Does CBD Make Cats Sleepy: Understanding Feline Reactions to Cannabidiol - My Blissful Pet

Does CBD Make Cats Sleepy: Understanding Feline Reactions to Cannabidiol

Cats, just like dogs, can get stressed, they can suffer from anxiety, they can have joint and hip pain, or other age-related conditions. We already explored how CBD is a natural remedy for pain in cats, yet, it is also important to understand how CBD may influence your cat when it comes to sleep. In particular, we ask: does CBD make cats sleepy? 



  • Cats sleep up to 20 hours per day. Cats love to sleep and nap, and they generally require a loooot of sleep.
  • Cats have polyphasic sleep. Cats inherited from their ancestors a way of sleeping that allows them to stay alert and wake up quickly in case of an attack.
  • CBD can affect sleep. Studies demonstrated that CBD can promote sleep due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
  • CBD can make your cat sleepy. Levels of the CB1 receptor fluctuate daily and follow the same pattern of anandamide, a natural ligand for the endocannabinoid system. CBD can increase the levels of anandamide, and indirectly promote sleepiness.


CBD and Sleep: What Should Cat Owners Know

Ordinarily, cats really love nap time, and they may need between 13 and 14 hours of sleep per day. Older cats, just like older dogs and people, may even need more rest, up to 20 hours a day. Kittens too need much more sleep than an adult, or adulting, cat. Just like in humans, babies and toddlers require more sleep at night, and during the day, to grow and be healthy.

Feline Sleep Patterns


Cats, both domestic and wild, have unique sleep-wake cycles characterized by multiple periods of sleep throughout the day, a behavior also called polyphasic sleep. This allows them to conserve energy and remain alert in case of an attack, a trait inherited from their ancestors who needed to be ready at any moment.

Unlike their pet parents, cats often experience a higher proportion of light sleep, which enables them to wake up quickly. However, they also enter phases of deep sleep, including REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, where dreaming occurs. Interestingly, cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk, which is reflected in their sleep patterns.

This behavior is typically more pronounced in wild species like lions, but is also observable in domestic cats. The flexibility in their sleeping habits is a testament to their adaptability and predatory nature. Hunting requires a lot of energy, and having multiple naps throughout the day allows them to rest in between food gathering, and energy consuming, moments.

Endocannabinoids and Sleep

Much like humans, cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate numerous physiological functions. Studies in animals indicated that during sleep-wake cycles there are changes in the levels of the CB1 receptor and anandamide, the main receptor and ligand in the ECS, respectively. They both fluctuate during the day, peaking when animals sleep:

CB1R protein expression undergoes modest but significant diurnal variations in the pons, exhibiting a higher level during the light phase (when rats sleep) [..] suggesting that the CB1R expression is triggered by sleep and that endocannabinoids regulate cerebral functions that take place while the subject is sleeping (Neuroscience 117 (2003) 197–201)

CBD interacts with the ECS via the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and its function seems to potentiate the one of anandamide. While anandamide is broken down regular in our body, CBD blocks the enzymes that break it down. Therefore more anandamide can stay in circulation, and the sleep-inducing signals are not shut off. This means that if you buy CBD products for cats, you will influence the way in which this complex network of neurons and receptors work together.

CBD vs. Melatonin

The way CBD functions differs significantly from melatonin, with the latter being a direct sleep inducer. CBD is found in hemp, while melatonin is a hormone made by your brain. Broadly, CBD for sleep focuses on dealing with the issues that inhibit sound sleep like anxiety, discomfort, or inflammation, rather than directly inducing sleep like melatonin. Melatonin is a very well-known sleep aid that is safely used, and sold, pretty much everywhere.


Body and Mind: The Potential Benefits of CBD for Cats


A central aspect of understanding if CBD  data-mce-fragment="1">makes cats sleepy or more relaxed, is grasping the behavioral changes observable after giving CBD to your cat. Conditions such as anxiety, stress, pain, and joint issues are known factors that can worsen sleep quality in humans and pets. CBD helps with these conditions, which results in cats being more tranquil or sleepy

Can CBD Help Cats with Pain and Inflammation?

