Can cats have honey? The myths, debunked.


5 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.

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 good or bad for cats?

  • Do cats taste and like honey?

  • What happens if cats eat honey?

  • Is it safe to use honey for cats?

  • How much honey can you give a cat?

  • Are there any nutritional benefits for cats?

  • Vets and manuka honey

  • Using honey for your cat

  • Can cats have honey if they’re diabetic?

  • Can you give honey to cats to help them lose weight?

  • Where to buy the best honey for your kitty

Is Honey Bad or Good for Cats?

The evidence about whether you should give honey to your cat is inconclusive.

On a basic level, raw honey contains carbohydrates and sugars (fructose and glucose).

A healthy cat diet contains minimal amounts of both because their digestive system is not built to process them.

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 giving your cat honey.

The story changes, however, when it comes to medical uses of manuka honey for cats.

But we’ll get to that.

Can Cats Taste and Enjoy 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 type of honey, and how much they’ve eaten.

Processed honey is often just empty calories with added sugars. It doesn't offer the nutritional benefits of honey and may cause an upset stomach.

Raw manuka honey offers specific health benefits that have been observed in animals as well as people.

It’s eco-delicious; active and alive.

And these possible 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 adding honey to your cat's diet.

Is it Safe to Use Honey for Cats?

Honey may be safe for cats in small quantities, but the scientific evidence is lacking.

The anatomy of a cat isn’t designed to break down the sugars in honey, so it shouldn’t be a large part of their diet.

It’s also crucial to avoid heavily processed honeys that may be laced with diluting sugars or syrups. If you want to use honey for medical purposes, like treating wounds, stick with raw and unprocessed manuka honey.

How Much Honey Can You Give Your Cat?

Small amounts of honey, like a teaspoon, should provide any potential health benefits without risking the health of your cat.

It’s important to check with your vet for tailored advice unique to your pet before giving them a bit of honey.

Are There Any Nutritional 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.

Manuka honey is full of antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

So having a jar at home may be useful for your cat’s health. Just not in the way you might have expected…


Why Vets Might Give Manuka Honey to Your Cat

“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:

  • 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:

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 Manuka Honey For Your Feline

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.

Can Cats Have Honey if They’re Diabetic?

There is more scientific evidence to suggest that honey is safe for wound management in cats rather than for eating.

Using honey to manage diabetes in your cat is unlikely to be the best solution.

Can You Give Honey to Cats to Help Them Lose Weight?

Cats’ bodies are not designed to process the sugars in honey, so although honey can be used for weight regulation and loss in humans, it’s unlikely to have this effect on cats.


Give Your Cat the Best Honey from New Zealand Honey Co.

Do you want the best for your cat?

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.

Bring nature’s own living systems to your ecosystem.

We only deal with real.

Shop the range here.


Disclaimer: Supplementing your pet’s diet should always be at the recommendation 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.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.

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