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CBD Product Types for Pets: Choosing the Right Formulation for Your Cat

There are several CBD product types for pets and this can make it tricky choosing the right formulation for your furry friend. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article, we are breaking down the steps to choosing the best CBD for your pet and their personal needs

Understanding CBD And Its Benefits For Pets

Derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) products have received significant attention in the last 5 years.

Thanks to them interacting with and supporting the regulatory system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), there are nearly endless benefits that CBD can potentially have for pets. And unlike the marijuana variety, CBD products don’t cause a high. 

Pet parents and research report that CBD can potentially help reduce anxiety, alleviate pain, and stifle nausea while supporting the immune and digestive systems. CBD has even been found to reduce seizures when epileptic drugs have failed. As well, CBD can promote proper energy balance in the body that can keep several diseases at bay while supporting general health and wellness. 

Common CBD Product Types for Pets

Just like our pets, CBD products come in many shapes and styles. 

CBD Oil/Tinctures

The most popular form of CBD to give to pets is CBD oil. CBD oil is an excellent option for first-time users. It’s easy to administer, with you being able to directly give it to your pet or place it in their food instead. Then it’s very easy to customize the dosage in very small increments. This is helpful because factors such as body weight and severity of the medical problems will affect the optimal dosage you should give your pet. 

CBD oil has a natural grassy flavor, which most dogs love. But sometimes, you’ll find it infused with catnip to help entice cats that may be a little pickier about the grassy flavor. You can check our top 5 list for Cat CBD Oil

CBD Treats and Edibles

Easy to give and great for when you’re on the go or out in public, CBD treats are becoming incredibly common to give to pets, especially for dogs. They are generally not recommended if precision dosage is needed, as sometimes seen in cases where the pet is on a prescription medication. 

Most pets aren’t likely to require a precise dosage, however, making the one-size-fits-all CBD treat a great option for most pet parents. As with all CBD products, you will find treats with different levels of CBD to account for different weight ranges. 

CBD Topicals/Lotions 

With the ability to harness all of CBD power into a single area, CBD topicals are very popular for pets with skin issues or localized pain or inflammation. It’s currently unknown the degree CBD topicals influence the CYP enzyme system vs. a form that’s ingested. 

CBD Capsules and Pills

CBD capsules are simply CBD oil in capsule form. As with CBD treats, you won’t have the ability to make small incremental changes in the dosage, as seen with CBD tinctures. However, unlike treats and tinctures, CBD capsules tend to be less messy, making them an excellent option for pets that have little issues taking pills. 

CBD Pet Shampoos and Grooming Products

Similar to a CBD topical, it’s becoming more common to see CBD in grooming products such as CBD pet shampoo. Just in general, it’s a good idea to have a pet shampoo formulated for your pet due to the pH of their skin being less acidic than ours. 

A shampoo formulated for dogs or a shampoo for cats will protect their acid mantle, where repeated use of a human shampoo can damage it. This can lead to several issues, such as acne breakouts, rosacea, and dry skin, while also jeopardizing their coat health. 

CBD pet shampoos can be hard to find, but they are pretty easy to make. Just combine a CBD topical with your pet’s shampoo. This is similar to how you can make homemade CBD treats by incorporating CBD oil into the mixture before baking. 

Formulation Factors to Consider When Choosing a CBD Product

Regardless of the type of CBD product you choose to give your pet, you’ll need to consider a few other formulation factors. 

Full Spectrum Vs. Broad Spectrum Vs. Isolate

While named after a single compound, the vast majority of CBD products contain hundreds of unique compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes. We call these full spectrum CBDs. 

Full spectrum CBDs are the most popular type of CBD products, especially amongst pets, because they provide the greatest range of potential benefits thanks to the entourage effect. This happened because not all cannabinoids and terpenes share the same effects due to their size and receptors in the body they active/influence. 

Much less common to see for pets is broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum CBD removes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the extract. This is because THC is the cannabinoid that greatly causes the high associated with marijuana. Now, none of the CBD products we’ve covered will cause your pet to feel high. Broad spectrum CBD is more so for people that require large dosages but have concerns about THC showing up on a drug test. Due to the absence of THC, broad spectrum CBDs are typically seen as less effective than full spectrum CBD.  

Last, but pretty much impossible to find, is a CBD isolate for pets. CBD isolates are just the compound CBD in ridiculous concentration amounts. Dosing and effects from isolates are very uneven because the compound CBD is too large to effectively pass the blood-brain barrier. 

As such, it either needs sonification to break up its size or simply be taken with the other cannabinoids and terpenes, as some can open up the blood-brain barrier for CBD to effectively pass through.CBD isolates have the most limited range of effects due to the loss of the other compounds.

Dosage and CBD Amount

While several factors will influence how much CBD you should give to your pet, body weight is perhaps the greatest determinant. And because our pets come in many shapes and sizes, it’s common for CBD products to be formulated to weight ranges. 

Pure CBD hemp extract is very concentrated and is often paired with a carrier oil that not only improves overall absorption, it also dilutes the mixture. This way, you’re not working with highly concentrated amounts that can make precise dosing very tricky. This also helps ensure you don’t accidentally give your pet too much CBD.  

As such, while it’s fine to give CBD oil to a pet that is labeled for a different weight range than what your pet falls into, it’s generally recommended you find a CBD product formulated for your pet’s weight. 

Choosing The Best CBD For Your Pet

Despite the variety of CBD products, there are a few things you always want to see to ensure they are properly formulated for your pet. 


Cannabis plants have phytoremediation properties that allow the crop to absorb minerals and heavy metals that can be toxic to our’ and our pets’ health. As such, you always want CBD derived from cannabis plants organically grown. 

Extraction Method

CBD can be extracted in several ways, from using solvent solutions to simply smacking the crops against a mesh screen. CO2 solventless extraction is the standard for extracting CBD, not only because it’s affordable, it’s one, if not, the cleanest and most effective method. 

Certificate of Analysis

The last thing you want is for your CBD product to get your pet high. And it won’t when it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC while having an abundance of CBD. To ensure that’s always the case, only buy pet CBD products that have been independently analyzed by a third-party lab. You can confirm it has by checking out the certificate of analysis (COA). 

Choosing the Right Formulation for Your Furry Friend

We’ve covered a lot, so let’s sum up what we’ve learned. 

CBD oils, treats, and other types all have their own advantages, but if you’ve never given your pet CBD before, CBD oil is typically the best option.

It lets you start your pet off with a lower than normal dosage, allowing you to better monitor how CBD affects them. While side effects are rare, it’s typically more common to see them the first week or so as the body learns to recognize a substance it has never come across before. 

Then, as mentioned before, it can easily be placed in your pet’s food or baked into treats if the flavor needs to be disguised. 

Remember, regardless of the type, you want your pet CBD product to be full spectrum. 

As well, always ensure that the CBD product has undergone third-party lab analysis, was extracted with CO2, and was derived from organic hemp.

Last, but not least, for easier dosing, choose a CBD product that’s appropriate for your pet’s weight. 

When you take these steps, choosing a CBD product with the right formulation for your furry friend is all but a guarantee.  

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