What Will Happen if My Cat Drinks Alcohol?

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Alcohol isn’t good for human health, let alone cat health! But you don’t need to have someone pour alcohol into their feeding bowl for cats to taste the alcohol. These curious creatures may take a sip out of your glass when you’re not looking, lick off the alcohol from any floor/kitchen platform spillage, or come in contact with alcohol from your mouthwash, deodorant, or other products found around your house which may contain alcohol. While beer and cider contain lesser alcohol than other alcoholic beverages, even these can be harmful for your cat.

Effects of alcohol consumption on your cat

The effects from alcohol your cat will experience will depend on the quantity of alcohol it has consumed, the cat’s metabolism, as well as how long ago it consumed said alcohol. In terms of short-term behavioral change, your cat will probably become excited or drowsy. More long-term effects may include –

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Liver failure
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory issues
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Alcohol consumption basically triggers ethanol poisoning in your feline, irrespective of breed or age. Ethanol poisoning can result from alcoholic beverages or household products infused with alcohol.

You might think trying to make your cat drink water would help, but as cats don’t have much of an inherent sense of dehydration. If your cat happens to drink some alcohol and begins displaying signs of ethanol poisoning, don’t wait for the symptoms to pass. Call your vet immediately.

How will you be able to tell if your cat is experiencing alcohol poisoning?

Your cat will express the following symptoms if he/she is falling victim to alcohol poisoning –

  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Slowed down heartbeat
  • Suppressed reflexes
  • Increased/uncontrollable urinating

Alcohol works in a cat’s body, similar to how it does in a human’s body. Your pet might begin to appear uncoordinated or drowsy under the effects of alcohol, just as you would. If it has eaten after drinking, the effects may not be prominent for a while. However, if it has ingested alcohol on an empty stomach, then it might begin experiencing the symptoms within half an hour from ingestion. That said, alcohol consumption can be lethal for feline health. Don’t take any chances and consult a vet as soon as you can, to prevent any unfortunate circumstances.

How is ethanol poisoning treated in a cat?

Vets treat ethanol poisoning in cats. These vets carry out blood tests to determine the reach of the alcohol in the cat’s system and then start required therapy or medication. The cat may be administered intravenous fluids for rehydration, ventilation, cardiac therapy, and so on. The treatment method used by the vet will correspond with the symptoms of alcohol poisoning that needs to be taken care of.