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Can Cats Drink Vinegar? Is It Safe or Toxic?

If you’re wondering whether your cat can safely drink vinegar, or if it’s safe to clean with vinegar in the house with pets, then the simple answer is yes, it is safe as vinegar is not toxic to cats.

However, this does not mean as a cat parent that you should offer pure vinegar to your cat to drink. Besides, the acidic aroma of vinegar crinkles our human noses probably just as much as it does your cat’s little nose. In this regard, it is highly unlikely that cats will ever want to drink vinegar willingly.

Even if you clean the house with vinegar, it will be safe for your cat and other pets, as most holistic or natural housecleaning products are — just be sure to always read the directions and warning labels!

If your kitty gets curious (which they are known to do at times hehe) and decides to taste the freshly mopped vinegar floor, or grooms himself after vinegar is applied topically (against fleas, for example), then do not worry; it is safe. Cats tend to avoid acidic substances in any case.

When in doubt of what you can or cannot give to your cat to eat or drink, consult our article on human food that cats can eat.

Though vinegar has no nutritional value for cats, it can be applied topically and can be used for holistic purposes to cure certain ailments! Read more below 🙂

Can cats drink vinegar?

What kind of vinegar should you use?

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best options to use for cats as it has a sweeter smell than regular white vinegar but remains acidic enough (it is vinegar after all!) to ward off biting critters and to prevent bacteria/microbes in your kitty’s bladder from flourishing.

When buying apple cider vinegar, always choose the highest quality available. When it comes to your cat’s health, organic/raw apple cider vinegar is the best. Choosing a low quality apple cider vinegar could create even more health risks and your cat will not fully benefit from the vinegar’s effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Here are some basics that might be helpful to know about apple cider vinegar and it’s uses in regards to our kitty friends!

As a natural preventative measure against fleas

Apple cider vinegar has a strong smell, which parasites do not appreciate. Though apple cider vinegar does not necessarily kill fleas, it is more so a preventative measure as the apple cider vinegar odor will discourage fleas from hopping onto your pet and from breeding in your pet’s bedding.

We have personally used this method on Yoda while we lived in Nepal. As we could not get our hands on an effective pharmaceutical treatment, we turned to holistic/natural methods. This did not kill the fleas already present in the house, but it helped Yoda scratch less and be more comfortable as less fleas wanted to bite his apple cider tasting skin.

We also tried putting a diluted drop or two of vinegar in his water bowl but Yoda is very picky about having fresh, crystalline drinking water so he wouldn’t dare go near it. He would lick the vinegar during grooming, and this is completely safe.

We found a local vet and tried Frontline (the only flea-killing product they had available) on three separate occasions, which proved ineffective and quite dangerous for both Yoda and us as it is a very strong chemical substance.

It was only when Paul returned to Nepal from Christmas holidays in France with a flea collar (we chose Bayer’s Seresto) that we were finally rid of fleas for good. Yoda is flea-free for over one year now. Hooray!

Can cats drink vinegar? Apple cider vinegar for cats

As a remedy for feline UTI, bladder and other infections or bacterial illnesses

Thanks to it’s ability to prevent bacteria from developing, apple cider vinegar is helpful in treating urinary tract infections, bladder blockages, ear infections, or other ailments.

Before beginning, make sure to properly dilute the vinegar to have a proportionate and safe solution!

  • For ear infections/ear mites:
    • Mix 1/4 apple cider vinegar (2 tsp.) with about 1 cup of lukewarm water
    • Grab a few clean cotton balls
    • Dip (not soak) the cotton ball into the mixture
    • Wipe away all dirt/gunk/mites that are visible in the ear
    • Repeat if very dirty
    • Take a clean cotton ball and wipe ear dry

Before treating your cat internally with natural antibiotics or holistic methods, it is vital that you first consult your veterinarian for diagnosis/confirmation of a urinary tract infection or other infections. You and your vet can decide if the holistic method is most suitable for your cats needs.

  • For internal infections (bladder, respiratory):

When adapting apple cider vinegar into your cat’s diet, make sure to switch to using wet cat food only in order to up the moisture intake!

    • Mix 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with wet cat food
      • Add a teaspoon of chicken broth or unsalted tuna water for taste
      • Repeat twice per day
    • Repeat for the next 72 hours to see if symptoms are improving
    • Check with your veterinarian right away for any persisting or worsening symptoms

According to VetInfo, apple cider vinegar also can help cats with arthritis or to relieve joint pain and swelling.

Can cats drink vinegar?

Final thoughts: Can cats drink vinegar?

Remember! Always use organic apple cider vinegar for your cat in order so that s/he can reap all the healthful benefits.

It is also best even when applied externally because your cat will still ingest some vinegar in small amounts during grooming. Organic ACV will also be helpful on your cat’s skin and fur; it will cause less/no irritation if properly diluted and applied.

Always observe your cat’s progress when using holistic methods in case of worsening symptoms or allergic reactions. Never hesitate to ask a vet when in doubt.

We hope you found this article useful and wish you the best of luck!

If you have additional comments, experiences, or knowledge to add to this article, please do so kindly by commenting below and sharing your thoughts with the Fluffy Kitty community. We are always delighted to hear from our followers!

Make sure to follow Yoda on his Instagram to see photos of his adventures living in sunny Aix-en-Provence, France!


Caught on camera… playing in the sun that is !!! ❣ #candid #catsofinstagram #instacutecat #weeklyfluff #goodnight #instalike

A post shared by Yoda =(^^)= Fluffy Kitty (@fluffyyoda) on


Tuesday 14th of August 2018

I have ants in the house and use vinegar in a spray bottle to get rid of them. I dilute the vinegar with water. And the ants found the cat food. I just wondered if my cats will be ok if I spray the ants on their food. and I found this site.

Brittany, Paul, & Yoda =^^=

Wednesday 15th of August 2018

Hi Katie! A helpful remedy to prevent ants from getting into the cat bowl is to put the bowl in a plate of water (you can add a few drops of vinegar too). Your cat might not like eating food sprayed with vinegar as they really don't like acidic flavors (citrus fruits, etc.) If you tap the bowl, the ants should flee without you having to spray the food. Then, you can put the food bowl on a plate/dish filled with water so the ants can't reach the food bowl again. Best of luck!