Friendly Claws is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

We use garlic in a huge variety of recipes throughout the globe and it is popular as a flavoring agent on many snacks as well but on it’s own it isn’t quite tasty for most of us. Perhaps you made some steak with garlic on it and are wondering if your pet can have a taste so you are wondering can cats eat garlic? Because it is obvious that they won’t have any problem with the meat, so let us find out what you should know about this subject.

Flea Repellent?

The contents of garlic made some people think that it is a good choice to give your cat some to help them with flea problems. Sadly this hasn’t had proven results and thus is quite a bad idea. If your cat has flea problems there are much better solutions out there and a veterinarian is definitely the best choice to look for answers. If you really want to fix the problem at home then a bath with some diluted lemon juice in it should also work.

Effects of Garlic

You probably noticed that sometimes you stomach is distressed after eating too much garlic and we are quite used to digest plants. Unlike us, cats are obligate carnivores and thus their digestion is oriented toward meat so it is much more difficult for them to assimilate.

Just as with onions, garlic causes a very serious conditions in cats called Heinz body anemia. This disease doesn’t show symptoms immediately but it occurs even if small doses of garlic were consumed and it will usually develop over time.

The Heinz body anemia appears when the red blood cells were damaged by the Heinz bodies, – microscopic clusters of damaged hemoglobin, – and the buildup reduces the ability of the cells to carry oxygen to the body. This disease is much more likely in cats who have diabetes , cancer or problems with the thyroid gland.

The usual symptoms are a high fever, extreme fatigue and overall weakness due to the insufficient oxygen, a lack of appetite, pale skin and tongue as well as a discolored urine in more serious cases. The fact that your cat was poisoned can also become evident when they start to vomit or have diarrhea and they start drooling excessively.


It is difficult to treat this condition usually and it can lead to complications or even death if you delay with its treatment so if you see your cat losing weight, sleeping too much or some of the symptoms we mentioned above make sure you see a veterinarian and try to fix the problem fast.

Short Answer:

Garlic is something you should definitely keep your cat away from as it can cause serious damage.

About The Author

Scroll to Top