cbd for cats with cancer

Best CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer – November 2020

Can pet owners use CBD oil to treat cats with cancer? Is it safe?

  • Cancer affects cats in many ways and can drastically lower their quality of life. Symptoms such as persistent sores, changing lumps, lameness, unexplained bleeding, and loss of appetite are common among cats with cancer. (1 )
  • Many medications are available to help alleviate the clinical signs of cancer, but can also cause adverse reactions to felines. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a promising solution that could be a natural and safer remedy in treating cancer in cats. (2-3 )
  • Several preliminary studies on CBD have shown that the phytocannabinoid might eliminate cancerous cells in the body (4 ) . Results also showed that CBD inhibited the growth of harmful tumors in a lab setting. (5-6 )
  • Despite the purported benefits of CBD oil, there is a lack of in-depth research regarding its use in animals. Cats that are given CBD formulations may experience side effects such as drowsiness (7 ) , anxiety, nausea, and disorientation.
  1. Best Organic CBD Pet Oil:Pet CBD by Nuleaf Naturals
  2. Fur Favorite:Paw CBD by cbdMD
  3. Most Liked:Pet CBD by 4 Corners Cannabis

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4 Corners Cannabis Pet Tincture

The pet tincture, called Pedigree, was formulated specifically for pets. They are incredibly similar to the blue label oral tincture but do not include limonene. It is safe for cattle, horses, dogs, and cats. People can add it to pet food or directly into their pet’s mouth.

Can Cats with Cancer Use CBD Oil?

Cancer is one of the most feared health conditions today, and although it is not as common in cats as it is with dogs, it still affects many felines. Some of the symptoms of cancer in cats include persistent sores, lumps that change in size or shape, lameness, unexplained bleeding, and loss of appetite. (8 )

Despite having no cure, there are many medications available that can alleviate the clinical signs of cancer. However, these pharmaceutical drugs also bring with them adverse reactions and harmful side effects that can only worsen the condition of a pet.

One particularly promising solution comes in the form of cannabidiol (CBD), which is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and the main compound in the hemp plant.

There is a growing number of owners that are beginning to look towards CBD-based cannabis products to ease pain and other conditions in their pets. (9 ) Although there is no precise data suggesting that CBD can cure cancer, there are studies that point towards its therapeutic potential and compatibility in small animals. (10 )

One study in 2018, for instance, shows encouraging results on the effects of hemp-based cannabidiol and terpenes on dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The majority of the dogs that consumed CBD oil during the trial experienced significantly less pain and better mobility overall. (11 )

The same study also shows that there were no side effects reported and that the dogs can tolerate a dosage of 2 mg per kilogram bodyweight of CBD oil twice each day. These findings may be an indication that the hemp-based nutraceutical is not dangerous for animals. (12 )

A study on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) reveals that humans and animals, with the exception of some insects and protozoans, share this same system in their bodies (13 ) . The ECS is responsible for regulating the functions of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues, while it also contains cannabinoid receptors. (14 )

Since animals and human beings also possess the same receptors, this means that cats can be naturally receptive to the cannabinoids present in CBD. This research on the ECS may be proof as to why the dogs in the study mentioned earlier did not experience any adverse effects upon consuming CBD oil.

CBD for Cats with Cancer

Three forms of CBD products for cats are available at this time. These include:

CBD Oils (Tinctures)

Oils are the most popular method in administering full-spectrum cannabidiol in cats. When people mention CBD oil for cats, this typically means using tinctures to help ease symptoms.

Cat CBD oil is given by way of a dropper, which is easily applied in the mouth. There are various flavors available for CBD tinctures that pet owners can choose from today.

CBD Capsules

CBD in the form of capsules is an ideal alternative for use in cats as they are provided in pre-measured portions. Each pill can be administered once or twice a day, depending on the recommendation of a veterinarian.

A capsule may contain 5 to 20 mg of CBD, so it is essential to consult a doctor before application. The pills can also be masked in pet food to make administration easier.

