Can Cats Eat Hemp Seeds? 6 Things You Need To Know

Cats are notoriously naughty pets, and they can get into all sorts of trouble. You may be wondering if cats can safely eat hemp seeds if they ate some that you accidentally dropped on the floor or left out.

Although it’s not a good idea to feed your cat hemp seeds, a small amount probably won’t hurt it if it accidentally ingested some.

Can Cats Eat Hemp Seeds?

Cats have a natural curiosity that leads them into dangerous territory, where they might find foods or objects they shouldn’t eat.

Pet owners in the United States may be worried that their feline friends are being exposed to harmful substances due to the increased availability of cannabis products. Your cat can safely consume hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, but only in small amounts and not as a regular part of its diet.

The effects of hemp seeds on pets have not been studied sufficiently for veterinarians to recommend them as safe alternatives to other cat treats, despite the fact that the seeds contain only a negligible amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Several states have passed legislation making hemp cultivation legal, and businesses have responded by creating hemp food, clothing, and other goods.

The cannabis plants from which hemp seeds are harvested contain negligible quantities of the psychoactive compound THC. Your cat probably won’t get high or sleepy after consuming hemp seeds or hemp-based edibles like oil or flour.

Hemp seeds, which are growing in popularity as a dietary supplement, may be found in the same section of the grocery store as chia seeds. Hemp seeds are often referred to as “superfoods” due to their high nutrient content.

Hemp seeds have 5g of protein, 2g of fiber, 6g of fat, and 300mg of potassium in just 2 tablespoons. The same serving size satisfies 25% of an individual’s daily iron needs and 15% of their daily vitamin A needs in humans.

There are ten essential amino acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the seeds. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and hemp seed oil, respectively.,which can reduce inflammation in pets like cats and dogs.

However, research from 2020 found that the high phytic acid content of hemp seeds may prevent the body from properly absorbing minerals like iron.

In spite of the study’s intent, its findings suggest that hemp seeds may not be as safe for humans or pets as advocates claim.

Here is a condensed version of the USDA’s nutritional analysis of hemp seeds based on a 100-gram serving size:

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Carbohydrates67 grams
Protein6 grams
Sugars5 grams
Fiber4 grams
CalciumQuantity: 70 mcg
MagnesiumSeventy milligrams
IronQuantity: 95 mcg
PhosphorusAmounting to 1,650mg
PotassiumAmounting to 1,200mg
SodiumAmount: 5 mcg
ZincQuantity: 9 mcg
CopperOnly 6mg!
ThiaminAmount: 2 mcg
NiacinAmount: 2 mcg
Saturated fatty acids, in general6 grams
Total monounsaturated fatty acids4 grams
Overall polyunsaturated fatty acid content1 gram
CholesterolNull milligrams

Even though 100 grams of hemp seeds have a remarkable nutritional profile, most cats won’t eat that much of them.

Is Marijuana as Safe as Hemp for Cats?

Although there is no evidence that hemp seeds are harmful to cats, dogs, or humans, more research is needed before pet owners can confidently decide whether or not to include hemp seeds in their pets’ diets.

bombay cat sitting on grass outdoor

However, you should never give your pet any form of marijuana, especially not as an edible or by blowing smoke in a cat’s face.

Veterinarians are worried about the rising popularity of edible marijuana products, which are only legal in 18 states. Dogs are more susceptible to the effects of cannabinoids because they have more cannabinoid receptors than cats do.

Some canine victims of accidental marijuana overdose have been confirmed. Since cats lack sweet teeth, they are less likely to overindulge in chocolate or sugary marijuana treats, but they will experience the effects of the drug if they inhale it.

In 2018, Poland saw the first documented case of a cat suffering from THC intoxication.

The owner of a 6-year-old Persian cat brought it to the vet after noticing that the cat had become disoriented and aggressive.

After 14 days of examination, the veterinarians concluded there was nothing wrong with the cat and returned him to his owner.

The cat’s symptoms returned after its owner left it with her partner for a few days, and the animal was readmitted to the clinic.

After speaking with the cat’s owner and discovering that the animal’s blood contained a high concentration of THC, veterinarians learned that the cat had been exposed to marijuana when the owner’s roommate had blown smoke in the animal’s face as a joke.

Cats cannot tolerate marijuana because their tiny lungs aren’t built for it. Keep your pets away from what may look like hemp seeds but are actually psychoactive substances.

Healthy Diets for Cats

Hemp seeds have promising potential as a dietary supplement, but all your cat really needs is a healthy diet, plenty of fresh water, and regular exercise.

Finding high-quality cat food can be challenging due to the prevalence of deceptive advertising claims; however, you can have faith in brands that have performed lifetime studies and routinely test their ingredients for contaminants.

A lifetime study, in contrast to shorter-term experiments, monitors a group of cats as they continue to eat the same food for an extended period of time.

