Is Cat Wine Safe?
Written by Caitlyn Conville
Want to get your cat something special to celebrate their birthday or adoption? Or are you just ‘feline’ in the mood for a drink and want some company? Cat wine is a beverage designed specifically for cats and is one of the more amusing trends in the cat-loving, wine-drinking community. But before you ‘purr’ kitty a glass, read on to see if cat wine is the right choice for your furry companion.
Most importantly, cat wine does not contain any alcohol or grapes. Alcohol is extremely dangerous for any pet, as are grapes and raisins. Cat wine is generally made of catnip, beet juice, and natural preservatives. Apollo Peak, located in Golden, Colorado, produces the most well-known brand of cat wine. The company touts its line of cleverly named products as all-natural, organic, and completely safe for pets. “It’s made like a tea,” Brandon Zavala, founder of Apollo Peak, told The Huffington Post. It just looks like and is marketed as wine. Zavala also claims that his product has been approved by local veterinarians. “They’re totally cool with it,” he said. “They love it.” But some vets aren’t wholly satisfied. Although the ASPCA lists beets as non-toxic to cats, Dr. Nancy J. Dunkle, DVM, of Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital in Medford, N.J. has concerns about the sugar content of beet juice.
“Even fresh beet juice may contain high sugar content, which could be problematic to diabetic cats or a cat with gastrointestinal problems,” Dunkle shared with PetMD. Beets can also change the color of urine so that their ingestion could lead to false positives on urine tests for cats with diabetes or urinary issues. But the news is not all bad: there are some possible upsides to cat wine! Another brand, Pet Winery, adds salmon oil to its products. The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are known to have a number of benefits for both humans and animals, including their anti-inflammatory effects on the heart, kidneys, joints, and skin. Salmon oil can help reduce itchy skin and dandruff, promote a fuller, shinier coat, and keep older kitties more active.
Cat wine is not inherently dangerous in small quantities, but it isn’t necessarily beneficial either. Cat wine is more a novelty than anything. It may work fine as a small treat here and there, but vets likely wouldn’t recommend letting cats drink it all the time. It is important to know your cat’s body and health before letting him or her even take a sip, and it’s a good idea to check in with your vet before introducing anything new into your cat’s diet. If the idea of cat wine still makes you nervous, there are alternatives! There’s always catnip tea, which you can easily make at home by distilling catnip in water. Or you can freeze low-sodium chicken broth or tuna juice into ice cubes for some nice, cool ‘pawpsicles.’
Whether or not you raise a glass with your kitty, it’s always happy hour as long as they’re around!
Edited by Rena Henderson