Are Coffee Grounds Toxic to Cats?

Coffee grounds are a source of caffeine and other chemicals.

Some dog owners believe they make a great Kitty grooming powder. However, this is unproven and may result in your cat experiencing side effects.

When cats ingest coffee grounds, they could become agitated. So, are coffee grounds toxic to cats?

The answer is yes and no—depending on how much your cat ingests. If your cat eats only a small amount, it’s unlikely that they’ll experience any side effects.

However, if your cat ingests a large amount of coffee grounds in a short amount of time, it could cause gastrointestinal upset or vomiting.

Cats who ingest large amounts of coffee grounds in a short amount of time could experience gastrointestinal upset or vomiting. Coffee grounds are a source of caffeine and other chemicals.

When cats eat coffee grounds, their digestive systems become overwhelmed and are unable to properly process the caffeine or other substances in the grounds or the chemicals in the coffee itself.

As a result, your cat may experience vomiting or diarrhea after eating coffee grounds.

This is usually harmless and will go away on its own within a few days to a week.

However, if your cat continues to experience gastrointestinal upset after several days of grooming themselves or eating food that has been processed with coffee grounds, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

Let’s dive into this problem.

Are Coffee Grounds Toxic to Cats?

Cats can be exposed to caffeine through eating coffee grounds.

That means coffee can kill them, and it does kill many cats and dogs every year.

Regular exposure to small amounts of this highly toxic substance can cause heart failure or a seizure disorder.

But the main worry is coffee toxicity in dogs. If your dog eats enough coffee to cause poisoning, it can be fatal within 12 to 24 hours.

Is It Safe for My Cat to Drink Coffee?

Caffeine is toxic to cats and can cause GI upset, tremors, and other health problems.

The severity of the symptoms will be determined by the amount ingested and the length of exposure.

If you discover your cat has consumed caffeine, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Try to calculate roughly how much caffeine your cat consumed and ask your veterinarian for advice.

Why Is Coffee Harmful to Cats?

Your cat will greatly benefit from drinking unsweetened black coffee in moderation because it can relieve nausea or vomiting caused by a stomach virus or infection.

Caffeine may be harmful to cats in very small doses, however, so always consult with your veterinarian before giving her coffee or tea.

Drinking caffeine will not harm your cat if it is given in small doses provided it is at recommended levels and there are no negative side effects.

However, excessive caffeine intake will result in toxic effects such as abnormal heart rhythms, tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and tremors that may severely harm your cat and even result in death.

Caffeine is very poisonous to cats but typically causes them mild symptoms.

Cats who ingest large amounts of caffeine in a short amount of time could experience gastrointestinal upset or vomiting.

If your cat is experiencing gastrointestinal upset or vomiting after ingesting coffee grounds or dog food that has been processed with coffee grounds, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

However, if your cat only experiences mild gastrointestinal upset for a few days to a week, it’s typically nothing serious and will go away on its own.

The caffeine in coffee is excreted in a cat’s urine and feces in small amounts after being ingested, but your cat could experience severe side effects if he ingests a large amount of coffee.

Caffeine Toxicity Side Effects in Cats

The death of a pet from caffeine poisoning can be the result of the staggering amount of coffee consumed by some cats.

The dangerous dose for cats is far less than what you may assume. Death, tremors, high body temperatures, elevated blood pressures, irregular heart rates, and vomiting are just some of the lethal effects that may occur if your cat ingests coffee.

Because vomiting and restlessness may be due to a variety of causes, you’ll probably rule out the possibility that your pet has consumed coffee from the beginning.

Can Caffeine Be Beneficial to Cats?

With coffee, we associate it with energy and increased alertness. Caffeine certainly does that for us BUT that doesn’t mean the stimulant is healthful for cats.

Caffeine can stimulate a dog’s central nervous system (CNS) but too much can cause nervousness, high blood pressure, and tremors.

In cats, there are even more issues: excessive oral exposure causes stomach upset and vomiting, and too much intravenous exposure can cause tremors and heart problems.

One specific benefit is for folks that have gardens or yards full of plants you want to stop from growing wild.

By simply putting some coffee grounds in the earth, you will have your own natural herbicide.

Moreover, the aroma of coffee, or other strong scents like citrus oil can deter rodents and other animals from approaching your territory.

Consequently, rather than resorting to harsh pesticides that harm the ecosystem, you can use coffee grounds to naturally deter pests from your property.

Can Cats Eat Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds are not generally relished by cats, and many will tire of smelling them and avoid them.

However, some cats are too curious or actually like the smell, and may try eating them or drinking the coffee liquid spilled on the countertop.

Also See: Can Cats Eat Ground Turkey?

What Should You Do If Your Cat Consumes Caffeine?

If your cat shows any symptoms that indicate caffeine poisoning (tremors, restlessness or hyperactivity), you can take your cat to the vet for evaluation and treatment.

To prevent the cat’s body from absorbing more caffeine than it is adapted to process, you can give your cat activated charcoal in a slurry of a tablespoon of activated charcoal mixed with a small cup of milk.

Your cat may also need IV fluids to help flush the caffeine out of its system; so check with your vet for additional information on treatment.


In conclusion, coffee grounds are a source of caffeine and other chemicals that can be dangerous to your cat’s health if ingested in large amounts over a short period of time.

If your cat ingests only a small amount of coffee grounds and stops eating these grounds within a day or two, it is unlikely they will experience any side effects and will likely recover without any complications.

However, if your cat ingests a large amount of coffee grounds in a short amount of time and continues to eat these grounds over a few days to a week, your cat may experience gastrointestinal upset or vomiting and seek veterinary care immediately.

Remember to keep all caffeine-containing products out of the reach of your cats.