Can Cats Eat Garlic?

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

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I bet you don't care for garlic breath but there's no denying the amazing flavor that garlic adds to our meals. Garlic belongs to the Allium family, together with onions, leeks, chives, and shallot. It is an aromatic spice that is used to season varieties of delicacies. It also boasts benefits such as preventing heart disease and regulating blood pressure.

Cats love to share in their owner's meal and we, in turn, may want to indulge them sometimes but if you are thinking of sharing your dish that has been garnished with garlic with your furry guy, you may need to rethink that decision after reading this post. Keep reading to find out if garlic is good for cats.

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

The answer is a resounding no. Cats should never eat garlic. Garlic contains disulfides and thiosulfates, chemical compounds that can cause hemolytic anemia in your cat. When it comes to garlic, even a little is too much. Cats should never be allowed to eat garlic at all even in tiny amounts. If you suspect your cat has eaten garlic, you should rush them to your local vet immediately.


Why Is Garlic Bad For Cats?

Garlic is on the list of toxic foods that should never be given to cats. Garlic and onions belong to the same family and are both bad for cats. However, it has been proven that garlic is five times more toxic than onions, that's how bad it is. Garlic is the most dangerous food to cats in the allium family.

If your cat eats garlic in just the right amount, they risk contracting garlic poisoning which can lead to hemolytic anemia and this condition causes your cat's body to attack its red blood cells. This occurs due to the presence of disulfides and thiosulphates chemical compounds found in garlic.

However, if quick action is taken, you can still save your kitty from garlic poisoning which otherwise would be a fatal condition.

Garlic is extremely toxic to cat even if it is just a single clove. Under no circumstance should you allow your cat to come near your stash of garlic. If you suspect that your cat may have eaten garlic, act fast and consult your vet immediately.

What Are The Symptoms Of Garlic Poisoning?

If your cat has eaten a toxic amount of garlic, it may not immediately show the symptoms of garlic poisoning. In some cases, it may take up to 48 hours or more before they start showing any symptoms. However, here are the signs to watch out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale gums
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Collapse

By the time the garlic starts attacking your cat's red blood cells and they start showing these symptoms, it may be too late. The best course of action if you suspect your cat has eaten garlic is to rush them to the vet immediately rather than wait for them to show any symptoms.

Can Cats Eat Garlic Bread?

Garlic bread or garlic toast is basically made of bread and garlic seasoning. It may contain other spices and vegetables but garlic is the primary spice. Needless to say, garlic bread is just as toxic to cats as garlic is. 

Even though it contains a small amount of garlic, that quantity might still be too much for your kitty. Garlic bread is not considered safe nor healthy for your cat and as such, should be kept away from them.

Although your cat will not die or fall seriously ill from just one bite of the savory toast, it is better to be safe than sorry because with cats, you can never know which quantity will be too much for them.

Can Cats Eat Garlic As A Remedy For Fleas?

Some people believe that garlic can be used as a homeopathic remedy for fleas in a cat's body. There is, however, nothing much in research to support this theory. Also, the risk involved is not worth it. You can never be too sure of the amount that will trigger a toxic response in your cat and responses differ among cats of different breeds, ages, and sizes.

There are other healthy methods of keeping fleas out of your kitty's fur. One such method is putting a bowl of warm, soapy water beside where your cat sleeps. This will attract and drown the pests.

Another way to keep your cat flea-free is by bathing and brushing regularly. Proper bathing and occasional brushing will ensure that your cat is clean and free from pests. Also, keeping the house well vacuumed and your cat's bedding clean will keep fleas at bay.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Eating Garlic?

The best way to keep garlic away from your cat is to store them in a secure place that your cat cannot reach. Also, don't share your garlic-seasoned meals with your cat. Cats love to share in their owners' food as a way of bonding with them or just sheer curiosity. But as a parent, you must be careful to feed only meals that are safe for them.

Then you can also double-check labels on their foods to be sure they are free from garlic or other toxic ingredients. If you are uncertain or have any concerns, don't hesitate to consult with your vet.


What Should I Do If My Cat Has Eaten Garlic?

If you suspect that your cat has eaten garlic, your response should be swift. Take your cat to your vet immediately and if your cat has been showing symptoms of garlic poisoning, try to recap all the symptoms you have noticed.

There's a great chance of survival once you report the case early otherwise, garlic poisoning might be fatal to your cat.


Garlic is toxic to cats. On no account should cats be given or allowed to eat garlic or any garlic-related foods. While a small amount may not be harmful to your cat, you can easily give them too much without meaning to and this will lead to garlic poisoning. Your best bet is to avoid feeding garlic to your cat completely.

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