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Can Cats Get High? What To Do If Your Cat Ingests Marijuana

a cute orange kitten

For human beings, cannabis can be an excellent therapeutic tool that can help us in our everyday lives.

But those benefits don’t extend to our furry friends. While cannabis can get your cat high, it can be a traumatizing experience at best and a death sentence at worst. 

Cat owners can, of course, use cannabis in a household full of felines, but it is important to do so responsibly.

All pet owners should acknowledge the risks involved in a cat getting into their stash or munching an edible and must take the proper steps to save their pets in case of an emergency.

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How Marijuana Affects Cats

Cannabis is toxic to cats, much like it is harmful to dogs and other household pets. Once a cat has consumed cannabis, the effects usually become evident within 30 to 60 minutes.

Effects can include disorientation, vomiting, increased heart rate, altered blood pressure and body temperature, and excessive drooling.

No matter how your cat has consumed cannabis (whether from edibles, plants, or any other form), your cat will likely get high and be at risk.

Treatment options may vary depending on your cat’s symptoms. Still, immediate symptoms aside, it is vital to get your cat to their vet (or a nearby emergency vet) as quickly as possible once you suspect that they may be under the influence of marijuana.

Thankfully, the lethal oral dose of cannabis is fairly high for pets.

However, high-THC products may be particularly dangerous and can lead to death in cats if ingested, inhaled, or administered in any way, even if low amounts are consumed.

This means it is extra-important to keep cannabis away from cats.

Can Cats Get High From Secondhand Smoke?

Because cats have cannabinoid receptors, they can get high, even from secondhand smoke.

For this reason, you should be extra careful when smoking around your cat. Context is key, however.

While immediate risks may not be apparent from merely smoking occasionally around your cat, you could be creating or contributing to more long-term respiratory issues or other medical conditions.

In other words, don’t blow marijuana smoke directly into your cat’s face.

Overall, use common sense. Smoking in a small, enclosed space puts your cat at a significantly higher risk than smoking in a well-ventilated room or (ideally) outside.

How Do I Know If I Accidentally Got My Cat High?

Cat parents can usually tell if their cat has consumed cannabis. However, that may not always be the case.

Dr. Jamie Whittenburg of Senior Tail Waggers gave us some expert guidance on signs to look out for if you aren’t sure if your cat is high. They may have:

  • Agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Dribbling
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Large pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling
  • Weakness in the hind end

While these symptoms are common, they are not the only possible signs that your cat has consumed cannabis.

You should always keep your marijuana products out of reach from your cats to avoid the possibility of wondering if your cat got into your stash.

Considering how high cats can jump, you might even want to lock up your cannabis, as you might if you had cannabis in the same household as children.

What to Do If Your Cat Gets Stoned

Even if your cat is acting normal, but you have reason to believe they have consumed marijuana, you should get them to the veterinarian immediately. You should not wait for all of the warning signs or assume things will be okay.

There are several possible treatment options your vet might take, depending on various factors, including when the cat consumed cannabis, the quantity consumed, side effects, and more.

Dr. Whittenburg tells us about some possible treatment methods, saying, “If the cannabis has been ingested within the last 30 minutes prior to presentation, vomiting may be induced.”

She adds, “Pets may also require intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medications, and possibly activated charcoal. The pet will need to be closely monitored in the hospital in most cases.”

What to Do If Your Cat Eats Weed or an Edible

Even if your cat is not acting high, if you know they ate cannabis flower, an edible, or any other form of cannabis, you must act fast.

Be sure to get your kitty to the vet as quickly as possible to minimize possible adverse long-term effects.

The Bottom Line

Cats can get high from consuming any part of cannabis plants, but doing so puts them in grave danger and could potentially even cost them their lives.

Cannabis users who care for cats should be cautious when consuming marijuana around pets. 

If you suspect your cat has accidentally gotten high, you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible so that experts can do their best to try and help your furry feline get back to normal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does catnip get cats high?

Yes, catnip gets cats high. Catnip comes from the mint family of plants and is a safe way for them to get high.

If you desperately want to get high with your cat, you might have to settle for ripping open a new catnip pack while you safely enjoy an edible.

Can I give my cat CBD?

No, you should not give your cat CBD. While a variety of products are available that are targeted at pets like cats and dogs, CBD products are not currently safe for household pets.

Senior Tail WaggersDr. Jamie Whittenburg cautions against this practice, telling us, “There is little credible evidence available at this point to suggest CBD is effective in pets for any ailment. Also, CBD is not approved by the FDA for use in pets.”

She continues, “Because there is no regulation of CBD products, they commonly do not contain the labeled amount of CBD. These supplements may contain more, less, or even none. They also have been found to contain THC, [which can be deadly to cats and other pets].”

Will a pet poison helpline help me if my cat ate weed?

A pet poison helpline can help pinpoint signs to look for if you suspect your cat has fallen prey to marijuana intoxication.

Because cannabis intoxication is so serious, however, the best option is to get your cat to a vet as quickly as possible.

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