Does You Pet Have Cancer?

Does Your Pet have Cancer? When many of my clients hear the “big C” being diagnosed in their pet, they initially assume it is a death sentence. Fortunately, that is not always the case any more. We find many of our cancer patients can live happy, apparently healthy lives for many months or years after […]

Ask The Vet: Feeding Garlic Chives to Cats

Ask the Vet

Question: Cat BC let me know that she had been advised to feed her indoor cat garlic chives, but then became aware that they are poisonous. She wanted to know if lemongrass was a suitable alternative.


Garlic chives are in the same family of plant as garlic and onion, which are all dangerous to dogs and cats. They can all damage the blood cells and bone marrow, leading to severe anaemia and death.

We see more garlic and onion toxicity in dogs than cats, as people either use these products to try to control fleas, or the dog gets hold of the barbecue left-overs. It is a very difficult condition to treat, and most pets will pass away as a result of garlic or onion toxicity.

Some people feed garlic to their pets to prevent or treat fleas. There is no evidence to show that they are effective at reducing flea numbers, and it can be very dangerous to the pet. We don’t recommend feeding pets these products for any reason.

Lemon grass is ok to feed a cat, but there is a lot of debate about the need to feed grasses to cats. We know that cats are obligate carnivores (they must eat meat as at least part of their diet), but people who promote a “Raw Meaty Bone” diet or similar argue that cats would eat the intestinal contents of their prey, so ingesting some vegetation is normal and natural for a cat. There is also some thought that eating grass may help in the removal of hair from the stomach

If your cat is on a good quality commercial diet, (it must be good quality as the cheap brands are sometimes poorly balanced), they will be receiving all the nutrients they need. Some grass will still be ok to feed them if they enjoy it, though probably not necessary.