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Can Cats Eat Honey? Benefits and Risks to Know

Cats are known for their finicky and unpredictable eating habits. It is no wonder the question of what cats can and cannot eat has been asked time and again, and honey is no exception.

But can cats eat honey? The answer is yes, with some limitations.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits and risks of feeding your cat honey.

Honey as a Treat for Cats

Honey is sweet, and it contains sugar. Therefore, moderation is key when deciding to treat your cat with honey.

Honey can be used as a substitute for commercial treats, which contain high levels of sugar and other additives. Honey is also known to have higher nutritive value than synthetic treats.

Honey and Kittens

Kittens require a lot of nutrition to support their growth, and honey can be an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients. However, kittens’ digestive system is delicate, and introducing honey can lead to digestive problems.

Therefore, introducing honey to kittens should be done in small amounts and under the guidance of a vet.

Raw Honey for Cats

Raw honey, also known as unpasteurized honey, is honey that has not been heated or filtered. It is not recommended for cats as it may contain harmful yeast or bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal problems.

To ensure the honey is safe for your cat, opt for pasteurized honey found in stores.

Manuka Honey for Cats

Manuka honey is produced by bees that feed from the Manuka tree. It has antibacterial properties, making it a natural remedy for wound healing and edema reduction.

Manuka honey’s medical benefits can also extend to cats, but only under the guidance of your vet.

Nutritional Benefits of Honey for Cats

Apart from being sweet and delicious, honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve sore throat, a common condition among cats. Honey is also rich in essential nutrients that can support a healthy immune system.

Risks of Honey for Certain Cats

While honey can be safe for most cats, it is not recommended for cats with chronic illnesses such as kidney disease or diabetes. Honey has high levels of sugar, which can elevate phosphorus levels and cause health complications in cats with chronic illnesses.

Additionally, honey can be used as an emergency remedy for low blood sugar, but only under the guidance of your vet.

Limitations on Honey Consumption for Cats

Feeding your cat honey is acceptable but within limitations. It should not account for more than 10% of your cat’s diet.

Cats’ taste buds do not recognize sweetness, making them indifferent to it. Therefore, options for cat treats that mimic the taste and texture of their natural diet should be considered.

Honey and Cats: Helpful Feeding Tips

When feeding your cat honey, ensure it is in small amounts and not in your regular treat rotation. If your cat has never tried honey before, start by offering a small amount to get them accustomed to it.

Always monitor your cat for any adverse reactions, and consult your vet if you have any concerns.


Overall, the question of whether cats can eat honey has been answered. Honey is a sweet treat that can be beneficial if fed in moderation.

However, it is essential to consider the limitations and risks of feeding your cat honey before adding it to their diet. As always, consult your vet when introducing any new food to your cat.

Expert Opinion on Honey and Cats

Pet owners often rely on veterinarians for their expert opinions and advice on pet health. Emily Swiniarski, DVM, the Chief Medical Officer at PAWS Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, is a veterinarian who has provided her expert opinion on honey and cats.

While cats can consume honey, she notes that the area is relatively unknown, with no research conducted on the health benefits of honey for cats. Rather than recommending honey as a primary nutrient source for cats, Dr. Swiniarski suggests treating honey as an occasional treat.

While it is not a well-studied area, she believes that honey can provide some nutritional value to cats. However, Dr. Swiniarski raises concerns about the absorption of nutrients from honey in cats, stating that there is little research on how cats absorb nutrients from honey.

It is unclear whether cats can absorb nutrients from honey the same way that humans can. Therefore, she recommends that honey is not a substitute for a well-rounded, cat-specific diet.

Honey for Cats: What We Know and What We Don’t

Honey has been widely used as a home remedy for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These properties have been supported by research conducted on humans and other animals.

However, there is a lack of research on the effects of honey on cats. Like humans, cats have a unique digestive system, and it is unclear how honey interacts with cats’ digestive system.

There is also little research on how cats absorb nutrients from honey. Honey contains minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients, but it is unclear whether cats can absorb these nutrients from honey.

While there is little research on the effects of honey on cats, it is important to note that honey is high in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health complications in cats.

Therefore, it is recommended that honey be fed in moderation to cats.


In conclusion, while honey can be safe for cats, it should be a treat and not a primary nutrient source. There is little research on the effects of honey on cats, and it is uncertain how cats digest and absorb nutrients from honey.

As with any new food added to a cat’s diet, it is essential to monitor for adverse reactions. Honey should be fed in moderation to cats, and pet owners should consult with their vet before introducing any new food to their cat’s diet.

In summary, while cats can consume honey, it should be treated as an occasional treat and not a primary nutrient source. Honey contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and it is high in sugar.

There is little research on the effects of honey on cats and how cats digest and absorb nutrients from honey. Therefore, it is important to monitor pet reactions and feed honey in moderation.

As always, it is essential to consult with a vet before introducing any new food to a cat’s diet. Remember, a little honey goes a long way when it comes to treating your furry friend.

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