Can cats eat honey? -
facts you need to know

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We love our feline friends, and we always want what's best for them.

When it comes to nutrition, we want to provide them with all the nutrients and vitamins they need to live a happy and healthy life. But can cats eat honey? Or is honey bad for cats?

We humans often add a spoonful of honey into our tea. Not only does it make it taste sweeter, but we also know it has many nutrients that keep us healthy.

But you might be wondering can cats have honey as well. Is honey safe for cats, and can I give my cat honey, or should you be avoiding it altogether?

Let's find out!

cat laying on floor

Can I give my cat honey?

Cats and honey divide opinions.

Although honey is not considered toxic to cats, it is not usually recommended. Many experts say you should avoid honey altogether when it comes to your cat, but there is no evident toxicity to cats. You can use it - especially when it's only occasionally for medical purposes.

Many cats actually dislike honey, and they will avoid the food naturally. Other cats, however, might want to have a taste and is your cat has reacted well to honey in the past, you can give a small amount as a treat every now and then.

You can give your cats honey, but always remember it is not recommended as a part of their regular diet.

Fresh honey in the comb with cat

Is honey safe for cats?

Honey is safe for cats – if your talk about toxicity. Giving your kitty a spoonful of honey will not hurt her.

However, adding honey to your feline's diet is not recommended as such. It may not be toxic, but it may cause your cat to have an upset stomach.

Is honey beneficial for cats?

Honey is considered a healthy treat for humans, and it does have many anti-bacterial properties and beneficial nutrients like iron, copper, potassium, zinc, and vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants.

Although you may want to provide your cat with a healthy diet and all the vitamins and nutrients they need, there are plenty of other options available, and honey may not be the best option.

Cat's bodies aren't designed to process sugars, which means they may have a hard time digesting honey, which is high in fructose and glucose.

Honey may have small health benefits when it comes to cats, including that it potentially eases allergies, has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is rich in antioxidants.

However, the downsides may overrule the benefits, as cats may get an upset stomach causing vomiting and diarrhea after consuming honey.

cute little kitten

Since sugar is not a part of a natural diet for cats, it should be avoided. You may feel like giving it to your cat because you enjoy having sugary treats yourself and you want to give your cat something tasty and delicious too. But cats wouldn't find sugar naturally in the wild, which is why they don't actually need it. Cats are carnivores and cat food will provide them everything they need to live a happy and healthy life.

If you decide to feed your cat honey, make sure you do it in small amounts and only occasionally. Also, you should make sure you observe your cat to see how they react to honey. If they have not eaten honey before, they may get discomfort in their stomach, upset stomach, and even allergic reactions like vomiting or diarrhea.

When should I give my cat honey?

Cats don't really need honey to stay healthy, and there is no need to give them this sugary treat. But some people believe that cats can benefit from honey when it is used occasionally for medicinal purposes.

For sore throat and respiratory inflammations

Honey does contain many antioxidants, and it has anti-bacterial properties, which is why it is used for a sore throat and respiratory inflammations in humans.

Because of these qualities it can also be used to ease the discomfort when your cat is sick. It can be difficult to diagnose your cat at home, but if they seem to suffer from cold-like symptoms, you could give a drop or two of honey to relieve the symptoms.

However, if you suspect your cat is ill, you should take it to the vet for a professional assessment.

Allergies

Honey is known for relieving allergic reactions on humans because of its unique ability to suppress the immune system partially. Some people believe that it will do the same for cats providing some relief when they react to allergens.

If you suspect your cat has allergies, always consult the vet. Honey could potentially offer some relief from the symptoms, but your vet can examine and test your pet and offer a diagnose and suitable medication.

Nevertheless, if you decide to use honey to help your cat deal with their allergies, make sure to use raw honey. Processed products lose some of the beneficial nutrients and won't have the same effect.

Some cat owners believe that giving a cat a small amount of honey every week will enhance their immune systems giving them fewer reactions to allergens. Since honey is not toxic to cats, you could try giving your cat some. Just remember to take your cat to the vet if they continue to have signs of allergies or if they have an allergic reaction to the honey itself.

Is honey bad for cats?

Ok, so there are a couple of situations when honey might be beneficial for your cat. But are there situations when honey can, in fact, be harmful? When should I not give my cat honey?

  • You should not give your cat honey if they have diabetes, because it will increase their insulin levels. If your cat has diabetes, you should consult your vet before giving your pet any sugary treats.
  • You should also be careful when giving honey to your cat if he or she is overweight. Although you may be giving it in small amounts, each teaspoon contains 64 calories - which is a lot for a small cat.
  • In addition, you should avoid giving honey to small kittens. Their immune system has not been fully developed, and honey could potentially contain bacteria called botulinum. Small kittens might have a reaction to this bacteria, which is why it's better to avoid honey until your cat is grown up.
  • This also applies if your cat has a weakened immune system. Although honey may actually benefit and strengthen the immune system of healthy cats; the botulinum bacteria may have serious consequences for cats that have a weaker immune system.

How much honey can cats eat?

Cats have a very small digestive system, which means that any human-sized portion is big for them. So if you do give your feline friend honey make sure you give it in tiny amounts.

Cats have small mouths, and sticky honey could potentially be a choking hazard in large quantities. If you are worried your cat might not be able to swallow the honey, you could mix it with some water to make it runny.

If given in small amounts, it shouldn't be a problem for your cat to swallow the honey, but it may cause an upset stomach when it enters the digestive system.

To reduce the likelihood of stomach pains, introduce your cat to this new food slowly. You should start with a small drop mixed in with their dry food.

honey jar

Observe your cat for allergic reactions like vomiting or diarrhea or discomfort in their stomach. If your cat does not react in a negative way to honey, you can give them more.

  • For smaller cats maximum of 1 teaspoon per day
  • For larger cats maximum of 1 tablespoon per day

Honey and cats – final thoughts

Since some experts do not recommend giving cats honey and others think that it may have health benefits, you should always consult your vet before adding honey to your cat's diet.

Every cat is different, and while others may take it well, others may have negative reactions.

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