Can Cats Drink Tea? Is It Safe or Toxic?

Can Cats drink Tea

We have been consuming tea for many years, and is often used as the medical purpose, for example, to cure sore throat, upset stomach and weight lose.

While cats aren’t attracted to tea, some cats might show interest in drinking tea if it has a strong aroma.

So, can cats drink tea?

In short, tea isn’t recommended for cats to drink as it contains caffeine, tannin, catechin, theanine, added flavors, and taste enhancers.

However, some herbal tea is fine for your cats, but if it contains caffeine, you should strictly avoid it as it can cause mild to severe health issues.

Related: Can Cats Drink Apple Juice

Now, here are some things that you might need to know if your cat is interested in tea!

Can Cats Drink Tea?

No!

Not one, but many of the compound in tea is considered toxic for cats. Cats are more sensitive to caffeine than us.

Intake of unused tea bags, beans, or liquor can cause serious toxicity to your felines.

However, once or twice, licks of tea might not cause severe poisoning to your felines, but it can cause vomiting, nausea, and stress.

So, suppose your cat happens to drink tea by accident or curiosity. In that case, you should strictly observe their behavior for about 12 to 24 hours and if any of the above sign is seen, immediately contact your vet.

Is Tea Poisonous To Cats?

Certainly, it is!

Tea contains caffeine that is extremely harmful to felines, and it is so poisonous that it can take your feline’s life.

But it depends on the quality; suppose your cat just licked few drops, then it won’t affect much, but ingesting a large amount of liquored tea or tea bag is an intense amount of caffeine, and your cat is at risk.

Is Tea Poisonous To Cats

So, if you suspect that your cat has ingested caffeine in any form, liquor tea, tea bag, or even coffee, you should look for caffeine poisoning symptoms.

According to PetPoisonHelpline, caffeine poisoning symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Hypertension
  • Abnormal body temperature
  • And Collapse

Cats are far more sensitive to caffeine compared to us. It affects the GI tract causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Additionally, caffeine in tea raises blood pressure, increases heart rate causing hyperactivity and restlessness.

Thus, to be safe and healthy, keep your felines far away from caffeine as there are no exact numbers that show “how much caffeine is too much.”

Can Cats Drink Herbal Tea?

Herbal teas are different and often considered less toxic for felines. But still, experts don’t recommend felines to drink any type of tea.

While herbal tea is unbelievably beneficial, many of them can be extremely toxic to your felines.

Though some diluted herbal teas are considered acceptable for a feline to drink, some of them can provide stress relief and other health benefits.

A few herbal teas that might work for your felines include chamomile tea, mint tea, peppermint tea, ginger tea, and more.

Chamomile Tea – While chamomile has a wide range of species, most of them are safe for your cats to consume. It is rich in antioxidants which help in treating anxiety, inflammation, and irritation of the skin.

And it’s widely used as a mild sleeping aid and treating insomnia in hyperactive pets, including cats facing sleeping issues.

Mint tea – In a small amount, a few ingredients in tea that might work well for your cats are peppermint, spearmint, followed mint tea.

However, some species of mint, including pennyroyal, can cause lethal damage to the felines, including liver failure, intestine, and bowel diseases. And ingesting mint will likely complicate the existing ones.

Ginger tea – Ginger tea (decaffeinated) is relatively safe for felines, and we often use it to treat vomiting, cold, nausea, and other stomach-related problems. 

In a small amount, cats can withstand ginger, but it does have some side effects such as diarrhea, stomach pain, heartburn, itchiness, and hives.

So, instead of ginger tea, you should boil ginger in hot water, remove the leftover ginger and give this water to your felines for the highest benefits and no side effects.

While some form of herbal tea is considered safe, it’s best to avoid or at least try to keep it in moderation.

And, make sure you take advice from your vet before introducing anything new or making any significant changes to your feline’s diet.

My Cat Ate a Tea Bag, What Should I Do?

The foremost thing you should do is call a vet right away. Tea contains caffeine, which is lethal for cats. If your cat has consumed a fair amount of tea in any form, such as liquid tea, tea bag, or coffee, you should call your vet meanwhile watch for the symptoms of caffeine poisoning.

