Project Your Issues Onto Your Pet With Cat Wine

Unless this is your first day exploring this magical place we call the internet, you’ve surely heard of cat wine products — non-alcoholic, catnip water, essentially — that you can safely offer to your best feline friends. But do cats even like the stuff, or is it more about humans projecting their shi–, uh, issues, on their furry companions?

In a New York Times article about a battle brewing between two competing cat wine startups, Apollo Peak and Pet Winery, writer Carol Pogash wanted to cut past the hype and figure out if cats have a thirst for products like Catbernet (Apollo Peak), or Meow & Chandon (Pet Winery).

She conducted a wine tasting at a local cat cafe/adoption center in Oakland, CA, and found that really the products are more for humans than cats, noting that the shelter cats didn’t care for wines from either company. Just two took a sip, and only one was seriously into it.

“He sipped, then groomed himself and got blissful,” she writes. “Other cats lounging in cubbyholes ignored the offerings, though one was briefly interested.”

Human visitors, however, loved the idea — even though they witnessed the cats’ general indifference. That makes sense to Brand Zavala, the chief executive of Apollo Peak.

“The best part of the idea is having wine with your pet — that’s what drives it,” he told the NYT. “It’s not how it tastes for the cat.”

We already treat our pets like people — whether you’re a cat or a dog “mom” or “dad” — and this is just one way of doing that.

“We want to believe we’re making their lives more luxurious, however silly that seems,” an observer of the wine tasting said. “You’re imagining this alternative universe, in which cats live miniature versions of what you do.”

Even though she saw the wine wasn’t a hit, she added, she might buy some for her cats.

Basically, if you’re ready to drown your sorrows in a bottle of wine on the couch while binge watching Luther, well, your cat should do that too, right? Then you’re not so… alone.

There’s good news for dog owners, too: Both companies now offer dog wine, featuring ingredients like chamomile and peppermint, or salmon oil and bacon extract in water.

Both companies have expanded into the dog wine market: Apollo Peak brews chamomile and peppermint in water. Pet Winery adds salmon oil and bacon extract.