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BARKS AND MUSINGS

A Trupanion blog

The Effects of Weed on Cats

Kelli Rascoe | April 19, 2019

A fuzzy orange cat with squinted eyes

If you partake in certain extra-curricular activities, cat owners should carefully consider where to store your stash. Otherwise, a curious cat might mistake it for a similarly herbal cat-friendly treat. Although marijuana has been deregulated across Canada and some regions of the United States, exposure has a less than desirable effect on your feline friends. The effects of weed on cats can result in a stressful experience, for cats and cat owners alike, and result in an unwanted trip to the veterinarian.

Whether you are a seasoned cat owner or first-time kitten owner, your cat’s health and safety are a top priority as part of being a responsible pet owner.

We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Caroline Wilde, to discuss the effects of weed on cats and best practices to help keep your furry friend safe, happy, and healthy.

The effects of weed on cats: what every pet owner should know

What can happen to your cat if they ingest weed

Whether you’re actively using these products or they are sitting around your home, be mindful of cats and kittens that enjoy being curious. Also, ingestion, no matter what type of product, can have quite an impact. “Marijuana intoxication in cats can happen when they ingest edibles or parts of plants, as well as inhalation of smoke, and can cause variable signs in cats ranging from sedation to agitation,” states Wilde. Further, even the smallest ingestion can affect your cat’s health and behavior.

The effects of weed on cats: what to look for

As a pet owner, it can be hard to detect if your cat has ingested marijuana. Dr. Wilde weighs in on what to look for –

“Marijuana can cause variable signs depending on the pet. Also, there are no reliable tests to determine whether a pet has ingested marijuana in any of its forms. Determination of whether a pet has marijuana intoxication is generally based on history and clinical signs.”

Essentially, the only way to determine if your cat has ingested marijuana is knowing if your cat has accessed your stash and if something is missing. Rather than leave it to chance, consider doing a sweep and make sure all substances have been safely stored away.

If you feel your cat might be exhibiting signs of marijuana ingestion/toxicity, consider the following:

Signs of marijuana ingestion / toxicity

  • Dilated pupils
  • Sedation
  • Head Bobbing
  • Swaying or seeming wobbly

Also, ingestion can cause low heart rate, blood pressure, hyperactivity, and aggression. Naturally, if you have any questions or cause for concern with your cat, seek veterinary care immediately. Further, your veterinarian can monitor accordingly and start an appropriate treatment plan.

Best practices for keeping your cat safe

Finally, the best practice for keeping your cat safe is to keep your personal products put away, especially when you’re not home. Additionally, all marijuana products, even plants, and baked goods edibles should be put away appropriately.

Wilde includes these necessary best practices to consider for keeping your cat safe –

“Cats love to eat plants! Protect your cat and keep marijuana/THC in any form locked up or stored in a safe place. Also, avoid exposing your cat to second-hand smoke. In addition, if you think your pet might have been exposed to any form of marijuana, be honest with your vet. Essentially, we have to know what we are treating to be able to best help you.”

Also, keeping a pet-friendly home and a tidy pet space it is providing a safe home. Further, you are able to relax and enjoy the day with your furry friends knowing that they can play and relax, without the worry that they might find some goodies to ingest.

Essentially, ingestion of any kind, other than cat food, should result in an immediate trip to the veterinarian, seek medical care for your cat.

Fuzzy grey cat rolling around on the floor

The effects of weed on cats: keep your stash in a safe place

If you are partaking in goodies on four-twenty, be sure to be mindful of how your activities and products affect your cats. Essentially, by keeping your stash stored, keeping a tidy space, and a smoke-free area for your feline friends to retreat to, everyone can enjoy the day comfortably.

A dog and cat snuggle

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A WORD FROM TRUPANION

Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.