The Relationship between Cannabis and Cats: What We Know So Far

Cannabis has been consumed by people in various forms since 500 BC. The consumption began as herbal medicine and for making products like paper, rope, and textiles. People today use cannabis in the form of dried leaves or flowers for medicinal purposes. The smoke of cannabis can be pleasing for its users, but it can cause problems for pets. 

Pets, especially cats and dogs, can get intoxicated by cannabis in any form. The majority of exposures occur unintentionally when interested animals find a way to access the substance or when they are in the same space as someone who is smoking marijuana. It only takes a small amount of cannabis to be toxic to cats and dogs. So, cats and weeds should not come together under any conditions. Let us dive deeper into the relationship between cats and cannabis.

Are Cannabinoid Receptors Found in Cats?

is weed bad for yourcats

Cannabis plants contain substances called cannabinoids. THC is the most well-known and potent cannabinoid. Certain cannabinoids cause varying degrees of response in cannabinoid receptors. Like humans, cats have cannabinoid receptors. All mammals, including humans, cats, and dogs, have two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Marijuana acts on the cannabinoid receptors, primarily CB1, to change the brain’s chemistry and typically stimulate the pleasure zones, giving users a “chill” or happy feeling; however, in cats, this can be a terrifying experience characterized by fear and paranoia.

Can cats get high?

Smoking weed around cats can be harmful as they show signs of cannabis poisoning. Common symptoms include poor coordination, trouble walking, memory problems, and tiredness. High levels of exposure can cause irregular heartbeat, irregular body temperature, drooling, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to touch and sound. The severity of these symptoms may necessitate veterinarian care, which may include hospitalization, therapies to lessen marijuana absorption, and symptom-controlling drugs. 

Is Cannabis Toxic for Cats?

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Photo by Botaneo CBD on Unsplash

Cannabis is thought to have a considerable margin of safety for humans, but not all users, and especially not cats, exhibit the same signs of intoxication. There is no recognized safe limit of exposure because a small amount may damage one pet more severely than another. Age, health, and body size variations are a few of the variables that can affect toxicity in cats.

The primary psychoactive component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is harmful to cats, though the precise hazardous dose is unknown. Given a cat’s relatively small size and the fact that they don’t need to ingest much to become poisonous, these two elements greatly raise the possibility of severe toxicity. Because edible goods typically include higher THC concentrations and are usually tasty treats, your cat may consume several foods containing THC.

Is smoking weed around cats bad?

Many people having cats who smoke cannabis ask this question – Is smoking weed around cats bad? And the short answer is yes. It is not suggested to smoke marijuana anywhere near a cat due to the cumulative effects. Cats occasionally nibble on the buds or leaves of a marijuana plant in growth. Smoking weed around cats can make them inhale the smoke passively and the effects can be toxic.

How is intoxication diagnosed?

man smoking weed
Man smokes spliff with CBD hemp.

A thorough history and clinical indicators are used to make the diagnosis. Although there are tests to determine how much THC is in the urine, the results take a while to get back, making them useless. Drug tests using human urine are quicker but unreliable in animals. When responsible pet owners accurately disclose the exposure, the diagnosis is made considerably more rapidly, and treatment is started.

How to Care for a Cat Who Ate Marijuana

If your cat consumed marijuana, or you suspect that your cat ate marijuana, call your veterinarian right once. Call the Pet Poison Helpline if your veterinarian isn’t available. When it comes to marijuana intoxication, it’s better to act promptly since a vet can safely remove the substance from your cat’s stomach before it gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

Summing Up

Smoking or consuming cannabis in any form near cats can affect them in many ways. Caution is always better than cure. So, it is better to keep cannabis products away from cats and one should avoid consuming them in the vicinity of cats. Cats are valuable and you should take care of them like family members.

FAQ: Cannabis and Cats

Q: Is it safe for cats to consume cannabis?

A: No, it is not safe for cats to consume cannabis. Cannabis can be toxic to cats, and can cause serious health problems.

Q: Can cats be exposed to second-hand cannabis smoke?

A: Yes, cats can be exposed to second-hand cannabis smoke, and this can be just as harmful as direct ingestion. It is recommended to keep cats away from areas where cannabis is being smoked.

Q: What are the symptoms of cannabis toxicity in cats?

A: Symptoms of cannabis toxicity in cats include decreased coordination, excessive salivation, vomiting, dilated pupils, and depression. If your cat displays any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Rajita Gupta

With over 15 years of experience in the cannabis sector, Rajita has a uniquely wry voice that shines through in her content. She is a passionate advocate for the use of marijuana and other holistic approaches to health care. She is dedicated to offering relevant information on cannabis while ensuring a compassionate and professional experience.

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