Why is my cat drinking beer?

I know, I know, it’s to numb the pain of the world. But beyond that, why is my cat licking the tops of the beer bottles in the recycling bin? Is there a taste in beer that cats like? Would it be harmful to let her keep licking the bottles? Would it be better to let her lick an O’Doul’s bottle? This is a cat with terrible protein allergies, and there are very few treats that appeal to her, so I’d like to understand what she likes about beer.

I believe there is a sugary residue left after everything else evaporates away. One of my dogs has done it once or twice, but it’s not something she has normal access to.

But from what i’ve heard, cats have no taste receptors for sweet.

And this cat doesn’t like sweet tastes. I’m wondering if it’s the malty taste she likes.

She’s drinking beer, or at least licking the bottle openings, because she CAN. Cats will lick and eat things that they shouldn’t. Some are notorious for eating wool, while others love to lick plastic bags. Cats will eat tinsel if given the opportunity. Most cats are not really that bright, and will eat, or at least try to eat, anything that takes their fancy. Yeah, they’re perceived as picky eaters, but this is only in regard to stuff that humans WANT them to eat. When left to their own devices, they will eat toilet paper and cardboard boxes, and drink antifreeze (which is poisonous, and can kill them).

Obligatory Two Lumps link. Note that Two Lumps updates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so if you read this on Monday, hit the “Previous” button.

Cats have a taste for protein and fats. I agree: it’s probably not the sugar, but the malty flavoring that’s attracting it.

She’s a filthy little drunk.

Do we (mammals) really need a reason to drink beer?

I don’t know about cats, but a lot of dogs I’ve known love beer. My uncle’s dog is crazy about it.

One of my cats loves beer too, particularly reds! The first time, she actually grabbed the bottle in my hand with her paw and pulled it towards herself to get a lick at it. She tries to climb into the boxes of empties, and has started licking up beer spills before we can clean them up. I occasionally let her lick the top of my empty bottles - she purrs like crazy when she does! I don’t think a few licks off an empty bottle once in a while would be enough to cause her any harm. We call her our alcoholic kitty.

She also watches football on TV. Perhaps all those commercials have gotten to her?

Perhaps hops remind them of catnip? My cats love beer bottle caps, that lovely beer smell on a toy they can bat around.

The cat probably thinks it’s a slug. Fortunately, it’s not as likely to drown in the beer.

She can’t afford wine?

Out of curiousity I looked to see if catnip and hops are related, however it appears hops and cannabis are more closely related.

In fact, malt extract* is a common ingredient in pet supplements, both the kind for hairballs and in vitamin and high-calorie food “pastes” used for pets that aren’t eating enough. So apparently the taste appeals, in some way, to enough pets to be used widely.

  • Malt extract is commonly used in homebrewing. It’s produced by roasting sprouted grains, usually barley, stewing them in hot water rather like you’re making tea, removing the grains, and concentrating down the “barley water” and all of its sugars into a paste.

One of my cats LOVES alcohol of all sorts. Beer, wine, scotch - you can’t put your glass down if he is in the room.

Why? I ascribe to the “Filthy Drunk” theory proposed above.

The other two do what you would expect normal cats to do, namely wrinkle their faces, put their ears back, glare at you and flounce away.

My take on it - cats is weird. I have one of the plastic bag lickers - she likes to get her paw in on it, too - lick the bag, lick the paw, etc. etc.

Put a few drops in a bottle cap as a treat for the cat. She’ll love you for it.

But for god’s sake, don’t let her drive afterward.

I can’t offer qualified advice without seeing a picture.