Chocolate is bad for cats.
Humans love chocolate. It’s full of rich and unique sweet taste. Thanks to its healthy benefits, people spend for it and make chocolate become an incredibly popular food product that millions indulge in every day.
By contrast, for animals, you may know dogs should never eat chocolate, but what about cats? Should cat eat chocolate? As a picky eater, your kitten is far less likely than a puppy to seek out your chocolate stash, but some will eat things they aren’t supposed to eat or may even be fed one by an unwitting owner. The straight answer for these situations is no, chocolate isn’t a healthy food for the cat. Why not and what happens if they do? Let’s take a quick little deeper insight.
The natural threats of chocolate to cats
Chocolate contains the chemical compounds caffeine and theobromine, which are part of the methylxanthine chemical group. These particular compounds are not harmful to humans but can cause significant medical problems for your feline friends. Theobromine affects your cat in four different ways:
- Acts as a stimulant, which increases heart rate,
- Acts as a diuretic, causing increased loss of body fluids,
- Causes gastrointestinal upset, and
- Upsets the nervous system.
In the order of theobromine toxicity, here’s a list from worst to least for cats eating:
- Baking chocolate (worst)
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate (least)
Symptoms of poisoning
Depending on the type of chocolate and the amount consumed, cat reactions can range from mild to severe, and can even be life-threatening. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity can include:
- Excessive thirst/urination
- Seizures/ Hyperactivity
- Abnormal heart rhythm/ Increased blood pressure
- Tremors/muscle twitching
- Excessive panting
With this long, daunting list of symptoms, the best amount of chocolate for cats should be none.
Don’t hesitate. Act quickly!
If you think your cat has consumed a toxic amount of chocolate, here is something you should do immediately:
- Do not wait to see if symptoms develop. Try to determine how much (s)he has eaten and call your veterinarian for advice. To understand the level of toxicity your cat might experience, the vet’s office will want to know how big your cat is and how much chocolate you suspect she ate. To check the toxic quantity, you should try with that chocolate toxicity calculator.
- In many cases, small quantities are not likely to be a problem, but larger quantities may require you to rush your cat to the veterinarian. If your veterinarian is unavailable or unequipped to handle the situation, call the nearest animal hospital. This is especially important if your cat is displaying more severe symptoms, such as muscle tremors or repeated vomiting.
- While waiting for your cat to be evaluated, try to keep her cool, calm, and in a quiet place to prevent the escalation of any symptoms.
- After an incident of chocolate poisoning, continue to keep your cat in a quiet and cool environment. With a mild, bland diet over the following two or three days—including plenty of hydrating fluids, your cat should be just fine.
Pet treat and Prevention
Now you know how terrified the consequences of eating chocolate to cats can be. Sadly, we can’t stop the story here. Cases of food poisoning from things like chocolate happen far too frequently in cats. However, we can do something to prevent the bad situation happen:
- Keep chocolaty foods and treats guarded in firmly-closing containers and cabinets, be wary of feeding your cat anything that might contain chocolate, and take a moment to educate house guests and friends who might interact with your cat about chocolate toxicity. If you’re lamenting the loss of your candy dish, keep your cat safe and put a lid on it.
- If you are sure your cat likes chocolate or truly want to provide a treat, you can choose products that mimic sweet treats or chocolate tastes
- Every member of your household needs to be informed and understand the risks of chocolate when it comes to pets. Chocolate isn’t good for a cat’s dental health either; with this fact and the risk of severe side effects or even death, the acceptable level of chocolate for cats should remain at a firm zero.
Besides of chocolate, it still has a list of harmful food that you should put it out of cat’s eyes, such as tuna, onion, garlic, milk and dairy products, alcohol, raw egg, etc. You now are trying to be a gentle and understanding owner to a cat that is not easy for all. We must do our research of cats’ lives little and little. By reading this tip above, make sure that you are keeping the safe environment for your paw friend. And remembering that, when you're eating that delicious chocolate bar, don't give into your kitten’s pleading eyes and whimpering whines. Although your cat might wish to partake of that sweet chocolate, it could be a deadly threat.