Can Cats Drink Alcohol? - Cat Kingpin
can cats drink alcohol

Can Cats Drink Alcohol?

Alcohol has been a huge part of the diet and culture of humanity for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, even the ancient Babylonians worshipped a wine goddess… nearly 5,000 years ago in 2700 B.C.

It was the Greeks who first invented wine as we know it today, likely around 1700 B.C. Before that, they drank a different kind of alcoholic drink called “mead,” which was a fermented mixture of honey and water.

Nowadays, our taste in alcohol has changed quite a bit, and we have hundreds if not thousands of varieties including wine, beer, hard alcohol, cider, and malt.

While we may enjoy a nice cold beer or a glass of wine after a hard day at work, should we ever allow our cats to get in on the festivities? Can cats drink alcohol?

The answer is absolutely not! Alcohol is extremely dangerous for cats, and even the tiniest bit can have devastating effects on your cats health.  But there are some alternatives you can try instead.

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • Cats and Alcohol – What You Need to Know
  • Can Cats Drink Alcohol?
  • Can Kittens Drink Alcohol?
  • Negatives of Feeding Cats Alcohol
  • Alternatives to Alcohol for Cats

Cats and Alcohol, What You Need to Know

Alcohol is extremely dangerous for cats, and you should never give it to your cat- not even a sip!

As little as one tablespoon of alcohol can put your cat in a coma, and as little as one teaspoon of grain alcohol can cause alcohol toxicity. To put it in perspective, one shot of alcohol has 9 teaspoons. Just one ninth of a shot glass is enough to really make your cat sick!

Can Cats Drink Alcohol?

No, cats cannot drink alcohol. Other than making them feel extremely ill, alcohol can have devastating effects on your cat’s health.

Ethanol poisoning is the biggest concern.  Ethanol is the ingredient in alcohol that makes human beings feel tipsy.

Cats are extremely sensitive to ethanol, due partially to their biological makeup, and also because of how small they are. Cats are unable to process alcohol in the same way that human beings can.

Even a small amount of alcohol can cause ethanol toxicity in cats. The symptoms of ethanol poisoning are:

  1. Behavioral changes
  2. Decreased body temperature
  3. Slow reflexes
  4. Depression
  5. Slowed breathing
  6. Slowed heart rate
  7. Heart attack
  8. Coma

If your cat accidentally drinks alcohol, even just a tiny bit, bring them to the vet immediately!

Thankfully, most cats won’t be interested in alcohol. But if your cat is curious, make sure to keep the alcohol shut away in a place where they can’t reach. Never leave unattended open containers around the house, as your cat may unwittingly drink some out of curiosity.

There’s nothing wrong with letting your cat drink out of a wine glass though…just make sure it’s only water!

Can Kittens Drink Alcohol?

No! Kittens absolutely cannot drink alcohol. In fact, the devastating effects of alcohol may be even more pronounced in kittens, which are considerably smaller than their adult counterparts.

Kittens should mostly drink water, and may occasionally drink goat’s milk as a treat. Whiskas Catmilk is another great beverage for cats since it’s made with their nutritional needs in mind! As with all treats, it should be given in moderation.

These kittens are enjoying a bit of kitten milk- see? No alcohol needed!

Negatives of Feeding Cats Alcohol

It’s hard to stress enough how dangerous alcohol can be for cats.  Because of its high ethanol content, alcohol is extremely toxic to cats. Even just a few teaspoons of alcohol, especially grain alcohol such as vodka and whiskey, can cause:

  • Brain damage
  • Liver damage
  • Ethanol toxicity
  • Diarrhea
  • Drunkenness
  • Coma
  • Death

There are no positives to giving alcohol to cats. Cats do perfectly well on a diet of high-quality cat food with meat as the first ingredient, such as Blue Wilderness Dry Food for Cats, and plain old water.

Alternatives to Alcohol for Cats

If you can believe it, there is such a thing as “wine for cats”. It’s actually catnip based, and it’s a beverage that kitties can enjoy (though it isn’t actually alcohol!) It has hilarious names such as “Pinot Meow,” and since it’s made from catnip, cats are sure to love it!

If you’re interested in checking this “cat wine” out, you can click right here.

Not ready to splurge on alcohol for your cat? We hear that. There are other kitty beverages that your cat can partake in, such as milk treats for cats. This “milk”, which won’t upset a cat’s stomach like actual dairy might, is specially formulated to be safe for cats.

Pour some in a wine glass if you really want to, but only give them a little as a treat!

Here’s a cat enjoying a little bit of the cat wine we mentioned above.

So, Can Cats Drink Alcohol?

Unlike their human owners, cats absolutely cannot drink alcohol. Not only will it make them sick, it could potentially kill them! Remember, even just the tiniest bit of alcohol can be deadly for your beloved kitty.

Use caution and common sense when keeping alcohol in a home with cats. Remember to:

  1. Keep alcohol locked up
  2. Never leave an open container of alcohol within your cats reach
  3. If you suspect your cat has consumed alcohol, take them to the vet immediately!
  4. Offer your cat safe, cat-friendly alternatives such the cat wine available here.

Are you worried about cats and alcohol? Do you ever give your cat beverages other than water that are safe for cats? We want to hear about it in the comments!

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Amanda K.

After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I've been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I've been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.

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