Can my cat eat garlic?

NO! This is often given as a home remedy for flea problems, and this is an example of home-spun wisdom being dangerously wrong. Pets in general, and cats in particular, should not be given garlic or human food that has been cooked in garlic. The reason is the same as why why cats should not eat onions - garlic contains chemicals that kill the red blood cells of cats, and it can induce feline anemia. This is a serious blood illness, and the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and red colored urine.


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If you've given your cat garlic, it is probably not going to cause anemia. It takes large quantities of it to be toxic enough to make the cat seriously ill, or very frequently giving it to your cat for a long period of time. However, it is bad for your cat because it will do damage to the cat's blood cells, and if you have been giving it to your cat you should stop. If you are worried, look at the page on feline anemia and watch the cat for any symptoms. Generally the damage is not permanent, because if you stop giving the cat garlic its body will be able to return to producing a normal red blood cell count. You can find examples of safe, natural home remedies for fleas on this page that will not hurt your cat.

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