My Cat Ate Marijuana: Is It Toxic for Them? | Hill's Pet (2023)

My Cat Ate Marijuana: Is It Toxic for Them? | Hill's Pet (1)
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(Video) What Happens If Your Dog Ingests Marijuana?

As marijuana becomes more widely accepted in areas across the United States, it's important to store products that contain THC where cats can't get into them.

Mistakes still happen, however, and cats can be accidentally exposed to marijuana. If that happens, you may be wondering, is marijuana toxic to cats and does it have the same effect on cats as it does on people? If your cat ate marijuana, stay calm. Understand the effects of THC on cats, and learn how to help your cat if they're ever exposed to it.

Is Marijuana Toxic to Cats?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and it is indeed toxic to cats, though the exact amount that's toxic isn't known. While marijuana intoxication in dogs is more common than in cats (as Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica notes, about 96% of marijuana toxicity cases are dogs) it can still happen, especially with edible THC products. It's also important to remember that THC concentrations tend to be higher in edible products and because they usually flavorful treats, your kitty may be tempted to eat multiple of them. These two factors significantly increase the risk for severe toxicity to occur, particularly when considering a cat's relatively small size because they don't have to consume much to be affected.

In most situations, cats can fully recover from marijuana toxicity without any lingering effects. However, cats who contract aspiration pneumonia, experience seizures or have existing heart problems may develop long-term complications from consuming marijuana.

Side Effects if Your Cat Ate Marijuana

Is marijuana toxic to cats? It is, and consuming THC products can affect your cat in numerous ways.

My Cat Ate Marijuana: Is It Toxic for Them? | Hill's Pet (3)

If your cat ate marijuana, the most common side effects are ataxia (or uncoordinated wobbly movements), extreme lethargy and slower heart rate than normal (the normal heart rate for a cat is 120-140 beats per minute). More severe intoxication can result in the following signs:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Breathing slowly
  • Twitching
  • Agitation
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Coma

How to Help a Cat Who Ate Marijuana

Call your veterinarian immediately if your cat ate marijuana, you suspect your cat ate marijuana or your cat is exhibiting the above signs. If your vet isn't available, call the Pet Poison Helpline. When it comes to marijuana intoxication, it's best to take action quickly as a vet can safely remove the drug from your cat's stomach before it's absorbed into the bloodstream. Furthermore, it can take days for marijuana to exit your cat's system, during which they may likely need veterinary support — high doses of THC products, in particular, can be lethal for some cats. Your vet can diagnose marijuana toxicity by examining your cat, running laboratory tests and learning more about your cat's situation from you.

(Video) Marijuana - The Effects in You vs Your Dog

Treatment if a Cat Ate Marijuana

Treatment for marijuana toxicity in cats is twofold:

  • Detoxification: Removing marijuana from the cat's system is one of the first treatment steps. Your vet will detoxify your cat by administering activated charcoal to absorb marijuana from the stomach and intestines, giving your cat an enema or using fluid therapy to flush the drug out of the bloodstream.
  • Supportive care: Supporting the cat until the effects of the THC wear off is the next step, which usually takes a day or two. Since most cats won't eat or drink until the effects have worn off, supportive care can consist of managing their body temperature and fluids to maintain hydration and blood pressure. Your vet may also give your cat medication for seizures or tremors and provide general nursing care, such as dealing with urine and feces, administering anxiety medications (if needed), keeping the cat quiet and preventing self-trauma while they're intoxicated.

With appropriate care, most cats recover fully. Based on your cat's exposure and reaction, your vet will be able to tell you what to expect in regard to short-term and long-term effects.

Now that you know the answer to the question, "Is marijuana toxic to cats?" the best way to protect your cat and any other pets from marijuana toxicity is to store THC products in a locked, elevated cabinet only you have access to. Put all products away when not in use or keep them in your direct line of sight, and you'll reduce your cat's chances of toxicity.

Contributor Bio

My Cat Ate Marijuana: Is It Toxic for Them? | Hill's Pet (4)

Dr. Sarah Wooten

Dr. Sarah Wooten is a well known international influencer in the veterinary and animal health care spaces. She has 16 years experience in private practice and over 10 years experience in media work. Dr. Wooten is a certified veterinary journalist, a member of the AVMA, and is passionate about helping pet parents learn how to care better for their fur friends, . She is also a co-creator of the wildly popular card game 'Vets Against Insanity'. She lives in Colorado with her family. To see what else she has up her sleeve, visit

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My Cat Ate Marijuana: Is It Toxic for Them? | Hill's Pet? ›

It is, and consuming THC products can affect your cat in numerous ways. If your cat ate marijuana, the most common side effects are ataxia (or uncoordinated wobbly movements), extreme lethargy and slower heart rate than normal (the normal heart rate for a cat is 120-140 beats per minute).

