Can a Cat Get High?

Last Updated on April 21, 2020

You would be amazed by how many times this is likely searched on Google. Cats can become “high” from eating, sniffing, and licking catnip… But what about cannabis? For everyone thinking it is a good idea or funny to get a cat “high”, I hope you reconsider after reading this.

When a cat is on a “catnip high” it is not like a cannabis high for humans. It’s more like a mild hallucinogenic that heightens the senses. As for the comparison of the two, catnip does not contain THC. In case you were wondering… No, you cannot get high catnip; if you try, you can become pretty sick. Just leave the catnip to the cats.

Can Cats Get High from Cannabis?

If we humans can’t get high on catnip, is it safe to assume cats can’t get high on cannabis? Well, no they can’t get “high” on it, not exactly. Cats are finicky and likely will not ingest cannabis. In the off-chance that they do, they are likely to vomit it back up or suffer from a bad case of diarrhea. What they may experience from said indigestion would be in the form of a “bad trip”. Your cat can actually convulse and have seizures from digesting THC which can lead to biting down on its tongue, brain damage, accidents, or even death. Still think it’s a good idea?

Marijuana Intoxication

Cats may be prone to develop marijuana intoxication or cancers of the mouth and lymph nodes because of second-hand exposure. More can be read on the NCBI study

What About Blowing It into the Cat’s Face/Ears?

Cats hate smoke. They hate how it feels near their face because like us, it burns their eyes. It can lead to eye problems and infections that can result in blindness. Smoke dries out the retinas which is not only uncomfortable but painful for cats. Would you force someone to drink knowing they hate alcohol? This is no different. When you do this, you are committing animal abuse. No, it is not cute or funny. If you know someone who does this to their cat, encourage them to stop because it’s not right to force drugs on to an animal especially not knowing what may happen.

Can Medical Cannabis Be Used for Pain Relief in Cats?

This can be something you will see in the future at your vet’s office, but again, it will not be to get them “high” or “tripping”. They wouldn’t feel any of those effects. Likely, they will experience pain relief and mild drowsiness. That is it. It would not be the same as them eating your stash or you blowing smoke into their face. Patches are being tested on cats, dogs, and horses that contain cannabis which will be used for animals who suffer from pain. It is time-released and in a stable form that won’t cause any ill-effects or “highs” of any kind.

CBD oil is gaining popularity with pets! If you would like to learn more about CBD use for cats, check out CBD For Cats?.

I am not opposed to it being used medically in the future for pets but this is one thing you must leave to the vets. Administering your own cannabis to a hurting cat can lead to complications, including death. Just as cats can’t take certain medications we humans can, cats cannot handle smoke or indigestion of cannabis safely. Don’t assume because it happened once and your cat was fine, they are okay to eat it or inhale it again. You would be playing Russian roulette with your cat’s life and that ain’t cool, man.


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29 thoughts on “Can a Cat Get High?”

  1. My cat will literally purr loud as shit when I blow smoke in his ears or face. He’ll bite me when I take a few hits and dont blow some his way. Been doing this for 10 years. He absolutely loves to get high. He’s go off and chases shit. Eats a whole a bowl of food. And chills with me after. My dog absolutely hates it though. My cat 100 percent loves it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Jimmy. Purring doesn’t always mean a cat is happy. Cats will purr from stress, fear, and anxiety. Many will purr when they are taken to the vet as a coping mechanism. Don’t assume this is a happy purr and don’t consider it a sign that your cat is enjoying this. You can be inducing mild seizures and not even realize it.

