Honey has a flavorful taste, and it is one of the nutritious foods for humans. Since ancient times, it is used in culinary and traditional medicines. Though it is healthy food for humans, what about cats? Can they eat honey? Is it safe for them?
Cats can eat honey. Though it is not toxic to cats, it lacks dietary fiber. It can relieve pains, sore throat, and allergies in cats. Many veterinarians are using honey for treating wounds in cats. But feeding it in excess amounts might cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and other severe stomach problems for cats.
Honey contains antioxidants and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. There are many benefits of honey, along with a few drawbacks. Let’s get to know more about every topic with in-depth details.
- Can Cats Eat Honey? Is It Safe For Them?
- How Much Honey Can Cats Eat?
- Can Cats Digest honey?
- Nutrition In Honey
- Can Sick Cats Eat Honey?
- Health Benefits Of Eating Honey
- Is Honey Bad For Cats? What Are The Potential Dangers Of Eating Honey
- Can I Feed Manuka Honey To The Cats?
- Final Words
Can Cats Eat Honey? Is It Safe For Them?
Yes, cats can eat honey. It contains a sweet, delicious taste and has many health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Honey is a versatile food that can be used in food, medicine, spread, ingredient for drinks, teas, and more.
You can feed small amounts of honey to the cats on a particular schedule. Besides that, it is not toxic to cats, but heavy consumption can lead to stomach problems.
In general, cats do not show interest in honey. They are obligate carnivores and can not admire the sweet taste of the honey. It is better to give raw honey because the processed honey might lose some nutrients.
If you would like to give honey to the cats as an immunity booster or antioxidant, only use raw or locally sourced honey. Besides that, feed only half teaspoon or less daily. But before that, make sure to consult the veterinarian to check if it is safe for your cat or not.
How Much Honey Can Cats Eat?
Honey contains beneficial nutrients, like potassium, iron, vitamin C, zinc, and copper. All these are crucial for cats and are not harmful.
It is better to give your cat between half to one full tablespoon of honey per day, mainly for medicinal purposes. But in other situations, only one or two drops are needed. It is best to consider honey as a rare treat.
Can Cats Digest honey?
Honey is not toxic for cats, but do you know if your cat can digest it or not?
The cats have a complicated digestive system, and it is made to handle meats. They can not digest glucose and fructose, and honey is rich in them. There are a few enzymes in honey that help cats with digestion. Some cats tend to face digestive issues if they have eaten excess honey.
In short, honey has high sugar content, which is troublesome for the cat’s digestive system. The cat’s liver does not have enough glucokinase, which is needed to break down sugars.
Nutrition In Honey
Honey, in almost every form, can not give the needed nutrients for cats. But it has rich sugar content with plenty of Sucrose, Fructose, and Glucose (dextrose). Besides that, honey does not have any fat content, which is a good thing.
Though there are no vitamins in honey, it contains small amounts of Copper, Selenium, and Manganese. Here is the nutritional value of 100 grams of honey:
- Water – 17.1g
- Energy – 304 kcal
- Energy – 1270 kJ
- Protein – 0.3g
- Carbohydrate – 82.4g
- Sugars – 82.1g
- Sucrose – 0.89g
- Glucose (dextrose) – 35.8g
- Fructose – 40.9 g
- Maltose – 1.44g
- Galactose – 3.1g
- Calcium, Ca – 6mg
- Iron, Fe – 0.42mg
- Magnesium, Mg – 2mg
- Phosphorus, P – 4mg
- Potassium, K -52mg
- Sodium, Na – 4mg
- Zinc, Zn – 0.22mg
Can Sick Cats Eat Honey?
Is honey good for sick cats? In short, yes. If your cat has an irritated throat or common allergic reactions, feeding honey is an incredible remedy. You can give honey to the sick pet, if:
- Your cat has a sore throat and struggles to retch or swallow.
- Cats show typical allergic responses.
- The cat does not have an appetite for any food.
- Your cat weighs less and needs to gain healthy weight.
Organic honey is neither toxic nor healthy to sick cats, but the amount of calories eaten does matter. Eating excess honey means getting more calories which might cause stomach distress. But it not the same with all the cats.
Honey can cure the wounds of sick cats. But some sick cats might suffer from digestive problems even if they consume only half a teaspoon of honey.
If the condition of your sick cat is worse after eating honey, stop feeding it. If the cat has diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, lethargy, or other signs, go to the veterinarian.
