Can Cats Drink Coffee? What You Need to Know!

Last Updated on: October 27, 2020

If you’ve got a curious cat, you’ve probably seen them stick their heads into a glass or mug that’s been left on the counter, to see if the contents are worth investigating.

If that cup contains coffee, should you be worried? Can cats even drink coffee, and if they happen to drink some by accident, is it safe for them?

The short answer is no. Coffee can be very dangerous for cats to drink. While a couple of drops might not do them too much harm, you should still try to make sure your cat can’t ingest any coffee dregs.

Used and unused coffee grounds, as well as coffee beans, are all potentially dangerous for your cat.

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Coffee Ingredients

It’s probably no surprise that it’s the caffeine in coffee that can cause problems for your cat. Felines are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and their smaller size also means that they could be affected by a smaller quantity of coffee than you might expect.

Caffeine is listed on the Pet Poison Helpline as a moderate to severe toxin.

Coffee also contains theobromine, the same chemical compound that makes chocolate poisonous to both dogs and cats.

You might also add creamer, sugar, sweeteners, chocolate, or other flavorings to your coffee. None of these are good for your cat to drink!

cat with coffee on the background
Image Credit: David-Karich, Pixabay

Symptoms of coffee poisoning in cats

If you think that your cat may have ingested a large amount of coffee, these are the symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Collapse

If you think that your cat has accidentally drunk some coffee or eaten some grounds, it’s best to speak to your vet immediately rather than wait for any of the above symptoms to appear. Your vet may want to bring your cat in for monitoring.

Other products containing caffeine

It’s not just coffee that can cause these dangers in cats. Many other products contain caffeine, and you should be equally vigilant to make sure that your cat doesn’t have access to these either. They include:

  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Energy drinks
  • Weight-loss pills
  • Workout supplements
  • Certain dietary supplements
  • Guarana extract

What about decaffeinated coffee?

Some of us humans are sensitive to the effects of caffeine as well, so you may choose to drink decaffeinated coffee instead.

It still seems as though this has the potential to be just as dangerous for cats, so the same rules apply for regular coffee. Keep it away from your feline friends!

Treatment

If your cat is suffering from toxicity due to eating or drinking coffee, the treatment they receive will vary depending on the severity of their symptoms.

Treatments can include the administration of activated charcoal, intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration, an anti-convulsant, blood pressure medication, and more.

cat coffee
Image Credit: sharonang, Pixabay

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Wrapping it up

Coffee is not safe for cats. While a few drops of spilled coffee may not harm your cat, that depends on your cat’s metabolism and size, as well as the strength of the coffee.

If you think that your cat has either drank some coffee or eaten the grounds, call your vet and ask for their advice.

If you spill any product containing coffee at home, clear it up as soon as possible. Never leave caffeinated drinks unattended where your cat could access them. Keep any coffee products in a secure container out of your cat’s reach.

Coffee might make some of us feel more ready to face the day, but it’s definitely not going to have the same effect on your cat!


Featured Image: quinntheislander, Pixabay