Can Cats Eat Honey?
Here is a quick question to start us off. Can cats eat honey and lead a life free of diseases? If yes, what are the possible nutritional benefits of honey to cats?
Now, you must have been shocked to find out that your cat has a ‘sweet tooth’. Your feline seems to be in love with honey as much as you are. But even as you process this shock and adjust to the new reality the finding has created for you, you need to know one thing - is honey safe for cats?
But before we get into the deep stuff, I should point out that honey is indeed great for your cat’s health. You can give your cat a taste of the sweetness. However, there are some precautions that you need to take to ensure your cat does not end up in the emergency room.
Should You Feed honey to your Cat?
Honey is not toxic to cats. But be it as it may, it is not recommended by pet professionals. You, however, can feed it to your cat in small portions. In addition to cat’s digestive systems being delicate and sensitive, are small. The size varies from one breed to the next. Their throats and mouths are small as well. All these factors mean that honey can prove to be a problem for your cat. Truth be told, even when you eat honey, too much of it in a very short period, you end up with a tummy ache right?
Cats also experience the same symptoms only that for them, the symptoms are magnified courtesy of their small tummies, mouths and throats.
It is important to note that all cats are different. Some cats have a strong distaste for honey and are not shy to let their cat owners know. If you notice your cat avoiding the honey in its plate, take the hint and stop forcing it on your cat.
On the other hand, some cats are receptive to honey. If your cat falls under this category and does not exhibit any symptoms of ill health, proceed and feed it to your feline, but in small quantities and only as a treat.
Luckily, even for cats that like honey, they are slow eaters. As such, even if your cat manages to open the honey jar (they have their cute little tricks to do this), it will not gobble down all the honey like a dog would.
Honey for Illness
When they are feeling unwell, especially when they have a sore throat or when they have an inflammation in their respiratory system? Now, before we answer this, note that it can be difficult to diagnose these health issues in the comfort of your home. If you notice any changes in willingness to feed on their favourite soft food, you should seek professional advice from a vet.
That said, when I notice this with my cat, I simply add a free drops of honey to its food to help with the discomfort. My past experience allows me to take this action. If it is the first time your cat is behaving like so, I insist, visit your vet. Also, ensure only a few drops of honey are added. And if it is the first time you are giving your cat some honey, be sure to monitor for several hours.
Processed of Unprocessed Honey?
While your cat may seem like an independent creature, she needs you. She just has a different way of expressing her love for you like following you around, biting your nose or head butting you. You are your cat’s best friend and she is an important member of your family. As such, you want only the best for your cat.
Part of doing what is best for your cat is deciding which type of honey you will feed your cat. It is important that you get this right from the start. Studies conducted by scientists reveal that raw and unprocessed honey is the best for many cats.
Feeding your cat with unprocessed honey sounds quite unsafe. But here is the thing. The milky and thick raw honey is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the body’s natural immunity. With some honey, your cat’s immune system will experience a major boost.
Processing honey exposes the honey to extreme temperatures and introduces chemicals that are potentially harmful to cat. The preservatives and flavours may allow the honey to last longer, but they will end up having affecting your cat negatively.
How Much Honey Can Cats Eat?
There are experts who recommend avoiding the honey altogether while others insist that there is no clearly determined toxicity in cats and that honey features a variety of health benefits including zinc, potassium, copper and iron. It also contains some amounts of hydrogen peroxide, protein, antioxidants and vitamin C.
But despite the potential risks to a cats health (digestive health as outlined above), it is safe to feed your cat about ½ a teaspoon of honey on a daily basis. This is perfect especially when used for medicinal purposes. If you feel this is too much, and you do not find it gross (I don’t) then you can always let your cat lick the excess honey from a spoon or even add two drops to their food.
However, there are numerous ‘human’ foods that cats find it easier to digest. You should consider honey a rare treat.
What about Allergies?
For us humans, honey is beneficial as it helps to give the immune system a massive boost and relieve and in other cases suppress allergic reactions and sensitivities. In the event your cat has allergies, a small amount of honey can do the trick and provide the much needed relief. By boosting the immune system and filling up the body with powerful antioxidants, honey will improves the efficiency of your cat’s body and also treat the allergic reactions it is prone to.
Things to Keep in Mind
Most cats cannot taste sweet. And since honey is all sweetness, some cats may not love it. Your cat may be curious to what it is, but may not love it per se. So you should not expect your cat to be running back to you for second helpings. If somehow your cat does manage to eat a lot of honey, the worst effect would be a tummy ache, some vomiting or even diarrhoea. If you make it a habit to feed your cat too much honey, you put your cat at the risk of becoming overweight/obese and developing diabetes.
Speaking of diabetes, it goes without saying that if your cat suffers from this condition, you should not give it honey. The same case applies to overweight cats as a single tablespoon of honey contains about 64 calories which will lead to your cat gaining even more weight.
Or kittens, raw and unprocessed honey (depending on how it is handles), may contain bacteria that causes botulism. And since a kitten’s immune system is not fully developed, it is important to keep honey away from your kitten – better safe than sorry.
And with that, I hope the question ‘can cats eat honey’ is fully addressed. Exercise extreme caution when feeding honey to your cat. Be on the lookout for any discomfort that may follow.