All-natural honey is an excellent addition to hot and cold beverages, as well as to numerous culinary recipes.
It’s tasty, organic and most of all – surprisingly healthy. With its numerous wondrous applications for allergies, sore throat problems and the overall cardiovascular system health it’s one of mother nature’s most delicious and beneficial sweets. But is it as good for our feline friends as it is for us, human beings?
Or in other words, can cats eat honey? Is it safe for them or should you keep those jars out of reach?
Unsurprisingly enough, there’s some controversy to whether giving honey to your cat is a good idea or not. After all, if it has so many health benefits for humans, why should it be bad for cats?
Can cats eat honey?
Let’s start with the basics.
Yes, cats of all breeds can indeed eat honey in its liquid or crystalized form. And they definitely will try eating it if they see their owners enjoying its sweet goodness in front of them.
But can cats digest honey? That’s a completely different question.
The feline organism differs in numerous ways from the human one. Kitties thrive on protein that’s based on meat. They do require fiber, but they need significantly smaller amounts of it compared to human beings. And they also need essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients derived from real meat.
What their bodies can’t process as smoothly as ours can are things like lactose, fructose and glucose. Unfortunately, honey is extremely rich in the latter two, regardless of the fact that they aren’t artificial.
Your cat’s body can’t process these sugars the way yours can. In other words, giving candy, chocolate or other types of sweet treats to your pet is a really, really bad idea. The same goes for honey, regardless of its form.
On top of that…
Honey lacks the crucial nutrients a feline requires on daily basis. Meaning, it lacks any proteins, fiber or vitamins whatsoever. All it really has to offer to your pet are unnecessary sugars.
Does honey have any benefits for cats?
Let’s get back to the advantages that raw, all-natural honey has to offer. You’ve probably seen some articles that claim honey has health benefits for cats. Well, it’s debatable, mainly because its downsides are way too significant to neglect. And they overrule any possible benefits your cat will get out of eating honey.
Nevertheless, the fact is that honey:
- Has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Can slightly ease allergies
- Is rich in various anti-oxidants
Due to the fact that cats are carnivores and can’t process sugars, giving them honey for its above-mentioned purposes must be off-limits.
If you need to ease your kitty’s allergic reactions or help it relieve a sore throat problem, don’t opt for honey. Instead, speak to your vet and follow the professional’s advice. After all, your pet’s immune system and dietary requirements aren’t made to be treated with honey.
What will happen if my cat eats honey?
As I mentioned earlier, honey in any of its forms doesn’t provide dietary fiber. This, however, doesn’t mean that it can’t simulate the side effects of too much dietary fiber. Even with humans honey can trigger stomach aches and other unpleasant, but mild health complications.
When it comes to cats, honey can cause:
- Spike in insulin levels
- Weight gain
Depending on your pet’s immune system, digestive system, age, breed and overall health condition, even a teaspoon full of honey can be too much for the kitty.
Cats suffering from diabetes and obesity, as well as young kittens with underdeveloped immune systems should stay away from honey at all times! The sugary contents, calories and bacteria in this delicious treat can pose potentially fatal harm to them!
If your cat has accidentally ingested a tiny amount of honey, monitor it carefully.
Call your vet if there are any symptoms of unease. If your kitty has an undiagnosed health issue, the honey it’s eaten can upset its condition. However, if your pet is overall healthy, a tiny amount of honey will probably just cause it indigestion for a few hours.
If I were you, I wouldn’t try giving honey to a cat, regardless of its alleged health benefits. Foods like pumpkin, blueberries, peas and broccoli are far more nutritious, healthy and packed with anti-oxidants. What’s more, they’re not only safe for cats, but actually preferred by numerous high quality cat food manufacturers.
Opt for such delicious treats and vet-approved supplements instead of going for honey. Trust me, they’re way better for your furball than the all-natural, organic sugars of raw honey.