When PEOPLE first introduced Apollo Peak cat wine to a group of shelter kitties, all of the babies gave the liquid a few sniffs but never drank.
It turned out that’s not a problem for pet owners. According to the New York Times, Apollo Peak, which markets pet-friendly, alcohol-free wine for dogs and cats, earned $500,000 last year in “wine” sales.
“The best part of the idea is having wine with your pet — that’s what drives it,” Brandon Zavala, who is the chief executive of Apollo Peak, explained to NYT. “It’s not how it tastes for the cat.”
Whether their cat drinks the adult beverage or not, owners seem to absolutely love the idea of their pet taking part in the human tradition of winding down with a glass of vino.
To feed this need for pet lovers to have fluffy drinking buddies, other pet wine companies are popping up. Apollo Peak, which started back in 2015, mixes catnip with beet juice and offers flavors like Catbernet and Pinot Meow. While their competitor, called Pet Winery, has been offering salmon oil and cat nip concoctions under names like Meow & Chandon since 2016.
Both of these companies are a sign of pet parents’ growing inclination to treat their animals more like humans and less like objects. And while these pet vintages might not be a huge hit with animals, they are super big with pet owners, because it allows them to build on the fantasy their animals are living lives just like their own, only on a slightly smaller and furrier scale.
Pet parents of kitties who have actually lapped up the wine say the drink does make their cats a little extra affectionate and often leads to a catnap crash.
Whether they decided to get thoroughly buzzed or not, the cats of pet wine buyers are living in a home where their parent doesn’t think it’s ridiculous to treat their feline to the same little luxuries they give themselves.
And this, of course, is a win-win for any kitty.