Can Cats Drink Wine?

Alcohol is great. We would know we are a wine company, after all. There’s a reason that over the last few years, there’s been an influx of alcohol-themed holidays, like Margarita Day, Wine Day, and so many more. Holidays that are based on actual holidays also happen to be primarily based around alcohol as well. The reason: people enjoy alcohol, particularly when that alcohol is a glass of wine. And while we have plenty of reasons to celebrate, unfortunately, cats can partake in the celebration but shouldn't participate in the libations. 

The truth is, if cats could crack open a bottle of wine, we would most definitely be all over that. We would love to sit back, crack open a Bev can and veg with your cats 24-7 if we could. As a company, we love pets, especially cats. Anytime you’re at Bev headquarters, you can expect to be surrounded by a few adorable kittens. (If you’re a cat person and a Bev drinker, feel free to take a look at our jobs page because it sounds like we would really get along!) 

But back on the topic, it’s true that over the last few years, many companies have come onto the market, creating dog and cat wine, and there are some crazy concoctions out there. But the truth is, traditional beer and wine are toxic to our furry, four-legged friends. And since we have your attention, let's talk about why!

We Love Our Furry Friends, And We Love Our Wine, But Can They Mix?

When it comes to food items that our pets can't have, we all know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, but did you know grapes are a lesser-known toxin? In fact, they can even be more dangerous than chocolate and can lead to either kidney damage or life-threatening kidney failure. 

The scary part about grapes being toxic to pets is that scientists or researchers know what part of the grape is toxic or how it even occurs. Many theorize that it could be parts of the grape, for example, tannins. Others believe that it could be due to toxins or pesticides present on the grape's skin or that perhaps there are chemicals within the fruit that cause kidney damage. 

While grapes are toxic to pets so are all alcoholic beverages. Beer, particularly light beers are the least dangerous because they have the least amount of alcohol content. In contrast, hard liquors or grain alcohols are the most dangerous due to their high alcohol content. 

Ethanol, Isopropanol and Methanol are all substances in alcohol that have detrimental health effects to pets. Ethanol is found when sugar has been fermented and is in alcoholic beverages, medications, mouthwash bases and yeast-containing bread. Isopropanol is in rubbing alcohol, anti-freezes, topical sprays and occasionally grooming products. It is twice as potent as ethanol or methanol. Methanol is most commonly found in windshield washer fluid or paint removers. 

Pets And Alcohol

As previously mentioned, there are some products out there that market themselves as wine for pets. The truth is, the wine for cats is typically just essential oils mixed with some sort of catnip. The truth is that alcohol is so poisonous to cats and dogs because their bodies are small compared to their human companions. What we might consider a small sip of wine, beer, or a mixed drink is actually quite large, proportionally, and therefore, can significantly endanger a pet's lives. 

Much like humans, cats' livers and kidneys do most of the heavy lifting when processing and filtering out toxins, aiding in digestion, and facilitating waste disposal. What humans consider an insignificant amount of alcohol can be a deadly danger to pets. 

The higher the amount of alcohol or ethanol in a beverage, the higher the risk to your pet's health. One teaspoon, yes teaspoon, of grain alcohol is enough to cause severe alcohol toxicity symptoms in cats and dogs. One tablespoon is enough to put a healthy cat or small dog into a coma. However, like with humans, whether a pet has recently eaten makes a difference in the impact alcohol has on a pet. Cats and dogs that have not eaten recently and do not have food in their stomachs are likely to have more dire consequences from alcohol poisoning. 

It is also worth noting that food prepared with alcohol, ranging from cakes to meats to anything else, can also be detrimental to a pet's health. Additionally, any household items, like cough syrups and cleaning solutions, should be off-limits and carefully stored away from your pet when not in use or with adult supervision.

What Can Happen

Before we dive into the scary parts of what can happen if your cat drinks alcohol, let’s start with the good news. The truth is, alcohol toxicity in pets is actually incredibly rare. Why? Because pets usually find the taste of alcohol unpleasant. Plus, because most owners know that any type of alcohol is not pet-friendly, owners don’t usually try to share their beloved drinks with their furry friends. 

In general, pet owners should go to great lengths to ensure their pet does not ingest any alcoholic beverages, especially not on an empty stomach. Any party fouls in the presence of your beloved pet should be cleaned as soon as they occur to prevent any exposure. Some vets say that pets can absorb alcohol through even their skin, which is why it is vital to be vigilant in your cleanup! 

If you are concerned your pet might be reacting to alcohol, here are some symptoms of alcohol poisoning to be on the lookout for. In general, symptoms are akin to those in humans, including disorientation and dizziness, and uncontrolled urination. Depending on how much alcohol your pet ingested or absorbed, cats and dogs can experience lower body temperature and dehydration. More frightening, with ethanol poisoning, your pet's blood can become acidic, which would start a plethora of cascading health effects throughout their body. Should you have any reason to believe your pet ingested alcohol, the best thing to do is get your pet to the veterinarian as quickly and safely as possible.

Keep The Wine For The Humans

If you love your pets as much as we love our cats, then you know keeping them happy, safe and healthy is extremely important. When it comes to pets and alcohol, the two are best kept separate for the health and safety of our furry companions. So let’s keep Bev an adults-only,  human drink and cheers to our best friends instead.