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Can Cats Drink Coffee? What You Need to Know!

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

cup of coffee on wooden table

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore, MRCVS (Vet)

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Coffee is a vital part of many people’s days across multiple countries. In fact, coffee is a culture all of its own, meaning you have people drinking different types of coffee at all hours of the day and night. For any cat owner who also drinks coffee, your cat will inevitably have access to an open cup of coffee at some time.

We all know how curious cats can be, and many cats love to drink out of their owner’s cups, so your cat may lap up some of your coffee. But is coffee safe for cats to drink? No, coffee is not safe for cats. Keep reading this article to learn more about why cats should not have coffee.

Can Cats Drink Coffee?

Cats should not drink coffee under any circumstances due to the caffeine content. Even caffeine-free coffee often has small amounts of caffeine present in the product, so cats shouldn’t be allowed to drink any type of coffee.

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Why Can’t Cats Have Caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant chemical that is dangerous to cats and dogs because they tend to be more sensitive to the negative effects of caffeine than humans are. Cats are also much smaller than humans, so a sip or two of coffee can impact a cat very differently from how it might impact a person.

If your cat gets into coffee, the common side effects may include restlessness and hyperactivity, with possible vomiting or diarrhea. An elevated heart rate and blood pressure are also likely to occur, but you may not see the impacts of these unless you’re familiar with checking your cat’s vital signs.

In severe cases, caffeine consumption in cats can lead to seizures and tremors, with collapse and even death. Early veterinary intervention provides your cat with the best chance of survival if they get into a large amount of caffeine. If you’re not sure how much coffee your cat may have consumed, reaching out to your vet or an animal poison control is the safest thing you can do to ensure your cat gets care quickly if needed.

Cat Beside Owner Coffee
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Is Any Amount of Coffee Safe for Cats?

If your cat licks up the last couple of drops of coffee from your empty coffee cup, there’s a low risk of a serious issue. However, there is no safe level of caffeine consumption for your cat. If you believe your cat has consumed any amount of caffeine, you should take your cat to the vet or discuss the consumption with your vet or animal poison control. They will be able to let you know if your cat is at a safe “wait and see” place or if your cat needs immediate veterinary intervention.

Coffee
Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay

Are There Other Drinks that Cats Shouldn’t Have?

Cats do not have a nutritional need for any beverages aside from water. Anything containing caffeine, including coffee, tea, and sodas, should never be given to cats. Sugary drinks, like juices and sodas, are also a big no-no since they can lead to stomach upset and, over time, obesity and diabetes.

There is a myth that cats are big milk drinkers, but milk isn’t an ideal beverage to offer to cats either. Milk can be high in fat and calories, which can lead to digestive problems and weight gain. Most cats also have difficulty properly digesting milk due to its lactose content. There are no beverages that are a good option to give your cat except for water.

In Conclusion

Coffee is a big risk for cats. Thankfully, most cats are unlikely to want to drink coffee due to its strong, bitter flavor. However, some cats may take an interest in it. It’s important that all hazardous drinks and foods are kept out of reach. It’s easy to walk away from your coffee and forget about it, allowing your cat plenty of time to drink it. However, this can lead to detrimental health effects for your cat, including death.

If your cat shows any interest in your coffee, make sure you keep the coffee out of reach or use a cup that has a lid that your cat cannot finagle. That way, you keep your cat safe, and you get to enjoy every drop of delicious coffee for yourself!


Featured Image Credit: VectorCreation, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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