How Bad Is Alcohol For Cats? What Should I Do If My Cat Accidentally Drinks Some?

Cats can't drink alcohol. Photo taken in Córdoba, Argentina. Cat lying by beer.

(Picture Credit: Andrés Formento / EyeEm/Getty Images)

How bad is alcohol for cats? Maybe you’ve wondered this if your cat tried to sneak a sip while you were enjoying a cold beer at the end of a warm summer’s day. If humans can drink alcoholic beverages, is it so bad if your cat has a taste?

The short answer is cats absolutely cannot safely drink alcohol. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is quite blunt about it being one of the substances that you should never let a cat have.

Here’s what you need to know about alcohol and cats.

Why Is Alcohol Bad For Cats?

The ASPCA advises that “under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.” This is because it can lead to a whole host of negative issues and conditions for your cat.

Some of the most common symptoms you may see in a cat who drinks alcohol include:

  • Appearing to wobble and lose coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing problems
  • Vomiting
  • Experiencing tremors

In severe cases of alcohol poisoning, cats might end up suffering from central nervous system issues or enter into a coma. The most extreme cases can prove to be lethal.

What Should I Do If My Cat Drinks Alcohol?

No way this cute 6 months cat will be left alone at happy hour. It is resting on owner’s arm. Man holding a glass of wine. Horizontal indoors shot.

(Picture Credit martinedoucet/Getty Images)

While alcohol is definitely not a substance that you should voluntarily give to your cat, thankfully there are a couple of mitigating factors that might lessen the effects or likelihood of your kitty drinking alcoholic beverages.

First of all, cats are not naturally drawn to the smell of alcohol, so there’s a good chance they will turn their finicky noses up at any glasses of wine or beer that they chance across.

Secondly, the amount and potency of the drink your cat consumes is key. If you notice that your kitty has sneaked in a quick lick of a light beer, then there’s a good chance they will be okay. Just make sure to remove the alcoholic beverage from their vicinity.

If you discover that your cat has managed to drink a more significant amount of alcohol, whether by quantity or the strength of the drink, monitor closely for any of the common symptoms mentioned above.

Call your veterinarian, and emergency animal hospital, or the ASPCA’s emergency Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 and follow their advice. If they advise you to bring your cat into a medical facility, then there’s a strong chance that the vet will administer intravenous fluids to your cat to help them recover.

Has your cat ever tried to sneak in a sip of an alcoholic drink? How do you make sure to keep human drinks away from your cat? Let us know in the comments below!

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