CBD Cat Treats

CBD pet treats for cats are also another way to administer CBD to a feline friend conveniently. Cats enjoy consuming treats that are made for them, and this product makes the application process straightforward.

Keep in mind, however, that the dosage in CBD treats may not be as accurate as with oils and capsules. Again, cat owners should talk to a veterinarian to know the proper dosage they should give to their pets.

Can CBD Oil Treat Cancer in Cats?

There are several clinical studies that were carried out, suggesting that CBD can fight the spread and growth of cancerous tumors in cats.

CBD Might Help Eliminate Cancer Cells

In 2011, researchers carried out an examination of how CBD would interact with breast cancer cells. Although the study was done in vitro, which means that it involved using either a sample dish or test tube instead of a live organism, the results were quite impressive.

In the study, the scientists learned that CBD could help induce programmed death on the cancer cells without causing much damage to the healthy cells. (15 ) How CBD was able to do this is relatively unclear, but the compound was able to help destroy damaged tissues, and cause apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Since cancer is primarily characterized by the abnormal growth of cells, the results of this study may be a hint that CBD can contribute in regulating cell growth.

CBD Can Help Stop Tumor Growth

The Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal published a similar study in the same year regarding CBD and how it affects cancerous cells in the breast.

The study, although carried out on mice, found that CBD can help slow down the growth of breast cancer cells in these rodents. Additionally, researchers also discovered that it could reduce metastasis or the development of secondary malignant growths. (16 )

Another study in 2003 revealed how there are cannabinoid receptors present in healthy and cancerous skin cells of mice. The researchers targeted these receptors and found that by activating the ECS with cannabinoids, the compounds contributed to cell death while helping slow down skin cancer growth. (17 )

There are also several studies regarding CBD and its ability to inhibit angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process that allows cancerous tumors to continue growing by way of developing new blood vessels. (18 )

Side Effects That CBD May Help Alleviate

CBD oil is not an approved treatment for cancer in cats. However, it is capable of providing relief to many of the side effects that come with cancer treatment.

Three prevalent options for treating cancer in cats are done via surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Although it is impressive to have these choices to manage cancer cells in felines, these treatments have a lot of undesirable effects, especially long-term.

Below are the side effects that CBD may help alleviate in cat cancer treatment:

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is a common outcome for cats that undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy to control the growth of cancer in their bodies. During such treatment, cells that line the intestines and stomach of a cat can be affected, leading to nausea and vomiting. (19 )

There is encouraging evidence that demonstrates how the manipulation of the ECS in animals can regulate this digestive problem.

A study in 2011 shows that a wide variety of animals have the capacity to use the anti-emetic effect of cannabinoids in their bodies. Additional evidence also reveals that cannabinoids may be useful in treating nausea caused by chemotherapy. (20 )

Since CBD is a phytocannabinoid, it is theoretically possible to use it to engage the ECS of cats after they receive chemotherapy to ease their gastrointestinal issues.

Chronic Pain

Tumors that are present in any part of a cat’s body can cause mild to severe pain. Therapies such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery can also lead to pain management issues.

Tramadol is a common analgesic given to cats that are suffering from cancer pain. However, its effectiveness is questionable in treating acute or traumatic pain, and its non-opioid mechanism may not work on felines. (21 ) The latest data suggests doses of 2 mg/kg are effective for tramadol.

In 2018, a study on dogs that had osteoarthritis were given CBD oil products to see the safety and analgesic effect it had on canines. The final assessment showed that the dogs had significantly less pain after the CBD treatment and became more active. (22 )

This clinical trial also reported that there were no ill side effects observed despite being given 2 mg per kilo of body weight every twelve hours for four weeks. (23 )


Squamous cell carcinoma in felines can start as a small patch of sore skin and oral tumors, which, if not healed, could be a sign of cancerous cells present in the body. Inflammation of the skin is one of the most common symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma in cats.

