Can Cats Eat Garlic? How Much Garlic Is Toxic to Cats?

Can cats eat garlic? Cats are inquisitive creatures who may search every nook and cranny of your home for garlic or garlic-containing items. A pet parent who is unaware of the possible dangers of garlic may purposefully feed their cat garlic-containing meals. But, in terms of cats, how hazardous is garlic?

Can Cats Eat Garlic?
Can Cats Eat Garlic

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

Garlic is harmful to the health of cats. In fact, it is dangerous to cats, if not fatal. What is the rationale for this? Garlic belongs to the Allium plant family, which consists primarily of bulbous plants with a characteristic odor. This group also includes onions, scallions, shallots, chives, and leeks. Organic Sulphur compounds in these plants can cause oxidative damage to your pet’s red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they are generated.

Garlic used in modest amounts may not pose a significant risk, but even a small amount, such as a sprinkle of garlic powder, might cause harm to your pet. So, to respond to your question. NO! cats can’t consume garlic even in very little doses. It’s probably best to keep them away from it entirely for their own safety.

Related: Also Read Can a Cat Eat Chocolate? Is it Bad for Cats to Eat Chocolate? or click image below:

How Much Garlic Is Toxic To Cats?

Garlic is extremely concentrated, so even a small amount could be hazardous to cats. In cats, even one clove of garlic can cause poisoning. To make it easier, let’s take onions – also toxic to cats.

In cats, as little as 5 g/kg of onions or 15 to 30 g/kg in dogs resulted in clinically significant red blood cell damage. Onion toxicosis is consistently observed in animals that consume more than 0.5 percent of their body weight in onions at one time, according to scientific studies. Since garlic is more concentrated than onions, even smaller amounts than this can lead to toxicity.

What Is Garlic Poisoning?

Garlic in large quantities or over a long period of time can be harmful to your cat. This in turn leads to garlic poisoning. Garlic chemicals enter your cat’s bloodstream and begin to rupture red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia, a potentially fatal condition. You may notice symptoms such as vomiting, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, and pale gums. The longer you wait to get your cat’s medical attention, the worse its condition will become. If you notice any of the symptoms of garlic poisoning in your cat, take him to the vet as soon as possible to avoid potentially fatal complications. 

Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning in Cats:

Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning
Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning

Garlic poisoning symptoms may not appear immediately. In fact, the symptoms typically appear two to four days after consumption, making it difficult for cat owners and veterinarians to diagnose this condition. The following are some of the symptoms you may notice:

  • Ataxia or lack of muscle coordination
  • Pale gums
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling or hypersalivation
  • Unconsciousness
  • Loss of appetite

How to Treat Garlic Poisoning?

Because of the vomiting and diarrhea caused by garlic poisoning, it is common for cats to require IV fluids to prevent dehydration. If you used a garlic spray or homeopathic product on your cat’s skin, the vet will need to bathe the cat thoroughly to remove any lingering toxins. Although it is uncommon, if your cat’s condition is severe and it has already lost a significant number of red blood cells, it may require a complete blood transfusion to survive.

Which Food Items or Products Have Garlic?

Commercially-Processed products such as ketchup usually have garlic in them and are mentioned in their food label. Hence, such products should be avoided. Any garlic-based food including garlic bread, soups, chutneys, etc should be kept on the lookout for. Items that may or may not contain garlic such as butter and oil should be thoroughly checked before.

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How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Garlic?

Your best bet for avoiding garlic toxicity in cats is to keep your garlic in a safe place out of reach of your cat. You should also eliminate all garlic from your cat’s diet — double-check the labels on her food, and if you have any concerns, consult your veterinarian for approved foods. All because the answer to the question, “Can cats eat garlic?” is emphatically no.

Bottom Line:

Garlic is toxic to cats and should be avoided. Avoid feeding your cat with garlic in any form. A single clove of garlic can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells and can create anemia in cats. Also eating garlic may lead to gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. The best way to prevent your cat from eating garlic is by never letting it have access to this ingredient.

If you have ever wondered whether or not cats can eat garlic, then it’s important to know that garlic is toxic for cats. While there are some foods that cats can eat and even enjoy, garlic doesn’t appear to be one of them. As such, if you plan on letting your cat partake in the family meal this holiday season, make sure to keep them away from the delicious spread of food.

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