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The evidence about whether cats can or should eat honey is inconclusive. It will largely depend on your cat, the type of honey, and how much you give it.
We can’t know for sure whether cats like to eat honey. But popular cat medications are honey-flavoured, and vets usually have to cover anything used so the furry critters don’t lick it off!
Vets have turned to manuka honey for cats not as a dietary supplement, but an effective solution for wound and infection control.
Please note: Supplementing your pet’s diet should always be at the discretion of your vet. Using manuka honey for medical purposes should always be checked by a medical professional for advice unique to your pet’s needs.
Cats and honey.
Can they eat it? Do they like it? Will it have any beneficial health impacts for them?
We know that people have used honey to enrich their lives for thousands of years, both as part of a healthy diet and for healing purposes.
But does this extend to our pets?
Where is manuka honey most valuable when it comes to cats?
In this guide to cats and honey:
- Is honey bad for cats?
- Manuka honey use by vets
- Using honey for your cat
Is Honey Good or Bad For Cats?
The evidence about whether honey is good or bad for cats to eat is inconclusive.
Some sources recommend using raw manuka honey for cats with allergies, sore throats, and stomach aches. Much like we do for ourselves.
But the bottom line is that the scientific evidence doesn’t exist yet to give us a definitive answer about whether cats can or should have honey.
The story changes, however, when it comes to medical uses of manuka honey for cats.
But we’ll get to that in a moment…
Do cats like honey?
It’s difficult to know for sure whether cats enjoy eating honey.
What studies have shown is that they can’t taste sweetness. So if they do enjoy honey, it’s a different experience to our own.
But what we do know is that the most popular anti-inflammatory for cats is honey-flavoured. It’s one of the best tolerated medications, in fact.
And when applied, vets usually need to cover it so the cat doesn’t lick it off.
So that tells us something!
What happens if cats eat honey?
It all depends on the cat, the honey, and how much they’ve eaten.
Processed honey is often just empty calories with added sugars. It won’t add any value to a cat’s diet, and may even cause health problems.
Raw manuka honey is believed to have specific health benefits that have been observed in animals as well as people.
So these benefits may well extend to cats.
But with their different dietary requirements, and any underlying health problems, it’s crucial to check with your vet before giving them any kind of supplement.
Are there any health benefits of honey for cats?
When it comes to cats and honey, the most evidence of success that we have relates to wound management rather than diet.
With antibiotic resistance on the rise, more and more vets are turning to natural remedies like raw manuka honey for results.
And it’s working.
So having a jar at home may be useful for your cat’s health. Just not in the way you might have expected…
Manuka Honey Use By Vets
“With the increasing awareness and concern of antibiotic resistance, and a holistic approach to veterinary medicine being sought by clients, the new and old ways of treating wounds are under scrutiny.
Manuka honey exhibits a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity unlike any other known antimicrobials… Manuka provides a way to reduce antibiotic use at a time of increasingly prevalent antibiotic resistant bacteria… and should be a staple of every practice's wound management protocols.”
- Why use manuka honey? The veterinary nurse.
The rise of antibiotic resistance is a serious problem for vets.
It’s forced them to look for alternatives in wound and infection management. And manuka honey happens to be one of the top solutions.
The chemical composition of honey makes it ideal for wounded areas because:
- Its osmotic effects lock in moisture and act as a barrier to infection.
- Its low pH kills microbes in the affected area.
- It contains beneficial phenolic and flavonoid compounds which are great antioxidants.
Raw manuka honey has shown unique potential because:
- It contains a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO) which is associated with antibacterial properties.
- It’s not processed as heavily as other honeys, so all its good vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are protected.
In numerous case studies, vets have found that using manuka honey on wounds has helped promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Having some up your sleeve could help stave off the worst impacts of a scrape or accident at home.
Here’s how to unlock the power of nature for your feline friends with manuka honey.
Using Honey For Your Cat
We love bringing nature’s own ecosystems into homes with our jars of manuka honey.
But although honey is a natural remedy, anything used for medical purposes should be vet-approved.
Always consult your vet before treating your pet.
To use honey for your cat, you will need:
- High-grade raw manuka honey. Any grade from UMF™10+ can be used, but the highest grades (UMF™24+ and UMF™26+) are best suited for medical purposes.
- To make sure your hands and the area are sterilised.
- To apply the honey straight onto the affected area.
- To use a gauze or bandage to hold the honey in place (and stop your pet licking it off!) You may also need a barrier cream or some other absorbent material to ensure no excess moisture gets into the wound.
All New Zealand Honey Co. honeys are raw manuka honey, certified by the UMFHA and tested by independent partners.
With our honey, you know you’re getting the good stuff.
Sources referenced in the text (in order):
Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases, a review. National Library of Medicine.
The benefits of manuka honey. New Zealand Honey Co.
Ways to use manuka honey. New Zealand Honey Co.
Manuka honey for dogs: everything you need to know. New Zealand Honey Co.
Chemical composition of honey. Springer.
Feeding your cat. Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine.
UMF™ and the UMFHA. New Zealand Honey Co.
UMF™ vs. MGO vs. KFactor vs. Bioactive vs. MGS vs. NPA: confused about manuka honey? New Zealand Honey Co.
Cats cannot taste sweets. Scientific American.
Raw honey vs. regular. Healthline.
What’s the deal with organic honey? New Zealand Honey Co.
Antiobiotic resistance. WHO.
Honey: another alternative in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria? National Library of Medicine.
Health benefits of manuka honey as an essential constituent for tissue regeneration. National Library of Medicine