Cats And Weed – Is Marijuana Bad For My Cat?
Nowadays, marijuana for medical and recreational use is easily accessible in most parts of the country. Chances that your pet cat will directly or indirectly be exposed to the drug are high. Cats are typically curious in nature. Perhaps that’s the reason for the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat?’
When your cat is a little bored and you’re busy doing some chores or just relaxing, it’ll go foraging and will nibble at anything that looks like food. And since cats are adept at finding things, they could land on cannabis edibles.
Many cat owners wrongly believe that marijuana causes the same effects as catnip. Cannabis contains THC, the active compound which makes people euphoric. It causes an unpleasant effect in cats.
CBD For Cat Seizures
Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the cannabis plant and scientists believe it may be used to treat certain conditions in both humans and animals. How does this work? The endocannabinoid system is present in all mammals.
Cannabis contains natural cannabinoids such as CBD and THC which attaches to cannabinoid receptors in cats, bringing out a number of health benefits. One study suggested that CBD products greatly reduce epileptic fits in animals. Click here to find out more about the study.
However, you must take care not to pick on products that have high levels of THC. CBD products (from industrial hemp) have been found to have significantly less THC and more health benefits.
Do Cats Eat Marijuana?
Yes, they do. The legalization of marijuana in the country has led to the widespread availability of weed in various forms. So, cats can ingest marijuana in various ways.
First, they may chew the leaves of the marijuana plant. The second way is by inhaling the smoke. This is especially when the cat is around someone who’s smoking marijuana. This is quite dangerous particularly for cats with respiratory diseases such asthma.
Your furry friends may also eat marijuana edibles like brownies and cookies. In fact, some owners feed their cats such edibles for their amusement. This is dangerous not only because of the compounds in weed but also components in edibles like chocolate which are harmful to cats.
Now, how would you know that your cat is intoxicated? Here are some symptoms that you can look out for:
- Loss of coordination/balance
- Low blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Aggression and hyperactivity
- Low blood pressure and heart rate
- Whining/meowing incessantly
The cat can start showing symptoms just five minutes after ingestion of weed. Sometimes, it takes up to 12 hours for symptoms to show. The intoxication state may end after just half an hour or could go on for days. More on the study.
Aside from the adverse effects mentioned above, marijuana may also provide some health benefits. Conditions that could be treated by medical cannabis include arthritis, anxiety, cancer and pain. Only pick CBD products from hemp that have little or no THC. Ensure your consult a vet on the amount to administer.
What To Do If My Cat Eats Weed
So, your cat ate weed. What should you do? There’s really no way to neutralize marijuana once it gets into your cat’s body. The only thing one can do is try to get it out of the pet’s system. Visit a veterinarian as soon as you suspect marijuana toxicity.
Some of the treatments include activated charcoal and intravenous (IV) fluids which help eliminate marijuana from the cat’s body. The best treatment, however, is prevention.
Keep your stash somewhere where the cats won’t find it. High amounts of weed in cats may lead to serious conditions such as seizures, coma or even death.
Marijuana Vs. Catnip For Cats
Catnip is a plant of the mint family that when cats eat or lick get ‘high’. Usually, cats become ‘high’ when they smell catnip and go to sleep when they eat it. It it’s not something they can overdose on, as cats will stop eating catnip when they’ve had enough.
On the other hand, marijuana doesn’t have the same effect in cats as it has in humans. Cats won’t experience the same high as you when they ingest weed edibles, especially when it contains high amounts of THC.
Even if it’s for medical purposes, you need to ensure your cat doesn’t consume more THC than is necessary.