If you love this stimulating beverage, you need to know that some of the tea’s main ingredients include catechins, caffeine, and theanine. Besides tea plant (Camellia sinensis), coffee beans, guarana, Ilex guayusa Yerba mate, and Ilex vomitoria or Yaupon holly has caffeine too.
Contrary to many people’s assumptions, Camellia sinensis has more caffeine than coffee beans just that the latter uses a stronger preparation, and hence it is higher in caffeine.
Why cats love tea?
It is a fact that cats love this beverage. This could be due to its alluring aroma as well as milk or cream that may be present. If you leave it unattended, do not be surprised that your feline friend will begin drinking it.
Can cats drink tea?
The answer will be no or yes depending on whether it has caffeine or not. If the specific type has caffeine, then it is a no-no for cats and dogs. This will include the black, Pu-erh, Matcha, white, iced, fermented, yellow, Sencha, green tea or oolong. Obviously you know that cats cannot drink coffee too.
Although the amount of caffeine may vary in various kinds, they all contain some amount. While one or two licks of these beverages may not affect your feline friends, taking moderate amounts including teabags, may cause caffeine toxicity.
Unlike humans, cats and dogs are sensitive to caffeine and excessive amounts may result in various symptoms including vomiting, hyperactivity (restlessness), hypothermia, irregular heartbeats, increase heart rate, seizures and it may collapse.
In case of any of these symptoms, see your veterinarian for treatments. Treatments will depend on the symptoms observed and the severity of caffeine poisoning.
This may involve decontamination using activated charcoal doses, IV fluids if your kitty is vomiting or has diarrhea to help restore lost fluids, medications to restore normal heart functions, anti-seizures and so on.
Is peppermint or chamomile tea safe for cats?
If you love herbal teas, common ones include chamomile, peppermint, ginger, raspberry leaf, hibiscus, rooibos, sage, lemon balm, Echinacea, catnip, rosehip, passionflower, Chaga, Chrysanthemums, dandelion, Essiac, moringa, nettle, Pau d’arco, rose, Senna, spearmint, butterfly pea flower tea.
Herbal tea is caffeine-free. Therefore, it is safe for these pets. However, not all herbs are safe for kitties. Furthermore, you need to also ensure it is free of sugar, flavorings, and artificial sweeteners. Also, do not give it to your kitty if it has milk or dairy products if your kitty is lactose intolerant.
For instance, a small amount of chamomile and peppermint tea is safe for pets, the same cannot be said about one made from Chrysanthemums which are considered potentially poisonous to cats and dogs.
From the herbs we have we have listed above, stinging nettle, some species of passionflower (passion flora) and chrysanthemums are potentially harmful to cats.
Chamomile plant has chamomile oil that is not safe for cats and may make them lose appetite, have diarrhea or vomit. It may also irritate their mouth and cause stomach upsets.
However, chamomile tea can help soothe your kitty’s nerves when ingested (keep the amount to a half a teaspoon) or help soothe an irritated skin if used topically.
Finally, always give them a small amount such as licks or up to a teaspoon and do not force your kitties to have a drink if they do not like it.
I hope the issue of cat and tea has been well covered. Unless herbal or decaffeinated, do not give this beverage to your pets even if they seem to like it much and if herbal, ensure the herb used is safe too.