CBD is believed to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in cats, which can contribute to pain relief and the reduction of inflammation. Research on its effectiveness in cats is limited, but some pet owners have reported observing an improvement in their cats' comfort levels after using CBD, particularly for conditions like arthritis. For optimal effects, finding the right dose of CBD for your cat is also crucial.

  • Relief from Chronic Conditions: Administering CBD may provide comfort from conditions that cause chronic pain and inflammation.
  • Arthritis Management: Some evidence suggests that CBD administration can improve mobility in cats with joint pain tied to arthritis.

Can CBD Oil calm them if they have anxiety and are stressed?

does CBD make cats sleepy - cats stressed mbp

You might notice that cats that are chronically anxious or stressed do not sleep well. Multiple studies show that treatment with CBD oil might be a beneficial option to help induce the mental calmness needed to easily fall, and stay, asleep.

  • Natural Calming: CBD may help manage cat anxiety, contributing to your cat's overall well-being.
  • Situational Stress: Consider using CBD during events that typically cause stress for cats, such as car rides, thunderstorms or vet visits.

Can they take CBD for mobility and joint issues?

Just as humans, dogs, and any other living being, as your cat ages will start having joint issues. These can range from general stiffness and reduce mobility to limitations due to arthritic and osteoarthritic pain. Chronic joint pain lingers day after day, making it difficult to soundly sleep due to the continuous discomfort. In these cases, CBD may help with:

  • Support Joint Health: CBD oil for cats might support joint health and mobility, reducing discomfort.
  • Osteoarthritis: For cats suffering from osteoarthritis, CBD may help ease the stiffness and pain associated with this condition.

Support for Epilepsy and Seizures

Epilepsy is the unexpected and uncontrollable firing of a group of neurons that causes seizures in dogs and cats (and people). In cats, this can occur when brain signaling changes, like when they are falling asleep. If your cat experiences seizures, CBD is a known potential natural treatment, in fact:

  • CBD has anticonvulsant Properties: Studies indicate that CBD helps in managing seizures, and the only CBD drug by the FDA, Epidiolex, is for the treatment of epilepsy.


Is It Safe to Give Cats CBD?

CBD is generally a very safe supplement for humans and animals. Studies strongly suggested that it is quite difficult to take too much CBD, especially when there is no THC mixed with it. While it is not harmful to cats, there is always variability in terms of how every cat, or dog, responds to it. That is why you always have to monitor your cat when a new treatment, supplement, or medicine is introduced into his, or her, diet.

In particular, CBD interacts with the same enzymes in your liver that metabolize common medications. This is true for cats as well as humans, so please consult your veterinarian before administering CBD to your cat if he/she is already taking other drugs.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD for Your Cat

Feature Broad Spectrum CBD Full Spectrum CBD
Cannabinoid Content Contains multiple cannabinoids except THC. Contains all cannabinoids, including THC.
THC Content THC is completely removed. Contains trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%).
Entourage Effect Limited due to absence of THC. Full entourage effect due to presence of THC and other cannabinoids.
Flavor Can be milder than Full Spectrum CBD. At times stronger, more natural hemp flavor.
Legal Status Generally legal, but depends on local laws. Legal if THC content is below 0.3%; varies by region.
Best For Users who want benefits of cannabinoids without THC. Users seeking the full benefits of hemp plant, including THC.
Drug Testing Less likely to show on drug tests. May show up on drug tests due to THC content.
Psychoactive Effects No psychoactive effects. Minimal psychoactive effects due to low THC level.
Availability Widely available. Availability may be restricted in areas with strict THC laws.
Potential Benefits Anxiety relief, anti-inflammatory, and others without THC-related effects. Enhanced therapeutic benefits due to the entourage effect.
Ideal for People sensitive to THC or in areas with strict THC laws. People looking for the complete natural profile of hemp.

Full spectrum CBD refers to a product that contains THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, albeit at a concentration less than 0.3 percent in dry weight. That is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes the high associated with marijuana use. In contrast, broad spectrum CBD has no THC and lacks psychoactive effects. Since THC is toxic for pets, CBD is largely safe for cats provided it is THC-free. We always suggest to make sure you're using a broad spectrum hemp extract for the higher safety profile due to the lack of THC.


