The ingestion of marijuana by cats can have serious consequences, and as such it is important for pet owners to be aware of the potential dangers. Cats are particularly vulnerable to the psychoactive compounds in marijuana due to their smaller size and unique metabolism, meaning that even a small amount of weed can have a detrimental effect on their health. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, so it is essential that pet owners understand the risks of cats ingesting marijuana, in order to keep their furry friends safe.
The Dangers of Marijuana
Marijuana contains two main active compounds – THC and CBD. While THC is more toxic than CBD, both can act as stimulants or depressants depending on the strain or concentration. CBD is being used more and more as a treatment for cats with certain conditions, such as anxiety or pain, however it is important to always consult a veterinarian before giving any medications or products to your cat. Cats can be poisoned by marijuana through smoke exposure, consuming a marijuana plant or edibles, or ingesting highly concentrated oil products. The effects of marijuana are more severe in cats than they are in humans, and even small amounts of THC can be very dangerous. Common signs of poisoning include dazed expressions, dribbling urine, vomiting, and changes in heart rate.
Symptoms of Marijuana Poisoning
The effects of marijuana poisoning in cats can vary from mild to severe, depending on the dosage. Symptoms can appear within 30-60 minutes and may last between 6 to 12 hours. In severe cases, these symptoms may persist for up to 96 hours. Common poisoning symptoms include:
- Dazed expression
- Glassy eyes
- Slow response times
- Dribbling urine
- Changes in heart rate
Treatment for Marijuana Poisoning
Unfortunately, there is no antidote for THC poisoning, so you, your cat, and your vet must wait for the symptoms to subside. However, if you seek veterinary assistance in a timely manner, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove undigested THC from the stomach. Activated charcoal may also be administered to aid detoxification and stop further THC absorption. Supportive care will be necessary for at least a day or two until the symptoms are gone. If your cat has ingested marijuana or its derivatives, contact your vet and Pet Poison Helpline®’s at (855) 764-7661 immediately.