Is it okay for your cats to get into your weed stash?
A woman returned home to find that her cats had enthusiastically razed her potted marijuana plants, scattering soil across the porch and presumably ingesting some of the herbs. According to the article, the cats were obviously affected. Frankly, it doesn’t seem that strange for cats to lounge on the porch and the cats didn’t look much different from the average relaxed feline hanging out in a warm and sunny place.
This story came out in The Sun and other news publications last month. The article giggled over the cats’ languor – at once taking for granted that the cats had in fact consumed the marijuana plants and that they were experiencing the (evidently comedically harmless) effects of THC.
The lighthearted tone of the story made me uncomfortable. Apparently, the cats made it out of their supposed drugged-up haze unharmed, but was this type of reaction really healthy? Did they consume a toxic quantity of marijuana? What is a toxic quantity of marijuana for cats?
The questions began to gain intensity and significance. With a record high of 64% of Americans supporting recreational marijuana legalization and more states passing legislation making recreational marijuana legal, the drug’s effect on our cats is becoming a mainstream issue.
Is it safe for cats to consume marijuana or to inhale secondhand marijuana smoke?
We don’t have a lot of specifics, but here’s what we do know:
- Smoking marijuana around your furbabies probably won’t harm them. They’d have to inhale a large amount of smoke for it to be toxic.
- One emergency animal hospital in Colorado reports that it treats five dogs a day for ingestion of marijuana, according to Fox31 in Denver.
- Ingestion of this substance can cause lethargy, seizures, and may even trigger a coma.
- Marijuana is an anti-emetic, meaning that if your cat is poisoned by it, they’re unlikely to vomit it up. A potentially toxic drug and the inability to expel it is a bad combination. If you believe that your cat is having a serious reaction to marijuana, you may need to induce vomiting. For information on how to induce vomiting in cats, click here.
- THC is the component of marijuana that is a psychoactive drug. CBD oils made for pets don’t have this component, meaning that they can help alleviate pain, but won’t make them pass out. This is critical.
What about medical marijuana?
There are cannabis supplements for cats on the market, but these supplements contain less than 0.3% THC, which makes them both safe for cats to consume, as well as legal in all 50 states.
The bottom line: it’s generally better to stick with catnip, unless administering a therapeutic CBD product made specifically for cats. If you have marijuana in the home, think of it like any other medication and keep it in a sealed container where your cat can’t access it.