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Warning: This article, “Can cats eat garlic?”, is purely informative. On CatLicking we do not have the skills to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to bring your animal to the veterinarian if it presents the symptoms of a fever or a disease.
Garlic is known for its medicinal properties and in particular to help eliminate worms so it can be used in humans as a vermifuge.
What about our pets? Can cats eat garlic?
A very short and simple answer to this question is: NO, cats can’t eat garlic.
Under What Circumstances Can Garlic Poisoning Occur?
The most common circumstances are stealing an onion pie or other onion-rich dish, licking raw onions from a kitchen or shed, stealing and playing with bulbs planted in the garden.
This is also the case when regularly feeding the cat small baby pots that often contain onions.
Can Cats Eat Garlic: Why Not?
First and foremost because garlic is toxic to cats (and dogs too). It is not toxic for herbivores but it can be dangerous for carnivores.
Garlic belongs to the family Liliaceae, just like onion, shallot, it can cause poisoning in dogs and cats, even when cooked.
At What Dose Is Garlic Toxic for a Cat?
The toxic dose of garlic is not well defined and is still under discussion, but for onion: 5 to 10 grams of fresh onion per kg of weight can make a dog or cat sick.
That means 30 grams of onion for a cat, it happens very quickly.
Never leave table scraps containing onion or garlic, don’t feed your pets any formula containing it or even small baby food jars that often contain it, and keep your stock of fresh garlic and onion well out of reach of your pets!
What are the Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning?
Garlic or onions, because of the sulphur derivatives they contain, have deleterious effects on red blood cells, which causes hemolytic anemia (red blood cells are destroyed).
The first clinical signs may appear only 1 to 3 days (or even a week) after ingestion and the evolution takes 8 to 15 days.
The animal will present a drop in shape, it will be tired, icteric (with jaundice), its urine will be dark, colored brown.
It may also present digestive (vomiting, diarrhea) and respiratory disorders.
What to Do in Case of Garlic Cat Intoxication?
The first thing to do is to call the veterinarian, who will take the first steps.
In particular, he will inject your cat with a hydrogen peroxide solution to make him vomit and thus expel what remains of garlic inside your cat’s stomach.
He will also be able to perform a gastric lavage and administer activated charcoal, a substance that has the particularity of absorbing toxins.
In this way, the substances responsible for intoxication will not enter your cat’s bloodstream, which would make the situation even worse.
If the case is serious, hospitalization will be necessary. Depending on the situation, blood tests will allow us to evaluate the extent of the anemia, to set up appropriate treatments, or even a blood transfusion.
Deworming your Cat with Garlic
The effective dose of garlic as a dewormer is higher than its toxic dose in the animal, which means that either the deworming product is effective but dangerous for your dog or cat, or it is not dangerous because the dose is lower than the toxic dose, but in this case it will not be effective against worms either!
To effectively deworm your dog or cat, ask your veterinarian, he will prescribe the appropriate dewormer.
Can Cats Eat Garlic? What About You?
What do you think? Has your cat ever been poisoned with garlic? Feel free to share your experience with us using the comments below!