Can Cats Get a Contact High? Discover the Surprising Truth

No, cats cannot get a contact high from second-hand marijuana smoke. While many people enjoy recreational marijuana use, it is important to remember that our furry friends, such as cats, do not experience the same effects.

Cats lack the necessary receptors in their brain to be affected by THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. This means that even if they are exposed to second-hand smoke, they will not get high. However, it is still crucial to keep marijuana and other substances out of reach of our pets, as they can still be harmful if ingested or cause other health issues.

We will explore the topic of cats and contact highs in more detail, to provide you with a better understanding of the potential risks.

Dispelling The Myth: The Truth About Cats And Cannabis

There has been a lot of speculation and misinformation surrounding the topic of cats and cannabis. While it is true that cats can potentially be affected by cannabis, the idea of them getting a contact high is mostly a myth. Cats do not have the same cannabinoid receptors as humans, so the psychoactive effects of THC are not experienced in the same way. However, cats can still be negatively impacted by exposure to cannabis.

The primary concern lies in the potency of THC, which can be toxic to cats if ingested directly. Accidental ingestion of cannabis products containing high levels of THC can cause symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, disorientation, and in severe cases, even coma. It is essential to keep all cannabis products securely stored away from pets to prevent accidental access.

It’s also important to note that secondhand smoke can be harmful to cats, just as it is for humans. While they may not get high from the exposure, cats can experience respiratory issues and other health problems due to the smoke.

To ensure the well-being of our feline friends, it’s crucial to educate ourselves about the potential risks associated with cats and cannabis. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, we can keep our pets safe and healthy.

The Science Behind Cats And Cannabis

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors in both humans and cats. This system plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including appetite, pain sensation, sleep, and immune function.

When it comes to THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, cats process it differently than humans. Cats lack a specific enzyme called THC metabolizing enzyme, which means their bodies cannot break down THC as efficiently. This leads to a prolonged and intensified effect compared to humans.

Short-term exposure to cannabis can have various potential health effects on cats. These may include lethargy, lack of coordination, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, and in rare cases, seizures or coma. However, it’s important to note that the severity of these effects may vary depending on factors such as the cat’s size, the amount of THC ingested, and their overall health.

In conclusion, cats can indeed get a contact high from cannabis due to their unique metabolic differences. It’s crucial for pet owners to ensure a safe environment for their feline friends and to keep cannabis products inaccessible to prevent any potential harm.

Signs And Symptoms To Look Out For

It is well known that cats can be exposed to marijuana smoke and potentially experience a contact high. So, what are the signs and symptoms to look out for if your feline friend has been inadvertently exposed to cannabis?

Behavioral changes may be one indicator of a contact high in cats. They might exhibit anxiety, sedation, or hyperactivity. Keep an eye out for unusual behaviors that could suggest their mental state has been affected.

Physical effects are another aspect to watch for. Look for dilated pupils, disorientation, or unsteady movement. These symptoms could suggest that your cat may have ingested marijuana or been exposed to secondhand smoke.

Moreover, digestive distress could occur in cats that have been exposed to cannabis. Vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite are potential red flags to be aware of.

If you suspect that your cat may have been exposed to marijuana, it is crucial to seek veterinary care. They will be able to assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance to ensure your pet’s well-being.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Exposed

Exposure to secondhand smoke, whether it’s from cigarettes, marijuana, or other substances, can have harmful effects on your feline companion. If you suspect that your cat has been exposed to a contact high, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to ensure their well-being.

Contacting A Veterinarian: When Is It Necessary?

If your cat is displaying severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, lethargy, or loss of coordination, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. These symptoms could indicate a more serious health issue that requires professional care.

Home Remedies: Practical Tips For Managing Mild Symptoms

If your cat is experiencing milder symptoms such as eye redness, drooling, or excessive grooming, there are some home remedies you can try to alleviate their discomfort. Create a smoke-free environment for your cat by ventilating the area and using air purifiers. Additionally, offer plenty of fresh water to help flush out any toxins from their system.

Understanding The Importance Of Pet Safety: Safeguarding The Environment

Preventing your cat’s exposure to secondhand smoke is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Remember to smoke in designated outdoor areas away from your cat and ensure that your home is properly ventilated. Pet safety should always be a priority to safeguard their environment and prevent any potential health risks.

Prevention And Education For Cat Owners

When living in a cannabis-legal region, it is essential for cat owners to prioritize prevention and education to ensure their feline companions remain safe and healthy. Educating yourself and others about the potential risks and effects of cannabis on cats can help you make informed decisions and protect your pet.

One crucial aspect of prevention is safe storage of cannabis products. Keeping them securely stored out of reach of curious paws can help prevent accidental ingestion. Cat owners should consider storing cannabis items in locked cabinets or high shelves.

In addition to safe storage practices, creating a cat-friendly space is another key step in minimizing exposure risks. This can involve designating specific areas where cannabis is not permitted, such as closed-off rooms or outdoor spaces. By establishing clear boundaries, you can limit your cat’s potential access to cannabis products.


To wrap up, it is crucial to understand that cats can indeed experience a contact high. As sensitive creatures, they can be affected by the presence of marijuana smoke or other substances in the air. While it may not be intentional, exposing your feline friend to such an environment can lead to various adverse effects on their health.

Hence, it is vital to ensure a safe and smoke-free environment for our beloved furry companions.

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Dr Harunur Rashid (Harun) is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has five years of experience in large pet animal medicine. He worked as a livestock officer for two years in an NGO, and since then he has been practicing pet animals medicine privately. He holds an MS in Pharmacology from Bangladesh Agricultural University and a DVM from the same institution.