Honey can be a problematic food in homes. It’s a popular sweetener and is often touted as being a far better alternative to white sugar.
On the other hand, it cannot be eaten by infants, it can cause allergic reactions, and there is definitely a divide on whether it’s safe for pets to eat.
But honey is also something that many cats will also be curious about it, and it has many antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it useful from a medicinal standpoint.
So, can cats eat honey or should they stay far away?
Cats can eat honey, but this is a case of what can be done is not necessarily what should be done. Honey isn’t toxic to cats, but it’s also not very good for them and really doesn’t deliver the same benefits as it does for humans.
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Do Cats Like Honey?
The reality is that honey is a sweet food and cats cannot taste sweets, so what they are left with is a thick glop. This means that some cats will go after it because they like the texture or because they are curious about what you’re eating.
But other cats are going to show no interest whatsoever and will actively reject any offerings. A preference for honey will fall on the individual cat’s preference, though diluted honey sometimes makes it more likely they will eat it since it will be thinner.
Do Cats Hate Honey?
Some cats are certainly not going to enjoy honey. They can’t really taste it anyway and they may not like the texture. If this describes your cat, then don’t worry about it too much.
Honey doesn’t provide much benefit for cats, and it can lead to health problems if they eat it too regularly. There are plenty of other alternatives you can use to reward your cat or trick them into taking their medications.
Absolutely none of my cats have ever shown the slightest interest in honey. I think if I offered it, they’d wander off!
Can Honey Kill My Cat?
Honey is not toxic to your cat, so assuming it doesn’t have any bad allergies, it won’t kill your cat. But honey also isn’t very healthy for cats.
Cats have fairly specific dietary needs. They are obligate carnivores meaning that they require protein and fat in their diet, as well as amino acids and taurine which are only found in red meat.
Honey on the other hand is high in some good stuff like antioxidants, but these are things that cats don’t really need to stay healthy. Honey is also high in fructose and glucose which can cause cats trouble if they have too much of it over a long period of time.
The big problem with honey and cats is the sugar content. The high amount of fructose and glucose can lead to obesity in cats, which can cause issues like joint problems and obesity.
High fructose is also bad for a cat’s teeth, and they have enough problems with dental hygiene since most cats won’t be happy with regular tooth brushing. It can also cause fatal blood sugar spikes in cats already battling diabetes and can lead to diabetes in the long run in non-diabetic cats.
Honey is also just plain hard to digest, even for humans. Cats have a much smaller digestive system, meaning that it doesn’t have as much time to break down foods. This can cause problems for your cat such as vomiting, botulinum, diarrhea, and higher insulin levels.
In particular, cats who are already obese, diabetic, or kittens who are very young, should stay well away because honey will just make the problems worse (or cause new problems in kittens.)
Honey won’t kill your cat, but it can lead to problems down the road that can shorten your cat’s lifespan, such as diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity. Besides, honey has no protein, fiber, or amino acids that cats need to stay healthy, so it really isn’t much use to them anyway.
How Much Honey Can I Feed My Cat?
Honey may not be a great food for cats to have, but it has its occasional use. In the case of allergies and sore throats, a small amount of honey can be beneficial.
Honey is really good for soothing sore throats, suppressing allergens, treating extremely minor stomach aches (though some vets have come out against this practice), and helping a malnourished cat gain some weight (a teaspoon of honey contains a whopping 64 calories, so it won’t take much!).
Honey can sometimes also be used to help treat wounds because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and very diluted honey is sometimes used to coax a cat to take its medications. This should really only be done by the recommendation of a vet though because you want to ensure that it is quality honey in very small amounts.
So, in very select cases, honey can be a good thing for cats to have. But you still don’t want to let them have too much. At most a half teaspoon is enough, even for medicinal reasons, and really, just a few drops are all that is needed.
Raw, organic honey is also going to be better than any other kind since it will have less filler or other ingredients in it. But that’s also going to be a matter of checking ingredient lists – remember that less is more with cats!
Too much honey is linked to the following issues:
- Blood sugar spikes, which in diabetic cats, can be fatal
- Botulinum, particularly in kittens who have a weak immune system (just like infants!)
Plus, it’s just high in calories, and an adult cat doesn’t need more than a couple of hundred calories per day, so a teaspoon of honey is the equivalent of just over a quarter of their caloric needs for the day!
Honey may be something of a wonder food for most humans, owing to its sweet taste, antibacterial properties, and nutritional benefits, but it’s fairly useless for cats.
They cannot even taste it properly to enjoy it! There really are better treats on the market for cats that won’t cause health problems and that they will be able to enjoy the taste of.
Does your cat enjoy eating honey or no?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.