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  2. SO TIRED OF PEOPLE POSTING ARTICLES CLAIMING ITS FACT WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH. THIS ARTICLE IS 100% OPINION…. if these are “facts” than cite your sources and keep bias separate maybe more people would agree with you

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  3. ALL MAMMALS, as our beloved dogs and cats, have an endocannabinoid system composed of CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. The phytocannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant activate these receptors providing a wide range of health benefits. Although blowing smoke ( especially in excessive amounts ) is not the most ideal or appropriate way to deliver this medicine to your pets and also not recommended, i highly doubt it will harm your pet. With that said if your interested in introducing these wonderful phytocannabinoids to your pet i WOULD recommend some sort of oral consumption possibly an oil to put on their food or drop in their mouth. My only concern is for the pet to experience undesirable side effects of being “too medicated” which is very real and very likely which is why it is best to start with EXTREMELY small micro dosages. Concentrating or isolating glandular trichome heads is ideal because thats where the medicine( phytocannabinoids ) are located and these concentrates also contain the least amount of contaminants. YES cats have an endocannabinoid system and YES cats can get high from cannabis. They can also get “too high” just like human beings which is why its important to administer in moderation. Although cannabis IS indeed very safe in fact its one of the safest substances on the planet earth, it is indeed also very powerful, very strong, very effective medicine that should be handled responsibly.

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  4. I think you should do your research EVERY animal is hardwired to receive THC hell dogs will eat cannabis so will cows pigs hell there are cases of wild lipns and wild cats eating cannabis also EVERY creature has cannabinoid receptors in there brain please show me a single recorded death from cannabis because i would LOVE to see it

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  5. My senior (10 years) kitty loves marijuana when it’s vaped or dabbed. She was declawed by previous owners and I think it helps a lot with the pain in her knuckles and teeth. I love seeing her play with my younger cats when she gets (high) cause she’s usually a really grumpy and only likes people (and I do only give it to her when she meows for it as weird as that sounds)

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  6. You should do some fact checking here
    Cats can very well get high off of cannabis just like humans or at least biochemically they can to say its the same for them as it is for us is only a guess however that said from all that Ive studied on the subject it seems cats and dogs and to a more extent cats are highly sensitive to THC meaning a small bit that might get us barely buzzed will rock their world, we can debate the ethics but honestly I don’t see anything wrong with it in small amounts however there isn’t a good way to do this besides blowing smoke at them which honestly isn’t the best but it should only be done by people that know what they are doing if at all due to their subjective experience they may not like it and not know what’s going on and high doses can cause confusion and due to this aggression and incontinence which while not harmful in itself and temperary it would not be a nice experience for them which to me defeats the whole reason you would even want them to get high and I dont see that as an ethical thing to do
    That said cannabis at least biochemically should have the same effects on most animals as humans this includes cats and we can logically deduce that it would have similar medical effects including the preventive effects I personally give my cat hash oil every day for prevention but while it does have THC its an extract based on hash oil and has small amounts of THC(but still far more than in a hemp-based extract) and large amounts of CBD as well as large amounts of THC-A and CBD-A as well as some CBG and CBC so it wouldn’t get her high even giving a cats increased sensitivity. but helps her with her anxiety better than just CBD alone would and the broad spectrum of cannabinoids that comes from hash oil is better for prevention than a hemp-based CBD only extract, it is also heavily regulated which makes me feel better about giving it to her as I know for a fact it has what it says it does and nothing else, I don’t trust hemp-based CBD products and would strongly recommend people not use them, for pets that goes even more so
    Also cats can and will eat cannabis plants mine LOVES them I cannot grow in the house because she will eat it before it has a chance to grow and it is VERY good for them it has high vitamin and mineral contents good fiber and THC-A and CBD-A, in fact, its probably better to give animals raw buds rather than activated cannabis extracts it will not make them sick nor high however it might make them vomit for the same reason cat grass will, the high fiber content
    But it should be noted that research on this subject is limited however anything that would be shared between other animals and humans should be able to be universally applied to cannabises effects on the animal the reason being is how the endocannabinoid system works but this is just an educated guess as nobody can really know what’s going on in a cats head, however its very likely their ancestors ate cannabis in the wild, cannabis and animals including humans has a very long and interesting history
    I also feel I should say that CBDs benefits have been greatly exaggerated and honestly false, while what is claimed for the most part does, in fact, apply to cannabis however people are applying the benefits of cannabis to CBD which is false for example the pain killing effects of CBD is mild and works the same as aspirin and could be considered weaker than aspirin effects however the true pain killing effects of cannabis comes from THC, the same with its anxiolytic effects, CBD is an anxiolytic to some extent but THC is a mood enhancer and THC and CBD together has a FAR stronger anxiolytic effect than either alone
    I also should state that while some of this information is general most of it comes from my experience with my cat and may not apply to all animals
    Also depending on what you refer to being “high” than yes catnip can, in fact, get humans high, catnip acts as a relaxant in humans however tea is probably the best way to consume it as the smoke is very harsh
    https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cbd-for-pets
    https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cannabis-hemp-law
    https://weedmaps.com/learn/cannabis-and-your-body/difference-between-thca-thc/
    https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/consuming-cannabis/juicing/
    https://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-effects-of-catnip-on-humans.htm

