HomeCatsCat DietCan Cats Drink Tea? Do They Like It?

Can Cats Drink Tea? Do They Like It?

If you are a tea lover, you may be wondering if you can share some of your favorite beverage with your beloved feline. However, since you are aware of the fact that some types of tea have a lot of caffeine, you may be unsure if this is the best drink for your cat. 

Let’s explore if you can invite your kitty to a tea party, or if they will just have to keep drinking their water. 

Can Cats Drink Tea?

As a general rule, cats shouldn’t drink tea. If the tea contains caffeine, it can lead to serious health problems. Even teas that have no caffeine can contain other ingredients that can prove potentially harmful to your cat.

Cats are highly susceptible to caffeine poisoning, which can lead to an upset stomach, heart palpitations, or even seizures and in extreme cases death. Since a lot of teas are high in caffeine, they need to be kept well away from your cat. 

On the other hand, some herbal teas are perfectly safe for cats, and they can even prove beneficial. Vets often cite chamomile, valerian, catnip and dandelion root tea as a good choice for cats. 

When you give your cat any of these teas for the first time, make sure you only give them a couple of sips and monitor their behavior. If they seem off in any way, forgo giving them tea again. 

Can Kittens Have Tea?

Kittens shouldn’t have tea, as they are even more susceptible to caffeine poisoning than adult cats. The other potentially harmful ingredients in tea will also harm kittens more.

Kittens’ digestive systems are very sensitive, so they really shouldn’t be having anything other than their mother’s milk (or kitten formula) until they are about 4-6 weeks old. You can give them water, but any other kind of beverage, including tea, is definitely not recommended. 

The caffeine and other hazardous ingredients, depending on the kind of tea the kitten would potentially drink, will act much faster and can cause much more serious damage to a kitten’s tiny stomach than they can to an adult’s more developed digestive system. 

Can Cats Eat Tea Leaves?

No, cats shouldn’t eat tea leaves, as they can be high in harmful substances. If your cat eats a tiny amount by accident, they should be fine, but make sure to keep them away from the tea leaves when brewing yourself a cup.

Cats can experience vomiting and diarrhea after eating tea leaves. They will probably be fine though, so don’t worry too much if you catch your cat with its nose in your tea. They aren’t all that likely to eat it anyway, unless it’s valerian root, which is okay for cats in modest amounts. 

Is Tea Toxic To Cats?

Teas with caffeine can be toxic to cats. Some teas that don’t contain caffeine can also be potentially harmful, so unless you discover that a tea is explicitly okay for cats, consider it potentially toxic. 

A small amount of caffeinated tea will likely do no harm to your cat. Drinking it in larger amounts will however lead to a case of poisoning. 

Vomiting and restlessness can be accompanied by heart palpitations and diarrhea, but there can also be muscle spasms and twitching. Your cat can, in extreme instances, also slip into a coma. 

Cats that are ill, old or very small are more susceptible to caffeine poisoning and may exhibit stronger symptoms. 

Why Is Tea Bad For Cats?

The main issue with tea is that it contains caffeine, a stimulant that can lead to increased heart rate, restlessness, digestive issues, tremors and even seizures. Tea can also contain other harmful substances, like flavorings and essential oils. 

A small amount of tea is not likely to cause any issues. However, drinking excessive amounts of tea will make your cat sick. While it should not have any long-term negative effects on their health, unless they have had to be treated by a vet for caffeine-induced coma or seizures, they will still have a fairly hard time in the short term. 

Some teas can also contain artificial sweeteners or flavorings, as well as citrus extract that can all be harmful to your feline. 

What Are the Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Cats?

The symptoms of caffeine poisoning in cats include:

  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Vocalization
  • Excessive fright 
  • Aggression 
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathlessness or rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If you know your cat has had the opportunity to drink tea and you notice any of these symptoms, take them to their vet to make sure they will be alright. 

What Should I Do If My Cat Drinks Tea?

If you notice your cat has drunk some tea, try to determine how much they’ve had. If they appear out of sorts, call your vet or take them in for a checkup.

Your cat may be just fine, so if they aren’t showing any of the above symptoms of caffeine toxicity, and are behaving like their usual selves, you most likely have nothing to worry about. 

If you do notice they are jumpier than usual or that their stomach is upset, a visit to the vet can alleviate your fears and make sure your friend is completely fine. 

Can Cats Drink Herbal Tea?

Cats can drink some kinds of herbal tea. This includes chamomile, calendula, echinacea, valerian, dandelion and licorice root. 

If you want to try giving your cat herbal tea, brew it for half the time indicated on the packaging and in half as much again more water. Make sure it completely cools down before you give it to them. 

Herbal teas have an anti-inflammatory effect and can boost your cat’s immune system, so if they like it, you can serve it to them on occasion. 

