cat sniffing cup of coffee

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

It’s bright and early in the morning. You pour yourself that first steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee to help you wake up and prepare for the day.

Not long after you set it down, you see your cat taking an interest in your coffee, sniffing at it, maybe even trying to lick some of it. Or maybe she’s sniffing the leftover grounds, or that open bag of coffee beans you left on the kitchen counter. This might seem surprising, as many cats don’t like that coffee smell. But as you well know, every cat is different.

So why is she interested in your coffee? Should you let her try some? Is it okay to let your cat check out your cup of coffee?

Keep Your Coffee Away From Your Cat


Every cat owner needs to know that caffeine toxicity in cats can be very dangerous.
Do not let your cat eat coffee.

That delicious energy drink we call coffee might be a perfect way to start your day, but it is potentially deadly to your cat. Coffee contains caffeine, which is toxic to cats. Cats are extremely sensitive to caffeine. Even small amounts of caffeine can harm your cat, causing dangerous symptoms such as:

If your cat consumes too much coffee, the severe dose of caffeine could even be fatal.

You might be tempted to think that decaffeinated coffee is safer for your cat, but that is simply not true. Even decaf coffee can be dangerous; it still contains harmful chemicals, such as theobromine (an alkaloid compound similar to caffeine).

Never let your cat drink coffee or consume coffee grounds or beans. Make sure to clean any spilled coffee off their fur.

If your cat consumes coffee, contact your veterinarian immediately. The vet may induce vomiting to remove the substance from the cat’s stomach and provide supportive care to prevent any further complications.

Does Your Cat Really Like Coffee?

Not every cat is interested in coffee. But if your cat is, what draws your cat to the coffee? Here are some reasons why cats might like coffee:

  • It’s not generally the case, but some cats like the smell of coffee, which is naturally strong and aromatic.
  • It’s not uncommon to find cats sprawled out in sunny patches or nestled up next to heaters. The warmth emanating from a cup of coffee might be just as enticing to them, and they may hover near your coffee to bask in the heat it’s radiating.
  • Many cats are fond of dairy products, despite the fact that a lot of adult cats are lactose intolerant. The smell of milk or cream you’ve added to the coffee can be very enticing to them, leading them to hover near your coffee cup.
  • Coffee is known to contain minerals like magnesium, and while it’s not a significant source of nutrition for cats, they may still be attracted to the presence of such nutrients.
cat sitting near cup of coffee

Store Your Coffee Beans and Coffee Grounds Securely

Coffee beans and grounds can be just as dangerous to cats as brewed coffee. Don’t let them play with coffee beans.

You already know that cats can smell things that you can’t, so make sure that you store the beans and grounds in air-tight containers. Store the coffee and coffee grounds in cabinets that your cat cannot reach or open.


As a general rule, cats don’t like coffee, but any cat as an individual may be different in her tastes.

Keep your cat away from coffee at all times. All forms of coffee and caffeine (regular coffee or even decaffeinated coffee) are dangerous for your cat.

Please leave us a comment on your experience with your cat and coffee, and please share this important information on social media with your cat-loving friends. We need to keep our pets safe at all times!

Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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  1. Thank you for this post. I think our cat sadly was affected by this. She enjoyed the smell of coffee so much and I have found her licking coffee drips before. One day we noticed she was having tremors and foaming at the mouth and loss of bladder control. Took her to the vet and they couldn’t figure out what was happening. This post may have answered my search. Thank you.

  2. Wow, my cat never did that. It’s good to know for the future if it happens. I know coffee is strong, but didn’t know it can be harmful. Thanks for sharing this useful post!