Cats have a reputation for liking fishies, birdies, and other tidbits. They have been known to try to sip from teacups, too, especially if you use milk in your tea, and to nibble on whatever goody you are eating with your tea. Many tea lovers are also cat lovers, so it’s pretty natural to think of the two, that is, cats and tea, together.
Accommodating Your Feline Guests
Cats seem to like to occupy their humans’ lap while those humans are sipping tea. They also need to check out what you are drinking and eating, and if they like what they sniff, they will most likely help themselves. Or try to. The solution here is simple. Keep some of their favorite treats on hand to distract them away from your stuff. Also, when you need to get up to refill the teapot, be gentle with that kitty that has been keeping your lap warm and soothing you with its purr. Don’t just stand up abruptly so he/she has to jump down. Lift the kitty up in your arms and then stand and set him/her back down on the chair. Reverse this process when you return to your seat (to avoid sitting on the poor kitty, of course).
Add a Touch of “Cattiness” to Your Tea Time
Cattiness is usually thought of as a negative thing —exchanges of the nasty kind between women, such as “That dress is so last year!” Of course, you can always make your tea time “catty” in a nice way by using cat-shaped and/or cat-decorated teawares.
Cat-shaped teapots abound, ranging from cute to kooky. There is a Chester the Cat Teapot that will inspire grins among your tea time guests (including those of the furry variety). Then, there’s the classy 6.5” tall Delft Blue Cat Teapot, or you can go for a more sleek look with the 19-ounce Yixing Clay Chinese Cat Teapot. Romero Britto went angular with their Yellow Cat Square Teapot, and traditional Polish designs inspire Ceramika Artystyczna Signed Polish Pottery from the Boleslawiec region of Poland.
Cats and Tea and Health
Is tea good for cats? I couldn’t find a real consensus here. Some veterinarian sites said the caffeine was an issue and could cause diarrhea, among other things. Other sites said a few drops would not hurt. In fact, Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Foreign Minister, got his cat Jasper to drink tea from a dainty pink teacup. It was his own special blend that he had hoped Twinings would add to their line-up. To be on the safe side, you should limit your cat to only a very small amount (a lick or two) of tea. The same goes for milk, since cats tend to be lactose intolerant.
Teas that have peppermint in them should not be given to cats, and teas flavored with other essential oils can be poisonous to them since some cheaper essential oils have other ingredients added to thin them out. Avoid tea tree oil around cats, too. For a longer list of things to keep away from your most precious furry friends check out this list.
Tea and Cats Online
Check out The Cat-Tea Corner, a site full of recipes, cat photos, cat and tea themed clip-art, and other great info, including a tea time guide. Don’t miss the web site of the Calico Cat Tea House in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada; it’s a place where you can enjoy afternoon tea time and then get a reading of the tea leaves (reservations required). You can also look into The Cheshire Cat Tea Company with their mismatched china and other teawares (mismatched is good in case you’re having tea with a kitty and something gets broken).
Teatime Memory — Kitty Waits for Tea
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