The diet of animals differs from that of humans in many ways. While humans can eat a little of whatever they can find, cats, on the other hand, have several dietary restrictions. Among these is the onion ( Allium cepa ) which, despite its multiple benefits on human health, is harmful to a felid. What if your cat ate it?
Why shouldn’t I give my cat onions?
From the Alliaceae family, onion is a bulb vegetable that has several advantages for humans due to its pharmacological and medicinal properties. Although it is a powerful antioxidant, it is not recommended for all types of living things, especially cats.
Consumption of onion in repeated small amounts or in a high dose causes noticeable damage to the health of the cat. Indeed, Allium cepa contains several chemical compounds including sulfur derivatives. When the cat swallows onion or a food that contains it, these sulfur compounds cause various unwanted actions. This deteriorates, therefore, his body, and causes damage to his health. It is therefore not advisable to feed your cat with onions or meals that contain them.
Usually, after 24 to 72 hours after ingestion, adverse effects begin to appear.
The dangers of onion for cats
The consequences of consuming onions on the health of cats are manifold. Once this food is consumed, it is responsible for food poisoning in your feline. The sulfur-containing chemicals in the onion act on the red blood cells of cats and gradually destroy them. This leads to a drop in hemoglobin causing hemolytic anemia. Indeed, this vegetable promotes the formation of Heinz bodies attacking red blood cells and causing their deformation and then their destruction.
In addition, Allium cepa is responsible for digestive disorders. In some cases, internal bleeding can occur, which significantly deteriorates the health of your pet. Onion, whether raw or cooked, causes jaundice to develop in cats. The latter is jaundice caused by the release of a pigment contained in red blood cells after their destruction. Jaundice is characterized by the yellow color taken by the integuments and visible mucous membranes of the cat, under the action of the pigment.
Digestive problems that onion can cause lead to vomit and diarrhea. In addition, the urine of the animal becomes darker. This is the main feature of the effects of onion. One can also note cramps of the abdomen, as well as respiratory problems. This is an increased rate of breathing due to a lack of oxygen. This is explained by the destruction of hemoglobin (supposed to transport oxygen) by hemolysis.
At worst, consuming the onion can lead to the death of the cat.
What if my cat eats it?
If your cat has eaten onion, there are steps you need to take as soon as you notice it to prevent the situation from deteriorating. In the event that the poisoning has appeared within thirty minutes of ingestion, you should force your cat to vomit. To do this, give him 3% hydrogen peroxide in a dose equivalent to a teaspoon, or 1 to 2 ml/kg of hydrogen peroxide 10 volumes. If you have activated charcoal, give it to absorb as many toxins as possible before they pass into the blood. This assumes that you have a cat first aid kit.
If, on the other hand, you do not have the necessary equipment or if the poisoning has lasted for hours, the best thing to do is to go to a vet as soon as possible. He will establish a diagnosis on the level of evolution of the intoxication in order to carry out the appropriate treatment. Toxins take a long time to be eliminated, so it will take a few days for your feline to regain its health.
The cat is one of the animals most sensitive to onions, the ingestion of which causes many harmful health disturbances. It is best to avoid getting there by taking care not to let the animal consume it. It is therefore necessary to prevent the cat from eating it by keeping the onion bulbs away from it. Also, avoid giving it the rest of your meals which may contain onion. Likewise, dietary supplements containing onion should be avoided in your cat’s diet.
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