Cats are, by nature, curious little furballs, and nothing escapes their investigation. What if one such subject of curiosity for your cat is garlic? While cooking or while eating, you might slip a bite or two of garlic-added food to your cats. But have you considered how they might react to the garlic?
Well, garlic is indeed bad for cats. It’s not just dangerous but toxic too! Your cat might go through some painful health issues if they eat garlic unknowingly. So, read on to know how your cat might react to garlic and what measures you need to take if they consume garlic.
Can you feed garlic to cats?
No! The medical reason cats are negatively affected by garlic is that the Allium plant group to which garlic belongs is packed with organic sulfur compounds. It is dangerous to cats as they create oxidative injury to their RBC, resulting in hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, and Heinz body anemia.
How much garlic is poisonous to cats?
In small amounts, garlic is not toxic, but to be cautious, it’s better to understand that it’s still dangerous even if your cat consumes a little garlic powder. Even a little piece of garlic can be toxic and hazardous. The harmful effect on cats depends on many factors like the cat’s weight, previous health issues, and your cat’s breed. Some breeds of cats that are very sensitive to garlic toxicity are
- Burmese cats.
- Siamese cats.
- Turkish Angora cats.
- Japanese Bobtail.
- Singapura cats and
- Oriental Shorthair.
Symptoms you need to look for if your cat eats garlic
Even though most cats are not particularly fond of garlic, there are unexpected situations and exceptions where cats might eat garlic. While some cats may take 3 to 4 days to show signs, others may take up to a week or longer to show the proper symptoms. There are two major health issues for which your cats can show symptoms. One is anemia, while the other is gastroenteritis.
For anemia, your feline friend might show symptoms are weakness, sudden collapse, lethargy, pale gums, accelerated respiration, and elevated heart rate. For gastroenteritis, the symptoms would be drooling, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, oral irritation, and severe abdominal pain.
What to do when your cat eats garlic mistakenly?
If your cat ate garlic or is starting to show symptoms, then you need to be quick and calm in what you do next. A proper and fast assessment of the situation is very crucial. Once you realize that your furry companion has ingested garlic, the best and safest decision is to take them to the pet clinic.
Usually, the vet gives activated charcoal or 3 percent H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) solution to remove undigested particles from the cat’s belly. Sometimes, the vet might consider gastric lavage to flush out all the toxic substances. Sometimes the situation might become so severe that the vet would recommend keeping your cat under observation for a few days.
Tips to prevent garlic poisoning in cats
Even if you comprehend your cat’s situation fast, it’s always better to eliminate any possible garlic threat so that your furry friend doesn’t get ill. Below are some tips to help prevent your cat from getting garlic poisoning.
- You can store all the vegetables, especially those with allium, in a place where your cat can’t get its paws on them.
- As the pet’s nature, cats try to taste anything you make in the kitchen. So ensure that your cat is not inside the kitchen while cooking.
- Even if you feel like giving in to your cat’s pleading gaze, remember that garlic and any food made with it are toxic. So don’t share your food with your kitty. Instead, give it some delicious treats.
Benefits of Garlic for your cats
Garlic does have health benefits to offer to your cats. As it might come as a surprise for you to know that garlic can contribute to your cat’s health, read the table below to learn about the benefits.
|Benefits||How does it benefit the cats?|
|Parasite repellent||The scent of garlic helps in keeping ticks and fleas at bay.|
|Digestion||Garlic is a prebiotic food that, in tiny quantities, aids the smooth digestive process.|
|Eliminates toxins||Garlic has the chemical allicin, which promotes WBC and helps to eliminate toxins.|
|Lowers cholesterol||Garlic’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties reduce cholesterol and ensure overall cardiovascular health.|
|Immunity||Garlic has immunity-promoting nutrients and antibiotics like allicin that boost your cat’s immune system.|
Though considerable health benefits exist, it’s essential to understand that the adverse effects outweigh the positive ones.
However, constant physical activity can promote immunity, cholesterol, and cardiovascular health in your cats. In this regard, Furhaven Tiger Tough Cat Tree is the ideal choice for your furball. Made with polyester and sisal, it’s safe for your cats to scratch and play in them to be healthy and active.
Some other food groups that you can feed your cats
It’s good to know the foods that are dangerous and toxic to your cats, and it’s also better to know the foods that contribute to your cats’ health. The three most important food categories you can feed your cats are vitamins, animal fats, and animal protein.
As a cat parent, it’s essential to know that your companion can make only Vitamin C and Vitamin K while other vitamins are absorbed from the foods. You should give your cats the four most important vitamins: Vitamin D, E, A, and B 12.
Animal fats are packed with fatty acids like Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids, Arachidonic acid, and Linolenic acid. Besides tasting delicious, animal fats help maintain body heat, healthy organ function, and cell membranes.
Animal proteins are essential for your cats because they help in proper muscle development, good skin and coat, healthy organ functionality, and a healthy reproductive system. Apart from these benefits, they need animal protein for energy as they are easily absorbed.
Though garlic certainly adds a unique taste to our dishes, it does not have the same benefit for cats. As a cat parent, one needs to be always careful they don’t ingest toxic or dangerous things like garlic. So, as there’s no more doubt that garlic is toxic, ensure that your cats are safe from eating them.