Cannabis Science

Is Smoking Weed Around Cats Bad?


If you have a pet, you probably consider them family. Perhaps even love them more than some humans you know. You may hike with them, go to the beach, or have lazy days on the couch. However, only some activities are suitable to do with pets. For example, sharing an edible with your dog is not recommended because they can get sick and even die. But what about cats? Is smoking weed around cats bad?

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Does Weed Smoke Affect Cats?

Sorry, you can’t share your weed with your cat because it could cause marijuana toxicity.

As a matter of fact, PetMD says 3% of marijuana toxicity cases are made up of cats. 

Unfortunately, the specific toxic dose for cats is unknown, but a rule of thumb is to keep weed away from cats.  

Let’s talk about weed smoke specifically. The smoke you exhale from your blunt may not be great for your tabby. 

According to The Spruce Pets, “Because of the cumulative effects of inhaling any kind of smoke, it is inadvisable to smoke marijuana anywhere near a cat, particularly one with asthma or other lung diseases.” So, yes, smoking weed around cats is bad.

As Royal Queen Seeds put it, secondhand smoke from your blunt can cause breathing problems and irritation. They also mentioned that the smaller the pet, the more likely they are to be affected by weed smoke. 

There is also evidence that secondhand smoking can cause marijuana toxicity in cats. A 2018 study showed what happens when a cat is undergoing marijuana intoxication due to smoke. The 6-year-old Persian cat was experiencing “strong psychomotor agitation turning into aggression.”

After an investigation, they found that the cat was experiencing marijuana toxicity after exposure to cannabis smoke. The hospital found delta 9 THC and other weed compounds in the cat’s blood. The cat was treated, and the owners were advised to keep weed smoke away from their cat. 

Can Cats Eat Edibles?

It’s not only smoke you have to worry about; cats shouldn’t consume marijuana in any form. Even though cats are generally picky about what they eat, unlike dogs who may gobble up an edible with a second thought, they may still end up snacking on an edible. PetMD says that edibles are even more toxic for cats than those eating the plant itself due to the higher levels of THC. Edibles can therefore cause poisoning in cats. 

If your cat got into your stash of edibles, take them to the vet. If the edibles have chocolate in them, please tell your vet. Your cat will have to be treated for chocolate toxicity too. 

If you grow weed or have weed growing nearby, your cat can actually get high from munching on the leaves. or anywhere else that has THC. 

So, what about cannabutter? Well, PetMD says not only can it cause marijuana toxicity, but it can result in pancreatitis. That’s due to the high-fat content.

Can Cats Get Secondhand High?

Yes, according to Royal Queen Seeds, if there is a lot of secondhand smoke in the room, your cat can get high. They said, “You taking the occasional hit in their general vicinity shouldn’t get your pet high, but a hotbox surely will.”

And no, your cat will not enjoy their high. Cats don’t understand what’s happening to them, so they can feel afraid or paranoid. 

One way to mitigate harming your cat with secondhand smoke is to keep the room you’re smoking in well-ventilated. The other option is not smoking around your cat. 

Can Cats Be Affected by Thirdhand Smoking? 

Thirdhand smoking refers to smoke penetrating surfaces such as furniture, clothes, rugs, and curtains. Unfortunately, thirdhand smoke is harmful to cats. 

As a matter of fact, Mccleary Animal Hospital says that cats are especially sensitive to this kind of smoke. 

Royal Queen Seeds says, “If you are someone who smokes regularly in the home, your rugs, furniture, and curtains probably have lingering smoke sticking to them too. Over time, this may be harmful to your pets. Consider giving these a deep clean once in a while.”

 Can You Vape Around Cats?

The smoke from vaping is usually seen as less harmful than other methods. Sources are split on whether or not vaping is safe around cats. Mccleary Animal Hospital says, “Vaporizers can take away some of the hazards associated with smoking, but the active ingredients in cannabis can still affect pets.”

On the other hand, Royal Queen Seeds says vaping is the safer alternative because it:

  • releases less harmful chemicals than smoke
  • Vapor disperses quickly
  • Won’t stick to furniture (so reduced risk of thirdhand smoke)

Signs of Marijuana Toxicity in Cats

If you suspect that your cat may have consumed marijuana in any way, you can carry them to the nearest vet. However, there are telltale signs of marijuana toxicity in cats that you should look out for. PetMD says the signs are usually neurological and include:

  • Low body temperature
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Seizures

PetMD says there are no antidotes for cats who consume weed. However, they will still be treated and may be given activated charcoal to bind toxins. They may also be given an IV as the doctor waits on the effects to run their course. 


Is smoking weed around cats bad? The short answer is yes. While there may be some stoners with cats who aren’t obviously affected, it’s still not a good idea to smoke around them. It’s best to smoke in a room they don’t use a lot or keep the room you choose ventilated. Keep an eye on your pet to ensure they don’t go anywhere near your marijuana product. If your cat ends up in your marijuana stash, carry them to the vet.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].