are onions good for cats

Cats shouldn’t eat onions because they are part of a group of plants called alliums, which are toxic to cats. Onions (including spring onions and shallots) are the most toxic allium for cats, but garlic, chives and leeks are also toxic, even when cooked or dried.

How Much Onion Is Toxic to Cats?

Onion poisoning in cats is caused by a toxic compound in the Allium plant called N-propyl disulfide. Although any amount of onion ingestion can cause stomach upset, the most severe signs occur when more than 5 grams of onions per kilogram of their body weight, or 0.5% of their body weight in kilograms, is ingested. This is the toxic dose—however, onion toxicity has been reported in cats after ingestion of less than 1 teaspoon of cooked onions.

It’s crucial to remember that onion powder has far more power than actual onions. Consequently, cats may become poisoned by even small amounts of onion powder.

To put things in perspective, one medium onion weighs roughly ½ pound (226 grams), or one tablespoon of onion powder.

Are Onions Bad for Cats?

Although a cat could bite into a raw onion, it’s more likely that they’ll eat something that contains onions. Keep your cat away from anything that contains onions, such as pizza, sauces, soups, gravy, and other foods that are cooked because they are just as toxic to cats as raw onions. Consuming food that has been cooked with onion powder or dehydrated/freeze-dried onions increases the risk of food poisoning by at least double.

Red blood cell damage and severe stomach distress are caused by onion toxicity in cats. This harm increases the possibility that the red blood cells will burst, which could result in fatal anemia. Your cat’s body needs less oxygen to survive when red blood cells burst because they are the source of oxygen in the body. The liver, kidneys, and lungs of your cat may also be impacted by this red blood cell degeneration.

Treating Onion Poisoning in Cats

Cats who suffer from onion poisoning frequently need to stay in the hospital until the entire extent of the damage to their red blood cells has been determined and addressed.

In addition to giving activated charcoal and other decontamination therapies to help reduce the amount of toxin absorbed into the bloodstream, your veterinarian may induce vomiting if the pet consumed onions recently—within the last two hours—in order to get rid of any leftover onion in the stomach. Unless specifically instructed to do so by a veterinarian, never induce vomiting in your cat at home as it can often cause more harm than good.

To assess your cat’s red blood cell count and determine whether they require a blood transfusion, your veterinarian will draw blood samples on a regular basis. Additional laboratory tests, such as complete blood counts and urine samples, will be conducted to evaluate other organs, such as the kidneys and liver, for any harmful alterations.

In order to help with the gastrointestinal symptoms and/or liver condition your cat may have developed, they will remain hospitalized and receive IV fluids and other medications. It’s possible that your cat requires extra oxygen to compensate for the oxygen lost from the damaged red blood cells.

Your cat’s red blood cell counts will probably need to be checked for a few weeks after recovering from onion toxicity. For a cat with onion toxicity who received prompt decontamination and medical attention, the prognosis is rather favorable. Cats with severe anemia and liver failure, as well as those who do not receive prompt, aggressive treatment, are more susceptible to it.

A pungent poisoning: Onion toxicosis in a cat. DVM 360. Accessed May 2, 2023. https://www. dvm360. com/view/pungent-poisoning-onion-toxicosis-cat.

Featured : iStock/portostock

A pungent poisoning: Onion toxicosis in a cat. DVM 360. Accessed May 2, 2023. https://www. dvm360. com/view/pungent-poisoning-onion-toxicosis-cat.

Featured : iStock/portostock

Originally from Fort Worth, Barri Morrison presently resides there. Lauderdale, Florida. She went to University of Florida for her.


What happens if my cat eats onion?

If a cat eats a large amount of onion at one time, or over a period of a few days, they can experience severe symptoms, including abdominal pain, blood in their urine and stools, and exercise intolerance. Eventually, there may be liver and kidney damage. A smaller amount may cause milder, more short-lived symptoms.

How much onion is safe for cats?

An onion can become toxic to a feline if more than 1 gram per 5 pounds of body weight is ingested. Onion powder has a high toxicity rate and is potentially more potent than a fresh onion. Onion toxicity in cats is caused by the oxidant present in onions, n-propyl disulfide.

Why does my cat want to eat onions?

Cats are unlikely to eat raw onion voluntarily. But cooked onions fried with butter, onion gravy, and tasty food seasoned with onion powder may be particularly enticing to your cat. Onion is often a hidden ingredient in many recipes. It can even be found in some baby food.

Do onions attract cats?

Cats aren’t attracted to allium vegetables, so they usually ingest the vegetable by having a bite of their parents’ meal.