CBD for Cats with Cancer

Medically reviewed by James Edward, PharmD

Key Takeaway: CBD may be an effective supplement in cats with cancer for increasing appetite, reducing anxiety, and improving mobility.


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Cancer is a burden in our lives as well as our cats. Like humans, a cat with cancer can have a lower quality of life dealing with pain, sores, and lumps. Many medications are available for cats with cancer, but those come with many side effects. Natural alternatives such as CBD oil may help relieve the burden of cancer symptoms.

This article covers CBD for cats with cancer, CBD safety for cats, signs of cancer, types of cancer, and the best CBD oil for cats with cancer.


CBD for cats has several effects. The way that CBD interacts with the ECS (endocannabinoid system) is what makes it work. CBD oil for cats may help with cancer treatments and the many symptoms that encompass cancer treatments. In studies, CBD has slowed down tumor growth.

Available research on CBD has shown powerful anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on a wide variety of cancer types in cultured cancer cell lines and mice tumor models. On the other hand, CBD has a softer effect on normal cells from the same tissue/organ. The anti-tumor mechanisms differ depending on the type of tumor, ranging from cell cycle arrest to cell death or a combination of these processes.

Cannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), which does not have the psychoactive effects of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have an antitumorigenic impact according to a growing body of research. These include anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic actions, which may disrupt several tumor-related activities in cancer growth. However, additional proof from cancer clinical studies is required to help find CBD's place in treating this disease.


Yes, CBD oil is safe for cancer-stricken cats. As with any other supplement, ensure you're utilizing a high-quality CBD product and following the manufacturer's dosage and frequency recommendations.

A Canadian study analyzed dose escalation of cannabis oils, including a CBD-predominant oil in cats, and found it was relatively safe besides occasional mild side effects.

Before starting CBD, talk with your veterinarian. Only a veterinarian is qualified to diagnose and advise on treating any animal. If your cat takes any medications—over-the-counter or prescription—be aware of drug interactions. If you are unsure, ask your vet. You can also find detailed drug interaction information on our FAQ page.


There are some common signs of cancer in cats. Here is a list the Veterinary Cancer Society says cat owners should be aware of, and those are:

  • Anemia - Anemia is a condition in which the amount of circulating red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin (Hb), or both are diminished.
  • Bleeding or discharge - Bleeding can occur in places where cats are injured or have internal issues. Blood and discharge from the cat's mouth or vagina, spotting of blood, rubbing of the hindquarters are signs of a problem.
  • Difficulty breathing – If your cat has never shown difficulty breathing, there may be a growth or obstruction in the airway. It is critical to consult a vet and get a diagnosis.
  • Difficulty defecating – There is a good chance your cat may be constipated, but there may be an underlining health issue.
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing – Oral dysphagia is often the culprit when a cat has a hard time eating or swallowing food. Signs may include struggling to open the mouth or hold food in the mouth, collecting food on the sides of the mouth, or throwing head backward to eat.
  • Difficulty urinating – Call your vet immediately if your cat has problems urinating. There are many reasons a cat can't urinate, and cancer may be one.
  • Drinking large quantities of water – Your cat may be suffering from polydipsia (unusually great thirst as a disease symptom) or a number of other causes. Unfortunately, cats drinking more water may signify that something is amiss internally.
  • Fever – A normal temperature for cats should fall within 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cat reaches 104 degrees, get to the vet as your cat's vitals are at risk. Fever is a common sign of infections, illnesses, and cancers.
  • Loss of appetite – Decreased appetite is a sign of cancer in cats. The most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, which is generally a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor.
  • Offensive odor - Without any evidence of a tumor, cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause your pet to create foul odors. Offensive odors are also a sign that a sore may not be healing and needs further inspection by a professional.
  • Persistent or continued swelling – Swelling is a sign of cancer—swelling signals the owner that something is wrong. If your cat has swelled, get it checked before the condition worsens.
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness – Older cats suffer more from lameness than younger cats due to arthritic conditions. However, it can represent a symptom of cancer as well.
  • Weight loss - As mentioned before, the most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor. Cats, like other animals, are motivated by food. Therefore, if they refuse to eat those tasty CBD treats or wet food, something is wrong.


There are several types of cancer cats can get. Listed below are the five most common feline cancers.

  • Lymphoma - A cancer of the blood cells (lymphocytes) and lymphoid tissues usually found in cats form the ages of 2 to 6 years old.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) – FeLV was one of the most common lymphoma causes in cats pre vaccination. As of 2020, (FeLV) is the second-largest cause of death in cats, behind trauma, killing 70-85 percent of infected cats within three years post-diagnosis.
  • Mammary Cancer (Breast) - Mammary (breast) Cancer is a type of cancer that generally affects older female cats. Spaying assist in cats not getting breast cancer. Male cats with breast cancer are quite uncommon.
  • Skin Cancer - Skin cancer in cats can be caused by over exposure to the sun. It can look like bumps, lumps, redness, scratching and can occur in the hairless regions of a cat.
  • Fibrosarcoma - A malignant tumor that is in the tissues near the ends of cats' bones.


There's a variety of diverse pet CBD products on the market. However, they're not made the same, and several CBD oil products and CBD cat treats are not the same quality as others. Relievet's CBD oil for cats is manufactured in a clean, controlled environment, USDA Certified Organic, and third-party lab-tested.

CBD and other phytocannabinoids may assist in reducing inflammation and have antioxidant properties. That is why we make broad-spectrum oils. Broad-spectrum oils have a wide complement of cannabinoids but contain no THC, the psychoactive part of the plant.

References: http://vetcancersociety.org/




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