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

While garlic is known for keeping away vampires, did you know it’s also hazardous to cats? What should you do if your cat ate garlic bread?

Garlic, shallots, and onions are toxic to cats. In small doses, they cause anemia and, in significant amounts, organ failure. As little as one clove of garlic can lead to toxicity in cats. Symptoms can take from an hour to four days to appear.

Wow, that is one food I am never sharing with my feline! It’s a good thing this article explains what the symptoms are, what you should do, and what can happen if your cat eats garlic bread.

My Cat Ate My Garlic Bread

Remove the remaining food if you find your feline friend eating your garlic bread. Try to determine how much they ingested. As little as one clove can cause toxicity in cats. Your cat will probably be okay if they just licked the side of the bread. Contact your vet or a local emergency veterinary hospital if actual bites are missing.

If the bread is homemade and you know you went light on the garlic, there probably isn’t any need to worry. You may have a bigger issue if you’re like me and lathered the butter and garlic on. If you’re unsure because the bread was store-bought or purchased, give the vet a call to be on the safe side.

Do not try and induce vomiting. This can cause numerous other issues like the bread becoming stuck in the esophagus, stomach irritation, and you getting bitten. 

Symptoms of Garlic Toxicity in Cats

Symptoms of garlic poisoning in cats can occur anywhere from 1 hour after ingestion to 4 days. It depends on how much the cat ate, how concentrated the garlic was, and your cat’s natural sensitivity to toxins. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, trouble breathing, diarrhea/vomiting, pale gums, elevated heart rate, and collapse.

If any of these symptoms occur and persist, contact your vet or animal poison specialist immediately.

Lack of Appetite

No one wants to eat when they don’t feel good, and cats are no exception. The garlic will cause your cat to have an upset stomach and trouble settling down, resulting in a lack of appetite. Nutrients are essential while your cat fights any illness, so try and tempt them with wet food or their favorite treats.

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If their stomach is too upset for solids, try tuna water. That’s my cat’s favorite!

Trouble Breathing

Garlic toxicity can present in ways that appear like allergies. If your cat suddenly has trouble breathing, their airways may be constricting. You can tell by an unusually raspy breath or if they’re panting for no reason. 

Diarrhea/Vomiting

Whenever an animal ingests something poisonous, the body works to get rid of it as fast as possible. That can be through vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat doesn’t usually have hairballs, this could signify garlic toxicity.

Check the vomit for pieces of bread or garlic. Believe it or not, it’s better if you see chunks because that means the cat hasn’t fully digested it yet. If they only took a few bites and you only find a few remaining pieces, chances are good that your feline is out of the woods and will be fine in a few days.

Pale Gums

Even if you’ve never looked at your cat’s gums before, trust me when I tell you they should be a healthy pink to red color. Because garlic causes anemia in cats, pale gums are one symptom of garlic toxicity. This happens because the garlic prevents the cat’s body from producing and maintaining red blood cells. This is a symptom you may not see for several days.

Contact the vet immediately if the gums are pale pink or white. Neglecting this symptom can lead to blood problems, circulation issues, neurological issues, and even death.

Elevated Heart Rate

An elevated heart rate is a sign you will see in conjunction with pale gums and trouble breathing. This is because the body loses oxygen as the blood loses red blood cells. That leads to an increased heart rate as the cat’s body tries to pump what little oxygen the cells have through its arteries. 

Check your cat’s pulse when they’re lying down or relaxing, not after you finish playing with them. If they have the zoomies, wait until they’ve calmed down. You can check their pulse by placing your hand on their left side, just behind their front leg. 

Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and then multiply the number by four to get your cat’s heart rate in beats per minute (bpm). An average rate for an adult cat is between 140 and 220 bpm.

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If your cat suddenly collapses, contact the vet immediately. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen any previous symptoms. When you arrive, inform the vet of when they ate the garlic bread, how much, and what you’ve been monitoring them for. 

How To Prevent Accidental Garlic Poisoning

Whether the garlic is in clove form or bread form, it’s still hazardous. If you have an inquisitive cat like I do, you’re used to hiding things on shelves, in drawers, in containers, or under bowls. A great place to keep garlic powders and cloves is in a high spice cabinet behind a closed door.

While cooking, keep the items close to you and only open them as needed. If you drop anything, pick it up immediately. Because garlic bread needs to cool off after you take it out of the oven, keep a close eye on it, so you know if your kitty is getting too curious. Covering the loaf with a towel is a great choice and helps keep the bread warm.

Conclusion

Garlic is highly toxic to cats and can lead to various symptoms such as increased heart rates, vomiting, pale gums, collapse, and death. If you suspect your cat has ingested a lethal amount of garlic, you need to contact your vet or local emergency veterinary hospital.