Health Benefits Of Eating Honey
Honey is an organic and one of the best natural foods. Even though it does not have plenty of nutrients, it is healthy and delightful food. There are some benefits of eating honey for cats.
You can apply honey to the gums of your cat if it shows any symptoms of hypoglycemia. It is rich in antioxidants and can boost the immunity power in cats. It contains anti-inflammatory properties which protect the cat’s body from inflammation.
Honey is famous due to its ultimate healing power since old times. As of now, veterinarians are using honey and sugar for treating wounds in pets. In wounded tissues, bacteria can reproduce rapidly, and the antibacterial properties of honey will kill this harmful bacteria.
Typical reasons for sore throat in cats are bacterial, viral infections, or cat flu. Honey contains high osmolarity and generates hydrogen peroxide, which eliminates bacteria.
Honey comes with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which help in healing cat wounds quickly. If your cat is underweight, skinny, and needs to gain weight, then you can give half or one teaspoon of honey from time to time.
Pour a few drops of honey in the throat of the cats if it has a sore throat. Honey is healthy food to feed your cat if it has a mild stomach ache or suffering from Anorexia. If the cat lost its appetite, giving honey can encourage it to consume food.
Rubbing tiny amounts of honey on the burnt injures can cure them. Honey contains crucial enzymes which help the cat to have healthy digestion. Besides that, it increases the energy levels of cats.
If the cat shows allergies to a particular food or pollen, you can give a specific amount of honey. Honey prevents the allergens from causing harm to the immune system of cats. But before trying this method, it is best to talk with the veterinarian.
Is Honey Bad For Cats? What Are The Potential Dangers Of Eating Honey
Feeding excess amounts of honey to the cats for a long time without a proper reason can make them sick. Here are some problems of eaten plenty of honey.
Cats can not digest honey easily because it has high glucose and fructose contents. Due to the difficulty of digestion, they might feel stomach pain and suffer from vomiting. As for diarrhea, it is an unstructured loose bowel movement, and high consumption of honey can lead to diarrhea in cats.
In general, cats have small mouths and throats, making it difficult for them to swallow honey. Besides that, honey feels sticky while eating, and your cat might not eat it. If the cats have trouble eating, it is better to dilute honey with water and feed them.
Feeding honey is not safe for diabetic cats. Eating excess honey can spike blood sugar levels, and it is dangerous for cats if not treated on time. Cats are vulnerable to Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Some typical signs of cats having diabetes are excess urination, weight loss, and increased thirst.
Avoid giving honey to obese or diabetic cats because it has high sugar content. In one tablespoon of honey, there are 64 calories, and there are chances for cats to put on weight if they eat excess honey.
It is better not to give honey to the kittens because raw honey might have bacteria that can cause botulinum. Because of this, their immune system becomes weak, which is not developed fully. Avoid using processed honey for the cats because they have fewer nutrients and high sugar.
Can I Feed Manuka Honey To The Cats?
Manuka honey is a dark-colored and monofloral honey, and it comes from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium). It is rich in antioxidants.
Manuka honey contains the methylglyoxal (MGO) compound, called as Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). This compound comes with unique antibiotic properties. It is safe for cats but can lead to digestion problems, such as stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Manuka honey can handle several skin ailments like hotspots, cat acne, acral lick dermatitis, and more. Plus, it contains antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties. Giving it in moderation to your cats is safe and healthy.
Benefits Of Manuka Honey
Here is a shortlist of the Manuka honey benefits:
- It can protect wounds and lowers the dependence on antibiotics.
- This honey stimulates healing by strengthening the wound pH.
- It helps in decreasing the odors from injuries.
- Manuka honey can eliminate dying and dead tissues and cells.
- It can avoid other wound contaminations and infections.
- Manuka honey is safe, healthy, productive, and easy to use.
Honey is safe, non-toxic, and healthy for cats only if eaten in moderation. Make sure not to feed excessive amounts of honey to the cats because they might cause several digestive problems.
Besides feeding honey, you can use it to heal wounds on your cats. Honey contains plenty of antioxidants, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it to treat allergies in your cat, but before that, discuss it with the veterinarian.
- Melissa Giese. (2016). HONEY HEALS: THE SWEET SIDE OF WOUND CARE
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. (2019). Honey
- Nural N. Cokcetin, Matthew Pappalardo, Leona T. Campbell, Peter Brooks, Dee A. Carter, Shona E. Blair, Elizabeth J. Harry. (2016). The Antibacterial Activity of Australian Leptospermum Honey Correlates with Methylglyoxal Levels