Weed cat: Is marijuana bad for cats?

Weed can be a lot of fun, but it will become a lot less fun if it causes your cat to get sick. As a result, we're taking it upon ourselves to look into whether marijuana is safe or dangerous for your feline friend.

Should you smoke weed in the same space as your cat, or is it dangerous?
Should you smoke weed in the same space as your cat, or is it dangerous?  © Collage: Unsplash/Roman Kasyan/Pacto Visual

If you're a fan of both weed and cats, it's only natural to want to know whether the two can mix.

The idea of chilling on the sofa with your cat, a nice big bowl of chips, a cold drink, and a joint is the very definition of bliss for some.

Still, is it safe?

Shelter cat's hilarious adoption description goes viral: "She will own you"
Cats Shelter cat's hilarious adoption description goes viral: "She will own you"

In this cat guide, TAG24 takes a look at whether marijuana smoke is bad for cats. Is marijuana smoke dangerous for cats, is THC toxic, and can cats get high from the fumes? It's time to take a look.

Is marijuana smoke bad for cats?

Marijuana is seriously dangerous for cats and can cause severe health conditions and even fatalities when ingested in any form. While smoke will have the added bonus of being bad for their lungs, that's not necessarily the main problem when it comes to cats and cannabis. These little dudes can die from the stuff, so it's best to be as careful as you possibly can be.

The fact is that weed has some pretty astounding effects on a cat's health and will also influence its behavior. While we don't really know exactly how much weed will hurt a cat, what we do know is that weed should never be smoked or consumed around one of these fluffy fellows.

Symptoms for a cat that is suffering from marijuana poisoning include trouble breathing, strange and unusual behavior, general confusion and malaise, vomiting, coughing, fevers, and other generalized cold and flu symptoms. In many cases, the symptoms will differ based on how the weed was ingested.

Fun fact: Most animal-related weed intoxication occurs in dogs. When the two are compared, 96% of all reported cases were doggos, with only 4% being cats. It's not entirely clear why, and both dogs and cats can get severely sick from marijuana in any form.

THC toxicity in cats

Cannabis affects cats more than us because they have far more CB1 endocannabinoid receptors than we do, making them more susceptible to THC. What's scary about this is that it means that even small amounts of THC can have intense effects on cats. This can quickly prove fatal for cats.

THC is the chemical that makes you get high when smoking weed and, when consumed in high enough doses by cats, it is extremely toxic and can cause their central nervous systems to shut down. This is, however, unlikely to occur via secondhand smoke – though your cat should still not be breathing it in.

Additionally, cats that have been exposed to the chemical compounds found in marijuana seem to become increasingly aggressive and seriously agitated. They are apathetic, can get angry, and could become very unruly. THC intoxication can also cause seizures, comas, a loss of coordination, and strokes.

Just don't give weed to your cat, okay? It kind of seems like a no-brainer but, let's set the record straight – weed could kill your cat as the THC is toxic for them. Even if they don't get sick, they're not going to be having a good time

Don't give your cat weed. It's dangerous and irresponsible.
Don't give your cat weed. It's dangerous and irresponsible.  © Unsplash/CRYSTALWEED cannabis

Can cats get high?

Yes, cats can get high from the consumption of marijuana or marijuana smoke. The amount required to intoxicate them, though, is entirely dependent on the cat itself. Just as in humans, factors such as size, weight, breed, pre-existing health conditions, and more have an impact.

Many behavioral changes have been noted in cats who have been subjected to marijuana intoxication, though it's worth saying that these beautiful creatures are probably not going to be enjoying this sudden change. Cats don't experience the pleasure associated with drugs like alcohol and weed and, instead, will be confused, upset, and scared.

It is extremely cruel to drug your cat, whether it's with the smoke of a joint or a little bit of whiskey in its food. In fact, there is a very strong case to be made that it is animal cruelty – don't do it.

Weed for cats doesn't exist, and it really shouldn't

Look, it might seem like a funny idea to get your cat blasted in one way or another, either via alcohol or weed, but it's extremely dangerous. There is no such thing as "cat weed," and even if there was, it's not a good idea to give them anything without the consent of your veterinarian.

While cat grass has some interesting influences on cat behavior and mood and is indeed safe, it is not weed and shouldn't be looked at as something similar. Make safe choices, be a responsible cat owner, and treat your fluffy friend with respect and love.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Roman Kasyan/Pacto Visual

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