Is coffee good for cats? (+5 tips)

This blog article will answer the question: “Is coffee good for cats?”. Topics like whether or not caffeine can be harmful for other animals, and what the owner should do if their cat has accidentally drank coffee will also be covered. 

Is coffee good for cats?

No. Caffeine is dangerous for cats, dogs, and almost every other domestic pet. The only beverage that should be used to hydrate cats is water. Coffee, tea, alcohol, and soft drinks are not meant for our domestic pets. They are incapable of digesting these substances like humans can. 

Unsweetened black coffee may contain magnesium and potassium which are beneficial for cats but the component in coffee that will poison them is the caffeine. According to an article by Catological, caffeine has an extremely high level of life-threatening toxicity in cats. The side effects and symptoms found in cats if they are positive for caffeine toxicity include the following:

  • Restlessness and hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Tremors
  • Seizure 
  • Death 

All of these can lead to a fatal outcome. So letting your cat ingest coffee is not just dangerous, but it can make you lose your feline friend. 

What is in coffee that can make it toxic to pets? 

Products that contain caffeine including coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and some supplements also contain theobromine which is a chemical related to caffeine and is also found in chocolates. 

When cats and dogs ingest this particular element, it can lead to a serious medical implication for them. Although, one to two licks of coffee, tea, or soda is unlikely to cause poisoning in most pets, but when pets ingest unused coffee grounds or beans, tea bags, or supplements, this can cause them to manifest signs like hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, and elevated body temperature. 

In severe cases, seizures, collapse, and death are possible. So never let them ingest any of these mentioned products. 

Can cats have coffee and milk creamer?

No. Cats should avoid dairy products. Cats are lactose intolerant so large amounts of milk creamer can upset their stomach. “But why do baby cats drink their mama cat’s milk?” you may ask? Well, the milk of the mama cat is specifically provided to the baby cat to provide it with nutrients that help it grow. The milk of the mama cat is specially made for the nourishment and development of the baby cat. 

What we consider as milk is the milk of a cow, which technically has lactose and the nutrients for a baby cow. The nutrients in this milk are not suitable for the baby cat’s digestive system because they are lactose intolerant. 

Cats may drink a little amount of milk, and this does not have a significant effect in their system. However, they should not ingest a huge amount of milk because this can be a root cause for serious implications in their health. This is the same for humans who are lactose intolerant. A small amount can be manageable but too much can cause a disaster in their digestive system. 

Coffee creamers also have a lot of sugars and additives, which are essentially bad for the cat’s health. Artificial flavors, sugars, and processed food can also cause severe issues for your cat’s digestive tract and this can be signaled by diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating. 

It is always best to keep all creamers from your cat to keep it safe. The nutrients that the cat needs are already present in food treats specifically designed for them to consume. 

Does caffeine work on cats? 

Cats are unlike people who need a cup of coffee to give them energy early in the morning. It is part of a cat’s natural hunting instinct to get quick bursts of energy early in the morning for them to wake up.

Another reason why cats do not need coffee is because they do not mind taking naps to recharge themselves, which again is unlike humans who have to take into consideration their school or work for them to decide whether or not to take a nap. If humans always had enough sleep, coffee would not even exist. 

Cats have not built up a tolerance for coffee so they are more sensitive to caffeine. This sensitivity can be shown by their uncomfortable side effects such as upset stomach, shakiness, and hyperactivity. 

How much coffee is bad for cats? 

A sip of coffee will not have serious health effects in your cat. Some more sensitive cats may be hyperactive, hysterical, or may vomit once or twice but these effects are nowhere near when the cup already drinks about one-fourth of the cup. If this is the case, you should already take your cat to the vet. 

It is important therefore that you keep a close eye to your feline friends because they are pretty intelligent and can climb and get to cabinets where you keep your coffee. Have your coffee placed in an area where cats really are unable to reach. 

Coffee is not the only product that contains caffeine. Some of the most common products with caffeine, according to FAQCats, are: 

  • Soda
  • Diet soda
  • Diet pills
  • Energy drink 
  • Workout supplements
  • Chocolate
  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Hot coco
  • Menstrual/PMS relief medication
  • Headache/migraine relief medication
  • Juice
  • Water enhancers with the word “energy” on the label

The amount of caffeine will also vary, so if you have at least one or all of these products, try not to leave this out because cats can be curious and it will be only a matter of time before they get ahold of these. 

What should the owner do when a cat has ingested coffee? 

Take the cat to the veterinarian as immediately as possible. Your vet may recommend you to induce the vomiting, prescribe medication, or even hospitalize your pet. 

Your vet may also recommend flushing the toxins out of your cat’s system or may give your cat liquid charcoal. If your cat is experiencing diarrhea and upset stomach, your vet will recommend antacids. 

These are only some of the possible treatments a vet can give to a poisoned cat. More can be found in this article by Dial Up the Coffee. 

Conclusion

This blog article answered the question: “Is coffee good for cats?”. Topics like whether or not caffeine can be harmful for other animals, and what the owner should do if their cat has accidentally drank coffee were also covered. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is coffee good for cats? 

How much coffee is bad for cats? 

Symptoms can occur with the consumption of a 9 milligram per pound of caffeine. A severe illness can take place at a 20 milligram per pound caffeine. But the worst case where the cat can already have seizures or die after consuming a 75 to 100 milligram per pound of caffeine. 

Why does my cat like the smell of coffee? 

Cats have very sensitive noses. In fact, cat noses are far more powerful than human noses. The pungent or interesting smell of anything will interest any cat. So coffee grounds, having an aromatic and fragrant smell, will have cats sniffing around it in no time. 

What foods are toxic to cats? 

Cats should not be fed with onions, garlic, raw eggs, raw meat and bones, chocolate, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, raw dough, milk, dairy products, grapes, raisins, and dog food. 

Can cats have eggs? 

No. Raw eggs are toxic to cats. Salmonella can be inside eggs that are not cooked and this could cause really serious illnesses to cats. 

Can cats eat bananas? 

Yes. Bananas are a healthy snack for cats but they should not be fed with bananas regularly due to its high sugar content. 

References

  1. “Can Cats Have Coffee Or Coffee Grounds? Or Is It Bad And Toxic?” Catological, 27 Apr. 2019, www.catological.com/coffee-bad-cats/.
  2. “Caffeine Are Toxic To Pets.” Pet Poison Helpline, www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/caffeine/.
  3. “Is It Safe for Cats to Drink Coffee?” Dial Up the Coffee, 4 July 2020, dialupthecoffee.com/is-it-safe-for-cats-to-drink-coffee/.
  4. FamilyPet. “What Is the Danger of Letting My Cat Drink Coffee?” FamilyPet, 3 Dec. 2013, familypet.com/what-is-the-danger-of-letting-my-cat-drink-coffee/.
  5. Pets, Caffeine Toxicity in, et al. “Caffeine Toxicity in Pets.” vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/caffeine-toxicity-in-pets.
  6. FAQCats. “Can Cats Drink Coffee – Pets And Caffeine Concerns.” FAQcats.com, 22 July 2020, faqcats.com/can-cats-drink-coffee/.
  7. Oraby, Nadine. “My Cat Drank Coffee – What to Do?” FluffyPlanet, 14 June 2020, fluffyplanet.com/cat-drank-coffee/.

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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