Pet Safety

My Cat Ate an Edible: Understanding Symptoms & Treatment

With the rise in the use of cannabis products, incidences of accidental edible ingestion by pets have also increased. Understanding how THC affects cats and what to do in an emergency is crucial for responsible pet ownership.

THC Toxicity in Cats: Symptoms

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, affects the feline nervous system differently than it does humans. Common symptoms of THC toxicity in cats include:

  • Neurological: Lethargy, incoordination (ataxia), dilated pupils, tremors, and sensitivity to stimuli.

  • Gastrointestinal: Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite.

  • Cardiovascular: Slowed heart rate (bradycardia), low blood pressure.

  • Behavioral: Vocalization, agitation, disorientation.

In severe cases, THC intoxication can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.

Emergency Treatment for Cats Who Ate Edibles

If you suspect your cat has eaten an edible, immediate action is essential. Follow these steps:

  1. Contact Your Veterinarian: Don't delay! Call your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline immediately. Provide as much information as possible, including the type of edible, the amount consumed, and the time of ingestion.

  2. Do Not Induce Vomiting: This could worsen the situation. Do not try to induce vomiting unless your veterinarian has instructed you to do so.

  3. Safe Transport: If instructed to bring your cat to the clinic, transport them safely and securely.

  4. Monitoring: Your veterinarian will assess your cat's condition, monitor vital signs, and administer treatment as needed.

Treatment Options

Veterinary treatment for THC toxicity in cats depends on the severity of symptoms and the cat's overall health. It may include:

  • Decontamination: If ingestion was recent, your veterinarian might induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to limit THC absorption.

  • Supportive Care: IV fluids for hydration, medication to manage nausea and vomiting, and a quiet, low-stress environment for recovery.

  • Severe Cases: Hospitalization, monitoring, and medications to manage seizures or other severe complications.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Edibles

The best way to prevent THC toxicity is to keep all cannabis products out of your cat's reach.

  • Secure Storage: Store edibles in airtight, childproof containers in locations inaccessible to pets.

  • Proper Disposal: Dispose of any cannabis waste discreetly and securely.

  • Awareness: Educate all household members about the dangers of edibles for pets.

FAQ: Cats and Edibles

  • How much THC is toxic to cats? There's no established toxic dose, as sensitivity varies among cats. Even small amounts can cause adverse effects.

  • Can cats overdose on edibles? Yes. Severe THC intoxication can have life-threatening consequences.

  • How long does it take for a cat to recover from eating an edible? Recovery time depends on the amount ingested and individual response. Most cats recover fully within 24-72 hours with proper care.

  • Are edibles toxic to pets? Yes, edibles pose a risk to all pets, including dogs. Discover what to do if your dog ate an edible.

  • Is CBD bad for cats? While CBD generally has a lower toxicity risk, it's crucial to consult your veterinarian before giving any CBD products to your cat.

Expert Insights from Spot

According to Spot's internal data, THC toxicity is not a common condition. Less than 1% of the claims submitted between 2021 and 2022 were for the treatment of THC toxicity. If your pet does ingest THC, the average cost of treatment is $300+.

Key Takeaways

Accidental edible ingestion can be a frightening experience for cat owners. Prompt veterinary attention is critical for a positive outcome. Prioritizing prevention through secure storage and awareness helps keep our feline companions safe from the dangers of THC.

How Spot Pet Insurance Can Help

No pet parents want to think about their companion ever becoming ill or injured, but accidents and illnesses can happen at any time. That's why Spot Pet Insurance offers both accident and illness and accident-only plans that can be customized to meet the needs of each pet. Choose your annual limit, reimbursement rate, and deductible from a range of options, and opt into a preventive care add-on to get coverage for vaccines, dental care, spay and neuter procedures, and more! Get a quote today!


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