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.
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.
Well, they have.
Lyra, for example, is an 8-year-old cat diagnosed with lymphoma.
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.
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.
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.
All 3 of these particular cats used CBD from a company called Canna-Pet. They produce quality Pet CBD products, and have received a ton of positive reviews. You can learn more on their official website here: www.Canna-Pet.com
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.