My Cat Ate Garlic Powder: Will She Get Sick? (Solved & Explained!)

Garlic is famous for its distinct aroma and the burst of flavor it can bring to a dish. Still, this member of the Allium family is a dangerous food for your cat to consume.

If you suspect your feline ate garlic powder, you need to monitor them for a minimum of four days as garlic poisoning symptoms can slowly develop. If your cat starts to vomit or you notice changes in their heart rate or breathing, you’ll need to consult your vet immediately.

Continue reading to discover why garlic is so toxic to cats, how much is too much, and the steps to take if your feline eats some of this dangerous foodstuff.

Can Cats Eat Garlic?

No, you should never allow your cat to consume any food product containing garlic; this includes garlic powder and dishes prepared using garlic bulbs or cloves.

Can Cats Eat Garlic Powder?

Garlic is one of the most toxic foods for your cat; even garlic powder can have negative health consequences. While a lick of this powder may not cause significant damage, the toxins in this foodstuff can build up over time and cause considerable harm.

The best thing to do is to keep your cat away from garlic and all of its products, including powders and salts.

Why Shouldn’t Cats Eat Garlic?

Onions are bad for cats, but garlic is worse; not only does this food often lead to gastrointestinal issues for your feline, but it can also seriously damage their red blood cells.

Garlic contains thiosulphates and disulfide compounds, which can cause your cat’s red blood cells to become weak and burst. Consuming garlic can destroy your cat’s red blood cells; this is called hemolytic anemia.

When a cat suffers from anemia, its body doesn’t produce enough red cells to transport sufficient amounts of oxygen around it. Not only can this drain your cat’s energy, affect their heart rate, and lead to difficulty breathing, but it may also damage the kidney and lead to long-term health problems.

Every vegetable in the allium family, including leeks, chives, and shallots, contains thiosulphate, so you should keep all of these away from your feline.

How Much Garlic Is Too Much Garlic?

It’s difficult to calculate the exact amount of garlic that will poison your cat as every feline is different. Still, a clove of garlic is enough to cause poisoning in most adult cats; for kittens, a much smaller amount can prove detrimental.

On average, raw garlic contains approximately 1g of toxic substances for every 5lbs. Garlic powder is a concentrated form of garlic, so even a tiny amount can have a severe impact. In some of the most extreme cases, just 1/8th of a teaspoon of garlic powder can cause organ damage or failure, which is fatal enough to kill your feline.

The best way to avoid garlic poisoning is to prevent your cat from eating any of this toxic foodstuff.

What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Garlic Powder?

If you know or suspect that your cat has consumed any garlic product, you should call the Pet Poisons Helpline (1-800-222-1222) straight away. They will tell you which symptoms to look out for and give you advice on what your next steps should be.

A specialist may induce vomiting in your cat using activated charcoal. Still, it’s important to remember that you should never attempt this yourself unless your vet or emergency contact specifically instructs it.

When you take your cat to the vet or animal hospital, they can determine the exact needs of your feline and monitor the effects of any treatment. This lets them know whether your cat requires oxygen therapy, IV fluids, or a blood transfusion.

What Are The Symptoms Of Garlic Poisoning?

The symptoms of garlic poisoning may not present straight away in your cat; in general, it takes around two to four days after consumption for the symptoms to develop. If you suspect your cat has eaten garlic, you’ll need to monitor them for symptoms for at least five days.

Symptoms of garlic poisoning in cats include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Increased heart rate
  • Short, shallow breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Collapsing

Can My Cat Die If They Ate Garlic Powder?

Your cat can die if they consume too much garlic powder and are left untreated. If your cat consumes excessive quantities of this Allium family member, it can quickly start to attack and break down their red blood cells.

When this happens, their body is under severe stress, which may affect their heart and breathing rate. At the same time, the destruction of the red blood cells can lead to severe liver or kidney damage.

If this happens, your cat can die. That’s why it’s integral to seek professional help immediately if you know your cat has consumed garlic or they start to display any symptoms of garlic toxicity.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Consuming Garlic Powder?

If you want to prevent your cat from consuming garlic powder, keep this foodstuff out of their reach; make sure that containers are sealed and stored out of your feline’s reach. 

However, there are other ways your cat can inadvertently consume garlic powder that you might not think of. These include:

  • During meal prep (leaving containers open on a counter, leaving food you’re cooking unattended, etc.)
  • Allowing your cat to consume meat (or other foodstuffs) that you have boiled in garlic.
  • Garlic supplements
  • Hidden garlic (i.e., garlic in baby foods, etc.)

To stop your cat from consuming garlic, check the labels of each food product in your house and keep anything that contains garlic or garlic products inaccessible to your feline family members.

Final Thoughts.

Garlic and all its byproducts – including garlic powder – are highly toxic to cats. If your feline consumes even the tiniest amount of garlic powder, you should immediately contact your vet or the pet poisons helpline.

As garlic can lead to red blood cell damage, it can quickly shut down vital organs and lead to a fatal consequence for your cat. For these reasons, if your cat ate garlic, contact a professional immediately, follow their guidance, and monitor your cat for any developing symptoms.