Can cats drink green tea?
I am a green tea addict – after all, there is poetry and sentiment in every cuppa!
Isn’t it great that cats can also drink green tea? Yes, I checked with my vet and he said that it is okay to feed cats green tea, although in moderation.
And that’s why I’m so glad you asked the question – can cats drink green tea? It is a topic that is rather close to my heart!
In this guide, you will find out all about green tea for cats. I will also discuss which teas are and aren’t safe for your cat.
Can Cats Drink Green Tea? Is Green Tea Safe for Cats?
My cat is fascinated with everything I eat and drink.
That is why I like giving it green tea since I know it has many health benefits for humans and cats as well. So each time I make a cup for myself, I set aside a bit for my cat.
Check with your vet first
If this is the first time you are giving your cat green tea, please check with your vet. After all, like all teas, green tea also contains caffeine.
Plain green tea only
Yes, unflavored and plain green tea is safe for cats, in moderation. Its antioxidants and bioactive compounds are good for your furry friend.
Avoid green tea that contains added flavors like mint, ginger, honey, lemon, etc. as many of these artificial flavorings and extracts could be tough to digest for a cat – especially if it has sensitive digestion.
Be mindful of caffeine poisoning
Caffeine – in excess – can cause caffeine poisoning in cats. Thankfully, green tea contains very little caffeine.
(Where instant coffee contains nearly 25 to 175 mg of caffeine, brewed green tea contains just 30-50 mg of caffeine in 8 ounces.)
I will discuss caffeine poisoning symptoms in cats, later in this guide.
The bottom line: can cats drink green tea? Yes, you can feed your cat green tea in a moderate quantity without worrying about its safety. Just make sure you cool it adequately before feeding it to your pet.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Ginger
What Are Health Benefits of Green Tea for Cats?
The following are some evidence-based benefits of green tea for cats:
1. Provides antioxidants
Green tea has many bioactive compounds, phytonutrients, and an important antioxidant called EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate. This provides many health benefits to cats such as fighting inflammation and cancer.
It can also prevent cell damage and provide many minerals to your pet.
2. Could improve cognitive function
Green tea contains L-theanine – an amino acid – which can improve brain function and cognition in cats.
Furthermore, green tea’s bioactive compounds could also have a protective effect on aging cats’ brain and could reduce dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and even senility.
3. Could improve metabolism and support weight loss in obese/overweight cats
Cats that drink green tea regularly show improved metabolism and fat burning. More studies are needed on this, but green tea could help indoor cats lose weight.
Also, green tea consumption could help an indoor cat lose weight especially fat accumulated around the mid-section.
Also Read: Best Cat Food for Overweight Indoor Cats
4. Could improve oral health and reduce bad breath
Green tea catechins can curb the bacterial growth in and around the oral cavity and reduce bad breath in cats.
Cats that are fed green tea also have better oral hygiene as the tea cleans the stuck food bits and could reduce plaque. (Naturally, you must not substitute it for brushing your pet’s teeth).
Also Read: Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth
5. Could reduce the risk of diabetes in cats
More studies are needed on this although some research suggests that green tea can reduce blood sugar levels and lower the risk of type2 diabetes.
6. Can keep your pet hydrated
If your cat eats dry cat food or kibble, and isn’t too fond of drinking plain water, then green tea is a wonderful way of keeping it hydrated.
Adequate hydration can help prevent struvite crystals and kidney stones in cats.
Do check out: Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease
So, Should All Cats Drink Green Tea?
There is no compulsion for a cat to drink green tea.
My cat loves green tea and enjoys its scent and flavor. Some cats might not like its slightly bland, bitter taste. So, if your cat does not like green tea, you need not force it.
You could try adding a bit of green tea to your pet’s drinking water. Cats have a strong sense of smell – much stronger than humans do. If your cat does not like any addition to its water, then discontinue the practice.
Also, if you feed your cat wet food, then it should get most of its water from it and nothing more may be needed.
Do check with your vet can cats drink green tea.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Cooked Shrimp
Do Cats Like The Smell of Green Tea?
Most cats love the scent of green tea. Mine always comes running whenever I brew it.
On some days, she gets to lick the bit left at the bottom of my cup. No two cats are alike though. Just because my cat loves green tea does not mean yours should too.
Also, unflavored or plain green tea often does not have any particular taste or aroma. The flavored ones like ginger, mint, and lemon tea tend to have stronger flavors and scents.
I never feed these to my cat as my vet has asked me specifically to only feed unflavored green tea to my pets.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Mint Leaves
Can Cats Drink Tea?
Here, tea means black tea or tea brewed with milk and sugar. I would strongly urge you not to feed this kind of tea to your cat.
First of all, brewed black tea contains milk and sugar. It also contains caffeine and cats are much more sensitive to caffeine than dogs.
Teas also contain strong essential oils which could repel cats. Many cats hate the scent of brewed black tea because of their bergamot or other essential oil content.
Cats are also lactose intolerant so you should avoid feeding them milk. Milk and dairy products can cause upset stomach, digestive distress, stomach rumbling, gas, and even vomiting and/or diarrhea in cats.
