Cannabis for my cat?
January 12, 2018 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever tried giving CBD (cannabidiol hemp) oil to their cat for seizures before? If so, how did you settle on a reputable seller (online or in person) amongst all of the options, with what would hopefully be the most standardized and safe product? Since it's probably relevant, we're in Washington, DC, and could have it shipped to friends over in Virginia if needed.

Our three-year-old cat, Bowie, has been having seizures, and sometimes cluster seizures, since the end of September. While he's recently added another medication onto his phenobarbital regimen, we've only managed to push back his seizures from at least once a week to once every two weeks, and to significantly reduce the frequency of cluster seizure episodes. This is definitely an improvement, and he's been his incredibly sweet, happy self between seizures, but he deserves so much more than having a grand mal seizure where he loses control of his bladder and may fall and hurt himself twice a month for the foreseeable future.

He's had more than one blood test, as well as an MRI and a spinal tap, and they've all come back with totally normal results, so, particularly combined with his young age and the fact we also have another healthy and seizure-free cat at home, our vet and the neurologist are pretty confident he's just a plain old epileptic.

Apparently this is quite a bit rarer in cats than in dogs; the detailed info on possible avenues to pursue and on the use of CBD oil is consequently pretty scarce, and a lot of it seems to be written by the same companies selling the product anyway. The other remaining traditional drugs we haven't yet tried unfortunately have some pretty serious and common side effects in cats versus being relatively safe in dogs, so we're really interested in seeing if this could be another way to help get our furry family member's seizures under control. We're definitely not going to start giving him anything new before consulting with our vet again, and this is probably a bit of a shot in the dark (and also my first AskMetafilter question), but I figured I'd see if anyone happened to have a similar experience or any advice. Thanks!!
posted by funfettisquid to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am not a vet. I can only speak from my own experience. And I can't speak to seizures, but I can about cancer.

When our cats had cancer, our vet recommended cannabis. There was a nearby dispensary that provided a particular THC/CBD blend for pet pain. The carrier oil was almond oil. As long as the carrier oil is cat-safe, CBD should be cat-safe. Dosing is the tricky part. We started with a very low dose and slowly worked up. We also did this under the supervision of our vet. But she said cannabis is generally considered same among vets.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:01 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]

Ah, man, I feel for you. I had a beloved epileptic cat who was on a crazy drug cocktail for over a year and we never did manage to get control of it. There is a really great facebook group for feline epilepsy and I know many of them have tried cannabis with varied levels of success. People in that group knew way more about treating idiopathic epilepsy in cats than my vet did - they will definitely be able to offer advice. If you aren't on facebook there's a corresponding Yahoo group too.
posted by something something at 2:24 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]

As far as a source, you might try I can't imagine that involving the state of Virginia would provide any benefit in this situation. Hope the cat improves!
posted by exogenous at 2:35 PM on January 12

I saw a story about CBD for cats and dogs in my local Portland alternative weekly. If you need someone to pop by to pick anything up and send it to you I'm happy help! Feel free to PM.
posted by forkisbetter at 2:59 PM on January 12

Another subreddit (r/cbd).

On the right sidebar they have good sources. Reddit is good for this stuff in general as far as sidebarred resources and FAQs. Asking is hit or miss (still worth doing), and there is also r/mmj (medical marijuana) and an epilepsy subreddit that might be worth exploring.

I am a human type animal with a medical marijuana license and would try this with my loved ones, human and not, without hesitation. (I'd suggest a tincture, for a cat -- humans start at 10mg per dispensary advice. Tinctures let you titrate, say, 1 mg., which makes it easier to figure out 'what is the dose of marijuana I should give a cat?' and I'm sure it would be easily hidden in tuna.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:27 PM on January 12

I am very happy with CBD from Green Mountain CBD. They grow organically, do the extraction in a whole plant manner without weird solvent residue, and are extremely reasonably priced. I can recommend them without reservation. Because it's a hemp extracted product, you don't have to be in a state with legalized cannabis. Good luck!
posted by quince at 8:11 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much, you guys! We'll be seeing Bowie's vet this week when he goes in for his yearly vaccinations anyway, so I'm really glad I have some resources and groups to investigate and connect with people before we meet with her. Hopefully this will turn out to be an option for him, and it's great to hear the positive feedback and experiences. Thanks again!!!!!
posted by funfettisquid at 7:13 AM on January 13

There was a nearby dispensary that provided a particular THC/CBD blend for pet pain.

All the weed stores around here carry pet blends, usually in pet-friendly flavors (i.e., bacon rather than chocolate). I don't know anything about seizures, but it does seem to work really well for pain and anxiety.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:15 AM on January 13

« Older Looking for info on "divorce" (unmarried with...   |   Strategies or resources for a reluctant reader? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments