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Can Cats Eat Garlic?

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: A species of the Allium family, garlic contains disulfides and thiosulphates, compounds which are both harmful for your cat. Garlic consumption causes damage to your cat’s red blood cells, leading her to have hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia, and/or methemoglobinemia. Garlic is five times more concentrated than onions, so just a small clove of it can cause toxicity to your cat. However, her breed, weight, and medical history can also vary the poison levels in her body.

What to do if your cat accidentally eats garlic: Observe for signs of vomiting, blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate, panting, fever, discolouration of skin, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. For the breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia), symptoms include breathlessness, lethargy, pale/yellow/muddy-coloured gums, rapid breathing, and elevated heart rate. 

Note that vomiting and diarrhea may manifest within the first 24 hours, but it may take several days for anemia symptoms to appear in your cat. When this happens, call your veterinarian and take her to the emergency clinic.

In summary: Eating garlic will result in life-threatening complications for your cat. Never leave her walking around the kitchen while you are preparing a dish with garlic (or even onions!). Raw, cooked, powdered, or dehydrated garlic will have the same poisonous effects on your cat. Instead of garlic, discover which human food cats can safely consume in our “can cats eat” category.



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