What is the danger of letting my cat drink coffee?

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Cats are often very curious about everything that their owners eat or drink, including coffee. All too many cat owners have experienced their cat dipping his or her head into their cup of coffee uninvited. While occasional sips of coffee aren’t entirely harmful to your cat, there are a few good reasons that you should avoid allowing your cat to drink coffee on a regular basis.

In large enough quantities, the caffeine found in coffee can actually be fatal to your cat. Remember, that even caffeine-free beverages are not entirely free from caffeine, but simply contain a drastically lowered amount than those marketed as being caffeinated. Here are some of the symptoms that your cat could experience if he has ingested a large amount of caffeine.

  • Rapid breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Caffeine isn’t just found in coffee, it can also be found in teas, cocoa, chocolate, sodas, and even in some over-the-counter painkillers.

If you use milk or dairy creamers in your coffee, your cat could experience an upset stomach. Despite the pervasive “saucer of milk” stereotype, the majority of cats are actually lactose intolerant.

If you suspect that your cat is struggling from the side effects of ingesting coffee, then it’s important to make an immediate appointment with your vet. The longer you delay getting your cat treatment, the less likely his chances of survival. Your vet may offer your feline IV fluids to flush his system and may also administer liquid charcoal, if the cat ingested the caffeine very recently.

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