Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
A cup of tea can brighten up our day and it is one of the most widely available drinks throughout the globe. If it’s winter some hot tea will give you more energy and during summertime an iced tea will take some of the heat away. The perfect beverage to relax in any situation, it comes in a huge number of different varieties and you might even want your cat to have a taste. But obviously, first you should check if it is OK, so can cats drink tea? Let us find out together!
Caffeine is present in energy drinks, chocolate and coffee, all of which should be kept far away from your cat and some types of tea also contain this substance. Black, green, white and yellow teas are all made from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) and it contains caffeine so all of these will be dangerous for your cat.
The typical symptoms for caffeine poisoning are restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, rapid breathing and the cat can even get muscle tremors. The cat’s body weight is much smaller than ours and thus it takes very little caffeine to do harm to them. This is why you should never give this substance to your cat in any form and if you know they ingested some then you should rush to the vet as the cat can even get into a coma or die from it.
With herbal teas that don’t have the plant Camellia sinensis in their composition, the discussion is a bit more complicated. Many other herbs are also toxic to cats (like oregano) so even if some of them are highly beneficial for us it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have the same effects on your furry friend.
One choice that is safe is the chamomile tea but for cats it should be very diluted. Served at room temperature it can help with some of their symptoms such as soothing an overly aggressive or anxious cat. The calming effects can also help with an upset stomach and thus it has some real uses but remember that it should be brewed to be much weaker than a version made for humans.
Licorice tea is also something that is suitable for cats and as it was used for a long time as medicine it will provide some benefits for them as well. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so it can prevent or slow the pain of arthritis. It also reduces the itching from allergies or other skin problems.
Remember though that there is better medication available for the problems your cat might be having and thus you shouldn’t opt for this as a long-term replacement. Don’t give any kind of tea to pregnant or lactating cats as the kittens can be affected and with each new food remember to gradually introduce it to the pet so that you can avoid problems.
It depends on the plant it is made from but most of them are not recommended or even very dangerous for cats.