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Can Cats Eat Garlic? 

4 min read

Garlic is one of the most commonly used condiments in the kitchen and there’s no denying that we all love it. It’s also considered to be great for our health, acting as an antibiotic that can protect us from bacteria, fungus, or other infections. But considering all the benefits it has for humans, is it healthy for animals to consume it? More specifically, can cats eat garlic? 

Garlic, together with onions, scallions, shallots, chives, and leeks are part of the Allium family, which are all rich in sulphur (explaining the pungent smell we all know) and nutrients. While it can have great benefits in a human diet, garlic is toxic to cats. You can learn more about this below. 

Can cats eat garlic? 

No, cats should not eat garlic at all. Garlic is almost five times as toxic for cats as onions are, so it’s best to make sure your cat never gets near it. A single clove can be toxic to cats, and this also includes garlic spices because they are more concentrated and therefore, even more harmful in small quantities than fresh garlic is. 

Depending on the cat’s breed, the effects of garlic can range from minimal to severe. In addition, the breeds listed below can be even more sensitive to garlic than other types of cats: 

Can cats eat meat cooked with garlic? 

No, cats should not eat any type of food with this condiment in it. In fact, no food they consume should contain any type of condiments because they might be allergic or more sensitive to certain ingredients. Always cook the food you give them, especially if it’s meat, in order to make sure that it is safe for your cat and to protect their health. 

Symptoms of garlic poisoning in cats 

Symptoms can take a while to appear in cats after consuming garlic — in most cases, 2–4 days. Below we’ve listed some of the signs of garlic poisoning that your cat might display if they have consumed garlic: 

  • Nausea 
  • Drooling 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Pale gums and mouth irritation 
  • Weakness 
  • Lethargy 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Fatigue 
  • Depression 
  • Not eating 
  • Discoloured urine 
  • Panting 

Always pay close attention to your cat’s behaviour and if you notice that they have accidentally consumed garlic, it’s best to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

What to do in the case of garlic poisoning 

As soon as you notice any of these symptoms or find traces of garlic near your cat, call the vet clinic and schedule a full exam. The vet will be able to offer you assistance and help your feline friend with any problems they might have.  

The first step would be to run tests and carry out a complete blood count. Depending on how much time has passed since the garlic was consumed, they might also induce vomiting or perform a stomach wash in order to get rid of the toxin. 

After this, your cat will probably need medication, plenty of fluids, and monitoring of their vital signs, so they might spend some time at the vet’s clinic. 

It’s important to point out that the treatment usually depends on the severity of the situation and the amounts of garlic ingested, and so it will vary for each individual case. 

Sharing your food with your furry friend might boost your relationship and help you bond with them but it’s important to learn which foods are safe and which ones should be avoided.

Now that you know the answer to your question, “Can cats eat garlic?”, next you could learn more about the right diet for your cat by checking out this article on the basics of cat feeding and feline nutrition or you could find out if cats can eat lettuce