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Can Cats Drink Tea? Yes, But Only Certain Kinds [Update]

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If you are a cat owner with a feline who wants to eat everything you are eating, you likely want to know which foods and drinks are safe for your cat to try.

Whenever you settle in with a nice cup of tea, your cat may act like they would prefer a tea party.

So, can cats drink tea?

The answer is more complicated than you may expect.

Certain types of tea are perfectly fine for your cat.

However, there are also tea varieties, including ones that contain caffeine, that can be harmful.

Read on to learn about which teas your cat can drink and which teas your cat should avoid.

Can Cats Drink Tea?

Since there are countless varieties of teas around the world and they have several different ingredients, you should know that the answer to this question depends.

Some varieties of tea, such as chamomile tea, are perfectly safe for cats, while others can be extremely harmful.

It is important to only give the cat tea you know contains safe ingredients.

Can Cats Drink Black Tea?

Black tea is a type that cats can not have.

The reason to avoid giving your cat black tea is that it contains caffeine.

Cats are very sensitive to caffeine, and it can increase their heart rate.

While a few sips of tea will likely not harm your cat, too much can cause fatal harm.

Can Cats Drink Herbal Tea?

Again, it depends on the exact ingredients present in the tea.

Several herbal teas, such as chamomile tea, are not harmful to cats, but there are a few herbal ingredients that you should still avoid.

Any essential oils in the tea can also be harmful to cats.

Certain ingredients can also harm cats taking specific medications.

Can Cats Drink Tea With Milk?

No matter what type of tea your cat may enjoy, it is best that you always give it to them without milk.

Even though cats drinking milk out of saucers is a popular sight in pop culture, cats are lactose intolerant.

As a result, cats may get an upset stomach after consuming milk.

You should also avoid adding sweetening agents, such as sugar or honey, to your cat’s tea.

Why Is Tea Bad for Cats?

The reason some types of tea are bad for cats depends on the exact ingredients of the tea.

Caffeine is the most common culprit in tea that can harm cats.

However, the overly hot liquid can also cause harm, and certain ingredients in tea may hurt cats.

What Ingredients Can Cats Not Drink?

Teas often contain a mix of different ingredients that are dried and mixed.

Since there can be so many ingredients in teas, you must know which ingredients are safe or dangerous before giving them to your cats.

There are several ingredients that cats should not consume.

These items include caffeine, cherries, grapes, citrus, mint, and some essential oils and flavors.

If your tea contains these ingredients, keep it away from your cats.

So, avoid any black teas with caffeine, citrus teas, and any other teas containing other harmful ingredients.

Avoid Earl Grey, English breakfast, or any teas that contain coffee beans.

While most varieties of mint tea are harmful to cats, you can make catmint tea, which is a variety of mint that is not harmful to cats.

Related: Can my dog drink coffee?

What Ingredients Can Cats Drink?

Even though you can not give your cat teas with the ingredients described above, there are still plenty of options if you want to invite your cat to a tea party.

Chamomile tea, catnip tea, catmint tea, valerian root tea, cistus tea, and licorice tea are all great options for your cat.

When it comes to green tea, you should be careful since this tea contains caffeine.

However, a small amount of diluted Japanese green tea can be okay for your cat.

You can also recreate green tea without the tea itself. Instead, make catnip tea or some other green herbal tea.

There are also quite a few ingredients that you can add to your tea.

Try cat-safe fruits such as berries and peeled apples.

If you want to ensure that you know the ingredients in your tea, try making it at home with plants from your garden.

What Are the Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning In Cats?

If your cat drinks some of your caffeinated tea, you should look out for signs of caffeine poisoning or caffeine toxicity in your cat within an hour.

These signs will likely only appear if your cat drinks a lot of the tea.

However, keep an eye out for signs either way.

A cat with caffeine poisoning may seem restless and may have a rapid heartbeat.

Some obvious signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing problems.

Severe symptoms of caffeine poisoning include tremors, seizures, and coma.

To avoid the more severe signs, take your cat to the vet as soon as you see any concerning signs.

What Should You Do if Your Cat Ingests Tea?

Whether or not your cat consumes tea you know to be caffeinated, you should always follow a few steps to make sure your cat is safe.

The first thing you should do is check the ingredients in the tea and see if there are any harmful ingredients.

If nothing looks worrisome in the tea, everything is likely fine.

However, if the ingredients are bad for cats or you are not sure what the ingredients are, you should call your vet immediately.

You can also call a pet poison helpline.

Keep an eye on your cat for any concerning signs, such as vomiting, restlessness, fatigue, and breathing problems.

They may instruct you to bring your cats in for assessment, and they may be able to answer any of your questions about unknown ingredients.

Do Cats Like Tea?

So, now that you know more about what is good and bad for cats in terms of tea, you probably want to know if cats even like tea in the first place.

If you are familiar with cats, you know that the answer to this question will differ depending on each cat.

As with any food item, some cats may enjoy some tea, while others will not give it a second look.

The best way to find out if your cat likes tea is to give it to them and see what they think.

Since most cats enjoy catnip, it is a good idea to entice your cat with catnip tea.

When you give them tea, make sure that you follow all the safety guidelines outlined in this article.

How To Give Tea to Your Cat

Before you give your cat tea, you must first determine what kind of tea you give them.

You can research different brands of storebought teas, or you can try making your own.

image showing a cat laying in the background with an owner giving the cat tea in the foreground

As you determine the ingredients you want to use, you should do plenty of research and talk to your vet about any ingredients they recommend.

A kitty cat tea party should also only be a special occasion.

If you use storebought tea, you should dilute the tea when you give it to your cat.

You can also simply not steep the herbal tea for as long as you would as if you were making it for yourself.

Make sure you remove the tea bag or tea infuser before giving it to your cat.

It is also a good idea to ensure that the tea is cool rather than hot.

If your cat is impatient to drink the tea, try adding an ice cube to cool it down faster.

Your cat may enjoy their very own iced tea.

When presenting the tea to your cat, pour it into a shallow bowl or saucer.

Place the saucer in a place that is comfortable for your cat to access, such as the area in which you usually feed them.

Your cat may not immediately be interested in the tea.

So, be patient as they consider drinking.

If your cat is not interested in the tea, that is fine.

However, you can try to make it more enticing by adding flavoring agents such as fish, or some of their favorite food.

You can also add a bit of tea to your cat’s food to acclimate them to the flavor.

Final Thoughts

So the next time your furry friend expresses interest in your morning cup, you now have the information to know if you should give them a sip, or if you should keep them away from it.

Stay away from caffeine and mint, and stick to safe herbal ingredients.

Let us know if you have any questions, and let us know if your cat loves tea.

Certain teas are safe for cats to consume, while others can be harmful to their health.

By understanding the difference, you can provide your cat with enjoyment and enrichment.

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