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,

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Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHVMariejonathan d wintDr. Angie Krause, DVMMelanie Recent comment authors
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Christina
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Christina

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… Read more »

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

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… Read more »

kathybardsley
Member
kathybardsley

Hi, what symptoms would denote a dose too high or a dose too low?

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

Hi Kathy,

Our dosing chart here has a low dose and a high dose for weight ranges. It’s never a bad idea to start with a low dose, to see how your pet tolerates CBD. Then, slowly increase to a larger dose if needed (to find the dose that gives your pet the best response).

I hope this answers your question!

Warmly,
Claire

kathybardsley
Member
kathybardsley

Thanks —not quite, specifically, what behaviors or symptoms would indicate an over dose?

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

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

David von Braun
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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%.

Martha Henry
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Martha Henry

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.

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

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

Martha Henry
Guest
Martha Henry

My 14 year old cat has stage 4 renal disease and is not eating well. Would CBDs be appropriate appetite stimulant?

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

Hi Martha,

I’m so sorry your kitty isn’t eating well. CBD can absolutely help as an appetite stimulant!

For kitties, we recommend HempRx.

I hope this helps!

Warmly,
Claire

Vince
Guest

Thank you so much for this fantastic guide – good dosage suggestions are hard to come by and this article made it easy to understand! Now off to grab the calculator…

Jacquie Edie, Veterinary Nurse for BHV
Member
Jacquie Edie, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

Thank you for your comment. Glad you found this information helpful.

Marisa
Guest
Marisa

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… Read more »

Barbara S Gillespie
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Barbara S Gillespie

I have a Maine coon cat who weighs about 20 pounds what dosage would you suggest for him?

Elaine Dietrich
Guest
Elaine Dietrich

How much would I give a cat to increase his appetite.? He only weighs 6.5 pounds.

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

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… Read more »

Melinda Alexander
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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.

Lee Casteris
Guest
Lee Casteris

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… Read more »

James
Guest
James

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… Read more »

Pat
Guest
Pat

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?

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

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?

Darlene Ehlers
Guest
Darlene Ehlers

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?

jonathan d wint
Guest
jonathan d wint

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

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

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… Read more »

Marie
Guest
Marie

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

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

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

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