Likewise, sugar, in excess, can cause blood sugar spikes and, in the long run, diabetes in cats.
Don’t worry, if your cat licks your cup and saucer containing a bit of brewed tea – that should be fine. But do not go out of your way and feed black tea in excess to your cat.
Also Read: Can Cats Drink Orange Juice
What Other Types of Tea Can Cats Drink?
Here are different kinds of teas and whether or not cats can drink them:
There is a cat that is winning the Internet nicknamed ‘Matcha Cat’ by its fans. She loves drinking matcha and always sips the dregs at the bottom of the cup left behind by her owner.
(You can view Stacey the Matcha Cat’s photos here.)
Matcha or Japanese green tea is extremely healthy for humans and cats alike. Its antioxidant content is believed to be even higher than that of green tea. So, go ahead, let your cat sip a bit of matcha!
B. Rooiboos Tea
Yes, cats can drink rooibos tea in moderation. Always check the tea’s caffeine content of the tea before feeding it to your pet.
Do ensure that the tea does not contain any other ingredients, flavors, preservatives, dyes, or fragrances. You can also choose organic rooibos tea if you plan to give it to your cat.
Rooiboos tea has an alkalizing effect on your pet. You can even apply cooled rooibos tea to your cat’s skin to soothe redness, itching, etc.
As with everything else, moderation is key.
C. Catnip tea
Yes, catnip tea is safe to feed your cat as catnip has a calming effect on your pet. Catnip is also effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and lethargy in cats.
Make sure you cool the catnip tea before offering it to your cat.
D. Herbal tea
Always check which herbs are present in herbal tea before you brew it for your cat.
Some herbs are extremely toxic to cats – oregano, pennyroyal, mint, marjoram, bay leaf, and tarragon etc. Please check out the list of toxic herbs for felines.
Also Read: 31 Most Toxic Foods for Cats
E. Chamomile tea
Is chamomile safe for cats? Yes, you can feed chamomile tea to your cat to soothe upset stomach, calm nerves, and help your pet sleep better.
If you are brewing the tea yourself, use only chamomile flowers and leaves in boiling water, steep for a few minutes, and strain it before feeding a bit to your feline friend.
F. Peppermint tea
Peppermint leaves and extract can be potentially toxic, therefore many vets recommend not to feed peppermint tea to cats.
G. Decaf tea
Decaf tea still contains a bit of caffeine. It also contains strong essential oils like bergamot which can harm your cat. So you should avoid feeding decaf tea to your cat.
How Much Caffeine Can Kill a Cat? What are Symptoms of Caffeine Poisoning in Pets?
There is a reason why cats should not drink coffee. As stated earlier, cats are even more sensitive to caffeine than dogs.
So, even a small amount of caffeine can cause symptoms of caffeine poisoning such as breathlessness, heart palpitations, confusion, muscle tremors, vomiting, and even seizures in cats.
The minimum lethal dose of caffeine is 150 mg/kg of body weight for cats.
Also read: Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds
What Can Cats Drink Besides Water?
In addition to feeding green tea and water, your cat can drink the following healthy beverages:
Bone broth is one of the healthiest beverages to feed a cat. It has many health benefits including glucosamine and chondroitin which are extremely beneficial for joint health.
Almond or soy milk
Since cats are lactose intolerant, you should never feed them dairy milk. However, certain nut milks like almond and soy milks are okay to feed in moderation to your cat.
You can also feed a bit of apple juice to your cat. Apple juice contains many antioxidants so a little bit can be beneficial to your furry friend. Avoid sugary commercial juices and try to only feed homemade apple juice.
FAQs – Can Cats Drink Green Tea?
1. Do cats like tea bags?
Some stray cats or wild cats are known to dislike tea bags and the scent of brewed tea due to the presence of strong essential oils in it.
Gardeners often rip open used tea bags and scatter the brewed tea all over their garden. The scent of these essential oils helps keep stray cats out of their plant bushes.
2. Can cats take honey in their tea?
Please avoid feeding honey to your kitten and cats. Honey contains a lot of sugar and even a small amount can cause digestive upset in your pet.
3. Can cats drink caffeine-free tea?
Even caffeine-free teas or decaf teas are not 100% caffeine-free. Secondly, caffeine-free teas also contain strong essential oils which can be very harmful to your cat’s sensitive system.
Essential oils in black tea include bergamot oil which could irritate your pet’s sensitive stomach. Therefore, you must avoid feeding even the so-called decaf tea or caffeine-free teas to your buddy.
4. Why does my cat drink my tea?
Some cats love the aroma of tea and they might lick the leftover tea from your cup. Not only tea, they could even lick sodas, juices, coffee, etc. left behind.
A little bit of these beverages are okay, however, in excess, they can be very harmful to your cat.
Conclusion – Can Cats Drink Green Tea?
Yes, cats can drink green tea in moderation.
Just make sure to cool the brewed green tea before feeding your pet. Also try to avoid flavored green teas.
Read the tea label to ensure it does not contain any artificial flavors, fragrances, or essential oils.
As always, when in doubt, check with a vet.