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Cannabis Column | May 11, 2022

Cannabis and Cats: What You Need to Know

Let’s dive into a hot topic: cannabis and cats. In this article, we will answer, “is marijuana toxic to cats?” We will also discuss how marijuana affects cats and the symptoms to watch out for if you think your cat may have been exposed to cannabis. 

Is Marijuana Toxic to Cats?

As more states legalize both recreational and medical marijuana, the chances of your cats getting into a stash increase. Unfortunately, marijuana is toxic to cats. 

Intoxication in cats often occurs by inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke or ingesting cannabis products. CBD is safe for cats, but THC is not. 

Cannabutter is the most common edible that cats get into, so if you are baking a batch of weed brownies, make sure to keep your weed butter safe from your cats. 

What happens if a cat breathes in weed smoke? Unfortunately, cats can experience marijuana toxicity if they inhale weed smoke. 

This study discusses the case of a cat that inhaled marijuana smoke and experienced marijuana toxicity. The cat was initially brought to an animal hospital displaying psychomotor agitation and aggression. It was observed at the for three weeks and behaved normally, but it exhibited aggression soon after being released and was re-hospitalized. 

The veterinarians later determined that the cat had been exposed to marijuana smoke in both incidents. While the cat recovered fully after being hospitalized, the cat parent was advised to not smoke weed near the cat.

Is Cannabis Safe for Cats?

No, cannabis is not safe for cats. Marijuana is toxic to cats. Keep your cannabis and cats far away from each other.

Signs of Cannabis Toxicity in Cats

Cats may experience dilated pupils, hypersalivation, low blood pressure, and extreme sleepiness when exposed to THC. Additional signs of cannabis toxicity in cats include:

  • Low body temperature
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Respiratory depression
  • Low heart rate
  • Vocalization such as whining or crying
  • Drooling
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • Coma

The signs of cannabis toxicity can start anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 hours after exposure.

My cat got into my weed stash 

If your cat exhibits signs of toxicity, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. Immediate treatment may help ease the most severe signs of toxicity and even save your cat's life.

Your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove cannabis from their system. Veterinarians often perform stomach pumping for severe, life-threatening cases. In less severe cases, the vet may administer anti-anxiety medications. This drug will help ease agitation while the effects of cannabis wear off. 

Also, your cat may likely feel sluggish and lack the urge to eat or drink, which often causes dehydration. In this case, the vet may administer an isotonic solution to help with this.

If your cat is healthy enough to recover at home, make sure you keep your pet in a calming, quiet place. Disorientation and hyperactivity are common signs of cannabis toxicity in cats. And reducing sensory stimulation will make your cat feel more at ease while recovering. 

We hope this cannabis and cats article has told you everything you need to know about the effects of marijuana on cats.

Get Started on Your Cannabis Wellness Journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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