Do You Feed Your Kitty "Cat Wine"?

February 17, 2017

So, here’s a thing. Yesterday, an article in the Business section of The New York Times reported on a remarkably tense rivalry that’s been brewing between two companies that create “wine” for cats, Apollo Peak and Pet Winery. The former, which began business two years ago, claims to have a dominion over the cat wine industry. Pet Winery didn't exist until last summer. Both companies have the same, simple philosophy guiding their respective business strategies: A cat is a friend, and should thus be treated in the same way you would a human guest whom you'd offer a sweet, soothing nectar. What’s resulted from this minor conflict is some passive-aggressive ribbing over who, exactly, lays claim to the invention of cat wine.

Uh...what is cat wine?
You, likely

I know what you're thinking: What is cat wine? The Times reporter describes these drinks as “catnip water,” a phrase so nondescript that it's begging for clarification. So I'll just say it: The drinks are alcohol-free. Apollo Peak’s products are a cocktail of "all-natural organically grown herbs,” fresh beets, and natural preservatives. Most of Pet Winery's offerings are infused with salmon oil and food coloring. Neither company's drinks will make cats loopy and delirious.

Buried lede in this wonderful coverage from the Grey Lady, though: Who feeds their cats cat wine? Um? Hello? Anyone? Yesterday is the first I’ve heard of such an invention as cat wine. The very existence of these two companies presupposes a large market for people who’d feed their kitties these beverages, but I'm not sure I know anyone in my personal life who belongs to this demographic.

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I understand the appeal of such a product: Scoop some Purina from a can and pour some beet juice for Bella. A nice malt for Mittens. A classy kitty demands a classy beverage. But I don’t know a single cat owner who feeds their cat wine. Do you belong to this group I'm not convinced exists? Are you a cat owner who feeds their cat an intoxicant of this ilk? Please let me know.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Brandon L. February 19, 2017
Try checking out #pinotmeow on instagram. You'll see why we love making this stuff.
Ali February 18, 2017
No, I have not tried this but tonight I found the corkscrew on the living room floor next to a cat toy. So my cat may be breaking into the real stuff while I'm at work....
nat D. February 17, 2017
nat D. February 17, 2017
Whiteantlers February 17, 2017
Nonsense and codswallop! Is something really 'wine' if it has no alcohol? My cats get good food, nutritional yeast, canned pumpkin, pots of rye and wheat grass and a lavish, weekly catnip frolic. I think it's wise to remember that our pets don't need or want the same-ummm-leisure treats enjoyed by humans.
Michele February 17, 2017
I have cats and over the years have had lots of them and I wouldn't waste my money on this. Cats like water, they like catnip (although not all do). I have noted over the years that the most delicious water is the muddies puddles they find. The fancy blending of this and other products into a 'wine' is just creating something for the sake of it. Like the broths available for cats now, some may enjoy, others not. But they have survived and thrived for thousands and thousands of years without this so I just think this is someone jumping on the crazy cat bandwagon. I am sure there will be those new to the world of felines that will fall for it but to me it is a gimmick.
Sarah J. February 17, 2017
My cat tried lapping up some of my wine last night so...
Heather |. February 17, 2017
anna akana tried apollo peak with her cats and... none of them looked like they even wanted to try it, lol.