My Cat Ate a Tea Bag, What Should I Do

Usually, the symptom appears within 30 to 60 minutes of consumption, and the signs you should look for are:

  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal Blood Pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Panting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

A tea bag has the potential to choke, or it can get blocked in the stomach of your felines rather than passing through it, which requires immediate medical attention.

Thus, for this reason, it is best to contact your vet as soon as possible; otherwise, you may end up losing your felines friend (sadly).

Can Cats Drink Tea with Milk?

Obviously no!

The tea itself is toxic, and if you add milk, it becomes poisonous for felines. The digestive systems of a kitty are far more sensitive compared to us, which means the caffeine in beverages like tea, coffee, or tea bag is likely to react faster (usually, within 30 to 60 minutes).

Now, you should be aware of the fact that cats are lactose intolerance which means their digestive system cannot process milk as they lose the lactase enzyme while growing. Undigested milk can cause gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Some cats can still digest a small amount of milk even after fully grown, so exceptions are always there.

Besides, the fat in milk is not suitable for felines; it can lead your cat to obesity and other health-related problems. 

And if your cat has a diabetic history, strictly stay away from sweet, fat, and other related foods.

Can Cats Have Green Tea?

Yes!

Decaffeinated tea is absolutely fine for felines. In fact, green tea contains several natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties such as polyphenols.

These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols help your feline in many ways, and some of them are:

  • Promotes dental and muscle health
  • Prevent the cells from damage
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Lowers the chances of cardiovascular disease
  • Promotes gut health
  • Keep blood pressure balanced

Green tea is considered safe for felines but should be in small quantities and if possible, use the decaffeinated version of it.

However, if you have any doubt, you can always consult with a professional veterinarian and take their advice.

Can Cats Drink Iced Tea?

No, cats shouldn’t drink iced tea!

Tea contains caffeine which is harmful, and ice isn’t good for felines either. So, if your cats are jumping on your iced tea, then there are chances that they are attracted to the ice cubes.

Can Cats Drink Iced Tea

Another thing is that your felines could be thirsty and want something to drink, but as you know, cats don’t like to drink plain water, it’s best to serve them wet food to prevent dehydration.

Now, ice-cubes can cause brain freeze, so; I don’t recommend feeding ice-tea to your felines. You might have seen videos on social media platforms of cats eating ice cream and acting weird but trust me; it hurts them.

And Brain freeze isn’t a joke or funny things to laugh at; it involves blood vessels and nerves causing your kitty a killer headache and, in the long term, can cause serious damage to your feline friend.

Thus, it would be best if you did not let your cat drink ice tea (not even a decaffeinated one) as the ice cube isn’t suitable for felines.

Can Kittens Have Tea?

No, kittens shouldn’t drink tea. Kittens have far more sensitive and small stomachs; anything except mother’s milk isn’t recommended unless your feline is above four to six weeks old.

Additionally, tea contains harmful chemicals like caffeine, catechin, added flavors, and sometimes milk. Whereas, occasional lick-up from the leftover teacup is fine (depending on the quantity), but you shouldn’t intentionally offer tea to your felines.

Caffeine in tea is poisonous for cats, and it can lead to serious health problems such as hyperactivity, panting, vomiting, tremors, restlessness, and seizures. 

Thus, to keep your felines safe, remove everything containing caffeine, coffee beans, tea bags, and chocolates.

Final Thought!

Depending on the tea, they sometimes can have diluted ones, but usually, tea isn’t great for felines. 

If your fluffy consumes tea without your consent, it could be extremely harmful to them as it contains caffeine which is toxic for cats.

The toxicity of caffeine can cause mild to severe health issues such as vomiting, tremors, extreme body temperature, seizures, and even death.

So, if you see any of the above signs in your felines after he/she has drunk tea or coffee, you should right away look for medical help without further delay.

Thus, I highly recommend calling your vet and informing him/her that you are going to serve tea or coffee to your felines and ask for their advice and then decide what you should do.

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