What's The Right Dosage of CBD for Cats?

When it comes to administering CBD to your cat, consulting a veterinarian is paramount to ensure safety and to determine the correct amount for your feline friend. Cats have endocannabinoid receptors much like humans, which means CBD may potentially affect them positively. However, the right amount of CBD can vary based on size, age, and overall health.

Here’s a simplified guideline to keep in mind:

  • Mild Effects: 1-2 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight
  • Moderate Effects: 2-4 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight
  • Strong Effects: 4-6 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight

The actual concentration of CBD also differs between products, so always check the label. We always suggest starting with the lowest dose, and gradually adjust it based on what you observe. You may need to give your cat CBD a few times before finding the dose that works best for your cat. CBD takes some time to work, and the results may not be immediate. 


In Pets, CDB Could Have Adverse Effects

While CBD is generally considered safe for cats, there are possible side effects or adverse reactions. Here's what you might look out for:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive grooming
  • Changes in normal eating patterns
  • Vomiting

If you notice your cat exhibiting these or any other unusual behaviors, it may be a sign to adjust the dosage or consult your veterinarian. Typically, adverse reactions disappear automatically without you needing to do anything, and your pet will return to his or her normal activities without needing any help. 


Differences Between Cats CBD and Human CBD

Cats have an endocannabinoid system, similar to dogs and humans, which allows them to respond to cannabinoids like CBD in a manner similar to other species. Yet, human products often have other artificial ingredients that are not developed for, or suited for, pet consumption. When considering CBD for your pet, keep in mind the following details:

  • Species-Specific Dosage: An appropriate dosage of CBD for cats will differ from that of humans.
  • Species-Specific Ingredients: Human products can contain additives that can be toxic for pets.
  • Safety Profile: All can benefit from the potential benefits of CBD, but the safety profile changes based on concentration and frequency of usage. That varies among species, and what is safe for humans may not be safe for your cat.



Cats have endocannabinoid receptors, just like humans, which means CBD interacting with this system will help regulate sleep. This also means that when you give your cat CBD oil for conditions like arthritis or anxiety, you are still influencing the same system. And this will result in the activation of the neuronal processing that facilitates sleep. 

Also, please keep in mind that while CBD helps with various conditions, it's not a cure-all. If your cat isn't showing any improvement or you're curious about how CBD works for your cat, discussing these observations with a vet can help, especially if your cat is already taking other medications.



Q: In the end, does CBD make cats sleepy?

A: Yes, CBD has been known to have a calming effect on cats, which can lead to drowsiness and increased sleepiness. 

Q: How much CBD should I give my cat?

A: The appropriate amount of CBD for your cat depends on various factors such as the cat's weight, the potency of the CBD product, and the desired effects. It is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed while observing your cat's response.

Q: How does CBD work in cats?

A: CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in cats, which can regulate various physiological functions including mood, sleep, and appetite. This interaction may help your cat feel more relaxed and at ease.

Q: Can CBD make my cat sleepy all the time?

A: While CBD can have a calming effect on cats, it is unlikely to make them constantly sleepy. The impact of CBD on your cat's sleepiness may vary based on how much you administer, potency, and individual differences in feline reactions to CBD.

Q: What is the best CBD oil for cats?

A: The best CBD oil for cats is one that is specifically formulated for feline use, made from high-quality ingredients, and has undergone rigorous testing for safety and potency. It is important to choose a reputable brand that prioritizes the well-being of feline companions.

Q: Can I use CBD oil for my cat's anxiety?

A: CBD oil has been suggested to help cats manage anxiety and stress. However, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate dose and to ensure that CBD is a suitable option for addressing your cat's specific anxiety-related concerns.

Q: Are there specific CBD products made for cats?

A: Yes, there are CBD products specifically formulated for cats, including CBD oil, CBD treats, and other CBD-infused products designed to cater to feline needs. It is essential to choose products that are tailored to the unique physiology of cats and free from any potentially harmful ingredients.

Q: How can CBD help your cat feel better?

A: CBD may help your cat feel better by potentially reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, alleviating discomfort, and supporting overall health and well-being. However, it is important to use CBD products responsibly and under the guidance of a veterinary professional.



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