Many cat lovers also appreciate a nice glass of wine in the evening to help them relax. Not only is it a crisp and refreshing drink, but it can really cut the edge after a stressful day and allow you to enjoy some much-needed personal time, curled up on the couch with your cat. But if you noticed your cat taking few a sips from your glass while you were off in the kitchen, you might be wondering if wine is safe for cats to drink, or if you need to be heading to the vet.
In truth, alcohol is toxic for most domesticated pets, including cats. A little bit won’t kill your cat, but due to their small size, even a small dose can be dangerous.
Luckily, there are a few signs that might indicate that your cat might have alcohol toxicity and there are even some pet-safe alternatives to wine for your feline so you can share a glass with your furry friend and they won’t feel left out.
Alcohol Toxicity in Cats
Just like in humans, cats can get alcohol toxicity if they consume too much alcohol. For us, that takes quite a bit of alcohol. But for cats who are considerably smaller than us, it takes a lot less.
So, what happens to a cat once they drink? Well, it starts very similar to the feeling you get from drinking. They get buzzed first and might start to lose some coordination. But the effects of alcohol can multiply rapidly in cats since they’re affected so much more than we are.
What starts as a buzz initially, quickly worsens and can necessitate a trip to the vet if your cat consumed too much.
Signs of Alcohol Toxicity in Cats
Let’s say you caught your cat in the act of drinking from your wine glass. How do you know if they had too much?
The signs of alcohol poisoning in cats are pretty similar to the signs that humans display. Any of the following from your cat is an indication that you should probably take them to the vet.
If your cat is experiencing severe alcohol poisoning, the signs are even more severe:
When you start noticing these symptoms, you need to get your cat to a vet immediately.
What Happens to Cats That Drink Wine?
What happens once your cat has consumed alcohol depends on how much they ingested.
If your cat only drank a little wine, then they’ll likely sleep it off just like a human would. Your cat might wake up feeling a little less wonderful than usual, but they should be fine.
On the other hand, if your cat consumed enough alcohol to need professional help, they’re likely going to need some additional treatment from the vet. In this case, your cat will likely be given intravenous fluids throughout the night to help flush their system and ensure that they stay adequately hydrated.
What Alcohol is Worst for Cats
As we all know, wine isn’t the only alcohol out there and your cat could possibly get into beer or hard liquor instead. While none of these are safe for cats to drink, some are more detrimental than others. For cats, it all boils down to the ethanol content of the alcohol.
Light beer is the safest since it has the lowest alcohol content. Next would be craft beers, followed by wines. Hard liquor is about as bad as it gets for your cat, only outdone by hard grain alcohols such as Everclear.
Other Sources of Alcohol
For the most part, you’re unlikely to find your cat drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor. They don’t enjoy the taste of these drinks, so they generally steer clear.
That said, other alcohol-containing concoctions might be more attractive to your feline, and these you need to watch out for.
Alcohol-based cakes are sweet, aromatic, and still have enough alcohol content to negatively affect your cat. While your cat is unlikely to drink tequila straight, they’re much more likely to go for a taste of that cake.
Similarly, mixed drinks have much more appeal to a cat than a beer or wine. These drinks are loaded with sugary sweeteners that can easily convince your cat to take a sip.
There’s also alcohol hidden in other additives. For instance, vanilla flavoring contains alcohol. And non-food items often contain ethanol as well, such as cleaning products, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer. These probably won’t appeal to your cat’s taste buds, but you never know what you might find your pet licking up.
Wine Alternatives That are Safe for Cats
Have you ever felt guilty at the way your cat eyes you while you enjoy that nice glass of wine? If you have, then there’s a cat-safe alternative to traditional wine that you might want to consider.
Cat wines are made specifically for cats using a blend of ingredients they love. These wines are made with organic catnip, salmon oil, and filtered water. Obviously, these drinks don’t contain any alcohol, but they can still get your cat buzzed thanks to the catnip. That way, the two of you can enjoy a relaxing buzz together while you cuddle up on the couch.
And just like your favorite wines, cat wines are available in a variety of flavors including Meow & Chandon, Meowsling, and Purrgundy. Just check out petwinery.com to see the selection and pick a pet wine for your four-legged friend.
As you probably suspected, wine isn’t safe for cats to drink. The ethanol in wine is likely to poison your cat and it won’t take much. If your cat had just a few sips of wine, there’s likely nothing to worry about. Still, keep an eye out for the signs of alcohol poisoning so you can take them to the vet if needed.
While wine isn’t the worst alcoholic beverage for a cat, it’s still not safe. But thanks to new products like pet wine, you can now share a buzz with your beloved cat. And what else could you really need besides a nice glass of wine and your favorite feline?
Featured Image: congerdesign, Pixabay