Garlic for Cats

| Modified on Feb 18, 2022
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.

Chronic Skin Conditions

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Bob T. (Wayne, Nj) on 05/15/2017

I had an older cat who kept getting a recurring skin condition and he would literally scratch so much he had no fur left on his body! I would have to take him to the vet two or three times a year for expensive creams that took quite a while to day I read an article about using garlic to treat skin conditions in cats.I took the garlic and minced it and put it in a container with a bit of olive oil.I rubbed it all over the infected areas and within a week or two I noticed his skin condition clearing up. I had him for many years after this and anytime I saw this condition coming back would repeat the treatment and it would clear right up. needless to say I never had to take him to the vet for it again. He lived to be 23 btw. The garlic didn't seem to hurt him in the least.

Feedback: Worms

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5 star (1) 

Posted by Kellen (Los Angeles) on 07/06/2014

I got a kitty like a month ago and something white has been coming out of her butt and I think its worms . Is garlic good to get rid of worms ? My cat looks about 4 months old. My parents don't got money at the moment so I can't buy her any medicine and my cat has gotten a bit skinny.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Kellen!

White worms coming out of your cat's butt sound like tape worms. Tape worms are cosmetically offensive/ugly to see, but are generally harmless and pose no imminent threat to your cat.

A skinny kitten who has never been wormed can have a more serious intestinal worm like round worm; your cat might vomit or cough one up, or you might see it coiled like spaghetti coming out in the poop. Another bad worm is hookworms - which you won't see, and will cause your kitten to be very skinny and you will often see bright red blood in the poop. Round worms and hook worms can be life threatening if left untreated.

Natural remedies often are hit and miss for worms and the prepared formulas that are already mixed up that you can buy are generally very spendy. Garlic - at a safe dose for your cat - isn't going to touch the worms.

I strongly recommend you check out cat rescues in your area to see if they are able to help. Google "Los Angeles feline rescue" and start at the top of the list and work your way down. Let them know you are a minor dependent on your parents for money and that they have no money for this kitten you have taken in. If they cannot help you they may know of a program that can help you get your kitten de-wormed, vaccinated and spayed.

Good luck!

Fleas, Worms, Parasites

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5 star (1) 

Posted by Cu (Miami Beach) on 01/08/2017

Garlic for cats.

I fed my cats a homemade diet following Dr Pitcarin's recipes and then later branching out on my own, starting when they were around 6 years old and 4 (a male and female). At the time, we had also moved to FL, and I started incorporating garlic (and the citrus fur rub) to stop the fleas. It worked, and I had fed them a steady diet which included fresh, minced garlic.

I started out giving them a pinch's worth of garlic (literally, pinching off a bit from a clove), and then gave them a little more, about a 1/2 clove daily in their shared food. Of course, be prepared for your cats to fight you on this - they will fling the pieces and eat the food quite carefully around it, in the beginning (who does eat raw garlic like apples?), but they will get some of the juices and some pieces will make their way in, maybe a meal that they'd eat in 2 minutes will be gone in 3 hours. They became accustom to it (so much so, when I started chopping garlic, they knew food was on its way and very excited, and I'd giving them varying flows of garlic depending upon their health, the season, parasites, etc. I treated it as a medicine, together always with raw carrots, and they did eat it daily.

I never blended the garlic in a food processor or blender because that's far too severe in terms of the garlic juice and oil that's released. I just chopped. Anyway, my cats lived to 17 and 16.5 years old. No worms, no fleas (I would leash walk them around, and travel with them), very healthy, just with a garlic breath kisses.

My 16.5 year old cat (who started eating garlic and homemade food when he was 4) could have lived longer, I know. He only passed away due to the food recall on science diet, which gave him liver cancer. I fed him that for a week while I was undergoing my finals in my graduation year at college, and I thought that it would be okay for a few days. Never again - I learned my lesson - he was completely healthy and bouncy, and became poisoned and dead within two and a half weeks. The vets I brought him to, just told me it was a shame, but "he's an old cat anyway".

Replied by Cu
(Miami Beach)

I also wanted to add, for the raw (organic) garlic I gave my cats, I gave them doubled the amount of raw organic and grated carrot. I fed them the two ingredients together.

Hope This Helps.

Garlic Dosage for Cats

Posted by Valerie (Hayesville, North Carolina ) on 11/05/2015

Can garlic be given to cats? If yes. how much for a 15 lb cat?


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lana (Tulare, California) on 05/08/2010

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.

Replied by Mark
(Country, Nova Scotia, Canada)

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?

1 User Review
2 star (1) 

Posted by Judy (Long Beach, Ca) on 12/28/2009

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.

Replied by Heather
(Montreal, Qc, Canada)

@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...

Replied by Sharon
(Branson, Mo)

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?

Replied by Callie
(Fairfax, Missouri)

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.

Replied by Michael

I just gave my cat a Garadetto's Garlic Rye chip and he ate like maybe half of the chip until I realized I should look up whether or not garlic is okay for cats. Then I obviously took the rest of the chip away from him when I found it it wasn't. I think it was such a small amount that he'll be fine, since there obviously isn't anywhere near 1/4th of a clove within a garlic seasoned rye chip. But after reading how cats supposedly hate garlic, I'm surprised my cat seemed to like it. Anyway I won't be feeding it to him anymore, it just doesn't sound worth the risk. Blood cell issues sound way worse than parasite issues. Glad to hear it's not instantly deadly at any amount though, as some websites seem to want to portray.