Onions and Cats

CATS and Onions and Garlic: check BABY FOOD LABELS,too!

eating toxins
Cats are curious

All members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage cats’ red blood cells if eaten in sufficient quantities. Garlic tends to be more toxic than onions on an ounce-for-ounce basis, and cooking does not destroy the toxin. While it’s uncommon for cats to eat enough raw onions and garlic to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, can put cats at risk of toxicosis (poisoning). For example, some sick cats who are fed baby food containing onion powder develop anemia. The damage to red blood cells caused by onions and garlic generally doesn’t become apparent until three to five days after ingestion. Affected cats might seem weak or reluctant to move, or they might have pale gums. Their urine can be orange-tinged to dark red. Cats with any of these symptoms should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. Often when cats get sick owners try “anything’ to get their cats to eat. The cat may not be eating due to kidney disease or fever or neoplasia or liver disease. But now the owner has introduced a new problem but knowingly adding the onions to the list. Owners just look at the front of the label “chicken, yes she loves chicken” but human foods are rarely just one ingredient. Always read the back label. Calling your DVM is the best choice of course. There are many appetizing safe foods offered by clinics. But, generally a cat that is not eating should have an exam.