Apple Cider Vinegar For Cats: Can Help With Infections (Ear, Respiratory, UTI)

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apple cider vinegar for cats

A better question than “Should you give apple cider vinegar to cats?” is “Apple cider vinegar for cats, is it safe?” The mental image is the end of the Tom and Jerry short “Baby Puss” where Tom is force fed a spoonful of castor oil. And real cats aren't as passive as Tom! (Who really was never all that passive to begin with.)

Some people take apple cider vinegar for the same reason they took castor oil. Both are diuretics that taste awful. If you look up whether or not castor oil is safe for cats (for the record, Tom was violently sick afterwards) you may be directed towards other oils.

What about apple cider vinegar?

Jump To:

How safe is it to use with cats? … (1 minute read)

Are there any particular health benefits? … (1 minute read)

Internal applications of vinegar … (2.5 minutes read)

External applications of vinegar … (2 minutes read)

The side effects … (2 minutes read)

Apple Cider Vinegar For Cats: Is it safe?

Well, the answer is yes, if in very small doses.

Apple cider vinegar is generally dilute enough to be safe for healthy adult cats to drink. But that should be the key words. Healthy. Adult cat. And a small dose is no more than one or two teaspoons. Anything more is toxic.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Cats: Can Help With Infections (Ear, Respiratory, UTI) 1

While apple cider vinegar can be effective for topical use on a cat, sickly cats and young kittens should probably not have much if any exposure to it.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Cats

So what's in it for kitty?

Some people think giving their cat apple cider vinegar will increase their potassium intake. The amount of potassium in apple cider vinegar is trace. You'd be better off feeding your cat a banana or unsweetened yogurt.

But there are some reasons why it may be a good idea to mix a little apple cider vinegar into your cat's food or water.

It should be noted that undiluted apple cider vinegar can hurt your cat's esophagus.

Considering how strongly apple cider vinegar tastes and smells, this may be the only way to get Kitty to take it without getting your arms shredded.

image of an ill cat

Internal Apple Cider Vinegar Use For Cats

As apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, it can burn the mucous membranes inside your furry friend’s digestive tract. This can cause your cat to have ulcers, an upset stomach and be running for the litter box. (Let's hope she makes it.)

Even though the potency of apple cider vinegar is greatly diminished when blended with water, the issues that should be concerning to a pet owner still apply. Always talk with your vet before making any change to your cat's diet.

Respiratory Infections

Utilizing apple cider vinegar in order to rein in the symptoms of COPD has become ubiquitous. Along with providing antioxidants, apple cider vinegar guards cells from free radicals and so making breathing easier.

The use of apple cider vinegar to ameliorate this concern is one of the vinegar’s most widely celebrated claims, however, there is dubious proof that it is in any way effective.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Some people use organic apple cider vinegar to treat urinary tract infections, also known as UTI. Apple cider vinegar is effective at reducing or eliminating the microorganisms that can cause the initial infection.

Apple cider vinegar creates an alkaline environment that makes it unmanageable for microorganisms to survive and thrive. Dosing cats with apple cider vinegar in order to treat UTI can be helpful if the infection is minor.

Bladder Stones

Due to the fact that apple cider vinegar makes for an acidic environment inside the digestive tract, it has the potential to break up the crystals that sometimes form in the bladder and destroy bacteria. Mixing up a little apple cider vinegar in your cat’s food or water can be beneficial if your cat has been diagnosed with bladder stones.

Even though your vet will most likely administer a specific medication (or a cocktail of medicines) to solve the problem, apple cider vinegar can be utilized as a home remedy if your vet approves.

It must be noted that the use of apple cider vinegar to treat bladder stones must be exercised with extreme caution. The same acidity that gives apple cider vinegar the ability to remove bladder stones can also lead to stomach irritation.