Which Herbal Tea Can Cats Drink?

Cats can drink chamomile, calendula, echinacea, valerian, dandelion and licorice root teas, at room temperatures and diluted in extra water. 

Chamomile tea is a great antioxidant, and it also helps with sleep and anxiety. You can give it to your cat if you want to calm them down. 

Catnip tea is also a good choice, if you are in favor of giving this herb to cats. It will also help your cat calm down, but note that your cat may appear sluggish if they consume too much catnip.

Licorice root tea is great for allergies and skin problems, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure you don’t serve it to cats with high blood pressure though, as it can make it worse.

Valerian root tea promotes peaceful sleep in humans, but has quite the opposite effect on cats. It’s a powerful stimulant, so you want to make sure your cat only drinks moderate amounts of this tea. 

How Do I Make Tea For My Cat?

Brew the tea for half the time that is recommended for humans, and in half as much again water. Make sure it is completely cool before serving it to your cat.

Pour the tea into a bowl and leave it next to your cat’s water bowl. They can enjoy it even when it’s completely cold. 

Before you give any tea for your cat, make sure it’s completely cool, and that it does not contain any ingredients that are toxic to cats. 

Can Cats Drink Tea With Milk?

Cats shouldn’t drink tea with milk, as they are lactose intolerant. You can serve them herb tea without milk though.

Cats can drink lactose-free milk, and they can also drink oat milk, so you can add a bit of that to their tea if you want to, but there really is no need. While the herbs in the tea will be good for them, there is absolutely nothing beneficial about any kind of milk for cats.

Can Cats Drink Sweet Tea?

Cats can’t drink sweet tea, as sugar, even in small amounts, is very bad for them. They can develop heart issues and become obese if they eat too much sugar.

Excessive sugar consumption is the gateway to weight gain and obesity, as well as blood pressure issues and heart trouble. Even the smallest amounts, on a regular basis, can harm your cat, so definitely don’t give your cat sweet tea. 

Artificial sweeteners are just as bad, so don’t add them to your cat’s tea either. While they may not cause obesity, they can contain flavor enhancers that can be toxic to your cat. 

Can Cats Have Green Tea?

While green tea has a lot less caffeine than black tea, your cat still shouldn’t be drinking it. You can give them decaffeinated green tea. 

Only give your cat caffeine-free green tea. It’s a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, so as long as you make sure it’s decaf, it will be a great choice for your cat. The small amounts of caffeine in regular green tea can be harmful to cats who are particularly susceptible to its effects.

Can Cats Drink Black Tea?

Cats can’t drink black tea, as it is high in caffeine that is toxic to your cat. Not even diluted black tea is a good option.

Don’t give your cat any black tea, as it can lead to caffeine toxicity. 

Can Cats Drink Iced Tea?

Cats can’t drink iced tea, as it has caffeine and probably quite a lot of sugar too. If you want to give your cat tea, brew your own and cool it down.

Ice tea is bad for your cat, as it is often made from black or caffeinated green tea, with the addition of different flavors. Since it also comes with a lot of added sugar, it is not a good beverage for your cat. 

Can Cats Drink Peppermint Tea?

Cats can in theory drink highly diluted peppermint tea, but it can also upset their stomach, so it may not be the best choice.

Peppermint tea is a semi-safe option for cats, but make sure you brew it in a lot of extra water, and monitor how your cat reacts to it. 

Can Cats Drink Earl Gray Tea?

Cats can’t drink Earl Gray tea as it is a combination of black tea that is high in caffeine, and bergamot oil, which is also bad for cats.

Earl Gray is probably the worst kind of tea you can give to your cat, so definitely don’t share your morning cup if that’s your preferred beverage. 

Can Cats Drink Decaf Tea?

Cats can in theory drink decaf tea, as long as it does not contain any other ingredients that can be harmful to them. Just because a tea is decaf does not automatically mean it’s safe for your cat.

Caffeine may be the worst offender in tea, but it’s not the only one. Before you offer your cat a cup (or bowl) of any tea, make sure you carefully check the list of ingredients and research their effect on your pet. 

Can Cats Drink Ginger Tea?

Cats can drink ginger tea as long as it is decaffeinated. Caffeinated ginger tea is not a good option. Note that ginger tea can also cause stomach upsets, so only give your cat very small amounts.

Ginger tea is great for calming your cat, and it can also treat stomach-related issues. Ironically, it can also cause them when consumed in larger amounts, so give your cat ginger tea in moderate doses and monitor how they are feeling. 

Wrapping It Up 

Cats can have modest amounts of tea, as long as it’s decaf and does not contain any other harmful ingredients. Make sure to check the label before you bref your kitty a cup of the good stuff. 

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