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Can Cats Drink Wine? What You Need to Know!

a glass of red wine

Wine is an alcoholic drink that like beer or cider, should never be intentionally given to your pet, but some dogs and cats may enjoy the smell and decide to have a taste or even finish the whole glass! If this has happened to you, you may be wondering whether wine is safe for cats: Can cats drink wine?

In general, cats should not drink wine at all because it can have several detrimental effects. It is also made from grapes, a fruit that is potentially lethal to them. The effect that it may have will depend on the amount that your cat drank and on your individual cat’s size and weight, but if your cat only took a few sips of wine, there is likely nothing to worry about.

In this article, we’ll look at the effects that wine can have on your feline and the steps to take if they sneaked a few sips from your glass. Let’s get started!

hepper cat paw dividerIs Wine Toxic for Cats?

red wine and white wine
Image Credit: Pixabay

Because cats are so much smaller than us, even just a small amount of wine can be toxic for them. Additionally, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that grapes — the main ingredient in wine — is toxic to cats and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even kidney failure in extreme cases. Curiously, some cats and dogs can eat grapes or raisins with no issue, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

Signs of wine toxicity in cats

The signs of a bad reaction to wine in your cat depend largely on how much they drank and their own unique metabolism. As with grapes, some cats may react badly to even a few sips of wine, while others may be perfectly fine. Just like in humans, a behavioral shift is the first and most obvious sign, and they’ll likely become drowsy, disorientated, and lethargic. Of course, these symptoms may be worse depending on your cat and how much wine they ingested, and they may display less amusing symptoms, including:

  • Excessive or uncontrollable urination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Labored breathing
  • Blackouts
  • Paralysis

These symptoms can present themselves as soon as 15 minutes after ingestion. If you suspect that your cat has had a few sips of your glass of evening wine and they display any of these symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.

The severity of these symptoms will also depend on the strength of the wine, but even 1 teaspoon is enough to cause mild toxicity in cats — and 2 or three can easily result in more serious symptoms. Also, like humans, whether your cat has recently eaten will make a big difference in the severity of their symptoms, as an empty stomach is far more dangerous.

nebelung cat in vet clinic
Image Credit: Juice Flair, Shutterstock

Treatment of alcohol toxicity in cats

If your cat has only had a few sips of wine, there is usually no reason to worry, and they’ll likely just sleep the symptoms off (and wake up slightly drowsy!). If you notice more severe symptoms, though, they’ll need to go to the vet, where they can be monitored overnight and given additional treatment. Your vet will probably need to give them intravenous fluids to keep them hydrated, but it will largely depend on how much that they consumed.

What is “cat wine?”

You may have heard the controversy over the new invention of cat and dog wine and wonder whether it’s safe for your feline. Cat wine is made in several different ways, but it’s mostly made using catnip, with beet juice as the base, and it is alcohol-free. Although all the ingredients used in these wines are non-toxic, they often contain sugars from fruits, which are not ideal to give your cat on a regular basis.

In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to have your cat try one of these, but we advise sticking to clean water or maybe catnip-infused water as a treat indeed.

wine-glasses-grapes-pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

hepper cat paw dividerFinal thoughts

Giving your cat wine is definitely not a good idea, although if they steal a few sips while you’re not looking, they’ll most likely be fine, and a long nap should be enough to set them straight! Luckily, most cats will simply not enjoy the smell or taste of wine and avoid drinking it, anyway, but if your feline shows any interest in your evening Merlot, it’s best to keep it out of their reach.

Now that you know about wine, check out if your cat can have Pedialyte or goat milk, the answer may surprise you!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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