5 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Cats

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Apple cider vinegar is a sour vinegar made by fermenting apples. Beneficial yeasts digest the sugars in the apples into alcohol, and beneficial bacteria metabolise the alcohol into acetic acid. These probiotic yeasts and bacteria, as well as the acetic acid, make unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, often abbreviated to ACV, unique. 

Humans use ACV in cooking, as a supplement, and in their skincare routines. Here’s how you can use ACV for your cat.

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apple cider vinegar for cats

Is apple cider vinegar helpful for cats?

Apple cider vinegar can be very helpful for some cats. Be sure to consult with your vet to make sure that ACV is appropriate for your individual cat.

Benefits of apple cider vinegar for cats

Five reported benefits of using apple cider vinegar for your cat are:

  • Better digestion
  • Shinier coat
  • Improved kidney function
  • Improved cholesterol levels in diabetic animals
  • Helpful for UTIs

Read on for more details about these benefits!

Internal use of ACV in cats

When ACV is taken internally by a cat, it is thought to help with UTIs, a dull coat, joint swelling, poor digestion, general immune health, and more. Many old wives tales suggest these benefits. However, the growing scientific evidence supports certain benefits as well.

In one study, scientists demonstrated that apple cider vinegar could help obese animals lower oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease risk. Other evidence suggests that it may be beneficial for kidney function in mammals. A third study showed that diabetic rats benefitted from having ACV added to their food.

There is a great deal of potential benefit for your cat by incorporating this simple, natural and accessible food into his diet.

Topical use of ACV in cats

Be sure to check with your vet to ensure that your cat does not have any contraindications before doing any treatment on your pet. Always dilute ACV before using it topically on your cat.

Diluted apple cider vinegar can be used to clean a cat’s ears. Use one tablespoon ACV in one cup of water, and dip a cotton ball in this solution to clean dirty ears.

If your cat has a minor skin or paw infection, soak a cotton ball in a solution of 1 tablespoon ACV and 1 cup of water, and apply it to the area.

For a dull coat, fill a spray bottle with equal parts ACV and water. Spritz this solution on your cat, being sure to avoid the eyes. In addition to conditioning your cat’s fur, this will help repel fleas and other insects. Plus, it is safe for your cat to lick.

How do you give apple cider vinegar to cats?

Just like some humans love the sour taste and some hate it, cats will respond differently to apple cider vinegar. Here are some ways to try giving it to your cat:

Mix ¼ – ½ teaspoon of ACV in with wet cat food

Mix ¼-½ teaspoon ACV with one tablespoon broth or water from canned fish into dry cat food

At 1 teaspoon of ACV to you cat’s water bowl

Do not give your cat undiluted apple cider vinegar. The acidity will be unpleasant for them to taste, may damage their teeth, and could cause GI distress.

apple cider vinegar to water ratio for cats

Apple Cider Vinegar in Drinking Water for Cats

Add 1 teaspoon of water to your cat’s water bowl. If your cat doesn’t mind the taste, you may increase the amount of apple cider vinegar slowly to 1 tablespoon.

Topical Applications of Apple Cider Vinegar on Cats

For applying to a cat’s ears, combine one part vinegar with two parts water (for example, one tablespoon of vinegar with two tablespoons of water). Apply gently with a cotton ball.

For applying around a cat’s eye, use a highly diluted ACV solution, or the acidity will burn in the eye. Add one teaspoon of vinegar to one cup of water, and apply with a soft cotton ball.

Feeding Cats Apple Cider Vinegar

This will vary according to your cat’s tastes and how stinky the food is that you’re adding the ACV to. A good place to start is 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon in your cat’s meal.

What is the best apple cider vinegar for cats?

The best apple cider vinegar is an organic vinegar that is unpasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating a product to kill harmful bacteria. In this case, we want to preserve the beneficial bacteria so our cats can benefit from them!

We recommend Bragg’s apple cider vinegar as an affordable, top-of-the-line option. If you choose to go with another brand, be wary of imitation products made of white vinegar and food colorings and flavorings. These products may not have the same benefits for your cat as true apple cider vinegar, and may even be harmful. Stick with the good stuff!

Apple Cider Vinegar and cats

Kelsey Madison

Kelsey Madison is a cat lover, fostering enthusiast, part time vet tech & writer. She has fostered close to 300 animals over the last 10+ years, and currently has 3 beautiful tabby cats who love to stick their faces in her morning lattes. She is passionate about helping others develop a deeper understanding of their beloved felines and learn more about fostering.