Although it’s more common to hear stories of dogs getting sick from chocolate poisoning, chocolate can also pose a serious health risk to cats, and can even be fatal in too much of it.
Why is chocolate bad for cats?
Although sugar, fat, and xylitol (a sugar substitute) are also not good for cats, it is mainly two ingredients in chocolate that are harmful to an animal’s health: caffeine and theobromine, which is a plant alkaloid found naturally in cocoa. Theobromine in particular is a recognized toxin for most animals, including cats, as indicated in a study published by the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
The Latin name for the cacao plant is ‘theobroma cacao’, which means ‘food for the gods, and roasted cacao beans certainly make a fabulous treat, but what makes chocolate so delicious to humans is exactly that. which makes it so dangerous for pets.
Why are these ingredients so dangerous for animals?
The two main troublemakers, caffeine and theobromine, are stimulants. Caffeine, found in many foods and beverages besides chocolate, becomes toxic when absorbed into the cat’s body and results in “vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and increased heart rate,” says Banfield Pet Hospital. Theobromine causes similar symptoms when ingested.
How much is too much chocolate?
The tiniest amount of chocolate is already too much for your cat. All forms of chocolate are dangerous for your four-legged friend, whether it’s cocoa powder or baking chocolate (the most toxic due to their high level of theobromine), dark chocolate, mi -sweet or milk chocolate, or even white chocolate, which however contains only a small percentage of cocoa.
That said, the level of toxicity depends on the amount ingested and the type of chocolate. For a ten-pound cat, Petful notes , a small square of baking chocolate can cause your cat as much harm as twenty-three chocolate chips. You should avoid letting your cat eat even small amounts of chocolate, as even the smallest amount can make him sick.
Help, my cat ate chocolate! What symptoms should I watch out for?
A few side effects are listed above, but you should monitor your cat closely for any of these symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
- excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Increase in body temperature
- Rapid gasping or breathing
- Tremors or muscle twitches
- Low blood pressure
As you would with any other medical emergency, take your cat to the veterinarian or animal emergency department immediately to determine the severity of the poisoning and begin treatment. After treatment, continue to monitor your cat to make sure the chocolate is completely cleared from his system and there are no further harmful effects.
Stay as calm as possible, as cats are very sensitive to their owners’ emotions. Try to keep him calm and relaxed, in a quiet place, to prevent the symptoms of chocolate poisoning from getting worse.
Your veterinarian may want you to make your cat vomit to prevent her from digesting the toxins. Once you arrive at the clinic, the veterinarian will perform tests on your cat and administer fluids to rehydrate him. Your cat’s health and weight as well as the type and amount of chocolate ingested will determine any further examinations and treatment needed.
How can I prevent this from happening?
Chocolate ingestion is completely preventable: just keep chocolate out of the reach of your cat’s paws. Cats are curious and elusive creatures who love to snoop in the kitchen, so keep all your chocolate in an airtight container. Think about anything that might contain chocolate, such as brownies, donuts, cookies, candy, etc. because it’s not just chocolate bars that make him sick.
This is especially true for holidays like Halloween. If you have guests over, keep the candy out of the cat’s reach and put them away as soon as the party is over. If a guest asks you “Can cat eat chocolate? Your answer should be no.
Pet owners love to reward their feline friends, and you can do so safely by sticking to cat-safe treats created to keep your kitty happy and healthy. And you can keep all the chocolate for yourself!
The harm of chocolate to cats
Most people are not aware that this can happen to cats. They are really dangerous when they drink theobromine (cocoa in chocolate). When this happens, vomiting or diarrhea usually occurs.
You can also observe significant saliva secretion. If nothing is done immediately, the cat may suffer from neurological problems such as tremors and seizures. If your cat already has liver disease, chocolate will make them worse. It can die within 4-6 hours after eating chocolate.
How much chocolate is tolerable for your cat?
It is difficult to estimate the acceptable quantity to consume. The best is already to prevent your cat from consuming chocolate. In general, it is believed that a cat weighing around 5 kilograms could survive eating 4 or 5 grams of chocolate. However, this is only an indicative value and should be avoided as far as possible. Just remember that the lighter your cat’s weight, the less theobromine it can safely ingest.
What to do if your pet ate chocolate?
The first thing to do when your cat eats chocolate is to contact a veterinarian immediately. Record the time he ate it and estimate the amount eaten. Some people try to make their cat vomit in these cases, which can be both helpful and dangerous. It is best to do this only after obtaining the approval of the veterinarian. Anyway, the professional will have the best solution to treat your cat, especially since theobromine has no antidote as such. On the other hand, white chocolate might not be very dangerous for your cat.