Research in 2000 reveals that cannabinoids, particularly with CBD from the cannabis plant, have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This same study investigates cannabinoid efficacy on mice that had collagen-induced arthritis and showed that it was able to improve the conditions on these rodents. (24 )

A follow-up experiment in 2004 using a novel synthetic cannabinoid acid on mice with arthritis generated the same results. The cannabinoid was found to have suppressive effects on cell immune responses while also producing pro-inflammatory mediators, a hint to its usefulness as a novel, anti-inflammatory product. (25 )

Causes of Cancer in Cats

There are several reasons why cancer can show up in the mammalian body of a cat.


The process of getting older is one of the primary causes of cancer in many cats. There are several reasons as to why aging can cause a higher rate of cancer growth in the body.

One theory is that the mutations on these cells accumulate over the years, which raises the likelihood of cancerous cell division to happen. (26 ) Degeneration of the mammalian body is also another suspect.

For instance, chronic inflammation experienced by cats over the years can damage DNA and weaken the immune system, leading to slow identification and elimination of harmful cells.


Fibrosarcoma is a common soft tissue cancer in cats that is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although no specific cause can be identified, most cats that have fibrosarcoma developed tumors at a prior injection site on their bodies. (27 )

Intact Reproductive Organs

Cats that are not spayed or neutered are at risk of developing cancer in their bodies. The spaying of female cats eliminates the possibility of breast and ovarian cancer, while neutering male ones reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. (28 )

Apart from reducing the risk of cancer development, cats can also live longer and healthier lives when they are spayed and neutered. (29 )


These chemicals are believed to cause mutations in the genes that eventually become cancerous cells in the body. Cats can be exposed to the same carcinogens as that of humans, which include those coming from tobacco smoke, asbestos, x-ray radiation, and benzene. (30 )

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Cats

Prior to administering CBD to a cat, pet owners should understand its potential side effects so that they are fully aware and prepared for what could happen. Although studies did show that CBD did not cause any adverse reactions during the trials, every cat can have a different response, and there is always the risk of harm.

The probability of these side effects can be higher with the improper use of CBD. Cat owners that notice a negative change in their pet’s attitude may consult a veterinarian to reduce their CBD dosage.

A potential side effect of CBD hemp oil consumption is drowsiness. (31 ) In many cases, cats tend to portray sleepy behavior, which makes this reaction relatively difficult to notice at first.

Nausea, anxiety, changes in appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and disorientation are also other possible side effects of CBD use in cats. Although these reactions are rare, owners should cease applying CBD and contact a veterinarian immediately when they notice these signs.


Cancer in cats may not be as common as they are with dogs, but the symptoms felines experience can lower their quality of life significantly. Some of these signs include persistent sores, lumps that change in shape or size, unexplained bleeding, loss of appetite, and lameness.

There are many medications that pet owners can buy to help alleviate these symptoms. However, pharmaceutical drugs are known to cause adverse reactions that can only worsen the condition of a cat suffering from cancer.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising solution that offers many potential health benefits in easing the symptoms of cancer in felines. Many pet owners are beginning to look towards high-quality CBD-based products with less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to help reduce the pain, inflammation, and other conditions their pets are experiencing.

Preliminary research studies on pet CBD show impressive results with the phytocannabinoid being able to help inhibit and even eliminate cancerous cell growth in the body. CBD may also provide relief to several clinical signs related to feline cancer.

However, the lack of in-depth studies on CBD use in animals leaves many questions unanswered, including the possible side effects of its use. Pet owners that notice any adverse reaction in using CBD should cease its application immediately and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Can Cats with Cancer Use CBD Oil? Cancer is one of the most feared health conditions today, and although it is not as common in cats as it is with dogs, it still affects many felines. Some of the symptoms of cancer in cats include persistent sores, lumps that change in size or shape, lameness, unexplained bleeding, and loss of appetite.

