Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and disinfectant properties which make it a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic solution.
Although there isn’t enough research available on how effective apple cider vinegar is for cats, as pet owners we do want our cats to live the best life ever. Apple cider vinegar can be a natural way to help our cats do that.
It is important to note here that apple cider vinegar should only be used as an additional treatment to your cat’s ailments along with vet prescribed treatment.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Cats?
Organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is generally considered safe for cats. It is best to avoid apple cider vinegar if your cat has kidney problems as it can cause more pain to cats.
As per PetMD, apple cider vinegar is safe for cats in small quantities.
Apple cider vinegar can be used externally on cats to help with skin issues and for fleas/mites as well as internally to aid with urinary tract infections, digestion and to support your cat’s body to perform at its best.
Why is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Cats?
Apple cider vinegar has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it a good choice for organic home remedies for minor issues for both cats and humans.
These properties can help with issues such urinary tract infection, constipation, skin infections etc. Detailed list of problems for which apple cider vinegar is below.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Urinary Tract Infections
Apple cider vinegar can assist in curing urinary tract infections in cats. Apple cider vinegar is acidic which helps break down hardened crystals in cat’s urethra.
The crystals can cause a lot of pain and issues with urination, by breaking these crystals down your cat can pass urine normally without any pain.
Mix around half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your cat’s water bowl. Cats don’t like the smell of the vinegar, in case your cat doesn’t want to drink the water, you can add it to broth to hide the smell of the vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has mild laxative properties for cats. If your cat is constipated, try giving them 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in their water.
Please note, that if constipation persists, you should contact your vet immediately and get a proper treatment and not just rely on apple cider vinegar.
Too much apple cider vinegar can also be harmful to cats so heed the advice above and contact your vet if the problem doesn’t go away.
Skin Infections or Skin Problems
Apple cider vinegar can be used to assist in treating mild skin problems such as broken or itchy skin, ringworm and pink eye. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can speed up the healing process.
Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of distilled water and apply it to the affected area twice a day.
Consult your vet along with using this method to make sure that your cat gets the best treatment and is cured fast.
Apple cider vinegar can also assist in treating ear infections. Ear infections can be quite painful so it is best to take your cat to the vet and assist the healing with apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and can help suppress bacteria in ears.
add 2 drops of apple cider vinegar to the infected ears using a dropper.
You can also apply apple cider vinegar to cat’s infected areas around the ears. mix rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and wipe your cat’s ears with the solution using a cotton ball gently.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic and fleas and mites dislike this acidity and try to save away from it as much as possible. Apple cider vinegar is not toxic to fleas and mites, it just repels them.
When apple cider vinegar is on a cat’s coat, fleas and mites are more likely to avoid it and get to the food crumbs and other debris in your cat’s fur.
To apply apple cider vinegar to your cat’s coat, simple mic apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle in a 50:50 ratio.
Then spray over the cat’s coat, make sure to avoid the head until the coat is slightly wet. Then use your hands to rub the solution all over the coat till it is dry.
You can safely do this everyday to keep the fleas and mites away from your cat.
Apple cider vinegar can help cats get over upper respiratory infections.
Apple cider vinegar has expectorant properties that can help your cat breath better. Apple cider vinegar also increases thirst which will increase your cat’s water consumption which will help them get better faster.
Try adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your cat’s bowl. If the cat refuses to drink the water with vinegar, immediately replace the bowl with freshwater as it is important to stay hydrated during respiratory infections.
You can try spraying diluted apple cider vinegar to the cat’s paws or ear so they can ingest some during grooming.
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Give my Cat?
The amount of apple cider vinegar that you can safely give your cat depends mainly on the weight of the cat.
Below table shows the safe amounts to give per weight range.
|Cat Weight||Amount of Apple Cider Vinegar|
|Under 4 Pounds||5 Drops|
|4 - 6 Pounds||⅛ of a Teaspoon|
|7 - 14 Pounds||¼ of a Teaspoon|
|Greater than 15 Pounds||1 - 2 Teaspoon|
How Often Can I Give Apple Cider Vinegar to my Cat?
Apple cider vinegar can be given daily to your cat as long as it is within the recommended amounts.
If your cat shows any sort of discomfort after taking apple cider vinegar, take them to the vet immediately.
How to Get Your Cat to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar for External Use
Always make sure that you dilute apple cider vinegar before applying it externally or topically on your cat.
Mix half cup vinegar with half cup spring or distilled water and put the solution in a jar or spray bottle.
Use the spray bottle or soft cotton balls/swabs as required.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Internal Use
Cats don’t really like the smell of apple cider vinegar so it can be a bit tricky to get them to ingest it.
Below is the day to day program you can follow to get your cat used to the taste and smell of apple cider vinegar.
Mix ½ a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your cat’s water bowl. Your cat might sniff the water bowl and stay away from it. Don’t give your cat an alternative source of water till the day. This will encourage the cat to drink the water in the water bowl.
Increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to 1 teaspoon and add it to the cat’s water bowl. If your cat still doesn’t drink from the water bowl, give them an alternative source of water.
You can also try spraying some diluted apple cider vinegar on your cat’s paw. They will lick it while grooming and get used to the taste and smell of apple cider vinegar.
If your cat is drinking from the water bowl with apple cider vinegar, increase the dosage to 2 teaspoons and maintain it.
By this time, your cat should be used to the taste and smell and should be drinking from the water bowl happily.
Precautions and Safety While Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Always consult a vet before giving any new food or solution to your cat to ensure that your cat will not have any issues with the new item you are introducing them to.
Apple cider vinegar is not good for cats with kidney problems because of its acidic properties. Kidneys are the main organ that processes apple cider vinegar and if not processed properly can cause issues for cats. Consult your vet to ensure that your cat is in good enough health to process apple cider vinegar.
Though very uncommon, some cats might develop an allergic reaction to apple cider vinegar. Closely observe your cat after you have given them apple cider vinegar. Stop the treatment if they any signs of concern and take them to the vet immediately.
Too much of a thing can also be a bad thing, so always use the recommended doses above and don’t continue the treatment for too long.
The Bottom Line
Apple cider vinegar can have good health benefits for your cats and can help in overcoming some of your cat’s ailments.
Always consult your vet before giving apple cider vinegar to your cat.