Cats And Coffee: Are There Any Side Effects?
Are cats and coffee compatible? Cat owners who have felines that insist on investigating their freshly brewed cuppa really want to know if cats can drink coffee – or not.
Cats lean towards whatever their owners eat and drink. This can be annoying, especially if your feline companion has his or her own water and food bowl.
So why does your cat insist on drinking your coffee out of your coffee cup?
Simple answer… you are drinking it.
This means that if you are drinking it, then it is good enough for them to drink. That is what your cat thinks.
Generally, if your pet sees you eating or drinking something, they think that it must be safe for them.
Is Coffee Bad For Cats?
The question now is… can cats drink coffee?
The answer is NO.
Cats on coffee is a no-no. They should never be given caffeine to drink.
Coffee is toxic to cats and can make them ill. Coffee contains caffeine that is harmful to cats.
However, other substances in coffee are also bad for your fur babies.
How Much Coffee Is Bad For Cats?
Even a small amount of coffee can harm your feline friend. Therefore cats and coffee should be kept apart.
That is not to say that if your kitty manages to steal a lap or two without you seeing – it is bad. But it is if you encourage them to drink a bowl or cup full.
A cat on caffeine may possibly prove fatal.
Coffee contains two very harmful substances to cats:
Coffee Quantity Effects
Per pound of body mass, drinking approximately 14 milligrams of caffeine may cause agitation and restlessness in your cat.
Intake of between 21 and 27 milligrams per pound may cause cardiotoxicity and possibly death in cats.
Types Of Coffee
When it comes to the type of coffee that was sampled by your kitty – it makes no difference.
Coffee is coffee.
An espresso does have more caffeine per small volume. So that would have the greatest effect on your cat by volume drunk.
Another culprit is a refreshing cold brew. Diluted with milk, icecream or icecubes – this style of coffee is also a no-no.
What Happens If A Cat Drinks Coffee?
A healthy and fit adult cat can lap up a bit of spilled coffee on the floor or counter with little harm to them. A cat who is less healthy, or a kitten drinking coffee, that laps up the same amount could become sick.
Any cat that drinks more than a spoon or two could fall ill and, in extreme cases, die. This is regardless of how healthy your cat is.
A constant amount of coffee can cause cardiac arrest in your cat.
Cats will most likely have a sugar rush. This is fatally dangerous to your pet.
You may add milk, cream, and sugar to your coffee. These mixed together with the caffeine will give your cat that extra hype.
The same hype we crave if we miss our cuppa.
Your cat can collapse if he/she has ingested high amounts of coffee. Also, caffeine impacts your pet’s cardiac health.
Exposure to the nervous system can affect your feline’s behavior too. Caffeine impacts a cat’s arousal and can increase aggression.
Is Caffeine A Poison?
Is coffee toxic to cats and how long will the effects last if it is?
Cats and coffee – even decaf coffee – do not go together.
Caffeine is a poison in a cats’ system. They do not manage it well and there will generally be some kind of repercussions.
Listed below are some symptoms that may occur.
Symptoms Of Caffeine Toxicity
Symptoms can last up to 12 hours.
It is advisable to take your cat to the vet as quickly as possible. Below are symptoms of caffeine toxicity that you should keep an eye out for:
- Racing heart
Treating Caffeine Toxicity
If your cat is showing any of the symptoms mentioned, you must rush him/her to the vet immediately.
One thing you can give your cat to delay the rush of caffeine through his body is activated charcoal.
It will help prevent further absorption into the stomach. This will give you enough time to get to the vet for the proper treatment.
How Will The Vet Treat My Cat?
When you have arrived at your local vet you will be asked a series of questions.
- How long ago did your cat ingest the coffee?
- How much coffee did he drink?
- What symptoms is your cat showing?
And so on.
Your vet will monitor your cat’s vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure and any signs on the nervous system.
Depending on the severity of toxicity your vet will have different treatments.
The most common method is to:
Your vet will start with performing emesis on your cat to relieve the contents in the stomach. If this is successful they will then give your cat some activated charcoal.
This will be left in the stomach after inducing vomiting to prevent further absorption to the stomach.
If this fails, your vet will then perform gastrointestinal decontamination. This is a method used in severe cases.
The method is achieved by gastric lavage using an endotracheal tube to flush the stomach contents out of the stomach.
They will then check the nervous system for any other signs of distress, such as seizures.
Different medications that may be given are:
Can Cats Have Coffee Creamer?
One might be referring to the creamer alone with this question. Or referring to the creamer already in the coffee.
Before we go any further – coffee with creamer is still coffee with caffeine content. So you already know the answer to that.
Creamer mixed with coffee it is still bad for the cat.
For the creamer, there are some variables that we have to consider.
Like people, cats are genetically different. Just as some of us are lactose intolerant, so are cats.
As the feline’s owner, you should know if your pet is lactose intolerant. If your pet is lactose intolerant then you ought not to give it any milk or milk products.
These include coffee creamer.
If your cat is tolerant to lactose then there is nothing more iconic than a bowl of milk in front of it. A splash of milk can greatly improve the health of your kitty.
And coffee creamer is a tastier version of milk. Coffee creamer is much high in sugar and fat than regular milk.
Regular milk is higher in the difficult to digest lactose. But it has less of the nourishing fat of which you will find plenty in coffee creamer.
What Should A Cat Drink?
Since our cats can eat what we eat, I am sure by now you are wondering what you should consider giving your cat to drink.
An older cat cannot digest lactose as easily at a mature age with a few being lactose tolerant. As caffeine is a stay away from poison, you should be aware of what your cat has to drink.
Every organism needs fluids to stay hydrated and keep cool. Especially in hot climatic regions.
