Last Modified on May 10, 2010
Is garlic safe for cats? Many pet owners would like to use garlic as a home remedy to improve their cats' immune function, expel worms, treat parasites, repel fleas, and otherwise improve the pet's overall health. However, there is some debate as to whether garlic is a safe food or health supplement for cats or pets in general.
For certain, cats are sensitive to garlic. Regular addition of garlic to your pet's diet can result in blood disorders (anemia) and stomach/digestive issues. However, occasional use may still be safe and effective to treat acute health conditions.
Home Remedies: Cat owners sometimes use minced, fresh garlic as an occasional addition to their pet's food in order to promote immune function, kill off parasites, detoxify the body, and clean the blood and blood vessels.
[YEA] 05/08/2010: Lana from Tulare, California: "I have a nine year old cat, Jim Morrison, who being a 20 pound alpha male gets into a lot of fights. About a week ago he got into a fight with a new stray that's been hanging around and developed a small infection in one of his fore legs. I can't take him to the vet since I was recently fired my job and money is scarce. When the infection started to spread and Morrison developed a fever I decided to look for a natural anti-biotic. After a brief search on the internet I turned up that garlic was used in world war one a two when penicillin ran short. My brother who is studying pharmaceuticals confirmed this and cautioned me to use it in moderation. I rubbed some minced garlic on the site of his infection and another small amount on his nose to get it into his system. He licked it off and was quite upset, but went to have a nap. Within a few hours Morrison's infection had diminished somewhat and a few hours after that the infection opened I was able to drain some of it and treat it with peroxide. I gave him another small amount of garlic in the same way I had earlier that night before bed and by the next morning the majority of the infection was gone and Morrison was fever free. I gave him another garlic treatment that morning and again that night by the following day (yesterday) the infection was gone. Morrison is fine and happy now napping at my feet as I write this. I've been checking him to make sure that the infection doesn't come back but so far everything looks good. I normally don't post on websites as I think it's a waste of time, but I noticed in the posts about giving garlic to animals there was almost nothing on cats and what there was had to do with treating fleas. The garlic did work, what I used was the pre minced kind you can buy in a jar and used it sparingly."Replies
05/10/2010: Mark from Country, Nova Scotia, Canada replies: "Lana from Tulare, California wrote about curing her cat of an infection and fervor using pre minced garlic. She is correct that garlic is a natural anti-biotic, however she did not use the best source of this great medicine. I am an organic gardener with a very good crop of three kinds of garlic. I am also well studied in natural medicines. Garlic has two kinds of medicine in it and one kind does not last long after mincing it. The only ways I know of to preserve both kinds of medicine is using fresh live garlic cloves crushed/minced and used ASAP. The other way is to slice up and dehydrate the garlic. Of course the absolute best medicinal garlic is fresh organically grown. Be advised, animal friends, garlic from china has been irradiated and is dead, so I imagine the medicine has been destroyed as well. Another tip I can give is that store bought garlic has usually been refrigerated so it has a short shelf life, as it has been triggered to start growing. If you get garlic from an organic grower or your back yard, and keep it near room temperature, it will last many months. FYI"
Is It Safe?
12/28/2009: Judy from Long Beach, Ca: "I have noticed that most of the positive feedback for using garlic on pets is for dog owners. Perhaps it is good for dogs in small amounts, but so far, I don't see very much about giving it to cats.
I have a cat that is not producing red blood cells, and so far what I have read is that it would not be a good idea. I didn't have time to read ALL the feedback, so if there is someone who has given garlic to their cat with successful results, please comment."Replies
04/24/2010: Heather from Montreal, Qc, Canada replies: "@Judy, from Long Beach CA:
You are right, there is less information about how garlic affects cats...
I've been mincing one clove of raw galic, adding it to a raw egg and then feeding it to my cat a few times a week. She is a bit hesitant at the smell, but usually eats it all. I've been doing this for about a month now and she has remained flea free & healthy through the beginning of the spring HOWEVER...
I've read comments on a few different sites from cat owners whose cats have become sick when fed garlic pills. Perhaps a small dose like the one I give my kitty will never affect her negatively, but I suppose her own genetic factors play a role and since I don't know what those are, I'm going to desist feeding her garlic. Cats and dogs ARE different.
On the other hand, I have only read positive things about adding apple cider vinegar to cat's drinking water and brewers yeast to her food, so I plan to continue with this approach over the summer.
Also, rubbing your kitty's coat with brewer's yeast, Rosemary or Lavender (or L. oil) appears to be a good repellant with no risks. I'll let you know if she stays flea free..."
08/26/2010: Sharon from Branson, Mo replies: "To Heather from Montreal - be careful about using essential oils on cats. They will be fine for awhile but could develop problems from it later on. Reason is they lack an enzyme or chemical in their body that breaks these oils down. So it stays in their body and overtime it can become toxic to them! Can anyone verify this as a truth?"
07/11/2012: Callie from Fairfax, Missouri replies: "My cat just had kittens, and we thought we had gotten rid of all her fleas. I just discovered some fleas on them, and was wondering if it would be safe, and what dosage to use, to put Apple Cider Vinegar in momma cats water so the kittens could get treated as well? Or if there are any more safe remedies to help them."