Can My Cat Drink Alcohol?

What you should know before sharing a sip of your wine 🍷

cat staring at glass of wine

When you’re unwinding for the night with a glass of wine or a cold beer, it’s definitely tempting to sneak a sip to your cat.

But is it safe?

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Kate Blair, a cat veterinarian with T.H.E. Cat Hospital of Marina del Rey in California, to find out whether it’s really that bad for your cat to indulge with you.

Turns out alcohol is toxic to cats, and that one tiny sip could have some serious consequences. Here’s why.

Cats and alcohol

“Cats should not drink alcohol because they are very sensitive to it, and it can make them very ill,” Dr. Blair told The Dodo.

And in some cases, it can even be deadly.

Plus, that glass of wine you left sitting on the table isn’t the only kind of alcohol you need to worry about.

According to Dr. Blair, things like mouthwash, some medications, cleaning products and even bread dough (plot twist!) can all have similar effects.

Signs of alcohol toxicity

“Signs of alcohol toxicity can range from mild to severe depending on the amount they ingest,” Dr. Blair said.

If your cat is suffering from alcohol toxicity, it could result in symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Cold body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
  • Incoordination
  • Lethary
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Even if your cat didn’t consume much alcohol, signs can start showing up within half an hour.

What to do if your cat consumes alcohol

The very first thing you should do if your cat drinks alcohol is get in touch with your vet, or even head right to your nearest clinic.

Also, make sure you pay attention to the type of alcohol your cat got into (if you can), because this will help your vet assess the situation.

Luckily, with early intervention, most cats survive a case of alcohol toxicity.

“In many cases, cats can be treated with IV fluids and supportive care and can recover fully,” Dr. Blair explained.

But she said the best way to keep your cat completely safe is to keep any alcoholic products out of his reach.