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment and sharing your research, JD. Something that many people miss out on is that cats do not have the digestive system to consume plant matter such as grass and yes, cannabis. In the wild, the purpose of a feline eating vegetation is to aid in the release of feathers, bones, and other animal byproducts that they can’t digest. In other words, they use these items to puke out parts that can lead to serious harm. House cats are still instinctively wild and can’t ever be fully domesticated. They will eat grass and other plants any time they have a stomach ache as a means to release the bones and feathers from their meal, even if they were not present. While CBD oil can be beneficial for cats, the plant in and of itself is likely to cause more harm than good be it inhaling or digesting it. I never recommend it and no vet or animal specialist I know recommends it.

      Reply
      • While it is true cats are carnivores and for the most part lack the enzymes required to break down plant matter efficiently that doesn’t necessarily mean plants are harmful for them nor that some cannot be beneficial, that by no means means they can eat all plants, even some human foods that are VERY good for us, chocolate is a good example are highly toxic to cats, this is also why I wouldn’t recommend extracts, unless you know exactly what is in it, there have been cases of animal poisoning when pets have taken extracts made for humans
        Id also like to point out while it is true they used to eat some plants to vomit animal parts they cannot efficiently digest, this isn’t the only reason they do so and it has benefits for house cats as well, it sounds like you have never heard of cat grass which is normally wheat grass or oat sprouts however there are many different kinds
        I would also like to point out for anyone reading this unrelated to this comment, THIS DOES NOT MEAN CATS CAN BE VEGANS it is both unethical and dangerous to put your cat on a vegan diet and cats REQUIRE meat to survive and meat should be almost all they eat, plants cannot be nor should be a substitute for meat in a cats diet regardless of if you go full vegan or not
        https://pets.thenest.com/list-plants-foods-cats-can-cant-eat-8553.html
        https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/evr_ct_how-to-grow-cat-grass
        The main reason you would want to give your pet raw plant has more to do with the cannabinoid content
        Another concern unless you live in a legal state and get real CBD oil any hemp derived CBD product is suspect at best, maybe its just me but my cat eats better than I do and Im a health nut and I wont even go near hemp based CBD products, the lack of regulation, mislabeling, high levels of toxic chemicals like hydrocarbon residue and pesticide residue or adding other psychoactive drugs like DXM and synthetic cannabinoids, while there are legit hemp based CBD products there are only a few and a LARGE market that at best your wasting money on a product that doesnt have the levels of CBD it claims and worst you are getting a very toxic product that will make a human sick and has a strong likelihood of killing a cat, I would strongly suggest if you plan to give your cat cannabis raw leaves or hash oil derived cannabis extract with a high ratio of CBD to THC would be the ONLY thing I would use its a guarantee you are getting the levels of cannabinoids you expect and a pure product free of anything dangerous to your pet and will not get them high which to me is a ethical issue, as I stated above
        For me I use a full spectrum oil extract with high levels of THCa and a 20:1 powder of CBD/THC isolate and put it on my cats food every day
        But if you MUST use hemp derived CBD oil I would recommend a local maker using legal hemp NOT industrial hemp, a local maker can prove the source and extraction method and legal hemp is not the same as industrial hemp which is a piss poor source of CBD
        I also would not trust the “3rd party lab verified” crap they are often fudged while the lab test is usually legit and the lab itself is usually legit the test is only one batch with no guarantee of consistency and often doctored to make their product look better than it is, I have caught more than one hemp cbd product manufacturer doing this and the FDA and CDC has also caught quite a few hemp cbd product manufacturer making false claims about labeling
        Even so just feeding your cat cannabis leafs will have as much if nor more CBD than a hemp CBD product which has the benefits of the fiber as well as the full spectrum of cannabinoids without the issues that come with hemp cbd products
        https://cannabisnow.com/fake-cbd-oil-inside-the-dangerous-new-trend/
        https://herb.co/news/health/fake-cbd/
        http://www.projectcbd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ProjectCBD_Special-Report_Medical-Marijuana.pdf
        So the Russian roulette market place coupled with the less effective nature of CBD alone its pointless and can be dangerous to use Hemp CBD products and this is even more of a concern with pets
        I normally would concede as you run a cat based site however I have studied cannabis for over 8 years and am also a cannabis activist my knowlage is on par with cannabis researchers and however well intended your advice is, it isnt just incorrect it is also dangerous and after reading your page CBD for cats it has a lot of incorrect information, such as your claim cannabis naturally high in THC is low in CBD, this isnt even close to the case beyond a few legal hemp strands like charlottes web(which is being debated as it has levels of THC higher than the legal limit however it does at times have below the legal limit or it has between .03 and .1 percent THC) high THC cannabis has far more CBD than any form of hemp strand and even some strands of high THC cannabis are on par with the levels of CBD found in charlottes web(20 percent), it is very hard to breed THC out while keeping high levels of other cannabinoids and this is a main issue with Hemp CBD strands as they can reduce the THC and Increase the CBD levels but its VERY hard to reach the legal limit while keeping very high CBD levels also your claim Hemp Based CBD oil is legal in all 50 states, this isnt correct however the DEA has made it a low priority but has stated plainly that Hemp based CBD products are in fact illegal and do NOT fall under the hemp product exemption to the CSA due to the fact they are extracts made from the buds and leaves and thus considered to be the same as any other cannabis extract and while some states have legalized it, crossing state lines or traveling to a state where all cannabis is still illegal can still cause you to be arrested and this HAS happened, even some stores have been shut down due to it however while rare arrests have been rising few people know this because claims made that its legal in all states and stores sell it and while it often doesn’t result in a conviction and most arrests are made due to confusion it doesn’t change the fact you are arrested, charged and jailed you just often are not sentenced and charges are dropped
        https://www.leafly.com/start-exploring (a page that has strain information on both high THC cannabis and legal hemp strains)
        https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/marijuana/m_extract_7350.html
        https://www.leafbuyer.com/blog/cbd-arrest/
        https://lifehacker.com/will-you-get-arrested-for-traveling-with-cbd-oil-1834641338
        https://rutherfordsource.com/rutherford-county-cbd-business-raids-question-tnhia/
        Other sources in my original comment