Follow the dosage guidelines precisely and bring your cat in to your vet for a follow-up examination.

image of a cat with bladder stone

External Apple Cider Vinegar Use For Cats

If you practice moderation, ingestion of a little apple cider may not harm your cat. Is it safe for topical use? Just remember, that cats like to groom themselves so anything you put on a cat may eventually wind up inside a cat.

Flea Treatment

Using apple cider vinegar to treat fleas is a promising solution. Any type of vinegar repels fleas. All you have to do is dilute the apple cider vinegar with water inside a spray bottle. You can spritz your cat with this mixture and use a towel to rub it into the fur.

Is it Safe if She Ingests it?

Even if Kitty grooms herself and consumes a little apple cider vinegar it will be too diluted to do anything harmful. Take care not to get any apple cider vinegar in your cat's nose or eyes. (Or yours, for that matter.)

Ear Infections

Minor ear infections can be treated with apple cider vinegar. If you mix it with rubbing alcohol, you can create a solution for most minor ear problems. Use a cotton ball to gently apply this mixture to your cat’s ear twice a day.

Take care to avoid areas that are deep inside the ear canal and be careful with your movements.

If you rub too hard that can cause irritation and damage to the skin. This can not only hurt your little friend but it may make an already existing infection worse.

Ringworm and Itchy Skin

Apple cider vinegar can be utilized in treating broken or dry skin, ringworm, and many other dermatological conditions.

Just as with the ear infection treatment, blend diluted apple cider vinegar with water and apply it with a soft cloth.

The Side Effects of ACV for Cats

The orally consuming apple cider vinegar can have some side effects. This is especially true if your cat has an internal ailment to start with or the correct dosage is not followed carefully enough. Apple cider vinegar can cause extensive internal issues, causing pain within the mouth and esophagus.

Stomach Problems

Using apple cider vinegar for the purpose of treating existing stomach problems can only worsen the situation. Do not attempt to give apple cider vinegar to a cat with digestive issues such as ulcers, vomiting and the like.

The acidity of apple cider vinegar will not provide relief but rather the antithesis. Cats, much like people, need soothing remedies to fix minor stomach ailments.


Apple cider vinegar is a natural laxative. If your cat is constipated, you may think of trying a dose of apple cider vinegar, but you might want to rethink that.

For kittens and senior cats, diarrhea resulting from apple cider vinegar can lead to severe dehydration. Because these cats lack the ideal immune health needed to cope with the side effects, the dosage can lead to disorientation and lethargy.

Orally feeding this substance to your cat in order to treat an illness is not a good idea as you may not know what is wrong with your cat and how she will react to apple cider vinegar.

image of a sad ill cat

Kidney Disease

Apple cider vinegar should in no way be administered to cats with kidney disease. This is quite possibly the strictest of all warnings.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Cats: Can Help With Infections (Ear, Respiratory, UTI) 2

Apple cider vinegar can be harmful or even deadly to cats with kidney problems.

Are There Any Nutrition Benefits?

image of glass of apple vinegar

While apple cider vinegar has some health benefits for humans, it has none at all for cats. The potassium and magnesium found in apple cider vinegar are just far too low to be of use.

Your pet would have to drink gallons of vinegar before any of these minerals would have an effect on her system.

And what's more, the highly acidic solution would do irreparable damage to your pet long before she would get anything nutritious from the vinegar.

To put it very simply, adding this to your cat’s diet for nutritional purposes is not a wise decision. There are other benefits to the use of apple cider vinegar, but this is not one of them.


Apple cider vinegar. They call it apple cider vinegar. And there's a million things it's used to cure, but just you wait. Just you wait. (The Hamiltrash will get it.) While there is little to no nutritional value in feeding your cat apple cider vinegar and the jury is still out on its effectiveness on respiratory infections, it can be used to clear up urinary tract infections and bladder stones.

As a topical ointment, apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for repelling fleas and to treat infections of the ears and skin. It is not the best choice for clearing up digestive problems and should be avoided by cats with kidney disease.

If you would like to try a little apple cider vinegar to clear up one of the mentioned ailments, be sure to clear it with your vet first.

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