Can cats have honey? The myths, debunked.


4 minutes, 30 seconds.

Essential Takeaways

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.

Today, we have evidence to support the use of manuka honey in a wide range of contexts.

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.

On a basic level, honey is comprised mostly of carbohydrates and sugars. A healthy cat diet contains minimal amounts of both.

Some sources recommend using raw manuka honey for cats with allergies, sore throats, and stomach aches. Much like we do for ourselves.

In these cases, it’s best to opt for medical grade honey which is the highest UMF™ graded. This grading measures the potency of the good stuff in manuka honey, like methylglyoxal (MGO).

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.”

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:

Raw manuka honey has shown unique potential because:

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.

Shop the range here.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.

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