It is a fact that onions, in some form or another, are in almost everything we humans eat. Humans can eat onions without any issues, usually anyway, but can cats eat onions like you do? The general consensus remains the same across the board that giving your cat onions in any form should be avoided just to be safe.
Cats are said to be a lot more sensitive to onion poisoning than dogs are, so you should keep a close eye on those beloved felines if they get into the onions.
The ASPCA has said that onions have properties in them that can cause a condition in cats known as hemolytic anemia. Onion toxicity damages your cats red blood cells and causes them to burst.
Red blood cells carry oxygen through the body, so this condition is considered very serious. Signs of poisoning may take up to 4 days to show up in your cat. Watch for symptoms such as lethargy, bloody urine, diarrhea, weakness, breathlessness, rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, panting, coughing, wheezing, and vomiting.
Can Cats Eat Onions Raw?
Your cat should not eat raw onions because it can make them terribly sick. The agent present in onions that is toxic to cats is caused by and oxidant named N-propyl disulfide. Onions in powder form have a lot more levels of the thiosulphate and takes only a tiny amount to poison your cat, so this should be completely avoided.
Onions can even irritate your cats skin if it meets with it. Read labels of food and other products before you feed or use them to take care of your cat.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Onions?
Eating cooked onions is not any better than eating raw onions, and your cat can still develop hemolytic anemia. The compounds in onions that are toxic to cats are still present in the cooked form of onions. It is assumed that even food cooked with onions can be toxic to your cat and should be avoided as a dietary option in your cat’s diet.
How Much Onions Can Cats Eat?
It is much safer to keep onions away from your cat all together. Try to completely remove all access to onions so your cat does not eat any amount of onion. If your pet does happen to eat a large amount of onions, or a dish with a large amount of onions in it, then do not panic. Call your vet and ask for advice or take your cat in to the vet if he starts to show some symptoms of hemolytic anemia or onion toxicity.
Cats who have swallowed just one gram of onions for every five pounds of their body weight can have some hematologic fluctuations and it is consistently documented in pets who have consumed more than 50% of their body mass in one sitting. Onion toxicities tend to happen being built up over a long period of time and with repeated dosages, or in a single very large dose. So better safe than sorry, don’t let your cats eat onions!