Can Cats Eat Chives? 12 Health Risks To Be Careful

Chives can be found in most kitchens and are used in a wide variety of delicious dishes. Even though your cat may occasionally be tempted to snack on these crunchy green shoots, they are not safe for consumption.

Chives, like other members of the Allium family, are poisonous to cats. Onions, garlic, and leeks are all examples of such foods.

Cats, which are much smaller than humans, should avoid eating chives because even humans can develop toxicity to them if they eat too much.

It’s not unusual to have them at home because they’re often used as a garnish for soups and dips, but you should store them somewhere your cat can’t get to them.

Can Cats Eat Chives?

No. Chives are fairly toxic, especially when consumed over time or in large quantities, and should never be given to a cat.

If you saw your cat nibbling on some, you should keep an eye on it for a few hours in case of any signs of poisoning, such as excessive vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior. If you think your cat may have eaten some, you should contact your vet immediately.

Chives in any form, whether fresh, dried, chopped, or ground, are poisonous to cats.

Are Chives Poisonous to Cats?

bundles of chives

Chives, a member of the onion family (Allium), have a pungent flavor. Onions, leeks, and garlic are all members of the same plant family that contain organosulfoxides.

Until they are metabolized into sulfur compounds, these substances pose no danger to humans.

Even though it may seem like it would take a lot for your cat’s red blood cells to break down from too much sulfur, even small amounts can be poisonous and signs are seen within a couple of days.

Do Cats Like Chives?

To some extent, cats are like toddlers (I feel like I currently have two toddlers in my care, between my youngest son and my new 3-year-old cat). They enjoy dangerous activities, but they don’t always realize the risks involved.

Many cat owners will attest that their feline companions will knock over impeding plants, scale furniture, or even sneak outside in order to get at chives.

It’s unclear why this is the case, but possible explanations include cats mistaking chives for grass (which they often do, especially when they’re feeling queasy), cats mistaking it for catnip (since the two plants may share a similar scent), and cats simply being curious.

Even though you know it’s bad for them, cats can be sneaky and demanding when they want something they shouldn’t eat.

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Don’t feel bad about keeping chives far away from your cat, no matter how much it begs; cats don’t get any nutrition from plants, and chives are downright toxic.

Do Cats Hate Chives

Some cats just don’t care about chives or they don’t like them. I hope this is your cat.

Put out some cat grass for them to chew on and keep the chives out of their reach to encourage this lack of interest.

What is Chive Poisoning?

There is no hard and fast rule for how long it takes for chive poisoning to set in. Within twelve hours to a few days, you may start to experience symptoms.

The quicker the symptoms appear, the more of the substance your cat has consumed. If you only eat a little bit, you might not feel anything until a few days later.

Cats are notorious for hiding the effects of poisoning. It’s not uncommon for cats to pretend everything is fine, even if they’re actually in pain.

Chive poisoning typically manifests itself first in the digestive system. Watch for symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal pain that could indicate an upset stomach.

Lethargy, increased breathing, pale gums, weakness, elevated heart rate, and collapse are all more serious symptoms. Chive poisoning is potentially lethal if left untreated.

Why Are Chives Poisonous to Cats?

The plant family Allium includes chives. Onions, garlic, and leeks are also members of this family. The presence of compounds known as organosulfoxides is shared by all members of this family of plants.

These compounds are generally safe in their purest form. But when they are broken down in the digestive process, they release sulfur compounds.

Your cat’s red blood cells may deteriorate if it comes into contact with sulfur. It also doesn’t take a very high dose for this to happen. In a short amount of time, their blood can undergo potentially fatal changes.

Can Chives Kill Cats?

A single chive nibble probably won’t hurt your cat, but excessive consumption or prolonged exposure can be fatal.

Chives, along with garlic, onions, leeks, snowdrops, and some lilies, belong to the Amaryllidaceae family and contain an oxidant that is highly toxic to cats and dogs. In this instance, an oxidant known as N-propyl disulfide is being used.

It wreaks havoc on red blood cells by attacking them. Long-term exposure can cause hemolytic anemia and death in cats by reducing the number of red blood cells.

In addition to lowering blood pressure, it can also cause circulatory issues by relaxing heart muscles and widening blood vessels.Can Cats Eat Chives

Having too much chives in your diet can make you sick to your stomach and throw up, cause abdominal pain, make you tired and lethargic, and even make you pee blood. Even if you discount the risk of hemolytic anemia, these are still terrible.

