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Can Cats Eat Honey? What You Need To Know!

Dean Eby

By Dean Eby


Do you ever feel guilty enjoying a tasty treat while your cat glares at you, obviously wanting you to indulge it with a taste as well? It’s common for pet owners to feel this way. After all, every time you’re eating something delicious, your cat makes it clear that they want a piece for themselves. Sometimes, this is perfectly acceptable, such as when you’re eating fish or chicken that hasn’t been seasoned with onions or garlic. But many foods that are harmless or even healthy for humans can be potential hazards for our cats.

Honey is sweet and scrumptious with a delectable scent that attracts cats just like it attracts people. If you’re eating honey, your cat is likely to want a taste, and in this case, a taste is harmless. Cats can eat honey in small doses without suffering ill effects. However, you should always practice moderation when offering honey to a cat, as too much honey can cause problems for your feline friend, which we’ll discuss in this article.

Is Honey Toxic for Felines?

Quite a few foods are toxic for cats that are commonly eaten by humans. Luckily, honey is not one of these foods. Honey is not toxic for cats, and if your cat eats some honey, it shouldn’t experience any major negative side effects, though, in some cases, mild side effects may occur. Even though honey isn’t toxic for cats, it’s still not a great food to offer on any sort of regular basis.

Is Honey Healthy for Cats?

Honey is not a healthy food for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that all of the nutrition a cat needs can be derived solely from eating other animals. Honey may have been made by living creatures, but it’s still plant matter and not part of a cat’s natural diet. So, while it’s not going to hurt your cat to eat a little honey, it’s also not particularly good for them. Your cat can’t really get any benefits from eating honey, though it can certainly experience some negative side effects from overconsumption.

Can Cats Digest Honey?

Cats’ digestive systems function completely differently from those of a dog or a human. Dogs and people can digest plant matter without issue because we’re both omnivores. Cats are carnivores, so they don’t have the ability to process the sugars present in honey. Honey also doesn’t contain any beneficial nutrients for your cat, even though it’s packed with nutrients that can boost human health.

honey syrup_Steve Buissinne_Pixabay
Image Credit: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay

Side Effects of Feeding Honey to a Cat

The main side effect that any feline is likely to experience after eating honey is stomach discomfort. Since they can’t properly digest honey, it can cause a bit of havoc in their digestive systems, though it usually doesn’t do this if eaten in small enough amounts.

Weight gain is another side effect of feeding honey to a cat. Honey is packed with calories. A single tablespoon contains 64 calories, which is similar to a 3-ounce can of wet cat food. Of course, this can be a positive or negative side effect, depending on circumstances. If you have a cat that needs to gain weight, honey can help pack in some extra calories easily. On the other hand, it can easily lead to a cat becoming overweight or even obese, which can come with a litany of other health concerns.

Is Honey Good for a Sick Cat?

Image Credit: Pixabay

While honey is never easy for a cat to digest, there are some cases where it can be helpful for your feline in very small doses. For instance, just like honey can help a sore throat for a person, it can also help reduce the pain your cat feels when it has a sore throat, such as when it has an infection or cat flu.

Honey is also known to aid with allergic reactions, so if your cat experiences allergies, a small dose of honey may help. And as we mentioned earlier, honey is great for packing in extra calories. For sick cats that are having trouble eating, honey can be a tasty and easy way to get in the calories needed to prevent substantial weight loss or to even induce weight gain.

What Happens if a Cat Eats Too Much Honey?

If your cat eats too much honey, it will likely have to deal with some diarrhea. There’s also anecdotal evidence that regular consumption of honey might be connected with botulinum, a bacteria that causes botulism. It’s rare for honey to cause botulism, but it has been reported as the cause of several cases of infant botulism, and it’s also believed to occur in cats that eat too much honey.


Honey isn’t toxic for your cat, but like all things, it’s best fed to felines in moderation. Too much could cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Regular feeding can lead to weight gain since honey is so loaded with calories, but that also makes it great for feeding cats that are having a hard time eating or that need to gain weight. Just be careful not to feed it too often, as it’s possibly connected with feline botulism.

For more information on what cats can eat, check out:

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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