Cat Alcohol Poisoning
Cat Alcohol Poisoning
Cats cannot tolerate ingesting alcohol as well as humans do as their metabolisms are not adapted to processing alcohol as ours have throughout mankind’s development. Depending on the amount consumed, a cat can suffer from alcohol poisoning rather quickly. Though we may like to enjoy the occasional beer or glass or wine, it is important that we keep such beverages away from the cats residing in our home.
When alcohol is consumed, its primary ingredient, ethanol, begins to be absorbed into the cat’s body. The rate at which this occurs in a cat will depend on the weight of the cat. Smaller cats will be poisoned with alcohol sooner than larger cats, especially those suffering from Cat Obesity. If the cat has an empty stomach, the rate of absorption is increased. The overall health of the cat can also determine how quickly it will become intoxicated by consuming the alcohol.
Contents of Alcohol
As mentioned above, ethanol is the main substance that allows an alcohol drinker to become intoxicated. Different alcoholic beverages contain various amounts of ethanol. Beer, for example, only contains approximately 5-7% ethanol. Wine may contain up to 9%. Whiskey, vodka, and other strong alcoholic drinks can contain anywhere from 30-90% ethanol. Therefore, the type of drink that is consumed by the cat can have an effect on if (as well as how quickly) the cat will begin to suffer from alcohol poisoning.
Lethal Doses of Ethanol for Pets
For larger cats, ethanol is known to be lethal if the cat consumes about 5 ½ grams of the substance per kilogram of the weight of the cat. For example, a 10 pound cat would probably not survive if more than 25 grams of ethanol were consumed. To understand the amount, consider that a 12 ounce beer has about 14 grams of ethanol in it. A smaller amount of ethanol would be seen as lethal to most kittens, as they are typically smaller than most adult cats.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning in Cats
The symptoms of alcohol poisoning can become apparent in cats within 30 minutes of consuming the drink, especially if the cat had an empty stomach. For full stomachs, the symptoms may hold off for 1-2 hours. The initial signs of alcohol toxicity changes in mood, such as appearing confused or overly excited. The cat may begin staggering, have a Cat Seizures, or experience Cat Increased Urination. If the poisoning continues, the pet often suffers from Cat Difficulty Breathing, decreased body temperature, or even a heart attack.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If any of these signs are apparent, the first step is to get the cat to a veterinarian’s office immediately. The vet will consider the cat’s history, and may run various tests to confirm alcohol poisoning. He will also check the state of the cat’s internal organs. The treatment method will vary based on how far the toxicity has progressed. Recovery usually happens within 8-12 hours, given that the cat has been evaluated by a vet in time.