CBD for Cats With Cancer

Has your cat recently been diagnosed with cancer?

If so, you’re probably wondering whether CBD can help.

Well, it definitely can.

Research shows CBD can help fight the growth and spread of tumors, and possibly even kill cancer cells.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of CBD for cats with cancer.

Our Pick:

For serious illnesses, we believe that HolistaPet has the best overall CBD products for cats. They have treats, capsules and oils.

How Common is Cancer in Cats?

Just like humans, cats can get cancer too.

But cancer isn’t as common in cats as it is in other animals.

In fact, according to PetMD, vets estimate that feline cancer rates are about 50% lower than cancer rates in dogs.

Unfortunately, cats are notoriously good at hiding their conditions and symptoms.

This means that feline cancer tends to get diagnosed a lot later than cancer in dogs or humans, and is usually much more advanced by the time your vet knows about it.

This makes it much harder to treat, and also affects your pet’s chances of survival.

Like in dogs and humans, cancer tends to be more common in older animals.

What Causes Cancer in Cats?

All cancers are caused by abnormal cell growth and death.

This build-up of cells will usually form a lump or growth, which doctors and vets refer to as a tumor.

What distinguishes a tumor from a cancer is that tumors can be benign.

Cancers, on the other hand, are malignant and metastasize quickly.

When cancers form within a specific organ, they’ll eventually begin affecting the proper functioning of that organ and, eventually, the entire body.

Unfortunately, vets aren’t really clear on what causes cancers to form in cats.

According to Dr. Joanne Intile, everything from nutrition, viruses, carcinogens in the environment, and your cat’s genetics can all affect the likelihood of your cat developing cancer.

In her article for PetMD, Dr. Intile also mentions the following known causes of feline cancer:

  • Spaying: Studies show that cats spayed after 6 months of age are 7 times more likely to develop mammary cancers. This is also true for dogs. It’s believed that the hormones released when a cat enters in heat can cause mutations in the mammary tissue that can lead to cancer.
  • Environmental Factors (like cigarette smoke): Exposure to carcinogens in the environment may also increase a cat’s risk of developing cancer. Studies suggest that there is a correlation between exposure to tobacco smoke and oral cancer in cats. Vets hypothesize that the carcinogens from the smoke get trapped in a cat’s fur and then enter the mouth when they groom themselves.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): Studies show that both of these viruses can cause cancer, especially lymphoma, in cats. Studies show that cats diagnosed with FeLV are 60 times more likely to develop lymphoma. Cats with FIV, on the other hand, are 5 times more likely to develop the cancer.

What Cancers are Most Common in Cats?

Lymphoma is by far the most common type of cancer affecting cats.

It affects a specific type of white blood cells known as lymphocytes.

These cells move around the body via the lymphatic system to fight diseases, viruses, and other threats, which is why lymphoma is such an aggressive cancer.

Lymphoma tends to affect cats aged between 2 and 6 years old, and animals with FeLV or FIV.

Some other common cancers that affect cats include:

  • Fibrosarcoma: This cancer affects fibroblasts, a special kind of cell found in connective tissue. While there are various causes of fibrosarcoma, it has been found to develop in connective tissue around injection sites.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): This is a kind of skin cancer that tends to form on exposed skin (like the eyelids, ears, and nose). However, squamous cell carcinoma can also form in other areas, including the mouth. According to PetHealthNetwork, oral SCC accounts for up to 10% of all cancers in cats.

What are the Symptoms of Cancer?

Identifying the symptoms of cancer can be difficult in cats.

This is because cats don’t tend to show many clinical symptoms when they’re sick in general.

Plus, most cancers will cause symptoms that are general and could be caused by other conditions.

In fact, some cancers might not produce any symptoms at all.

The most obvious symptom of a cancer is a lump, which you might be able to see or feel when petting your cat.

Vomiting and diarrhea are also common signs of some cancers (like gastrointestinal lymphoma, for example).

