Pet owners have never-ending questions about what their cats can or can’t eat. One of those questions is this: can cats drink tea? The answer is yes, but you always have to practice moderation to prevent any potential side effects. A small amount per day won’t hurt. Make sure that your cat’s main source of hydration is still filtered water.
Is green tea toxic to cats?
Green tea is usually safe for cats in small amounts. To give you an idea, it takes five cups for your cat to experience poisoning. Even I won’t drink that much tea in a day.
Warm tea is a comforting drink for your cat during winter. However, there’s one substance that you have to watch out for: caffeine. Each cup of tea contains 70 mg of caffeine. This amount isn’t enough to poison a cat. It will take about 20 mg per pound for caffeine to cause severe illnesses to pets.
Sure thing, tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee does. However, caffeine isn’t ideal for cats. A small amount of caffeine may not cause adverse reactions, but you shouldn’t take chances either.
Cats that ingested caffeine will be hyperactive. Meanwhile, those with sensitivity to it may experience vomiting, stress, and other adverse side effects.
I always recommend asking the vet if you’re planning to give your cat any human food or drink. To be sure, you should get a decaf tea to avoid negative effects on your cat.
Although caffeine may pose potential side effects, tea still has benefits to felines. It’s known to reduce gum inflammation and pain. Some studies suggest that green tea can also reduce the symptoms of arthritis and gingivitis.
Green tea contains high levels of catechins, a polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant. It’s known to slow down cell damage, among other health problems. Studies also show that polyphenols have the ability to give additional protection against UVB rays.
You can also apply green tea topically to heal infections on your cat’s coat. Take note that these benefits are only from green tea. Other types of tea will have varying effects on a cat, so you should always check with the vet.
The following are the other benefits of green tea to cats:
- Help reduce cavities and oral infections
- Reducing cardiovascular risks
- Help lower blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of feline diabetes
- Acts as a detoxifier for the lungs and sinuses
- Promotes healthy metabolism
- Can help reduce anxiety among cats
Why does my cat like tea?
Some cats tend to exhibit an inclination to tea for a variety of reasons. Others say that since it’s herbal, the smell of tea may have a resemblance to catnip. You should know that cats develop an affinity for different tastes. One cat may like tea, while others won’t.
However, no matter how much your cat begs for tea, you shouldn’t give it too much. Again, most teas are caffeinated, which isn’t good for your kitty. Besides that, tea contains oxalic acid that can lead to kidney problems if taken in large amounts.
Surprisingly, some cats don’t like the smell of teabags. The strong odor could ward off a curious kitty.
If you’re giving your cat some tea, you should remove the teabag since it’s a choking hazard. Also, ingesting the tea leaves directly may cause vomiting, restlessness, and increased heart rate among felines.
Again, you should ask the opinion of the vet before giving your cat any tea. Take note that the word ‘tea’ is an umbrella term for tons of herbs used in making a hot drink. Not all of it is safe for cats.
Can cats drink chamomile tea?
Chamomile tea is usually safe for cats if given in small amounts. Just like any tea, you shouldn’t let your cat overindulge in chamomile. Too much of this herb can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and poor appetite. After all, cats are obligate carnivores, and they get most of their nourishment from meat
Never let your cat chew fresh chamomile. This is toxic and can cause bleeding over time. The brewed tea alone is enough in small amounts.
The good thing about chamomile tea is it provides a calming effect to cats. For a nervous kitten, you can give half a teaspoon of brewed chamomile tea. You can also spray the chamomile tea on a cotton ball and use it to clean your cat’s ears.
Moreover, you should never give chamomile concentrates to your cat. Even humans will experience irritation if exposed to high amounts of this substance.
When in doubt, you should ask the vet if chamomile tea is safe for your cat.
Can cats drink decaf tea?
If you’re worried that your cat may have adverse reactions to caffeine in tea, you can get decaffeinated tea instead. Still, you should give decaf tea in moderation since most teas contain oxalates. The darker the tea, the higher the oxalate level will be.
Too much of oxalate can cause gastroenteritis, convulsions, and nausea. It will also cause kidney problems in the long run. In humans, one cup of tea a day won’t hurt. But for cats, you should give much less than that, no matter what type of tea you have.
How to give tea to cats
You can’t expect your cat to drink from a cup, so you have to be creative when giving them some tea. The following are some of the easy ways to give your kitty a dose of relaxing tea:
- Freeze it. During summer, you can brew some green tea then freeze it into cubes. You can give your cat the tea cubes to help them cool down. It’s also a great treat and a plaything for kittens!
- Drop it on the bowl. You can also add a few drops of green tea on your cat’s water bowl. This will add some taste to their water, which may encourage the cat to drink more.
- Food additive. If your cat doesn’t seem to like the addition on their water, you can add half a teaspoon of brewed tea on your cat’s kibble. This is effective for chamomile tea if you want to get your nervous kitty to relax.
Tea has its benefits for cats, but you should also factor in the potential side effects. With proper consultation with the vet, your cat will enjoy a dose of tea. Just note that not all types of tea are safe for felines, so you should be careful about which one you’re going to give.
Is your cat drinking tea? What are the benefits you noticed lately? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!