We all leave a coffee cup out on the counter unattended.
The drink is either cooling down or you are going to drink it shortly.
During this time, a curious Maine Coon can jump up and try a taste.
Coffee isn’t a drug normal to the cat’s diet, so will it harm them?
Can Maine Coon Cats drink coffee?
A Maine Coon should not drink coffee as a drink or consume granules. Caffeine is poisonous to cats and the strength of instant coffee is designed for humans. A caffeine dose even to a large cat is toxic. A few sips is fine, but with larger volumes seek veterinary help. 60ml of instant coffee could be fatal.
While a quick taste might not be particularly troublesome, if your Maine Coon has a penchant for coffee then this trend will need to be stopped.
As you may know, Maine Coons have a preference for following you around.
If your Maine Coon is anything like mine, then she will want to jump up and want to know precisely what you are doing on the counter.
Alita doesn’t like coffee, at least she doesn’t seem interested, and turns her nose up at it – which is good.
If your Maine Coon is different and is interested in your coffee, you need to deter the behavior.
I’m not an expert, and this article is more the result of research rather than experience.
I came across a great article on caffeine toxicity for animals called “Caffeine Toxicity in Pets” by the VCA Hospitals.
Worth a read if you want a more authoritative source.
If a Maine Coon wants to try coffee then chances are good it will find an unattended one at some point.
If you see your Maine Coon take a single sip and then go away you will probably be OK, but more prolonged intake may become an issue.
The Maine Coons gastrointestinal system will reject the caffeine and you could well have a slightly hyperactive cat for a while it metabolizes the caffeine.
The Maine Coon may even vomit as the system rejects the drug.
A small sip with a healthy cat that is physically robust because it’s in the prime of health will be OK.
A weak cat, a kitten, or an elderly Maine Coon might experience bigger problems like shortness of breath.
The Maine Coon will need monitoring if they have ingested bigger quantities as it could fall ill quite quickly.
Large spoonfuls of coffee can bring about severe reactions and potentially even be fatal.
If you suspect large quantities have been ingested then a vet trip immediately would be a good idea.
Caffeine has a negative effect on humans but our larger size allows us to cope with the quantity consumed.
Cats, even larger cats like Maine Coons are more susceptible to the drugs within coffee.
A sip from a normal strength coffee probably won’t harm them but the caffeine in pills could prove fatal.
If you see your Maine Coon take a sip then the effects of the caffeine may start around 30 minutes later.
It should take around 12 hours for the cat’s system to kick out the foreign drug.
The two factors that are important to consider are
I found an interesting phrase that mentioned the LD50 test.
LD50 is the ‘lethal dose 50%’ test used in the pharmaceutical industry to identify the quantity of drug needed to be fatal to 50% of the control group.
The LD50 for caffeine in a cat is 200mg/kg
The caffeine content in a teaspoon is 60mg.
A small Maine Coon is around 3.5kg.
Therefore a 3.5kg small Maine Coon would need 700mg of instant coffee to give a 50% lethality.
A teaspoon of coffee is 5 mL therefore (700/60) x 5mL = 58mL
The upshot is around 60mL of instant coffee in a small Maine Coon will prove fatal to 50% of the cats ingesting this amount.
A large Maine Coon may be around 120mL for the same cup of coffee.
As you can see, that’s not a lot of coffee.
By way of comparison, you as a human will have a sip volume of around 25mL.
Two sips of coffee for you is fatal to a Maine Coon 50% of the time.
When a Maine Coon ingested coffee they will imbibe both caffeine and theobromine (a substance also in chocolate).
The central nervous system is ‘attacked’ and the cat will get an increase in its heart rate and a nervous energy.
The Maine Coons heart will beat faster and you will get nervous energy bursts.
Quite a small amount of coffee can produce this effect because a cat is still small compared to humans that drink caffeine.
Remember, caffeine quantity is designed for humans and the granules are made for the strength and effect on the average human.
The quantity of coffee ingested will determine the effect but could come on quite quickly if it’s a large volume.
The larger the volume the greater the stimulative effect.
Again if you suspect your Maine Coon has ingested coffee and you witness signs quickly of hyperactivity then this could suggest a large volume.
There’s also the strength of the coffee to consider.
Expresso will have more caffeine per volume.
If the symptoms come on very quickly and you suspect a large volume has been ingested then take your Maine Coon to a vet immediately.
If the symptoms are very mild and it takes 30 to 45 minutes to show the signs of hyperactivity then you are safer.
The most obvious symptom will be the lack of resting.
Hyperactivity is just that, a constant need to move and burn off energy. Your Maine Coon will be constantly moving and perhaps even running unusually.
The heart will also beat much faster.
More serious symptoms are;
It’s probably best to get them to a vet immediately if you start to see these signs early on.
Toxic poisoning is treated by early intervention.
Once the caffeine is in the system you are managing the issue.
Most likely they will induce vomiting.
Any coffee remaining in the stomach will be ejected and further toxicity can be prevented.
Activated charcoal can also absorb the stomach fluids and prevent them from being absorbed.
Any poisoning, especially a fatally toxic one should be seen through the lens of early intervention.
The quicker you can get the toxin out of the body and system the better.
A vet can provide medical assistance, assist in vomiting, and even IV fluids if they become necessary.
Medication will also be available to decrease the heart rate and lower blood pressure should it be needed.
Tea still contains caffeine so it’s inadvisable to let a Maine Coon drink tea either.
Tea also contains some other toxins, namely tannin, that is also toxic.
Don’t let your Maine Coon drink any tea either.
Look for similar signs to coffee.
There is less caffeine in tea but it’s still not a good idea if your cat has picked up the habit.
Coffee that contains caffeine and theobromine is toxic for Maine Coons.
A few small ‘taster’ sips from an otherwise healthy Maine Coon won’t be problematic.
In larger quantities, and the weaker the ability of the Maine Coon to fend off the toxin the more fatal it may prove to be.
Coffee will increase the heart rate and induce hyperactivity possibly resulting in system damage.
You should contact a vet immediately if you suspect large quantities of caffeine have been drunk.
Coffee is a mainstay of the modern world, so it’s not unusual for many people to drink coffee every day.
The trouble comes when you have Maine Coons in your house who may also want some java from time-to-time.
Caffeinated drinks are bad for cats because they contain caffeine and theobromine which can be toxic to them – but what does this mean exactly?
In short: don’t let your Maine Coon cat drink any coffee or tea at all under any circumstances!
Ok, maybe just one tiny sip won’t hurt, right?
It might make them hyperactive enough that they’ll end up hurting themselves seriously (or even fatally).
Luckily cats have great instincts – a quick smell and they won’t take it most of the time.
A Maine Coon will likely know what’s good for them, and what isn’t.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One