How long do the effects of marijuana last on a cat? ›

Symptoms of Weed Toxicity in Cats

In severe cases, signs can persist for up to 96 hours. Common symptoms of toxicity include any of the following: Dazed expression. Glassy eyes.

What effects does marijuana have on cats? ›

Symptoms. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), your cat may experience extreme sleepiness or excitation, hypersalivation, dilated pupils, or low blood pressure. There may also be instances of low body temperature or even death (although it's rare).

How much marijuana is toxic to dogs? ›

The minimum lethal oral dose for dogs for THC is more than 3 g/kg. Although the drug has a high margin of safety, deaths have been seen after ingestion of food products containing the more concentrated medical-grade THC butter.

How long does marijuana toxicity last in dogs? ›

Clinical signs appear within 30-60 minutes after ingestion and vary depending on a number of factors, with effects lasting 18-24 hours in dogs.

What is the treatment for marijuana in cats? ›

Medical marijuana can: Control chronic pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and FIC/FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease). Act as a neuroprotective agent, reducing seizure frequency and intensity. Decrease nausea and stimulate appetite.

What are the signs of marijuana toxicity in pets? ›

Signs of marijuana poisoning in dogs and cats include glassy-eyes, stumbling/incoordination, dilated pupils, vomiting, coma, and in about 25 percent of dogs, agitation and excitement. Urinary incontinence or urine dribbling is also very common, especially in dogs.

Why does my cat love marijuana? ›

Like us humans, cats are equipped with an endocannabinoid-system (ECS). A huge network of receptors throughout the body, that help regulate all sorts of bodily functions and hormones. Through the ECS, cannabinoids like THC and CBD help us and our pets balance out necessary processes in our body.

Do cats react to drugs? ›

Also, some weight loss drugs and the illegal form of the drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, and crystal meth. The cat's symptoms will be increased irritation, agitation, seizures, muscle tremors, tachycardia, diarrhea, and vomiting to name a few.

Is Meowijuana safe for cats? ›

It's safe and natural. Catnip works in both dried and fresh forms. All you have to do is put catnip on the floor or on a dish - your cat will know what to do! While most cats only smell and roll around in the catnip, some will eat it, and that is totally ok!

Does milk help a poisoned dog? ›

No. Milk is unlikely to be helpful in the vast majority of poisoning situations and can sometimes make things worse. Most pets are lactose intolerant and giving milk can cause or worsen stomach upset symptoms.

Do cats have cannabinoid receptors? ›

Cannabinoid receptors respond to certain cannabinoids to certain degrees. Cats have cannabinoid receptors just like humans. In fact, there are two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) found in all mammals (humans, cats, dogs), birds, reptiles, and fish.

How do vets treat marijuana toxicity in dogs? ›

TREATMENT. The main treatment for marijuana toxicity is to give the animal activated charcoal orally. The activated charcoal traps toxins as it goes through the digestive system.

What to do if my dog ate my marijuana and now he is shaking? ›

intoxication, your dog might experience tremors, seizures, and comatose states. If your dog is experiencing any of these effects due to marijuana consumption, it's important that you take your dog to the vet.

Is marijuana toxic to animals? ›

Marijuana is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Animals process many compounds differently than humans do, and as a result, many foods and medications that are safe for us are not safe for them.

What happens if my dog ate marijuana residue? ›

Go to the Vet

All dogs that have ingested marijuana need to have their vitals evaluated by a vet. If your primary veterinarian is unavailable, you need to take your dog to the emergency vet immediately.

How can I help my cat detox? ›

14 Steps to Detox Your Pet
  1. Upgrade Your Dog's & Cat's Food & Treats. ...
  2. Give Your Dog & Cat Filtered Water. ...
  3. Herbal Supplements for Your Pets. ...
  4. Be Mindful of Household Chemicals. ...
  5. Exercise Every Day with Your Pet. ...
  6. Improve Air Quality. ...
  7. Minimize Your Pet's Exposure to Outdoor Pollutants & Chemicals. ...
  8. Support Your Pet's Liver.
Nov 7, 2022

What does hemp do to cats? ›

Though hemp oil is amazing for cats that have pain, inflammation, or other side effects from illnesses and disorders, it is great for any healthy cat. Hemp oil helps with the appetite of picky eaters, promotes a healthy coat and skin, and relaxes your cat for day-to-day business.

