Oh! And congratulations on your sweet new kitten!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  18. Can I give my kitty CBD every 8 hours? He has cancer pain and isn’t tolerating the gabapentin well. He is always so relaxed for about 8 hrs after the cbd, then i have no choice but to give the gabapentin.

  19. What percentage of CDB/THC would you recommend? I would imagine a slight % of THC, but it’s my understanding that some THC is needed to get the full benefit of the CBD. I’m looking at Tinctures to add to their water, I have 4 cats who will not eat the treats. They have various ranges of arthritis, one is FIV+ and one is a bit anxious as well. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Staci,

      Really good questions.

      At this time, we do not suggest using THC. There are a few reasons for this! We can’t know how our animals feel on THC, but also because we have seen such great results with CBD only!

      We do see CBD help tremendously with anxiety. It’s also amazing for boosting immune function and for arthritis. So I will be really excited to hear an update on your kitty after you start it. I think it could potentially be a game changer.

      Will you keep us posted?

      Warmly,
      Claire

  20. I take CBD oil myself it’s 1800 mg per bottle of one ounce so there’s about 540 drops per bottle I am having a brain fart I can’t figure out how much one drop of my CBD would be 3.3 mg?

    1. Hi Renee,

      No brainfart at all!

      The most important information that you need here is the amount of mg of CBD per drop. Will the company who make the product provide that to you? Once you get that, you can calculate your pet’s doing (we suggest starting with 0.25mg-0.50mg/kg twice daily). With that result, you can figure out the amount of drops needed per dosing.

      I hope this helps provide some clarity! It can get confusing!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  21. Steve Christison

    Our 5+ year-old, 20lb cat suffered (apparently) nerve damage from a 6′ fall on to a concrete floor 6 months ago. No breaks or fractures appeared on any X-rays. With 30 days of prednisone, his mobility is virtually as good as before, but he remains completely incontinent. Every veterinarian seems convinced it is due to nerve damage. We have tried acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, laser treatments and nothing has helped. He has regained very little tail control, yet it does lift slightly whenever he eliminates. We have read that ylang ylang oil may be beneficial to nerve damage, but am looking for further advice. He is otherwise in very good health and are really attached to him. Can someone provide an educated opinion as to whether this is true or not, and if so, what dosage is appropriate?

  22. Hi
    I want to use cbd as an alternative to metacam for pain relief in the teeth and gums. She weighs 5kg and I’ve got 2,75% cbd oil with no thc. What would recommend as the stated dose? the dropper doesn’t measure in ml so I need to know number of drops if possible.
    Thankyou

    1. Hi Kelly,

      This is a good question!

      We usually suggest starting with 0.25mg-0.50mg/kg twice daily! For your kitty’s size, this would be about 1.5mg-3mg twice daily. I would recommend calling the company and asking them how many mg are in each drop of CBD so you can know how many drops to give your kitty.

      I hope that this helps!

      Warmly,
      Claire

  23. My 16 year old cat has a large malignant mass on her throat and swallowing is becoming increasingly difficult. The tumor is in a place that is not wise to operate and at 16 years old we chose not to do any major cancer treatments. I ordered the HempRX to try to give her some comfort/relief but one sniff and she is absolutely not having anything to do with it. I’ve tried to mix it in with food, put it directly on her mouth, on the tip of her nose and she just refuses. She can not swallow easily so hard treats and thick chews are not going to be an answer. She has a hard enough time with liquids. Any suggestions besides just forcing an oral syringe into her mouth? I only need a few drops.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I am so sorry to hear about your kitty’s tumor.

      This is so challenging. Have you tried anything else, since you posted this? I know chewing is hard for her – how does she do with a freeze dried treat? Would she be able to eat it, and if so would she let you place the drop directly onto the treat?

      How about baby food? Is this high value enough to where she wouldn’t notice the drops?

      Will you keep me posted?

      BIG hugs,
      Claire

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