Is a Coffee Plant Safe for Cats? Is a Coffee Plant Toxic?

Want to learn more about coffee?
Explore more on our blog!
Learn more
A cat is lounging in a safe bush.
Table of Contents
A cat is lounging in a safe bush.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coffee plants are toxic to cats due to the presence of caffeine and other harmful substances in their leaves and berries.
  • Symptoms of coffee plant toxicity in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, restlessness, tremors, and seizures. Prompt veterinary care is crucial if you suspect your cat has ingested parts of a coffee plant.
  • Preventive measures for keeping cats safe from coffee plants include keeping the plants out of reach or protected areas, placing them on higher shelves, using physical barriers or deterrents, and considering cat repellents.
  • Coffee Arabica plants are not safe for cats. There are non – toxic houseplants such as spider plants, Boston ferns, Areca palms, African violets, and Christmas cacti that can be great alternatives.

Is a Coffee Plant Safe for Cats?

Coffee plants are toxic to cats due to the presence of caffeine and harmful substances in their leaves and berries. You should keep your cat away from your coffee house plants.

Are you a cat owner worried about your feline friend’s curiosity around your beloved coffee plants? Caffeine, present in coffee plants, can be harmful to cats and pose serious health risks. This article will provide key insights on why these plants are toxic to our purring companions and offer practical tips to ensure their safety.

Read on, and uncover essential measures for creating a cat-friendly environment at home.

Presence of caffeine

Caffeine, an inherent chemical in coffee plants, poses a significant risk to your feline friend. It is found throughout the plant, including the leaves and berries. This substance stimulates the central nervous system, a function that’s beneficial for humans craving mental alertness but potentially lethal for cats due to their small body size and different metabolism.

The difference in metabolizing caffeine can cause harmful effects ranging from restlessness to severe poisoning if your cat ingests any part of these plants or comes into extended contact with them.

Consider this factor when bringing coffee plants home or allowing cats access around them – their curiosity might lead them straight into danger.

Harmful substances in the leaves and berries

Coffee plants contain harmful substances in their leaves and berries that can be toxic to cats. One of the main culprits is caffeine, which can have serious effects on a cat’s health. While humans may enjoy a cup of coffee without any issues, cats are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Besides caffeine, there are other toxins present in coffee plants that can cause harm to our feline friends. Saponins, for example, are compounds found in coffee trees that can lead to skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems if ingested by cats.

Cat owners need to be aware of these harmful substances and take steps to keep their pets safe from the potential dangers posed by coffee plants.

Symptoms and Dangers of Coffee Plant Toxicity in Cats

Cats experiencing coffee plant toxicity may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, restlessness, tremors, and even seizures.

Poisoning symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of coffee plant poisoning in cats include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Muscle twitching
  • Agitation or nervousness

Potential complications

The potential complications of coffee plant toxicity in cats can range from mild to severe. Ingesting the caffeine and other harmful substances found in coffee plants can cause symptoms such as restlessness, increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures in cats.

These complications can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Prolonged exposure or repeated ingestion of coffee plants may have long-term effects on a cat’s health, including damage to their kidneys and liver.

Cat owners have to take preventive measures to keep their feline companions safe from the dangers of coffee plant toxicity.

Preventive Measures for Keeping Cats Safe from Coffee Plants

To keep cats safe from coffee plants, ensure they are kept out of reach or protected from accessing areas with coffee plants, place the plants on higher shelves, and consider using cat repellents.

Keep coffee plants out of reach

To ensure the safety of your beloved feline friends, it is crucial to keep coffee plants out of their reach. The caffeine found in coffee plants can be toxic to cats if ingested, leading to a range of health issues.

Saponins present in the leaves and berries of these plants can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems for our furry companions. By placing coffee plants on higher shelves or in areas where cats cannot access them, you can minimize the risk of accidental ingestion and potential harm to your pets.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting our four-legged family members from the dangers associated with coffee plant toxicity.

Protect cats from accessing coffee plant areas

To ensure the safety of your cats, it’s important to take measures to prevent them from accessing coffee plant areas. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Place coffee plants on higher shelves or elevated surfaces where cats cannot reach them.
  2. Use physical barriers such as baby gates or wire mesh to block off areas where coffee plants are kept.
  3. If you have outdoor coffee plants, consider placing them in a secure enclosure or using fencing to keep cats away.
  4. Keep doors and windows closed to prevent cats from venturing into areas where coffee plants are present.
  5. Train your cats to stay away from certain areas by using positive reinforcement techniques or deterrents such as an unpleasant smell or noise.
  6. If you notice your cat showing interest in the coffee plant, redirect their attention with toys or treats to discourage them from approaching it.
  7. Consider using cat repellents that are safe and non – toxic, specifically designed to deter cats from certain areas or plants.

