Now that medical and recreational marijuana is becoming legal in more areas of the United States, cannabis is present in more U.S. homes.
This has led to more pet owners asking questions about how marijuana might affect their pets.
One specific question that has been asked more and more in recent years is whether cats can get high.
In today’s article, we will answer the question ‘can cats get high?’ as it pertains to marijuana.
We’ll be covering the effects of different forms of marijuana, including CBD and hemp.
Is It Possible For Cats To Get High?
First and foremost, we should clarify that it is possible for cats to get high.
In fact, a cat that consumes marijuana is likely to get high in the same way as humans can, including some of the side effects that come with the high.
Cannabis intoxication in cats can occur as a result of inhaling secondhand smoke or consuming marijuana either in edible or flower form.
While marijuana intoxication is more common in dogs than cats (possibly because dogs are generally more likely to eat things that they shouldn’t)
In fact, a study was published in 2011 concerning a Persian cat displaying aggressive tendencies.
It turned out that the cat had been exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke, which was causing its unwanted behavior.
The cat received veterinary care and was sent home with instructions for the cat owner to separate the cat from areas of the home containing secondhand smoke.
It is possible for cats to get high because these animals have cannabinoid receptors in their brains like humans do.
When the THC binds to these receptors, it has mood-altering effects.
In addition to a change in mood, a cat that is high might experience some additional side effects.
These are largely the same as what humans might feel when intoxicated.
Side effects of marijuana intoxication in cats include dizziness, slowed reactions, and a generally altered perception of reality.
However, while many people who use marijuana report altered moods in a positive sense (feeling calmer and more relaxed), cats are more likely to feel anxious and agitated when high because they can’t understand the cause of these side effects, so they are unable to rationalize it to themselves.
Clinical signs that your cat may be high include lethargy, anxious behavior (flattening ears, hiding, or fear-based aggression), head bobbing, dilated pupils, and impaired balance.
More than simply becoming high, it is possible for cats to overdose from marijuana.
Admittedly, the toxicity of marijuana in cats is relatively low.
A cat would need to consume 1.5 grams of marijuana for every pound of their body weight for a fatal overdose.
This means that it’s unlikely a cat would consume enough marijuana to fatally overdose, but owners should still be very careful not to expose their cat to marijuana toxicity.
Does CBD Get Cats High?
It is important to distinguish between THC and CBD when it comes to the high associated with marijuana, including when it applies to cats.
CBD, unlike THC, will not get your cat high.
This is because CBD is not a psychoactive substance like THC is, so it doesn’t produce the same high sensation.
With that being said, CBD still binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your cat’s brain.
This means that consuming CBD may have positive effects on your cat’s mood without the uncomfortable side effects such as dizziness and anxiety.
Does Hemp Get Cats High?
Hemp is another type of cannabis that will not get either humans or cats high.
Hemp is a particular strain of cannabis that only contains 0.3% THC.
This means that it is very low in THC, so it won’t get you or your cat high.
Even though hemp will not intoxicate your cat, you should still make sure that your cat is not consuming hemp in an uncontrolled way since too much hemp is unlikely to be beneficial and may still produce some side effects.
While hemp is safe and even good for cats in the proper quantities, it can potentially be harmful if the amounts given are not carefully regulated.
The best way to ensure that your cat does not consume any amount of hemp is to keep it away from your cat.
It is best to do this by keeping hemp products in high places that are difficult for your cat to reach.
Ideally, this would be in a cupboard with a lockable door just to be extra safe.
Can Cats Consume CBD Products?
Since CBD does not produce an intoxicant effect in cats, but might have some benefits in terms of mood, many owners wonder whether it is safe for their cats to consume CBD products.
The answer is that there are plenty of CBD products that are safe and beneficial for cats.
However, you should only give your cat CBD products from reputable manufacturers who state that their products are safe for feline consumption.
You can get CBD-infused cat treats for your feline friend.
These are some of the most popular CBD products for cats because cats really enjoy them and are able to derive mental benefits from them.
Some cat owners also use CBD oils to calm and soothe their cats.
These oils can be given directly into the cat’s mouth or mixed into food.
CBD capsules can be given similarly and are available in various strengths.
CBD catnip sprays are also available on the market to help your cat relax and enjoy their food.
In answer to your question, yes, cats can get high.
Cats are also more sensitive to marijuana than humans, and can (although rarely) consume fatal amounts if 1.5 grams per pound is ingested.
With that being said, while THC can be toxic to cats, CBD and hemp may be beneficial in controlled amounts.
If you are planning to give your cat CBD or hemp, make sure to do your research, buy from a reputable manufacturer, and always keep your CBD or hemp products away from your cat’s reach.