As humans, most of us look forward to a nice drink to wind down for the evening. Grabbing a drink with a friend or cracking a cold one on the couch seems like a dream after a hard day’s work. It’s only normal to wish we could extend the invitation to our furry friends.
But what can it really do to your cat if they ingest alcohol of any kind? Does it matter? Yes, it does. Hard beverage sharing with your feline is off the table.
The Dangerous Reality of Alcohol for Cats
Cats are very different from humans in nearly every way. As much as we find them relatable, they can’t handle the same diets we have. Cats are strict carnivores, meaning they only eat meat. The good news is, things like alcohol rarely appeal to a cat’s appetite.
You may be curious about whether a cat can have beer, wine, or liquor — or they may have already drunk a bit by accident. If you suspect your cat may have had a good swig from your glass, you must contact your vet for further advice.
Cats and Ethanol Don’t Mix
Ethanol is a grain-based clear liquid compound, also referred to as alcohol. This is a very harmful substance that can shut down your cat’s system.
Imagine what too much does to you — and then think of your cat. Their bodies are much smaller, and alcohol is much harder on their system. Even just a taste could have a very negative impact, including ultimately dying from alcohol poisoning.
Are Spirits, Beer, and Wine All Bad?
Your cat will probably agree that any alcohol is bad — and not just from a medical standpoint. The taste is unpleasant for most felines, so it’s a relatively uncommon issue for owners.
If your cat is so finicky that they won’t eat their latest bag of chow, they probably won’t bother with your cold brew on the counter.
But if they do test the waters — or the wine, rather — it matters what they drank. While the type of alcohol says a lot, the quantity matters much more.
Even a tiny bit of hard liquor can have lethal effects. While they may recover from beer or wine consumption, you should remove the risk altogether.
Side Effects of Alcohol in Cats
There are some very noticeable changes relatively soon after your cat consumes alcohol.
If your cat ever drinks alcohol, even the smallest amount can cause a broad spectrum of side effects. Your cat will have a specific bodily reaction, which could range from mild to severe. To err on the side of caution, keep paws out of your pilsner.
If you think your cat came in contact with any alcohol, don’t wait for symptoms to show up before you head to the vet. This matter is very time-sensitive.
Keeping Your Cat Safe
Always remember to be a responsible pet owner. Intentionally giving your cat alcohol is not funny or safe. There is never a time where giving your cat alcohol is advisable. It is not appropriate or harmless to offer your pet even the smallest amount.
Cats must say no to the bottle. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy time with you while you’re indulging in a nightcap.
Cat Wine — A New Alternative
You know the whole concept of if you can think of it, it probably exists? That’s very true in this instance. Cat wine is a thing—and some felines are loving it.
Certain companies make cat-specific wines with clever names to include them in our good time. Cat wine is non-alcoholic and specially formulated for your feline. So, if you’re winding down with a glass of chilled wine, your cat can join in. Most recipes have catnip included.
Always monitor any new addition to your cat’s diet. While these wines are created for your cat, that doesn’t mean every kitty system will take kindly to the concoction.
The content in these wines may cause an upset stomach, so watch for side effects. If your cat has any vomiting or diarrhea, continuing to give them cat wine may not be the wisest choice.
But if you want to share a relaxing treat with your best bud, it’s something to consider.
Alcohol for Cats — Final Thoughts
Alcohol is a strict no for cats, and that’s final. Any amount of alcohol can react differently with your cat, ending in even death. Losing your pet isn’t worth a taste of beer. But if you think your pet may have taken a sip or two, get a hold of your vet so you can address the situation.
And, if you want your cat to feel like they’re part of the party—you could always surprise them with a splash of catnip cat wine.
Featured image credit: PhotoMIX-Company, Pixabay