You’re hanging out with friends, passing around a joint, and when the smoke clears you suddenly see your cat sitting nearby. This might lead to a sense of panic. Is your feline okay? Or maybe a sense of curiosity. Can cats get high? Do they like it? Should we include them in our smoking session?
The short answer is: Yes, they can get high. But no, they do not enjoy it and you should not include them in your smoking sessions.
Felines can get high but they won’t feel the same way you do when you’re high. For this reason, felines shouldn’t inhale marijuana smoke or eat marijuana-laced edibles. But you might be surprised to learn that cats can have hemp and CBD. In fact, there are a lot of benefits!
Can Cats Get High?
The short answer is yes. Just like dogs and humans, felines can get high from marijuana. And just like dogs, felines experience negative side effects from being high.
We should examine this laboratory-confirmed study done on an intoxicated cat. A six-year-old Persian was brought to the vet after becoming aggressive. The cat was subsequently hospitalized and closely monitored for 14 days. During the examination, the cat would alternate between agitation and apathy for several minutes at a time.
It was found out shortly after that the feline had been exposed to second-hand smoke after the pet owners had used marijuana around it. A toxicology test revealed that the cat had THC in its system. The cat was returned to its owners with a warning to never expose the cat to marijuana smoke again.
Felines can become intoxicated from cannabis by inhaling second-hand smoke, eating edibles (cookies, candies, chocolate), or ingesting marijuana in any form. This will often happen when cats get curious and start digging in your drawers or backpack.
There hasn’t been a lot of research done on cats and marijuana, but the side effects don’t seem to be welcomed by most felines. If you realize that your cat has swallowed or ingested marijuana or breathed in the smoke, contact a vet immediately. They will usually use an IV to replace fluids and maybe even provide activated charcoal to clean their digestive system.
What Happens When a Cat Gets High?
Just like humans, felines have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that’s full of cannabinoid receptors. THC interacts with these receptors — including the ones in their brain that affect mood. This is what causes that “high.”
Cats experience a lot of the same side effects of being high, including a slower reaction time, dizziness, a change in mood, and an altered sense of reality. But unlike us, felines aren’t sure why this is happening. Because they can’t understand why their thoughts and feelings are suddenly different, they can become agitated, anxious, or afraid.
If you aren’t sure if your cat is high or not, look for some of these symptoms:
- Lethargic mood and sedation
- Swaying and appearing unbalanced
- Bobbing their head
- Dilated pupils
- Fear, hiding, confusion
Does CBD Get Cats High?
Unlike marijuana, CBD won’t get cats high. CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t have the high-inducing properties that a phytocannabinoid like THC has.
While CBD won’t get a cat high, it does still interact with the receptors in their ECS. The ECS is what gives our body and mind balance and a sense of well-being. When CBD interacts with the receptors, it will provide a lot of the benefits of marijuana without the side effects of being high.
Pet owners give their felines CBD oil or CBD treats for a variety of reasons. This includes calming down a nervous cat, cutting down on destructive behavior, or introducing two cats that may be wary of one another. CBD can also soothe felines that are feeling aches or discomfort due to injury or disease.
Does Hemp Get Cats High?
Hemp will not get a cat high. Hemp is a strain of cannabis that legally contains no more than 0.3% THC. This tiny amount of THC will not get your cat high.
It still shouldn’t be ingested on a whim by your feline, however. Make sure to keep hemp out of reach so you can always control the amount your cat receives.
Does Marijuana Get Cats High?
Unlike hemp, marijuana will get your feline high. That’s because marijuana contains large amounts of THC. It will alter how your cat feels and leave them disoriented and anxious.
You might think that a few puffs are fine. It doesn’t affect you, right? But felines are much smaller than us. It takes much less THC to start having a negative effect on them. Avoid smoking in enclosed spaces if your feline is there, including closed-off rooms or in the car.
Don’t ever “hotbox” a cat. This might result in them needing an emergency vet visit. And never purposefully blow smoke right into their face. This can not only irritate their eyes and sinuses, but leave them in need of observation at a vet’s office.
Is CBD, Hemp, or Marijuana Good for Cats?
So is it okay to smoke around your cat? Here’s the short answer:
- Is CBD good for cats? Yes.
- Is hemp good for cats? Yes, in proper amounts.
- Is marijuana good for cats? No.
CBD and hemp have a lot of benefits for felines. By interacting with your cat’s ECS, CBD and hemp will help your feline feel more balanced and healthy. It will mellow out their mood and soothe any discomforts they might have. Check out our dosing chart to see how much CBD is right for your cat.
Marijuana, on the other hand, contains THC. This is what gets us and our cats high. When THC interacts with the ECS, it causes intoxicated feelings, unlike CBD which does not have this effect. Felines don’t understand why they feel high and the altered state might frighten or overwhelm. There are no health benefits for felines inhaling marijuana smoke or eating edibles. Always keep them far away from marijuana to ensure they remain healthy and happy.
Final Thoughts – Can Cats Get High?
Felines have an endocannabinoid system just like us. That means they have endocannabinoid receptors that TCH can interact with when marijuana is ingested or inhaled. And just like us, cats will feel a lot of the same side effects of being high, like dizziness and an altered way of thinking. But unlike us, cats won’t get why their body and mind suddenly changed.
Felines can get high but they don’t like it. They will become disoriented and confused, leaving them aggressive or afraid. Sometimes they will even need to be brought to the vet.
When you plan on smoking, try smoking marijuana away from your feline. It might seem funny to blow some smoke in their direction, but the safest thing to do is keep this activity away from your unsuspecting feline.
Good alternatives for felines are hemp and CBD. These won’t get them high but still provide positive benefits for your cat’s body and mind. Giving your feline a safe amount of CBD is becoming more and more popular because of these benefits.