Cat & Medical Marijuana

Is Weed Bad for Cats? Benefits and Drawbacks of Medical Marijuana for Cats

Vet-Checked • Pet-Tested • Owner-Approved

Jacquelyn Pica

Researched & Written by

Jacquelyn Pica

At EasyPet, we are committed to presenting the most accurate and up-to-date information to assist you in your pet care journey. When appropriate, we consult licensed and practicing veterinarians to fact-check our professionally written articles.

There is a lot of fuss about medical marijuana for pets these days. With an influx of cannabis products on the market, pet parents often wonder whether medical marijuana for cats is safe.

Well, it is important to understand what is so great about cannabis that it has become the talk of the town.

You love your kitty and wish to see in the best of health all the time. But disease or age may impact its quality of life and cause immense pain. The sight of your pet in pain is no less distressing and painful for you. When you see your feline friend in pain, you need to take action.

Take her to a vet and seek medical advice. Get a diagnosis done. But if this doesn’t provide significant relief for your feline and there isn’t any considerable improvement in her, would you choose administering medical marijuana for cats?

Kitten sniffing a cannabis leaf

Is Weed Good for Cats?

Like humans, animals have an endocannabinoid system. This means cats find some amount of relief from the symptoms of pain, anxiety, joint discomfort, separation, or immobility with medical cannabis.

Symptoms of arthritis, anxiety, epilepsy, immobility, or cancer can compromise the quality of life of your feline friend, adversely affecting her behavior and activities.

Your playful kitty may no longer be her own self once impacted by such medical conditions. So what is the way out? How can you help your kitty return to normal life? Perhaps a visit to the vet may help. But what if there is no significant improvement despite veterinary drug treatment?

Well, it is here that medical marijuana may help provide them with some respite. Cannabis is widely used to treat numerous human ailments for thousands of years.

This is one reason a majority of US states have decided to legalize medicinal cannabis, but it continues to be a controversial subject and its “safety” for pets remains shrouded in mystery.

However, proponents claim that the safety of cannabis for humans is enough of a reason to believe that it is a safe treatment for pets.

In the coming years, medical cannabis is touted to become a common treatment for neurological conditions, pain and inflammation reduction, and mild behavioral concerns in pets.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Cats

For the feline community, the medicinal benefits of marijuana look promising.

It is the cannabidiol compound in marijuana that blocks the euphoric effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), another compound in cannabis that induces euphoria. Hemp-based pet supplements help enhance the benefits of cannabidiol for a variety of conditions. These may include:

  • Cancer-related painful symptoms
  • Nausea and lack of appetite
  • Dementia
  • Chronic pain & inflammation from pancreatitis, arthritis, lower urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bronchial spasms
  • Asthma
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Food allergies

How Does Medical Marijuana for Cats Help?

Since hemp naturally contains compounds that affect the cat’s endocannabinoid system, medical marijuana for cats can help manage symptoms of these conditions and enhance the life of pets.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): One of the most common disorders in cats, IBD can be a troublesome condition for your feline friend. Cats suffering from IBD often experience such symptoms as diarrhea, extreme weight loss, and vomiting, which can keep it from being playful. Medical cannabis may be used in conjunction with other therapies to relieve the IBD symptoms in cats.
  • Arthritis: Just like humans, cats, too, suffer from arthritis, which can be a debilitating condition for these pets. There aren’t too many pharmaceutical treatment options for arthritis in cats, because the feline community tends to be reclusive and is happy cozying at one place. They do not travel as readily as dogs and some other pets. But they do feel the severity of their arthritis inflammation symptoms.  Massage, acupuncture, and medical marijuana are effective methods to help manage its symptoms.
  • Pancreatitis: IBD and pancreatitis combine to make life hell for some kitties. Along with a low fat diet and digestive enzymes, medical cannabis can help control pancreatic inflammation.
  • Asthma: Asthma is one of the most common inflammatory diseases affecting the cat community. It can drastically affect the life quality of your kitty. This means she may require lifelong medical treatment. However, this is another area where medical marijuana looks very promising and may be a great option for asthmatic kitties. It may help improve inflammation symptoms, which means fewer asthma attacks. CBD intervention should be done in conjunction with medical treatment.
Cat Sniffing Weed

Medical Marijuana for Cats With Cancer

The very word “cancer” sends shivers down the spine of everyone. Anybody suffering from this fatal disease requires intensive care and treatment. The case is no different for the feline community either. Medical cannabis offers hope for both animals and people, helping alleviate the painful symptoms often associated with cancer. Not only this, it has proven to improve the quality of life and longevity for both people and animals.

No major side effects of hemp have been reported thus far. Although cannabis for cats is not a cure-all, it certainly provides considerable relief from pain symptoms in cats.

Forget euphoria; medical cannabis is not about getting your feline high, but more about providing her with relief from her painful symptoms. Always consult with your cat’s veterinarian before starting on a medical marijuana therapy.

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