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Whether you are preparing an Italian dish, cooking a home flu remedy, or beating up vampires, garlic is an essential element in many homes. From cloves to powder, garlic is an essential ingredient in our kitchens. Because it is so heavily used, it is easy for pets to put their paws and claws on these cloves. But is garlic safe for cats?
Can cats eat garlic?
I will keep it as short and sweet of an answer as possible. Well, maybe not that sweet: Cats should never eat garlic. Garlic is not safe and can cause serious digestive and general health problems in cats. If too much garlic is consumed, the vegetable will prove to be toxic and can even be lethal if the symptoms are not treated.
Harmful effects of garlic in cats
Garlic belongs to the allium family along with onions, chives, and leeks. If a large dose of these vegetables is given to cats or dogs, the results could be poisonous. Garlic, in particular, is thought to be five times more poisonous than onions for both cats and dogs.
The allium family vegetables contain a compound that causes oxidative damage to red blood cells. The compound makes these blood cells much more likely to break down. Too much garlic can also cause gastroenteritis with symptoms that include oral irritation, salivation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
In cats, garlic can be dangerous enough to produce signs of anemia, lethargy, increased heart rates, weakness, and even fainting. Cats are sedentary enough so that symptoms of anemia are hard to detect, but with garlic poisoning, there can be a drastic decrease in energy and an increase in weakness.
Garlic in cat food
Garlic is toxic to cats, even though it is a vegetable that we use most often when cooking. If we choose to feed our pet with homemade food, garlic should not be an option to give a taste to the food.
Garlic is extremely dangerous for cats, causing a type of non-regenerative anemia that can leave life-long sensitivities to the pet. We can choose other tasty and healthy vegetables like red pepper, and white roots like parsnips, parsley, and celery. Signs of garlic poisoning in cats can be vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, skin spots, and malaise.
Are small amounts of garlic okay for a cat?
Most pet owners do not know how to give their cats garlic cloves. But it’s important to be careful about sharing foods that have garlic as an ingredient, even in small amounts. If your cat accidentally eats food with garlic as an ingredient, it may still be in danger.
Just 5 grams of onion can be harmful to cats, and since garlic is five times more harmful than onions, even tiny amounts of garlic can affect your cat’s health.
What to do if your cat eats garlic?
If you catch your cat with its claws on pure garlic or on a substantial amount, do your best to calmly take it from her. If it is already ingested, watch for signs of poisoning, including salivation, vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea. Signs of intoxication may have a delayed onset. Clinical signs may not appear for several days. If they do, contact your current veterinarian immediately for further instructions.
Is garlic good for cats to fight worms?
Homemade remedies used for preventing parasites are very popular among people who do not trust medication. Garlic, as a means of preventing worms, has been used successfully for a very long time, but only for humans. Until recently, many dog owners were actively feeding their pets garlic to strengthen their immunity and help get rid of parasites. The “grandma’s methods” quickly lost relevance after veterinarians announced the statistics of garlic poisoning, compared to poisoning with pills against worms.
The ones using homemade remedies often mention the beneficial effects of garlic on the body. It is known that garlic stimulates the immune system and eliminates excess cholesterol.
The product has a very pungent smell, which is poorly tolerated by all blood-sucking parasites. When humans eat garlic, irritation of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract occurs, which increases metabolism. Accelerated metabolism forces the liver and other life support systems to function faster, leading to faster recovery in the case of a minor illness. It is known that garlic has stimulating effects on the heart and circulatory system in small amounts and with regular use.
All of the above benefits are not lies but apply to people in particular. Moreover, without preliminary examination by a gastroenterologist, people are not advised to consume garlic regularly and in large quantities. Irritation of the mucous membranes can lead to the development or aggravation of diseases such as gastric ulcers, gastritis, and colitis.
Can you imagine what you have to go through to force-feed a cat with chopped garlic? Most likely, the pet will foam from the mouth, and vomiting will appear. With no proven benefits of garlic, such measures cannot be called humane or even preventive.
Most cats that were force-fed with garlic developed an allergic reaction and diathesis. Nothing is known about the effectiveness of garlic as a means of preventing worms. However, veterinarians were able to establish that regular consumption of garlic in animal feed will lead to poisoning. The danger is that intoxication develops secretly and gradually. It will take at least 2 to 3 days until the first symptoms appear. Poisoning includes vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, decreased body temperature, and apathy.
Although it is a great supplement to human nutrition, garlic is toxic to cats and should never be fed to any pet. Garlic belongs to the allium family and contains a compound that leads to oxidative damage and gastroenteritis. Your small cat’s body is not strong enough to fight this compound like a human body. Stay on the safe side and feed your cat a protein-based diet of quality cat food. If your little guy somehow gets into garlic or eats garlic-containing foods, watch for signs of illness and contact your veterinarian immediately.