Place coffee plants on higher shelves

To keep your furry feline friends safe from the potential dangers of coffee plants, placing them on higher shelves is a smart preventive measure. By elevating the coffee plants, you create an obstacle that prevents cats from easily accessing and potentially ingesting the leaves or berries.

This keeps them out of harm’s way and reduces the risk of caffeine toxicity or other adverse reactions in cats. Remember to choose shelving locations that are not easily reachable by jumping or climbing, ensuring that your cat cannot accidentally knock over or nibble on the coffee plant.

With this simple adjustment, you can provide a safer environment for your beloved pets without compromising their natural curiosity and exploration tendencies.

Use cat repellents

To protect your feline friend from the potential dangers of coffee plants, consider using cat repellents as a preventive measure. Cat repellents can help to deter cats from accessing areas where coffee plants are kept.

There are several types of cat repellents available on the market, including sprays and ultrasonic devices.

Spray-based repellents typically use natural ingredients that have strong scents disliked by cats, such as citrus or lavender. These can be applied directly to the areas around your coffee plants to discourage your cat from getting too close.

Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant for cats, but inaudible to humans. These devices can be placed near your coffee plants and activated whenever you want to prevent your cat from approaching them.

By incorporating cat repellents into your strategy for keeping cats safe from coffee plants, you can create an environment that is less appealing and reduce the risk of accidental ingestion or contact with toxic substances.

Safe Alternatives to Coffee Plants for Cat-Friendly Houseplants

Discovering cat-friendly houseplants as safe alternatives to coffee plants is essential for ensuring the wellbeing of your feline companions. From the non-toxic Coffee Arabica plant to a variety of other pet-safe options, explore these alternatives to create a cat-friendly environment in your home.

Coffee Arabica safety for cats

Coffee Arabica plants, commonly known as Arabica coffee plants, are not safe for cats. These plants contain caffeine and other harmful substances that can be toxic to our feline companions. The caffeine found in Coffee Arabica plants can have detrimental effects on a cat’s central nervous system and can result in symptoms such as restlessness, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, tremors, and even seizures.

Ingesting parts of the Coffee Arabica plant can also cause gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea in cats. It is crucial to keep these coffee plants out of reach from our curious feline friends to ensure their safety and well-being.

Other non-toxic houseplants for cats

Here are some non-toxic houseplants that are safe for cats:

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Spider plants are known for their air-purifying qualities and are safe for cats.
  2. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Boston ferns add a lush touch to any room and are non-toxic to cats.
  3. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): This palm variety is not only aesthetically pleasing but also safe for feline companions.
  4. African Violet (Saintpaulia spp.): African violets come in a variety of colors and are pet-friendly, making them a great choice for cat owners.
  5. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera spp.): These festive plants bloom during the holiday season and pose no harm to cats.

Considerations for preventing coffee ground consumption by cats

Coffee grounds can pose a risk to cats if ingested, as they contain caffeine and other potentially harmful substances. To prevent coffee ground consumption by your furry friend, it’s important to take some precautions.

Ensure that you store used coffee grounds securely in a sealed container or dispose of them safely where your cat cannot access them. Be mindful of spills when making or cleaning up after brewing coffee, as cats are known to be curious and may try to investigate or taste the grounds.

Consider using alternative methods for composting coffee grounds that are out of reach for your cat. By taking these simple considerations into account, you can help keep your beloved feline companion safe from any potential hazards associated with coffee ground ingestion.


Understand the potential risks and dangers that coffee plants pose to their feline companions. The presence of caffeine and other harmful substances in coffee plants can lead to poisoning symptoms and potentially serious complications in cats.

Taking preventive measures such as keeping coffee plants out of reach, using cat repellents, and opting for safe alternatives can help ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved pets. Remember, being aware and proactive is key when it comes to safeguarding our cats from the toxic effects of coffee plants.


What are the symptoms of coffee tree poisoning?

The symptoms of coffee tree plant poisoning in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, and seizures.

Can a coffee plant be toxic to animals other than cats?

Yes, coffee plants are toxic to various animals including dogs and cats.

How can coffee tree poisoning in cats be diagnosed?

If you suspect that your cat has ingested a coffee plant and is showing symptoms of poisoning, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

What should I do if my cat has eaten a coffee plant?

If your cat has ingested a coffee plant, it’s important to take your cat to a vet for medical treatment as soon as possible.

Are coffee plants highly toxic to cats?

Yes, coffee plants, especially the coffea arabica variety, are highly toxic to cats.

What are the signs of coffee tree poisoning in cats?

Signs of coffee tree poisoning in cats may include restlessness, rapid breathing, increased thirst, hyperactivity, and abnormal behavior.

Will cats fully recover from coffee tree poisoning?

With prompt veterinary treatment, cats affected by coffee tree poisoning can fully recover.

How can I keep my cat away from coffee plants?

It’s best to keep coffee plants out of reach of cats and create barriers to prevent their access.

About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.