However, both vomiting and diarrhea can also be caused by a variety of other conditions, too.

Some cats with cancer might suffer from a build-up of fluid in the lungs, which will make it hard for them to breathe.

Lethargy is also a common symptom of cats with cancer, as is not eating.

How to Prevent Cancer in Cats

There are a few things you can do to help minimize your cat’s risk of developing cancer.

  • As I mentioned earlier, spaying can greatly reduce the rates of mammary cancer in female cats.
  • Ideally, female cats should be spayed before they enter their first heat cycle, which usually happens at around 6 months of age.
  • Diet is also really important and you should always make sure your cat eats a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Avoid overfeeding your cat, as being overweight can increase their risk of developing certain cancers.
  • If you smoke, avoid doing so around your pet.
  • Secondhand cigarette smoke can damage your cat’s lungs and, as I mentioned earlier, has also been linked to oral cancer.
  • Keep your pet away from any harmful chemicals or products containing carcinogens.
  • Lawn chemicals like pest/herbicides and chemical fertilizers might contain harmful chemicals that can cause cancer, so make sure to keep them away from your pet as well.
  • Look into health supplements that have been shown to have anticancer properties.
  • CBD, for example, is one of those supplements.

Can CBD Help Cats With Cancer?

CBD is a pretty popular supplement.

More and more people are using it as a regular health supplement and as a medicine.

You probably already know a little bit about its health benefits:

CBD has been shown to help with epilepsy, pain management, inflammation, and even skin conditions.

But did you know that it might have anti-tumor effects?

There is a solid body of research that suggests that CBD has the ability to fight the growth and spread of tumors.

Here’s how that works:

CBD May Help Kill Cancer Cells

In 2011, researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, examined the effects of CBD on breast cancer cells.

The study was conducted in vitro, meaning either in a test tube or sample dish, rather than on an actual living organism.

Nonetheless, the results were impressive:

The researchers found that CBD helped induced the programmed death of the cancer cells while causing minimal damage to healthy cells.

How exactly CBD does this, however, wasn’t clear.

We know that CBD interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System, but the researchers noted that the effects they observed happened independently of any cannabinoid receptor activity.

They did notice, however, that CBD somehow helped organize autophagy (the destruction of damaged tissue) and apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Seeing that cancer is characterized by the unnatural growth and death of cells, the fact that CBD might help regulate cell growth and death is big news.

CBD Can Help Prevent Tumor Growth and Metastasis

In 2011, the journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment published another similar study on CBD and its effects on breast cancer cells.

This study, however, was done in vivo on mice.

The researchers noted that CBD helped to slow the proliferation of the breast cancer cells.

Furthermore, they also found that CBD helped reduce the metastasis of the tumor cells.

The authors of the study noted that this is clear evidence of CBD’s anti-tumor effects and suggested it is a promising compound that should be the study of further clinical trials.

They also noted that CBD helped reduce the expression of ID-1, a gene that plays a vital role in the development of aggressive breast cancer.

Other studies have also shown similar results on other cancers.

In 2003, for example, researchers found cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 present in both healthy and cancerous skin cells in mice.

They targeted these receptors by topically applying 2 chemical compounds which mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids (these chemicals are known as WIN-55,212-2 and JWH-133).

The researchers found that by activating the Endocannabinoid System via the receptors in the skin, the compounds induced cell death and helped slow the growth of aggressive skin cancers.

Others studies also show that CBD can help hinder a process known as angiogenesis, which allows tumors to develop new blood vessels and deliver nutrients to the tumor site.

Note: The studies I’ve mentioned here are preliminary. Further clinical research is needed to better understand CBD, other cannabinoids, and their role in fighting cancer.

Are People Using CBD to Treat Feline Cancer?

The research I’ve mentioned above is pretty astounding.

Based on these results, you’re probably wondering whether pet owners have already started using CBD with their cats.