Food-borne illnesses can take years to manifest, but with careful research, manufacturers can identify the offending ingredient and stop using it. Check the brand’s recall and reliability history before purchasing.

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Although hemp seeds have a lot of protein, your pet actually needs the protein found in meat. Taurine is an amino acid that can be found in abundance in animal meats and fish.

Taurine is an essential amino acid because cats can’t make it themselves like they can with other amino acids. Diseases of the heart and eyes can appear in a taurine-deficient cat in as little as 5 months.

Look for brands high in protein, low in carbs, and moderately high in fat; your vet can help you choose if you’re having trouble deciding.

Your cat needs food that is high in moisture in addition to the usual vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein.

Cats’ urinary tracts are especially delicate, and dehydration can cause the urine to be too concentrated. Urine crystals and stones are often the result of concentrated urine.,which can prevent urine from reaching the bladder, leading to long-term health problems.

Keeping your furball hydrated can be accomplished in two ways: by feeding it wet food and by providing access to water in the form of fountains. If your cat prefers dry food to wet, investing in a fountain so it can drink from moving water is a no-brainer.

What Happens If My Cats Eats Too Many Hemp Seeds?

If your cat consumes an unhealthy or toxic substance in large quantities, it can cause serious health problems. Get in touch with your vet if you suspect your cat has eaten too many hemp seeds.

Although hemp belongs to the cannabis family, it contains only minute quantities of the psychoactive compound, THC.

Because of this, you can feed your cat hemp seeds without worrying that it will become hyperactive.

Hemp Seed Oil Is Used to Make Various Cat Products

Hemp seed oil is used to create a variety of products for cats, including supplements that aid felines in managing stress and anxiety and balms for the nose and paws. Products derived from hemp seeds are lawful and safe for feline consumption.

Cat sitting in front of a bowl of hemp seeds

Hemp Seed Oil is Different Than CBD Oil

CBD oil, in contrast to hemp seed oil, is extracted from the entire hemp plant, including the flowers, leaves, and stalks. Cannabidiol (CBD)has a THC content of 0.3% or less and is derived from the hemp plant.

You may have heard that cannabidiol (CBD) is a viable option for treating human conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety. You might not be aware, but the market for CBD oil for pets is booming right now.

Cats are known for being low-maintenance pets that don’t require much from their owners beyond providing the basics like food, water, and affection, but even cats can reap the therapeutic benefits of CBD.

Stress in cats can cause behavioral changes such as a loss of appetite, aggression, or excessive grooming.

An anxious cat will scratch up the couch or the coffee table. CBD oil for cats has been shown to reduce anxiety and help the animal feel more at ease.

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CBD oil for cats is widely available today, and it is promoted as a possible treatment for a variety of ailments common in felines.

  • Anxiety
  • Allergies
  • Joint and hip discomfort
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nervousness

The nutritional needs of cats will be discussed now that you know it’s okay for them to eat a few hemp seeds and that they can benefit from hemp oil and CBD. We’ll also share some advice on how to pick out cat food that your feline friend will actually enjoy.

What Cats Need Nutritionally

Cat Eating Tuna

Cats, being primarily carnivorous eaters, require animal-based protein sources. To live long and healthy lives, felines also require the following foods:

  • Arginine and taurine are examples of amino acids.
  • minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc
  • Minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, and zinc
  • Animal fat, Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids are examples of fats and fatty acids.

In a nutshell, your cat requires a varied and balanced diet to meet its extensive nutritional requirements. The best way to ensure your cat has everything it needs to live a long and healthy life is to feed it high-quality cat food.

If your cat is choosy about his food, experiment with different flavors to see what he likes. You can now give your cat a diet he actually enjoys. If you find out your cat prefers salmon to any other food, you can feed it salmon-based cat food.

Samples of different types of cat food are available at most pet stores, so you can see which flavors your cat prefers. Then, you can see which flavor your cat enjoys the most by offering him a sampling of each.

Signs Your Cat Likes What You’re Feeding It

It can be difficult to tell if your cat enjoys the food you offer it because of how peculiar cats can be. Cats can be notoriously difficult to read when it comes to food preparation and presentation. There are a few telltale signs that the cat food you’ve been feeding it is appreciated.

  • When you go to feed your cat, it immediately appears.
  • It likes to scratch your leg while you prepare its meal.
  • Your cat either purrs or meows incessantly while you’re preparing its meal.
  • As it makes its way to the food bowl, it acts cheerful and perky.
  • Your pet immediately starts diving for the food.
  • It doesn’t cry or make a lot of noise while eating.
  • Your cat can empty the bowl in lightning speed.

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Final Thoughts

The long-term effects of consuming hemp seeds—which are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids—on a cat’s body are unknown.

Although both fish oil and oil extracted from hemp seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, vets typically recommend fish oil as a better nutritional supplement for cats.

Cats have a harder time digesting plant proteins than they do fish or animal proteins.

Although hemp seeds are now considered safe for human consumption, you shouldn’t feed them to your cat.

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