Let’s face it. Cats are completely different animals to dogs.

I would consider myself both a dog and a cat person. But I can understand why people fall into one camp or the other. Rather than the needy, loyalty shown by dogs. Cats just don’t seem to give a crap. There is nothing more important than a cat’s breakfast, be it at 2 am or 4.30 am. But people love their cats like their own children and to see them suffer verges on torture. The following is the story of Maple, a battle-scarred cat from Denver. I learned about her from reading Bruce Kennedy’s article on leafly.com:

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about treating pets with cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

As journalist and pet owner I was skeptical about giving CBD to animals.

Maple tussles with coyotes, raccoons, and dogs. But age is catching up to him.

There are few studies to consult. Most of the information is anecdotal. But recently when Maple, my family’s very old house cat, began to have seizures we decided to try a CBD treatment.

How nice to live in a place where you can just decide to try CBD oil for cats without any concerns. Amazing that there are still so many places including Australia where this simply isn’t possible.

As with humans, dogs and cats can get dementia as they age. About a year ago, along with arthritis, Maple began to yowl for no reason, sometimes in the middle of the night. We could deal with that (sort of), but several weeks ago we became alarmed when he began to have seizures.

In the beginning there were at least two a day. They would begin with him collapsing. His eyes would go glassy. Then would come the shaking and rolling: his body convulsing and corkscrewing into agonizing positions while he snapped, snarled and clawed at the air.

After about 90 seconds the tremors would subside. Maple’s eyes would clear, his body would eventually relax, and he’d start panting and would yowl pathetically. It would take several more minutes for him to get to his feet, and he’d sway like a drunk on a bender until his balance came back. We’d often have to clean up the blood from his bitten tongue, as well as saliva and urine.

cbd maple before
Maple before CBD treatment

Poor Old Maple the Cat. One of the tricky things about cats is that they can’t speak English or generally write down their feelings in a scrapbook.

So, often we are left guessing as to what is wrong with our cats as they howl in the middle of the night. Do they want to go out? no. Are they in pain? perhaps. But more often, with my cat at least, it is looking for a midnight snack. Not in Maple’s case. Anyway, Bruce began giving the cat CBD oil on his vet’s advice:

The CBD oil had no immediate effect regarding the seizures but we did notice a marked improvement in Maple’s appetite, as well as his overall movement.

Over time we’ve seen progress with the seizures, too. Ten days into his course of treatment, Maple was down from two seizures a day to one seizure every two days. I wouldn’t consider that a miracle cure, but Maple’s quality of life has definitely improved.

Bruce was put onto this study by the Colorado State University which found that 89% of dogs had a reduction in seizures from taking CBD oil. Sure, dogs aren’t cats but at this stage, there is enough anecdotal evidence that one could easily conclude that CBD oil could work perfectly well in reducing seizures whether you are a dog, cat, human or another animal.

It will take some time to see if Maple’s CBD regimen is truly helping him, and if so, if it’s sustainable in the long term. (And “long term” is relative. The cat is 18 years old.) His seizure rate has dropped, but there’s no way to know if that would have happened without the CBD oil, or if there are other factors involved.

I do know this. Our goal is to lessen the suffering of this cat that we’ve loved for nearly two decades. And right now the CBD oil seems to correlate with a reduction in seizures and an improvement in appetite and mood. Emotions aside, I’m encouraged about the potential for CBD to gain mainstream professional acceptance as a therapeutic treatment for both humans and their companion animals. It’s not hurting, and it seems to be helping. For Maple and for us, that’s all that we ask.

Hopefully, Maple continues to get better and lives for many more years.



CBD maple after
Maple after being on CBD for a while


This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Cheers Glen. all the best to you and your cat. Yes, for real, give it a shot!

  2. Thanks, Andy. I also have a very senior diabetic cat. Since my cat is due for a checkup at the vet’s office, I will ask the vet whether or not CBD oil would be beneficial or at worse interact with my cat’s insulin injections. While he has not had any seizures in a while, I would not like to see them return. Hopefully, CBD oil will help him be more comfortable in the time he has left. 

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