        So to put it simply while I can agree eating raw plant cannabis might not be the best way for cats to ingest cannabinoids and has a possibility of causing slight digestion issues I feel at this point in time it is one of best options we have and I strongly disagree with your recommendation on hemp CBD oil, your information on cannabis and cats and your statements regarding cats and eating plants which are not completely correct or simply not factual at all

        My suggestion to you is to research cannabis more as it is a amazing plant and since you are all about cats I would strongly recommend a focus on the endocannabinoid system as research on that system is more universal and applicable to other animals beyond humans
        I would also suggest you research cat grass because you might find it interesting I sure do as I didn’t realize that cats could eat plants due to them being pure carnivores

  7. I always try and find what would happen if my cat had weed smoke blown on him. I dab a lot and I usually have a fan for the outside going to pull it out as soon as I take a hit. Before I used to do this it would float in the air and he’d jump up onto the couch chair and keep his head in the smoke so I had to get the airflow going with a fan to make him stop. When he found me hiding away in the bathroom blowing the smoke out of the fan he started to follow me around meowing and clicking if I didn’t smoke around him and it’s weirding me out. I’m not sure if it’s okay for him at all because I try to get it outside as fast as possible, and he just gets mad at me. He will even start to bite, just hold my hand, in his teeth until I get up and move away and then follows me meowing or clicking and trying to lead me back to the dab rig.

