I couldn’t believe it when I came home and found my cat, sparkles, eating green onions. She looked up at me with a surprised expression like she had no idea that they were bad for her health. I was so mad! “How could you do this?” I said to her. She didn’t answer me because she doesn’t know how to talk back but the look on her face seemed remorseful enough.
Sound familiar? What is there to do if you cat eats some onions, green or otherwise? In this article we’ll tell you what we found out.
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Check For These Signs
Onion poisoning is serious in cats. The range of symptoms that present depends on how much onion they ate and the severity of their reaction to it. Some symptoms may show up immediately after ingesting the onion. Others may take a few days after they’ve eaten it.
One symptom to watch out for is excessive drooling. It’s rare for cats to drool. If you notice that your cat is producing a lot of salivae, then it’s because its body is trying to wash out the onion.
Vomiting and diarrhea are two other common symptoms of onion poisoning to look for. Vomiting occurs because the body is trying to expel the toxin from the body. The same with diarrhea. It may also be a sign that your cat’s body is having problems digesting the onion.
Another thing to check is their gums. If they have pale gums, then it could be a sign that they ate an onion and are poisoned. It can be difficult to pull back the lips on your cat. You’ll want to be gentle in handling them, especially if they’re not feeling well.
A severe reaction is if they end up physically collapsing. They may become so lethargic or weak that they’re unable to stand. This is a sign that your cat needs to be taken to the vet or hospital immediately.
They may also experience pain in their abdomen. You shouldn’t press on their stomach. However, even if gently running your fingers along it makes them shy away, then it’s a good sign that something is wrong.
Finally, you should check for an elevated heart rate or respiratory rate. Is their chest rising and falling rapidly? Are they breathing heavily? Their heart may be having difficulties. This is another sign that you need to take your cat to the hospital or vet immediately.
The severity of the problem your cat may face depends on how much onion they consumed. Some of the problems they may develop include:
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Heinz body anemia
Diarrhea and vomiting are the most likely problems that your cat will have. They may experience some gastrointestinal sensitivity and discomfort, too. The best thing you can do for your cat in this regard is to keep giving them water. Diarrhea can make them dehydrated which can only worsen the problem.
The biggest problem your cat may develop is Heinz body anemia. This is caused when the onion damages your cat’s blood red cells. It causes oxidative damage. With damaged red blood cells, oxygen is unable to pass through the body.
As a result, your cat may collapse or grow weak. Certain organs may even fail if treatment isn’t given to them.
What To Do
One of the first things you should do is determine how much of the onion your cat ate and what part of it the cat ate. For example, did it eat the bulb or the stem? Your cat may have milder symptoms if they ate the stem rather than the bulb.
If your cat ate a lot of the onion, then you may want to immediately take them to a vet or hospital to get checked over. Even if they seem fine initially, their reaction may worsen over time.
A cat that isn’t showing any symptoms should be monitored. Diarrhea and vomiting are to be expected. In this instance, it may be a good idea to keep your cat contained in one area. Newspapers can be placed on the floor in the event of a mess. They should have plenty of access to water.
If the vomiting and diarrhea don’t clear up two or three days, then you should take your cat to the vet. Being unable to retain food or water can become lethal for your cat.
One of the biggest things you should watch your cat for is pale gums. This is a sign that your cat is experiencing Heinz anemia. To save their life, you should take them to your vet immediately.
Do I Need To See The Vet Or Go To The Emergency Animal Hospital?
Mild reactions should be taken to your vet. They can help your cat reduce its suffering. They may also have suggestions on how to ease their stomach ache and keep them healthy while they vomit or diarrhea.
At the very least, you should take your cat to the vet to get it checked out whether they’re experiencing symptoms or not. Because their symptoms can sometimes take several days to emerge, getting your cat checked out can ensure they’re not developing anemia.
If your cat has pale gums, then you should take them to the hospital. This is a sign that Heinz’s body anemia is beginning. If you wait too long, then your cat may die. A hospital can help keep your cat alive with a blood transfusion.
Sometimes the cat may need to be given a scrub. If the onion touched their hair or skin, then cleaning it off is vital. They may develop a rash otherwise.
Safe Alternatives To Eat
Onions, leeks, and garlic are all part of the same family. That makes them all poisonous to cats. If you want to feed your cat vegetables, even though they’re carnivores, you should stick to carrots.
Feeding them raw carrots can be a choking hazard. Cooked carrots are a better solution because they’re softer and smaller.
Can Cats Eat Onion?
Cats cannot eat onions. They are poisonous to them. Onions, like others in its family, can damage a cat’s red blood cells. When those cells are damaged, they can suffer organ failure.
Cats shouldn’t eat onions, stalks, or onion grass. Even onion powder can cause an allergic reaction. If your cat does eat an onion, then you should try to induce vomiting. Taking your cat to the vet can ensure they’re induced safely.
Vomiting and diarrhea are the mildest symptoms that you can expect if your cat eats an onion. Death is the most severe.