HomeCatsCat DietCan Cats Eat Honey? Is It Toxic?

Can Cats Eat Honey? Is It Toxic?

While you may not normally think of your cat being attracted to honey as it is to cheese or meat, cats may want to check it out and see what it tastes like. Cats are by nature rather curious creatures, so it should come as no surprise if you find them sniffing at the honey pot, or even sticking their paws into it. 

However, cats are certainly no Winnie the Pooh, and should have no business to exact with said pot. Is honey toxic to cats though, or are they fine with a couple of licks here and there?

Can Cats Eat Honey? 

While cats can eat honey in all of its forms, they shouldn’t actually be eating it, as it has absolutely no nutrients they require, and it’s full of sugars that are bad for them. 

Honey is not toxic to cats, but it provides no nourishment. Cats require large amounts of protein to survive. They also need a bit of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals they will derive from meat. What they don’t need is either fructose or glucose, the two sugars found in honey. 

Honey contains no nutrients your cat needs, so all you will be doing if you give your cat honey is overloading them with calories. 

In short, don’t give your cat honey. They don’t need it, and you certainly don’t want the downsides associated with feeding your cat too much sugar. 

Can Kittens Eat Honey?

No, kittens definitely shouldn’t be eating honey. While adult cats can digest the sugars it is full of, kittens can’t, and they can get very sick from eating honey.

In fact, the only thing kittens should be eating after they have been weaned is kitten food. When they grow up, you can start giving them human food that is safe for cats if you want to, but it’s perfectly okay to feed your cat exclusively cat food. 

Honey can cause diarrhea, vomiting and belly pain in kittens, and it can also lead to obesity which will over time damage their heart, lungs and joints.

Kittens may also have a hard time swallowing the sticky substance, so you should definitely keep your honey pots well away from them. 

Can Cats Digest Honey?

Cats are able to digest honey. However, as they lack glucokinase in the liver, they can’t control the level of carbohydrate sugars in their body, which will cause spikes in their blood sugar levels. 

Eating a bit of honey may not make your cat sick. They may vomit or have diarrhea, but they may also be perfectly fine. This can lead you to believe that they can digest honey just fine. 

The reality of the matter is that giving your cat sugar (especially too much sugar) will cause significant blood sugar spikes, which can lead to long-term health issues, such as diabetes and obesity. 

Even if your cat’s stomach is not upset after eating honey, make sure they don’t get their paws on it again.

Can Cats Lick Honey?

While cats are able to lick honey, you shouldn’t give any honey to your cat, as it is full of sugars which they can’t digest, and it has zero nutritional benefits. 

Honey is not toxic to cats, so you don’t need to go into a panic if your cat has licked some honey off your spoon. However, don’t offer honey to your cat, as it has none of the benefits it has for humans. 

Can I Give My Cat Honey For a Cough?

Don’t give your cat honey for their cough, as it won’t help them like it would a human. It may do very little to soothe the cough, but will overload them with unnecessary sugars.

We often associate honey with cough remedies, but it shouldn’t be given to cats. Instead, you should take your cat to the vet if you haven’t already, and stick to the recommended therapy.

Does Honey Have Any Benefits For Cats?

While honey may have some health benefits for cats, they are greatly outweighed by the possible side effects and outright downsides. 

Honey does have vast anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, since cats don’t process sugars at all well, they won’t be reaping any of these benefits, as much as overloading on calories and unnecessary carbs.

Cats aren’t meant to be eating honey in the wild, and giving it to them in captivity, so to speak, won’t give you the outcome you were hoping for.

Is Honey Harmful To Cats?

Honey is not toxic to cats, but it is bad for them. It may cause an upset stomach, and eating honey will certainly result in excessive sugar consumption and blood sugar spikes.

The reason honey is bad for cats is simple. Cats are carnivores, and have been designed to get all the minerals and vitamins they need from meat. They have no interest in carbs, so giving them honey will not do any good whatsoever. 

Potential Side Effects of Giving Honey to Your Cat

Here’s what can happen if you give your cat honey, or if you they manage to get their paws on it while you aren’t looking:

Risk of Botulism

Kittens are subject to botulism, caused by the clostridium botulinum bacterium which releases a neurotoxin into the blood and can cause permanent paralysis. It can at times be found in honey, so definitely avoid giving it to your kitten. 

Caloric Overload

Honey is high in sugar and calories, which can make your cat overweight if you repeatedly give them honey. Overweight cats have more health problems and usually live shorter lives than fit felines. 

Blood Sugar Spikes 

Cats need protein, not carbohydrates, and aren’t built to metabolize sugar. When you give them honey, their blood sugar levels will spike. In the long term, this can cause a variety of health issues, including diabetes. 

Upset Stomach 

While some cats will be fine after eating a bit of honey, others will experience vomiting or diarrhea, and may appear lethargic and sluggish. 

How to Give Your Cat Honey 

Refrain from giving your cat honey, as the risks associated with it greatly outweigh the potential benefits. There is no proof that eating honey helps cats with allergies or sore throats, or that it boosts their immune system.

Aim to give your cat plenty of protein and a bit of fiber. As obligate carnivores, they will get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their cat food. Buy them the best products that fit into your budget, and rest assured they will get all the nutrients they need. 

Can Cats Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

While eating Honey Nut Cheerios won’t be toxic to your cat, you shouldn’t share them as a snack. They are loaded with sugars and other ingredients your cat simply doesn’t need. 

If you catch your cat munching away at your bowl of Cheerios, don’t worry. They will likely be perfectly fine, and there won’t be any unpleasant reminders of this incident in the litter box. 

However, you shouldn’t give your cat Honey Nut Cheerios as a treat. There is too much sugar in them for starters, and they don’t contain any nutrients that your cat requires. Stick to the cat-appropriate treats instead.

Wrapping It Up 

Honey is not toxic to cats, so you don’t have to worry if your furball eats some. It is however not healthy for them either, so don’t give your cat any honey, not even to soothe their throat. 

Wondering if cats can eat sardines? Or perhaps if cats can eat salami? Take a look at our guides on cat nutrition to find out! 

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