Cat Nutrition 101: Can Cats Drink Tea?

Last updated on February 20th, 2019

Cats are among the smartest animals in its species. It responds to basic commands which dogs can and sometimes they can even be smarter. Just like any other pet, cats dig in over the food and drink that is presented to them by their owners. While a cat that immediately dips its head over food and drinks given by their owners may look cute, it can actually pose a threat to their health and can slow down their growth if the food or drink is actually harmful to them. While humans immediately detect if a food is harmful, cats can’t. With regards to drinks, many are curious if tea is actually good for cats or not. To help you answer that question, we’ve done our research. Here are the things you need to know when thinking about giving your cat a cup or bowl of tea.

red cat sniffing a mug of black coffee while standing on a table with paper and pen

A bit about tea and cats

So what is the main component of tea? A tea is an aromatic drink or beverage made up of crushed dried leaves with boiling water. The longer the leaves sit in the hot water, the more concentrated it becomes. Tea is among the best antioxidants that help in digestion as well as in clearing the body of substances. Tea also has caffeine which provides many benefits to humans.

The only problem however is that while caffeine may prove to be good to humans, it may not serve the same purpose to animals – especially to cats.

Why tea is not good for cats

Here are a few more reasons why it is not a good idea to share your tea to your cat.

  • Cats are not herbivores

Cats are actually carnivores which mean they prefer meat over vegetable salad or even tea. Having them take tea which is mainly made out of leaves can be life threatening for them. Although the small proportions can be quite harmless, having them take a whole cup or bowl can create buildup of toxicity in their system which can cause a number of health problems.

  • Vulnerable organs

Compared to humans, the cat’s organs are more vulnerable to diseases and break downs from substances. A cat’s liver in particular has a limited amount of enzymes to help break down substances from food. Caffeine can be among the substances which are hard to break down in their system. When a considerable amount of caffeine is ingested by cats, they can have liver damage and chronic liver disease.

  • Caffeine effect

Many agree that caffeine is beneficial to humans but not to some animals. For certain animals like cats, their enzymatic mechanisms may not recognize the food that they are ingesting – like tea. Unusual food which is out of their regular diet is new to their system and may be difficult to dissolve. Once there is build up in their system, it becomes toxic which can pose a threat to their kidneys.

  • Toxic oils

Teas also come with certain oil essentials which enhances the aroma of the drink. Again, while it is good for humans it actually isn’t for pets like cats. These oils can be toxic to them which can cause allergies and other digestive issues. Among those oils that are not recommended for cats include clove oils, cinnamon oil, lavender, peppermint, oregano, and thyme.

Also, these oils have a powerful scent which may not be very pleasing to a cat’s nose.

Cat Nutrition 101: Can Cats Drink Tea?

Substitute for tea

So what kind of drink is best for cats to give them better nutrition? If you are looking for a drink to help with your cat’s health, you can look into giving them formulated cat milk which is usually available in any pet shop or super market. If not, you can simply have them drink fresh and clean water. There is nothing safer than clean drinking water which humans drink. Clean water can help your cats rejuvenate and flush away toxins the natural way.

Now that you know that a considerable amount of tea given to your cat is dangerous, you may want to keep them away whenever you’re drinking anything related to caffeine. The best way to keep them from drinking anything else is by making sure they have regular drink of clean water to keep them from being thirsty.

Gray cat on a sofa with white cup

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