After a stressful day or going to a party with your friends, you may have an alcoholic drink or two. Alcohol consumption is a popular pastime for many, but did you know just how dangerous it can be for your pets if they consume it? The effects of alcohol on cats can be serious and even fatal, making it important to be aware of what could happen if your cat drinks alcoholic beverages. Read more below to learn the potential risks of cats drinking alcohol and how to prevent it from occurring. 

The Dangers of Cats Drinking Alcohol 

Though alcohol consumption is generally accepted in humans, it can be deadly for cats and dogs due to their much smaller body size. Even a small amount of alcohol can be fatal to pets, whether it is a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a cocktail. The liver and kidneys in cats are responsible for detoxifying the body, aiding in digestion, and facilitating waste elimination, and thus are particularly susceptible to the effects of alcohol. As a result, what may be considered a harmless amount of alcohol for humans can be deadly for an animal. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning in Cats 

Feline alcohol poisoning shares many of the same signs as human alcohol poisoning. If your cat has consumed alcohol, you may notice gastrointestinal distress, shakiness, queasiness, vomiting, and even delirium. Common symptoms of alcohol poisoning in cats include: 

  • Depression or lethargy 
  • Incoordination 
  • Drooling 
  • Vomiting or retching 
  • Weakness 
  • Collapse 
  • Decreased respiratory rate 
  • Hypoglycemia  
  • Hypotension 
  • Hypothermia  

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning in Cats 

If you suspect that your cat has consumed alcohol, it is important to take immediate action. Contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for expert advice. Alcohol poisoning symptoms can occur quickly, so timing is crucial. If the amount of alcohol ingested is moderate, they may recover with some time. However, if the amount of alcohol ingested is significant or your pet is displaying concerning symptoms, you should seek immediate veterinary attention. Depending on the severity of the poisoning, your cat may need to be hospitalized due to alcohol intoxication so your veterinarian can administer IV fluids and other lifesaving therapies.