Tuesday, April 19, 2016

National Garlic Day - make sure your cats don't participate!




Today is National Garlic Day.  Garlic is one of my favorite foods, and I'm often of the opinion that if it pairs well with garlic, it pairs better with more garlic.

Garlic, however, is one of the foods that are toxic to cats. Garlic and onions are often paired together as things to stay away from since they are often found together in human foods and because they are both members of the Allium family which include onions, shallots, and chives.

These plants are healthy for humans. They help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Cats can not digest these plants as humans do because they lack the digestive enzymes that humans have. To cats these plants are toxic. It causes hemolytic anemia, a condition where red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is over. Red blood cells are vital for bringing oxygen to the organs of the body.

Consuming Alliums can also lead to gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

But how much is too much?

Garlic is about five times as potent as onions and as little as 23 grams of onions can be toxic to an average 10lb cat. This means just 4 grams of garlic can be a problem.  A lick or two of your spaghetti sauce on your lasagna isn't going to be an issue, but it actually might be over time; it is believed that chronic consumption of small amounts can be harmful.

I heard garlic is good for fighting fleas, isn't that true?

Garlic has actually been debunked as a treatment for preventing fleas, and since there is a risk of anemia why would you want to try it?


If you think your cat has ingested more Alliums than they should,  be on the lookout for symptoms of toxicity. These include breathlessness, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, pale gums, an elevated heart rate, an increased respiratory rate, red or brown urine, and weakness. I deal with anemia every year with Fleurp who for some reason becomes anemic every year in the late spring. It is not something that is fun to deal with, and it can be quite scary.

Hemolytic anemia is treated with supportive care of fluids and oxygen therapy. In serious cases, a blood transfusion might be necessary. The longer you wait for treatment, the harder it is to treat.

So enjoy your Garlic Day celebrations, but leave your cats out of it.

11 comments:

  1. My human is a huge garlic fan... which means if she is eating something with garlic in it, we don't get to share.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No garlic for us! But we don't understand why some cat food companies still put it in foods...even if it's just a tiny amount.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We didn't know about this. Mom sometimes uses garlic powder in food, but the only hoomin food we get is a bit of fried chick-hen sometimes. Not lately though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always say, you can't have too much garlic! (unless you're a cat, of course)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Muffin looks a little wary about that a garlic. . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. mom lurvs garlic....but none for us

    ReplyDelete
  7. We love garlic in our household! Of course we don't share it with our four-legged friends. But many people just aren't aware of this, so it's great to get the word out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Garlic sauce at the Mediterranean restaurant is the bestest stuff on the planet!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have to say I am of the same opinion of you, I love garlic.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our humans love garlic, but since we dislike 99.99999% of what's on their table we're sure we run away from this one too.

    Emma and Buster

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mum and Dad love garlic (too much according to Dad's brother), but they never share with us ! Purrs

    ReplyDelete

All spam will be fed to the kittens

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...