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Home > Cats > Can a Cat Drink Coffee? Vet Approved Facts & Potential Health Risks

Can a Cat Drink Coffee? Vet Approved Facts & Potential Health Risks

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It’s hard to deny the enjoyment of a warm cup of coffee when waking up in the morning. Many coffee lovers feel they can’t start their day on the right foot without it. Even more of those people have advanced their love of coffee to different coffee beverages spread throughout the day. When cradling your favorite coffee beverage, watching your cat rub against your leg or paw at your cup out of curiosity is cute. Cats are often inquisitive when it comes to the things they see us enjoy most.

With these adorable reactions to our daily cup of joe, it only makes sense for a cat owner to wonder if a cat can drink coffee. While you may want to share everything you love with your kitty, coffee is a definite no-no. Coffee can be quite dangerous for cats and should be completely avoided. Let’s take a deeper look at the relationship between cats and coffee, why it isn’t good for them, and how you can keep your kitty safe while enjoying your favorite wake-up juice.


Can a Cat Drink Coffee?

No, you should never allow your cat to drink coffee. Furthermore, it is also dangerous for kitties to eat used coffee grounds, fresh grounds, beans, coffee-flavored foods and drinks, and coffee pods. But why? The biggest reason is the caffeine found inside coffee. Caffeine is highly dangerous to most animals, including your kitty. We use the caffeine in coffee to help us stay alert and energized. Cats appear more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans and, if you notice, cats are a lot smaller than us. That means even a small amount of caffeine can cause major effects in cats.

Other than caffeine, there are a few other reasons why coffee is bad for your cat. Certain coffee beverages have lots of milk and sugar in them which isn’t good for your cat. There’s also the burn factor. Often, we choose to drink our coffee hot. If your kitty gets into your hot coffee, they can easily scald their mouth and tongue. With all these dangerous factors and the fact that coffee offers no nutritional value to your cat, please avoid giving any to your kitty.

coffee bean
Image By: Couleur, Pixabay

Caffeine’s Effect on Cats

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants around the world. It is also a type of chemical called a methylxanthine. Theobromine, found in chocolate, is also a methylxanthine and also considered toxic for cats and dogs. When cats have caffeine in small doses, you’ll notice they have lots of nervous energy and often suffer from an upset stomach. High doses of caffeine, however, can make your kitty suffer from caffeine toxicity. This can cause severe issues such as seizures and heart problems.

Here are the signs of caffeine toxicity in cats so you know what to watch for if your cat accidentally ingests coffee or other caffeinated foods and beverages.

What to Do If Your Cat Drinks Coffee

If your cat accidentally drinks coffee, don’t panic. When you’re in a state of panic, you aren’t going to make wise decisions. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the situation so you can help your cat through the exposure to caffeine.

1. Get Your Cat to a Safe Area

Spills and accidents happen. There’s also the curiosity cats naturally possess. If by chance your cat drinks coffee, the first thing you should do is remove the cat from the area while you clean up any spills or do away with the coffee. Before you dispose of the coffee, try to determine how much your cat may have drunk.

woman holding and stroking a purring cat
Image By: Gadzick, Shutterstock

2. Monitor Your Kitty

One or two licks of coffee are unlikely to cause signs of toxicity, but the effects of drinking coffee can show themselves within 30 minutes of your cat ingesting it and can last for the entire day. During this time, you should monitor your kitty so you know what to tell the veterinarian. Document whether your cat is acting normal, seems agitated or twitchy, or has any signs of diarrhea or vomiting.

3. Call Your Vet

If your cat has had more than just a lick or two of coffee,to be on the safe side call your veterinarian. Like people, cats react differently to things. Your veterinarian will be able to give you more personalized advice and care for your cat due to the specific situation and your cat’s history.

Woman holding mobile phone
Image Credit: Unsplash


Keeping Your Cat Safe

You can still enjoy your daily coffee without worrying about hurting your cat. The key is to be very careful and pay attention to your pet. Here are a few tips on how to keep your cat safe with coffee as part of your life.

  • Don’t leave your cup of coffee unattended around a curious cat
  • Use mugs with a lid
  • Properly dispose of used coffee grounds so your cat cannot eat them
  • Store fresh coffee grounds or beans in a sealed container to keep your cats at bay
  • Clean up any coffee spills quickly as possible to avoid your cat getting access


Final Thoughts

While many kitty cat owners enjoy giving into their pet’s curiosity by allowing them to try food and drinks they show interest in, when it comes to coffee, just say no. Allowing your cat to drink coffee can be dangerous for their health and in some cases in which too much is consumed, this can even result in death. To keep your kitty happy and healthy, avoid sharing your coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks with them. If your kitty accidentally gets into your coffee, whether it’s a fresh cup, used or fresh grounds, or coffee beans, call your veterinarian for advice and immediately begin monitoring the situation.

Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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