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This can also happen to dogs, but it takes a lot less time and a lot less exposure for cats because they are so much smaller and lighter than most dogs. A cat can become seriously ill from eating just.5 percent of its body weight in chives.

If your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms, it is imperative that you contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • discomfort or inflammation in the abdomen
  • Discouraging signs include listlessness, fatigue, and rapid breathing.
  • a sped-up heartbeat
  • Ureine hematuria
  • Collapse
  • Itching in the mouth
  • Unsteady gait

If you suspect your cat ate chives at any time, keep an eye out for these symptoms, which may not appear for several days.

Some cat breeds, especially the miniature varieties, are more vulnerable than others. Always assume that chives are poisonous to cats and keep them away from the plant in any form they might be in.

How Many Chives Can My Cat Have?


The shape that the chives take is also irrelevant. They are toxic to cats no matter what form they are in—fresh, dried, chopped, baked, cooked, added to seasonings, boiled, roasted, etc.

Symptoms of Chive Poisoning

It could take a while for your cat to show symptoms after eating chives. The dosage is critical. Generally speaking, symptoms appear sooner after taking a larger dose, and sometimes not until days after taking a smaller dose.

cat hunting in grass

There may be no outward signs of illness in the animal. Since cats are so good at disguising their distress, their owners might be fooled into thinking that chives have no effect on them.

Symptoms in the digestive system are often the first to appear and the mildest to treat. Chives are toxic to cats mainly because they can damage their red blood cells, but they can also make them sick to their stomachs.

Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea are common symptoms.

Cats may show signs of blood damage, which is a more serious issue. Your cat’s body relies heavily on red blood cells. Oxygen is transported all over your cat’s body by these. Your cat will start showing symptoms of anemia if these become damaged.

This includes symptoms like fatigue, weakness, inability to tolerate physical exertion, and even collapse. This can be fatal if not treated.

Other health issues may also be brought on by anemia. For instance, it can reduce blood pressure by calming the heart and relaxing blood vessels.

Problems with circulation and low blood pressure are possible outcomes. This further hinders the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to where it’s needed in the body. If your cat gets hurt, they may have trouble bleeding or clotting.

Treatment for Chive Poisoning

Call your vet if you think your cat has eaten chives. Even if you don’t notice anything wrong right away, getting treatment quickly is essential.

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Your veterinarian may be able to remove chives from your cat’s system by inducing vomiting if your cat consumed them recently. This is the best course of action because it prevents them from causing any trouble in the first place.

To avoid the toxin entering the digestive system, activated charcoal can be used.

If the cat is already experiencing symptoms, it is probably too late to treat with any of the methods listed above. Only supportive care, such as gastrointestinal (GI) medications and intravenous (IV) fluids, is an option.

Chive poisoning has no treatment options. The cat must be allowed to pass the toxin through its system. It’s possible that they’ll need oxygen therapy and blood transfusions.

The worst symptoms usually don’t show up for a few days, so hospitalization and monitoring may be necessary.


Avoiding Chive Poisoning

Chives should be displayed regularly. Leftovers on the counter are a magnet for neighborhood cats. Obviously, you shouldn’t knowingly feed your cat anything that contains chives or any other member of the Allium family.

Chives are toxic whether they are dried, fresh, liquid, or cooked. Be cautious about leaving supplements lying around that your cat could get into, as some human supplements also contain these toxins.

Common Ways Cats Get Into Chives

Look for the following and put them in secure locations if you want to ‘chive proof’ your home:

  • Chives, presumably, in your neighborhood. Fresh chives are wonderful, and in many cities they are commonplace, but if your cat goes outside frequently, it will inevitably come into contact with them. You can pull them out of the ground or, if you prefer, replant them in a pot somewhere your cat won’t be able to reach them.
  • Chives are a popular garnish for many dishes, including omelets, chicken, pasta, casserole, and even nachos and baked potatoes. If these contain chives, keep your cat away from them.
  • Raw chives that were forgotten in the kitchen. Chives should be stored away after each use. If a cat sees something interesting on a table or counter, it will likely jump up there eagerly. Putting food away has two benefits: it keeps the food safe for human consumption and it prevents your cat from getting into the food and making a mess on the counters.


While chives have been linked to cancer prevention and improved sleep quality in humans, and can be used in a wide variety of recipes, cats should not eat them.

Chives, like onion, scallion, garlic, and lilies, are extremely toxic even in small doses, so you shouldn’t keep them near your pet.

Keep your cat away from the chives, and if you think it may have eaten some, call your vet right away for advice or to make an appointment for your cat.

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