Have you ever been home with your cat (or cats), enjoying a nice glass of wine, and thought, “I wish my feline friends could enjoy this too.”
The Denver-based company makes drinks for cats that look like wine, but bear little resemblance to the stuff ingredient-wise -- it's both alcohol-free and grape-free. In varieties like Pinot Meow and MosCATo, Apollo Peak wine is made with organic catnip and water and colored with organic beet juice (the "white" varieties are colored with golden beets).
“It's made like a tea,” Apollo Peak founder Brandon Zavala told The Huffington Post. “But since we got it to look so much like a wine, we want it to be perceived as a wine by the consumer -- that way they can feel as though they are having a glass of wine with their pet.”
Zavala, who named his company after the older of his two cats, Apollo, started making the drink commercially in November.
“It’s kind of a weird story,” he said. “It started out as a joke, slapping a label on a regular wine bottle.” Then it dawned on him — maybe some people out there really would like a wine-like treat for their cats.
He did some research and found out such a product already existed — Nyan Nyan Nouveau, which you may remember from viral news stories a few years ago. But Nyan Nyan Nouveau has some serious problems. For one, it’s only available in Japan. More importantly, it’s made from grapes, which can be toxic to felines.
On the other hand, the ASPCA lists beets as non-toxic to cats. Zavala says his product is approved by local veterinarians.
“They’re totally cool with it,” he said. “They love it.”
That said, you may still want to check with your vet, especially if your pet has preexisting health problems.
"Beet juice is not toxic to kitties (or dogs for that matter), but as always check with your vet before giving something like this," Veterinarian Katy Nelson of The Pet Show told HuffPost in an email. "Beet juice has been known to change the color of urine, so especially for diabetic cats or kitties with urinary problems that you monitor their urine, it could cause false positives on their tests."
But even though this admittedly seems pretty cool, there’s no guarantee your cats will like it. Some cats don't react to catnip, and if yours don't, they probably won’t go wild for catnip wine either. Not all cats were cut out for the finer things in life.