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  8. Well, like several others are saying, my cat loves it. He always gets up in my face when I’m smoking. And I know he’s got tiny little lungs so after a bit I’ll make sure I blow it away from him. But I’ve seen several cats get “high” from second hand smoke dozens of times and they’re all happy and healthy. Obviously you don’t want to suffocate them but as long as you don’t let them inhale /too/ much smoke they seem to love it. Also, small correction, but humans can get high on catnip. It’s not like weed, it’s like CBD but a little more fuzzy and goofy. It also helps with insomnia.

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  9. Cats can actually OD from active THC. I had to bring my cat to the hospital last night after my boyfriend blew a hit in my cats face. Do not get your animals high on marijuana. I have smoked weed for years. It doesn’t not effect humans in the same way.

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  10. I didn’t know cats hated it! My 12 year old Maine coon is up in my face demanding it. I’m not the one making the decision! If you witnessed it, you would easily believe it. By the way, he has feline hiv so I don’t mind helping him out.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Will. I too have an FIV cat and you are risking a lot by blowing smoke at him. FIV comes with a weakened immune system and their lungs are a lot smaller and a lot more sensitive than ours. One small infection can be fatal. You are indeed making the decision because your cat doesn’t know any better. He may like the smell but I can assure you, you are doing damage by doing this. I would get in touch with a vet who knows about CBD oil and go that route if you want to use cannabis to help him with his medical issues.

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    • Um yeah my cat be in my face demanding it too lol. I had stopped smoking for a couple months and for the first time in months the other night, I decided to buy some. He dead ass sat by me, smelled the roll up, smelled the weed, sat by me and stared at me while I rolled up. After it dried, I smoked. He was right by me the whole time, sniffing the air, getting contact high, after it was done he ate the rest of his food and went to sleep lol.

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  11. My cat always climbs in my lap when I’m smoke lol. I don’t blow it on him but he’s usually in the ‘splash zone’ anyways ? He seems to enjoy it

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  12. This article has no relation to the “Never Give cannabis to Your Cat!” link in the “CBD for cats?” article. This is an article about whether or not Cats can get high off cannabis, which even that you don’t go into a whole lot of detail.

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  13. My cat has followed the pot smoke around the room for many years. He does like it. Nobody has ever forced him but he demands it. He’s 16 and still going strong. He will attempt to get into anyone’s bag or purse that contains cannabis–he’s as good as any drug sniffing dog. This must be an old scare article, as CBD oil for pets can be purchased anywhere.

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  14. Thank you so much for writing this out! I admit I’ve been unintentionally cruel to my cat a few times and it will not happen again. Would you force a person to drink… Brilliant common sense!

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  15. My cat is pretty much my only smoking buddy. She doesn’t always like it and when she backs away, I stop. But there are times when she can leave but she stays right there even peeking up and sniffing the air more.. You can’t tell me she dosent like it.. also I do it for her when she is particularly annoying during her heat cycle. It seems to help her relax. She also has obvious anxiety issues. So I will smoke with her if she seems nervous..- Brian Holst Jr.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Brian. As mentioned above, no matter how your cat reacts, it is simply not safe. Cats do not react the same way to the chemicals in cannabis as we do. If you want to use something similar that will not harm her eyes, lungs, or life, I suggest looking into CBD and speaking with your vet. Read more here: https://purrfectlove.net/2017/03/cbd-for-cats/

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      • Thanks for your comment Jay. A cannabinoid is a chemical compound, thus meaning it is made up of several chemicals. So yes, “Chemicals”.

    • Get your cat fixed dude. Where I live we have a bad feral problem. And I’m totally not trying to be a knob about it. Just my opinion on the subject…nothing to do with pot and cats ??

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    • your poor cat going through heat unnecessarily and having a higher risk of cervical cancer etc.

      I did the same with my first cat (who also loved putting her face in cannabis smoke, btw and hated cigarette smoke if I lit up a smoke she ran tf away if I lit a j she sat on my lap purring and trying to get her face in it and I think whoever wrote this article is a hilarious *******
      but this was a long time ago before the internet could tell you all this stuff dude.
      dont take my word for it look it up, and get the poor baby fixed

      Reply

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