Lyra, for example, is an 8-year-old cat diagnosed with lymphoma.

Screenshot taken from

Her vet suggested aggressive chemotherapy, but her owners weren’t so sure.

They decided to try CBD instead, starting Lyra off on Canna-Pet’s regular strength CBD formula before moving on to the Advanced Formula.

Her owners wrote that her results with CBD have been absolutely amazing. They report that Lyra’s tumor has begun shrinking, and she is more active and eating better than ever.

Seti is another cat using CBD to deal with cancer.

Screenshot taken from

He was diagnosed with bone cancer in his face and was suffering from pain, vomiting, and swelling at the tumor site.

His vets said there was nothing they could to do and suggested his owners euthanize Seti.

Fortunately, his owners started researching other alternatives and soon learned about CBD.

The say that the CBD has helped control all of Seti’s symptoms and has definitely prolonged his life.

Khouie was another cat with cancer that found relief using CBD.

Screenshot taken from

While he has passed since, his owners are convinced CBD helped improve Khouie’s condition and made his remaining time with them as enjoyable as possible.

Khouie had been fighting diabetes as well as ketoacidosis, and also underwent surgery to remove a large lymphoma tumor.

As Khouie’s condition worsened, he lost the ability to walk and stopped eating.

As soon as they started Khouie on CBD treatment, his owners noticed huge improvements.

His mobility improved and he even started eating again.

I’ve actually used CBD on my own pets.

While I don’t have a cat, I used it with my dog Rosie, who suffered from hip dysplasia and cancer.

Like the other pet owners above, I saw huge improvements in Rosie’s condition almost immediately after starting her on CBD.

She became more active, ate more, and just seemed happier in general.

This was a huge relief for me and my family, as the chemotherapy left Rosie acting lethargic, avoiding activity, and even refusing to eat at times.

I absolutely believe that CBD helped make Rosie’s remaining time with us as comfortable as possible.

For Cats With Cancer, I Recommend These High Quality Pet CBD Brands:

If your cat suffers from cancer, I highly recommend trying CBD.

As we saw above, there is a solid body of research showing it has promising anti-tumor effects.

Plus, the fact that many pet owners are actively using CBD products with their cats with cancer is also very promising.

If you plan to give CBD a try, I recommend the following 2 brands:

My number 1 recommendation for cats is a brand called HolistaPet.

This is a very reliable brand of CBD, and they have a range of products specifically designed to be used with cats.

For treating cancer, I’d recommend starting your cat on HolistaPet’s CBD Pet Tincture.

There are 3 different options that relate to the size of the bottle.

I generally recommend CBD oil for pets suffering from cancer. Oils tend to be absorbed quickly and can start working on fighting the cancer right away.

Together with the oil, you may want to use HolistaPet’s CBD Cat Treats.

These treats are ideal if you feel your cat will give you trouble when administering CBD oil under their tongue.

HolistaPet is actually the only brand that offers CBD treats designed for cats.

Each treat contains 2mg of CBD, and cats love their natural salmon flavor.

The second brand I recommend for cat owners is Canna-Pet.

This is a really respected CBD pet brand, and they have a huge loyal base of customers.

The main product Canna-Pet currently offers for cats is their range of CBD Advanced Capsules.

For cats with a serious ailment like cancer, I would recommend the MaxHemp Capsules.

If you need a bit more information on both HolistaPet and Canna-Pet then check out my report on CBD for cats here.

You’ll also find more detailed information on all the benefits of CBD for cats in that report.

Hey I’m Blake, the founder of this website. Our family was fortunately to have discovered CBD products after our dog Rosie was diagnosed with a few common ailments. I truly believe they enhanced her last few years, and it’s my passion to spread the word through this website. Thanks for visiting!

CBD for Cats With Cancer Has your cat recently been diagnosed with cancer? If so, you’re probably wondering whether CBD can help. Well, it definitely can. Research shows CBD can help