Have you been considering giving your cat hemp treats? Perhaps you’ve seen them on store shelves and wondered if they are really a safe and healthy option for your feline family member. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant and some people may worry that it could be a potential health hazard.
But the truth is that hemp cat treats can be an excellent choice for your cat and have great health/mood benefits. In this post, we’ll explore what you need to know about them. We’ll take a look at the potential health benefits, what you should look for in a safe and healthy hemp treat, and any potential risks.
What Exactly Are Hemp Cat Treats?
Well, let’s start with discussing hemp and its relation to cannabis and CBD (cannabidiol). Hemp is a type of cannabis plant, and hemp cat treats are made from hemp seed. Hemp seeds are known to contain many beneficial nutrients, including protein and healthy fats. They also have high levels of fiber, which can help maintain digestive health. Hemp seeds are also one of the only plant sources of essential fatty acids (EFA) that your cat’s body can actually use. In the body, EFAs help regulate inflammation, metabolism, and other necessary processes.
EFAs are even more important for cats than they are for humans. They’re crucial for a cat’s healthy growth and development. Hemp seeds can also be pressed into hemp oil, which is often used in hemp cat treats. Hemp oil is high in healthy fats and antioxidants, so it’s another potential source of many of the benefits mentioned above. Hemp oil also contains amino acids and minerals, like magnesium and zinc. And this amazing oil can be a great choice for cats with hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or other health issues that may cause an increase in metabolic rate.
A Bit More on CBD Oil
CBD oil can help your cat feel happier and more relaxed by activating their brain’s serotonin receptors. CBD oil could be the right solution for your cat if they suffer from anxiety disorders such as separation anxiety. Although CBD oil can be used to reduce anxiety and pain in cats, it shouldn’t be considered a treatment. It’s intended to be part of a routine for wellness.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Cat Treats
As we’ve discussed, hemp seeds are a great source of many important nutrients, including protein and EFAs. Giving your cat hemp treats could help them maintain a healthy weight, build strong muscles and bones, get proper nutrition for a growing kitten, and keep their skin and coat healthy.
Hemp treats could also be beneficial for cats with certain health issues, such as those taking medication or recovering from chemotherapy. All this being stated, it doesn’t hurt to make a quick call to your vet to make sure that it’s safe to give your particular cat hemp-based treats.
Different Types of Hemp Cat Treats
There are lots of different kinds of hemp cat treats on the market, including dry treats and biscuits and treats made with hemp oil. You’ll want to keep in mind the risks we discussed above when you’re picking out hemp treats for your cat. Dry treats are the most common type of hemp cat treat, and many of them are made with hemp seeds. When shopping for treats, try to pick out a brand that uses raw seeds and doesn’t add any other ingredients that could be harmful to your cat.
You’ll find many different flavors and types of hemp cat treats at pet stores and online, including salmon, chicken and pumpkin. Keep in mind that these treats may not necessarily contain any of the healthy nutrients or fiber that hemp seeds provide.
How to Introduce Hemp Cat Treats to Your Cat
Hemp cat treats are a safe and healthy choice for your kitty, but you’ll want to be careful to introduce them at the right time. If you give hemp treats to a kitten, there’s a risk that they could cause gastrointestinal irritation and sedation, so you should avoid giving them to young kittens that are under 4 months of age. Some vets even advise that you should wait until your cat is at least 1 year old before you start feeding them hemp treats.
Even if you’re feeding your cat hemp treats, you’ll also want to make sure that they’re getting plenty of other nutrients. As you may already know, cats need a diet that is rich in protein, fat, and carbs. If you do plan to introduce hemp treats to your cat before it’s a year old, be sure to do it in small doses. For example, start with giving your cat half to one milligram to see how well it tolerates it first. Do this for a week or two and then up the dosage according to the cat’s body weight.
Buying Hemp Cat Treats That Are Safe
Be sure to carefully examine the label when selecting your hemp cat treat. Manufacturers that make these treats do conduct quality control on their products to verify their ingredients and the products’ efficacy, as well as for other reasons. They do this to make sure they do what they promise, with no harmful effects, and that the products are safe to be used.
But this doesn’t mean that all the ingredients will be things that you want your cat to consume. Some common ones include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), ethoxyquin, and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), as well as other additives.
There are three things to keep in mind when you look at CBD cat treats:
Transparency is key, as reputable hemp cat treat manufacturers will answer all your questions regarding the product, its benefits and safety.
And remember that the effects of CBD on animals is still being investigated. Although researchers are still unsure of all the benefits CBD could have for animals, experts do agree that CBD supplementation at a safe dosage for pets is possible.
Wrapping Things Up
Hemp cat treats are a great way to add extra nutrients to your cat’s diet and give them a delicious treat. They’re typically considered a safe choice for cats of all ages and can help manage anxiety and ease chronic pain. Hemp treats are also a good choice if you’re worried about food allergies, since they’re completely free of allergens.
When you’re shopping for hemp treats, you’ll want to look for ones that only contain hemp seeds and no unhealthy additives that you don’t recognize. You can find hemp cat treats at local private or small-chain stores and shops, and you may also find them cheaper online.
Featured Image Credit: PRO Stock Professional, Shutterstock