Coffee Cat Litter - Cat Info Detective

Coffee Cat Litter

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Hi coffee fans… had your cuppa joe today? Oh wait, we’re talking about coffee cat litter!

What will they come up with next? Think I need my caffeine jolt first…

paw prints coming in from a distance

The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs. 

Who Is Skye Blake?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you! 

Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.

Sources are given at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping.

What Is Coffee?

coffee beans with mug, saucer

Let’s take a look at coffee… most of us know it as something we drink, regular or decaffeinated, basic or gourmet, espresso or cappuccino, I could go on…

Coffee” is the name given the beans from the berries of the flowering “coffea” shrubs native to tropical areas of southern Africa and Asia.

Coffea arabica and C. canephora are the two most commonly used as a beverage.

Once coffee is brewed the grounds are left that are either discarded or have uses such as adding to garden beds to acidify soil.

And now, it’s got another use… cat litter!

How Is Coffee Used in Cat Litter?

coffee grounds in paper filter

Used coffee grounds are the main ingredient in coffee cat litter.

It must be decaffeinated before using due to the danger of caffeine, which is toxic to cats.

Coffee is known to help eliminate odors (although it has its own distinct fragrance) and other natural ingredients like seaweed and cornstarch are added to provide good clumping power.

man drinking coffee next to cat

Some say cats don’t like the smell of coffee and will avoid it, so they use it in their garden beds to keep cats away.

If your cat doesn’t care about anything in litter besides whether it’s comfortable for peeing, etc., you might find that coffee litter works well for you both.

Like other biodegradable, specialty cat litters, coffee litter is more expensive than clay, another thing to consider when deciding if it’s worth a try.

Concerns about Cats & Caffeine

kitten sniffing coffee in mug

Caffeine is a methylxanthine that we all know is in coffee, chocolate and other foods.

People enjoy it for its “pick-me-up” effect, especially in the morning. It’s fine in moderation for humans but is toxic for dogs and cats.

Even tiny amounts can cause serious problems for your cat.

Caffeine poisoning is more common in dogs because they’ll eat anything… and in large quantities too! (Dogs… hmmf! Disgusting creatures!)

tabby, white cat putting paw in mug

Most of us fabulous felines are particular about what we eat, but there are some who’ll eat things they shouldn’t, so if your buddy is like that, don’t use any cat litter that smells like food, including coffee.

This is especially true for young kittens who just love to put anything in their mouths!

Any clumping litter is dangerous for young kittens because it can swell in their tiny tummies and cause a life-threatening blockage.

Emergency surgery, anyone?

Symptoms of Caffeine Toxicity

fat grey cat lounging next to cup

If your cat has eaten some chocolate or licked caffeinated coffee, tea, energy drink, or soda, watch for the symptoms listed below. (Some medications also have caffeine.)

A couple of licks might not be a problem, but you should watch closely.

If any symptoms happen, usually within 1-2 hours, get her to the vet immediately.

sick cat vomiting the food
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • panting
  • drinking or peeing a lot
tabby cat drinking water out of a pan
  • abnormal heart rhythm
  • tremors
  • seizures

The American College of Veterinary Pharmacists has a handy chart showing the amounts of products that cause toxicity in cats.

Some litters listed on this page are links where I receive a small commission when you buy them… and I get to share them with qualified rescues!

Check descriptions and reviews carefully for any products you wish to buy… quality, sizes, colors, etc., can’t be guaranteed by anyone but the manufacturer.

Brands of Coffee Cat Litter

Eticat Cat Litter

ground coffee with scoop

Eticat litter is made from decaffeinated coffee grounds for great odor control.

It contains seaweed extract and cornstarch for good clumping and easy scooping, has very little dust and no added fragrance.

The fact that it’s decaffeinated is good since it eliminates the toxicity concern.

You should still be careful, though, if you have a cat who might eat it.

Since this is a new litter, there aren’t any reviews yet (as of this writing).

Alfred Cassava Black

dark coffee beans

Alfred Cassava Black cat litter is a mixture of cassava (yuca), decaffeinated coffee grounds, seaweed extract and cornstarch.

As with Eticat litter (both from the same company), being decaffeinated eliminates the concern about using coffee grounds as cat litter.

You should still be careful, though, if you have a cat who might eat it.

white cat lying next to cafe coffee cup

Since this is a new litter, there aren’t many reviews yet, but the one I found is promising.

The reviewer said her cat is transitioning to this new one and it does a good job of eliminating odors.

The one drawback she mentioned is that it tracks, but that’s tolerable because it performs well otherwise, especially getting rid of odors.

More Litter Options

If you need more info about what’s “best” for your cat, discover more at “What Are the Best Types of Cat Litter?” and “What’s the Best Cat Litter Box?

Or follow these trails if you’re curious about other litters…

Yuca (Cassava)

If you’re dealing with inappropriate peeing or pooping outside the litter box, take a look at “Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?” and “Why Is My Cat Pooping Outside the Box?

Of course, if you have a cat peeing outside the box, you’re probably frustrated about cleaning it up.

Discover what you need to know at “Cleaning Cat Urine” and “Enzyme Cleaners for Cat Urine“.


Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.

Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.

Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.

However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.

When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

Caffeine” – American College of Veterinary Pharmacists (

Caffeine Toxicity in Pets”, VCA Animal Hospital (

Caffeine – Toxicity to Pets”, Pet Poison Helpline

Coffea” – Wikipedia

Coffee – Origin, Types, Uses, History, & Facts”, Britannica

Product Sources


Updated March 12, 2023

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