Can Cats Eat Garlic?

angry grey cat 1

There are quite a few different foods that cats should never have, and it is important that you familiarize yourself with them.

 The more you know about which foods to not give your kitty, the easier it will be to keep them healthy. This article could potentially help you save your cat’s life.

Is Garlic Dangerous to Cats?

Garlic is considered to be inherently toxic to cats. The fact is that even a little bit of this food can have a hugely negative impact on your kitty’s health. There are certain types of vegetables that these animals weren’t meant to digest, including garlic.

Any foods that are classified under the Allium family are toxic to cats. Some of these foods include leeks, chives, shallots, and onions. Garlic and other foods in this family contain certain compounds that are toxic to cats, namely thiosulphates and disulfides.

If your cat ingests even a moderate amount of garlic, it could suffer major organ damage. This is why it is never a good idea to give any quantity of this food to your cat.

Garlic can actually damage your cat’s red blood cells, causing them to rupture. As you might imagine, this can take an incredible toll on their health. It is fairly common for cats that ingest this food to get gastroenteritis, which usually presents as vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. Its always better to avoid strange food and keep healthy diet feeding your kitty with good quality cat food.

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Symptoms of Garlic Toxicity

It is important that you are aware of the symptoms of garlic toxicity so you can recognize them in your cat. The sooner you spot these symptoms, the sooner you can get them the medical attention they require.

Some of the more common symptoms of garlic toxicity include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Yellow or pale gums

If you notice these symptoms in your cat, it is absolutely imperative that you get them to the vet right away. These symptoms might not present for two or three days, which is why you need to closely monitor your cat after it eats any amount of garlic.

You should not hesitate to get your kitty to the vet if they begin exhibiting any signs of illness. The longer you wait to do this, the greater the risk to your cat’s health and wellbeing.

red cat and garlick

Diagnosing Garlic Toxicity

If you take your cat into the vet because you are concerned about garlic toxicity, they will likely perform a variety of tests. The veterinarian will probably want to run a full blood panel and urinalysis. This will help them determine how much garlic your kitty ingested.

Depending on the symptoms your cat may be exhibiting, the vet might want to hold them overnight for observation. Diagnosing garlic toxicity is fairly straightforward, but it can be quite costly for the owner.

How to Treat Garlic Toxicity

Anyone who suspects that their cat ingested any amount of garlic will want to take action immediately. You should make a point of calling your vet right away to see if you should induce vomiting. 

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If they tell you it is okay to do this, you can give your cat a three-percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Once your cat ingests this solution, it shouldn’t be long until they begin vomiting. 

This should minimize the toxic effects of the garlic. It all depends on how recently your kitty ate this food. The longer it has been, the less effective inducing vomiting is going to be.

Veterinarians often give animals that have ingested toxic foods activated charcoal. This effectively absorbs the toxins, thereby limiting the negative health effects. It can work quite well, especially when the food has been recently consumed. While it is fairly rare, it is possible that your cat could need a blood transfusion.


When your cat is recovering from garlic toxicity, you should keep a close eye on them. It is important that you monitor their condition closely to ensure that the worst is over. If they start exhibiting any symptoms again, you should take them back to the vet.

Make sure that you stay close to your cat when you are home to provide them with a sense of comfort. There is a good chance that your cat won’t be feeling great when they get home from the vet, so you’ll want to be there for them. They may not feel like playing or jumping around for the first day or so, which is to be expected.

cat and garlick black background

How to Prevent Garlic Toxicity with your Cat

The most effective way to prevent garlic toxicity with your cat is to keep this food out of their reach at all times. You should keep your garlic in a cupboard so there is absolutely no chance of them getting to it.

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If you have garlic out when you are cooking, you’ll need to keep track of where your cat is. They can jump up onto the counter and snatch it up in a heartbeat, so you must be careful. Cats are often attracted to the smell of garlic, which can entice them to eat it.


  • Garlic is inherently toxic to cats due to certain chemical compounds that are found in it.
  • Even a tiny bit of garlic can cause a toxic reaction in your kitty.
  • Some of the symptoms of garlic toxicity include shallow breathing pale gums, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargic behavior.
  • If you notice any symptoms of garlic toxicity, you need to get your cat to the vet right away. It can take up to three days for these symptoms to manifest.
  • When you take your cat to the vet for garlic toxicity, they’ll likely run a blood panel and urinalysis.
  • Garlic toxicity in cats can usually be treated effectively with activated charcoal. In some rare instances, a blood transfusion may be required.
  • It is important that you keep any garlic in your kitchen in a cupboard or in the refrigerator so your cat cannot get to it.
  • Keep a close eye on your kitty as it recovers from garlic toxicity for the first few days.
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