Cats are no different. They are very much in need of hydration as much as they need food.
The best thing you can give your cat to keep it hydrated without any worries – is water.
But we know our best friends have feelings, as much as we do, and it is not fair to only give them water to drink. We like to add variety and make their lives with us as pleasant as possible.
When kittens are young they consume their mother’s milk until they are weaned. But they continue to be fond of milk even when mature.
However, too much lactose is bad for them. So now the question is, what do you do to counter that craving for milk?
You can use healthier substitutes low in lactose like soy milk and rice milk. These are still not the best for your cat but they are better than raw milk.
Cats love milk because it is high in fat. For this reason, they consume it even if it causes diarrhea.
The best milk you can give your kitty is the cat milk you find at your pet store.
This cat milk is highly nutritious. One should be sure not to give it to the kitty daily as it can cause obesity.
Some cats just will not take enough fluids. This is very dangerous as it can lead to dehydration.
In cases where your kitty refuses to drink water, boil chicken breast without salt or oil and give them that stock. Most like this liquid.
You can also try this method with fish or beef but remember not to add any oil or salt.
If your cat gets dehydrated and take it to the vet, they will give you oral rehydration fluids. These usually have meaty flavors.
Another way to get your cat to drink water is to create a water fountain. This is more fun to drink from than a bowl.
If your cat insists on drinking from the same cup as you, always have a glass of Apple juice. Apple juice is not as toxic to cats as citrus juice, but you ought not to let your kitty have too much of it.
Dangers Of Other Drinks On Cats
Some of the drinks we take as humans can cause illnesses in cats. These range from mild to severe and maybe even death.
The disturbances some drinks can cause include:
- loss of appetite
Be sure to keep your kitty away from your glass that contains alcohol. Some might have let their kitties have a taste – but it is strongly advised against.
The effects depend on how much the cat has had to drink and how much it had in its stomach when it ingested the alcohol.
The symptoms you will see after your kitty has ingested alcohol include:
- increased urinating
- suppressed reflexes
- slower heartbeat
In medical circles, they call the effects of alcohol on a cat – ‘ethanol toxicities’. Which simply means ethanol poisoning.
So yes, alcohol is a poison to cats.
Alcohol suppresses the nervous system just as it does to humans. But the level at which it suppresses in cats is higher.
Effects of alcohol in cats include:
- kidney failure
- liver failure
- metabolic acidosis
- respiratory complications
- cardiac arrest
- loss of consciousness
If your cat has ingested any alcohol you should rehydrate it as soon as you can. It is also advisable to take it to the vet for further examination.
Tea is also dangerous. So do not think tea can be a substitute for coffee.
When a cat drinks tea, they are also ingesting caffeine.
Can cats drink soda?
Energy drinks are also not good for the kitties. They have high levels of caffeine which is the most harmful substance to cats.
Any drinks that contain the substance xylitol are also a no go area.
Orange juice is another substance to stay away from. Though it seems very harmless you should keep orange juice away from cats.
Along with all other citrus drinks.
Common And Not-So-Common Sources Of Caffeine
Caffeine is an alkaloid that is very dangerous to a lot of pets. Not only on cats.
You have to keep a sharp eye out for caffeine as it occurs in about 60% of all the plant species on mother earth.
You already know that coffee, tea and sodas are sources of caffeine but other products also contain caffeine that you may not be aware of.
Chocolate contains caffeine. Ice-cream also contains it and even non-chocolate ice-cream has caffeine.
If you use a lot of pharmaceutical products like weight loss tablets and pain relievers. These all contain caffeine.
Other surprising sources of caffeine are breath fresheners and jolt gum. These contain more caffeine than you would think.
Oatmeal also contains caffeine. So if you were giving it to your kitty, you have to stop doing so before it has serious implications.
List Of Common House Hold Food/Items Bad For Cats
More often than not you find yourself giving your kitty scraps from your dinner table. This is very common as these cats like eating what we eat.
But you should also be aware that some of the foods we consume are harmful to kitties.
Everything from the onion family, that is onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions, is harmful to cats. They can be consumed in trace amounts but will cause serious implications in large amounts.
These foods damage the red blood cells of kitties and are the main cause of anemia. You will notice the effects after a while.
- pale gums
- reduced appetite
- dark urine
If you notice any of these take your cat to the vet.
Some people think it is ok for cats to consume raw meat and eggs but this is a harmful practice that should be put to an end.
Raw eggs and meat cause salmonella or E. coli poisoning in cats. The danger is that once your cat develops these diseases it can transmit them to you.
Symptoms Of These Diseases Include:
If you bake a lot be sure to keep your cat away while you do so. The raw dough which you might leave lying around can cause expansions in the stomach or even create alcohol.
The dough is not the only harmful substance in your baking.
If you use raisins, be sure to keep them very far from your cat. These can cause serious implications like kidney failure.
Grapes can also cause kidney failure and should not find their way into your cat’s tummy.
If you own a dog, do not feed your cat the dog food.
The nutrients vital to cats and dogs are very different. Feeding your cat dog food can make it malnourished.
Can Cats And Coffee Be Safely Mixed?
Coffee and cats do not do well together. Cats drinking coffee is not advised,
The best practice is total prevention if possible.
Do not let your loving pet drink coffee – it will save them a lot of discomfort.
There is no such thing as coffee for cats. Even decaf coffee has traces of caffeine.
The health of your cat depends on the type of food and drink you provide. Keeping poisonous and hazardous foods out of its tummy while giving it the correct highly nutritious foods will encourage good health.
The best way to protect your felines is to store all harmful foods out of their reach.
This includes coffee [and do not feed them table scraps].
If you notice any anomalies visit the vet as soon as you can.