Can Cats Drink Coffee? What You Need To Know About Caffeine


by Cindy Smith


Seeing your cat’s curiosity in play can have you asking yourself, “can cats drink coffee?” Usually, cats are good judges of what to put in their mouths. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with caffeinated drinks and your pet. 

The short answer is NO! No matter how cute it may seem, caffeine is toxic and dangerous to cats. So it’s best to keep your cat away from coffee. This article will explain why cats can’t have coffee and what you need to know about caffeine intoxication in felines.

Table of Contents

Why Is My Cat Attracted To Coffee?

cat examining empty coffee cup

(cat examining empty coffee cup)

Cats have a robust sense of smell that allows them to detect the aroma of food and drinks. As a result, your pet becomes naturally drawn to the smell of coffee beans.

Unfortunately, they may become curious enough to want to take a sip. 

Coffee can also contain other food items, like milk or sugar, that cats usually find appealing. You may be one of the lucky cat parents whose cat isn’t interested in coffee. However, educating yourself on caffeine’s risks is still essential.   

Can Cats Drink Coffee Products?

Now that we’ve established that cats shouldn’t have coffee let’s cover other parts of coffee to avoid.

Decaf Coffee

Cats shouldn’t have decaf coffee, as the caffeine is still in small amounts. Even decaffeinated coffee beans contain a few milligrams of the stimulant, so it’s best to avoid giving your cat any.

Always remember that any drink with a caffeine-free label still has trace amounts of caffeine. It is unsuitable for cats. 

Coffee Creamer

There are many reasons your kitty should stay away from coffee creamer. The first reason is that it contains a variety of additives and processed ingredients that cats should not consume.

Secondly, the creamer can contain dairy that can cause an upset stomach and digestive issues in cats. 

Coffee With Milk

Cats experience lactose intolerance, just like humans. It means the cat’s digestive tract cannot process the lactose in dairy products. As a result, cats should not be given coffee with milk as it can cause gastrointestinal distress. 

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks drinks like Frappuccinos and lattes contain various ingredients cats shouldn’t have. These include dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and even food coloring.

These ingredients can harm your cat’s health if ingested in large amounts. 

Even the famous pup cups (small cups of whip cream) have artificial sweeteners and dairy, making them unsuitable for cats.

Coffee Grounds

Eating coffee grounds can still be dangerous even if your cat doesn’t drink the coffee. Coffee grounds have a concentrated source of caffeine.

Cats should not be allowed to lick or chew on coffee grounds. They can cause caffeine intoxication and other health complications. 

Is Coffee Toxic to Cats?

a cat about to notice a cup of coffee is next to him

(a cat about to notice a cup of coffee is next to him)

The reason coffee is toxic to cats is that it contains caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause many health problems in cats if consumed in large amounts.

It also contains theobromine, another toxic stimulant, which can be harmful in large quantities. Let’s get a better idea of how much coffee it takes to the onset of unwanted symptoms.

How Much Coffee Is Poisonous To Cats

So many forms of coffee exist that tracking how much caffeine your cat consumes can be challenging. A cup of espresso, for example, contains more caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee. 

That means a cat could consume small amounts of espresso and still experience the same symptoms. It only takes between 36 and 68 mg per pound of body weight for a cat to experience symptoms.

Ensure to keep an eye on how much your cat consumes.

The Symptoms

If your cat has ingested too much caffeine, it will exhibit a range of physical and behavioral symptoms, including:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death (in severe cases)

What Do You Do If Your Cat Drinks Coffee?

whip cream with cat face

(whip cream with cat face)

If you suspect or catch your cat drinking coffee, contact your veterinarian immediately and let them know the situation. Your vet might recommend inducing vomiting or other treatments depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Another option is the pet poison control helplines. They offer 24-hour support and advice on what to do during accidental poisoning.

In the meantime, monitor your cat closely and try to keep them calm. Caffeine intoxication can be a serious condition if left untreated, so it’s important to stay vigilant until you get help.

Make a note of when your cat drank coffee. Also, note their symptoms to give your vet a detailed report.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Drinking Coffee

The best way to prevent your cat from drinking coffee is to ensure proper substance storage. It includes countertops and tables, as cats love to explore new things and jump on top of them.

It’s also a great idea to keep your coffee machine in an area where your cat can’t access it. 

Use coffee mugs with tops. If you use a coffee maker that requires pods or capsules, store them in an area your cat can’t reach.

So, Can Cats Have Coffee?

cat laying beside uncovered coffee mug

(cat laying beside uncovered coffee mug)

Cats own the world of curiosity. So a warm steaming cup of coffee can be too tempting for a curious cat. So, no matter how much your cat wants to try coffee, it’s best to keep it away from their reach.

Coffee for cats is not recommended and can be toxic. So, it is best to avoid letting your cat drink coffee. Your cat will thank you even if it puts up a fight at first.