How do you know if your pet is high? ›

The dog will be uncoordinated and listless. A characteristic sign is a drowsy-looking dog who begins to fall over but then catches himself. He will also have dilated pupils, a slow heart rate and sometimes urinary incontinence.

Is Doggijuana a catnip? ›

Not all dogs respond to catnip, but many do and it usually takes about 30 minutes to see a reaction. Doggijuana is a non-addictive catnip. There are no added ingredients that are harmful for your pet.

How long does it take for cat drugs to wear off? ›

Your cat was given a general anesthetic or a sedative. These drugs can take several hours to wear off and may cause some patients to appear drowsy for a day or so. Over the next 24-48 hours, your cat's behavior should gradually return to normal.

How long do cats take to recover? ›

About 80% of your cat's recovery will occur within 8 to 12 weeks following surgery, but many orthopedic surgeries take 6 months or more for complete recovery.

How long do CBD effects last in cats? ›

If they don't like the oil, you can give your cat cbd treats. Just remember - It takes about 15-45 minutes to reach full-effect in your pet's system and lasts for about 4 - 6 hours, depending on breed, ailments, activity level, and their own personal chemistry.

How long do cats stay drugged? ›

With today's anesthetics, many of which are reversible, your cat should be almost completely normal by the time of discharge. However, many cats will sleep more or be more tired after returning home for twelve to twenty-four hours after anesthesia.

What to do if your cat ingests drugs? ›

Immediately call your veterinarian, your closest animal hospital, or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680. If you were able to identify what your cat ingested, take it or the label with you to the animal hospital.

How long does toxicity take in cats? ›

Once a cat ingests or comes in contact with a toxin, symptoms may not show up right away. Some toxins may take 3 to 4 days to show any effects. The types of symptoms a cat will exhibit will depend on the toxin she has been exposed to.

What are the symptoms of drug toxicity in cats? ›

Symptoms of drug toxicity in cats include GI upset (diarrhea, vomiting), fever, dehydration, lethargy, pale or dark gums, seizures, rapid heartbeat or signs of pain.

Can cats recover on their own? ›

Most healthy cats are able to make a full recovery from a cat cold without medical intervention in about 7-10 days. If your cat experiences more severe symptoms and medical treatment is required, the recovery period may last longer and be harder, depending on how serious it was.

Do sick cats come back home? ›

Usually, sick cats don't go far from home. Instead, they seek out the quietest, safest nearby spot they can find. If they are too weak to get food or walk home again, they may be in danger of passing away in this spot.

Do cats sleep to recover? ›

Illness and injury

If your cat is distressed, ill or injured, they're likely to sleep more intensely to recover. As long as the vet has checked them out and they have everything in place they need to recover, it's best to leave them be!

How much CBD is too much for a cat? ›

A 10-pound chihuahua and a 10-pound tabby cat might require the same starting dose but cats tend to need lower doses and less cannabidiol to experience positive results. That's why the 400 milligram CBD oil is recommended for cats. The 800 milligram CBD oil is too much for cats.

What happens if a cat takes too much CBD? ›

Q: What are the most common signs reported in pets after the ingestion of CBD products? A: Vomiting, lethargy, inappetence, and diarrhea are the most common clinical signs reported. Ataxia can occasionally occur with large ingestions.

What happens to cats when they are high? ›

When dogs and cats are exposed to marijuana (e.g. inhaling smoke, eating the dried plant, drinking oil/liquid form, eating food/edibles that contain THC), they can experience symptoms of marijuana toxicity. Disorientation, incoordination or trouble walking, memory trouble, and increased sleepiness are common.

Do cats sleep up high? ›

According to animal behaviour experts, most cats prefer to sleep and hang out in places with good vantage points. It comes from their instinct to protect their themselves, and a high position for sleeping or resting gives them an aerial advantage for spotting any potential dangers around them.

Which of the following drugs should be avoided in cats? ›

Which OTC & prescription medications most commonly poison cats?
  • Antidepressants (e.g., Effexor™)
  • Amphetamines (e.g., ADD/ADHD medications like Adderall™)
  • Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil™, Motrin™)
  • Naproxen (e.g., Aleve™)
  • Aspirin.
  • Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol™)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin™)


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