Help! Cats fed onions! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Cats fed onions!

My husband was just eating Chinese food and gave the cats some cooked onions. Justin got two pieces about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide and Stormy got one piece. After he told me he gave it to them, I told him I thought I remembered onions being bad for them. Sure enough, I just read it can cause anemia. Is this amount of onions enough to be really worried about them? The website I just read says they would get sick a few days after eating the onion. Is there anything I can do about this after the fact?

Shannon
Loving her cat Stormy and missing her angel cat Justin 1-13-09
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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As far as I know, one or two small pieces of onion just once will do no harm. You would have to feed a lot more and more than just once to see serious consequences.

In fact, back in the 70's some canned cat foods were made with onion powder. I don't remember when the manufacturers stopped doing this, but I do remember that while they were on these foods cats were healthy and anemia was not a problem. (So they must have used a tinier than tiny amount. Not enough to cause any harm.)

If you let a dog have stir-fried onions once, the dog will get sick from the amount of fat (oil) in the food but not the onions as such.
(I've heard from owners who ended up with a very sick dog after a special treat of stir-fried onions. Blood results came back normal, no problems from the onions. And no problems showed up later either.)

Links:

http://www.vet.uga.edu/vpp/clerk/Tarigo/

http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/pets/816

http://www.petdiets.com/faqs/display_faq.asp?ID=339

http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/garlic.php

My question re this last link: what cat in its right mind would consume onion soup on its own???????????
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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Hmm..I had thought they had said on the news that the anemia was caused by a chemical found in Raw onion only and that cooking destroys most of the chemical. I'll have to see if I can find the transcript for that portion of the news on their website...its been awhile since that report though.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 03:25 PM
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I really wouldn't worry about this. Garlic is toxic too, but all my pets have had it at various points without ill effect. a small amount of it will not do them any harm.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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I would personally call a vet.
Onions along with other things cause anemia in dogs and cats. BUT, it's not anemia like you're probably thinking. It's called Heinz-body hemolytic anemia.
http://www.petdiets.com/faqs/display_faq.asp?ID=339
I do believe it is usually more common with feeding onions long term, but I'd just call a vet and tell them what happened and get their advice.

Jennifer
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 03:31 PM
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My childhood cats (and dog) were always given whatever was left of the Sunday dinners EVERY sunday for 15 years, including onions. It was the norm then to give pets left overs.

As well as 15 years of onions, these cats went outdoors, never had vaccinations (were neutered!) and rarely had a vets visit, and lived to old age respectively! Just demonstrating that although we know what is best for our kitties now, it wasn't always so and cats have coped for centuries!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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I looked around online and it said it can cause the anemia whether or not the onions are raw, cooked or dried.
We did call a vet and he told us that it would have to be more onions than that to really cause any problems.
I also read that the vomiting, diarrhea and other possible side affects of the anemia ususally come up several days later, so we will watch them carefully for the next few days, but I think they should be okay.
Thanks everyone for your replys.

Shannon
Loving her cat Stormy and missing her angel cat Justin 1-13-09
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