Cats

Can Cats Eat Chocolate? How Much Chocolate Is Toxic To Cats?

Can Cats Eat Chocolate
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Can Cats Eat Chocolate? No. Chocolate contains two important toxic chemicals in the name of theobromine and caffeine. Particularly, theobromine is very dangerous for felines. Theobromine and caffeine are, in fact, rich stimulants.

And caffeine turns poisonous when absorbed by the cat causing an accelerated heartbeat, restlessness, and diarrhea. In all honesty, the chemical theobromine can remain in the cat’s bloodstream and some case can also cause death.

Why Can’t Cats Eat Chocolate?

Generally, cats have extremely poor tolerance towards the toxic ingredients present in chocolate.

Especially, theobromine has been proven as a toxin in most animals, including felines. Also, it won’t be metabolized naturally in cats and it leads to the build-up of this toxin, which can lead the cat further to liver failure.

Most noteworthy, it acts as a stimulant in felines and affects their cardiac system and central nervous system.

In addition, it lowers your cat’s blood pressure and increases the cat’s heart rate. Theobromine also acts as a diuretic in cats and tends to cause dehydration in them.

Your cat is sensitive to caffeine, which is another toxic ingredient found in chocolate. It may get cardiac arrhythmia upon ingestion of caffeine.

Furthermore, cats are carnivores. So, a seed like chocolate won’t fit into their natural diet.

How Much Chocolate Is Toxic For Cats?

Even a small amount of chocolate is dangerous for cats. And, all forms of chocolate are dangerous to your furry feline.

In other words, cats are safe if they avoid white chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate.

However, the extent of toxicity is based on the cat’s intake of chocolate and what kind. The toxicity levels also depend on your cat’s size.

Generally, 100 to 200 mg of caffeine and theobromine for every 2.2 pounds (i.e. 1 kg) of an animal’s weight can be poisonous to pets.

But, reports from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say that even 20 mg of the toxins will be poisonous to your cat.

For a 10-pound cat, one small square of baking chocolate can do as much harm. You should avoid letting your cat eat small amounts of chocolate, as any amount may cause illness.

Different Chocolate Types Have Different Theobromine Levels

Although chocolate is a hazard to your tabby, some chocolates are more dangerous and a few are less likely to be toxic to cats. That is, the theobromine levels vary for different types of chocolates.

Generally, sweeter is the chocolate, lesser is the theobromine level as it is a bitter substance. Let’s look at the list of different kinds of chocolate with theobromine levels (mg per ounce) in the highest to lowest order.

  • Dry cocoa powder – 800
  • Baking chocolate – 450
  • Dark chocolate – 150 to 160
  • Milk chocolate – 44 to 64
  • White chocolate – Insignificant amount

Dry cocoa powder and baking chocolate are more dangerous to cats due to the high level of theobromine present in them. But, dark, milk and white chocolate have a low percentage of it.

Also, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. For example, baker’s chocolate contains about 8 to 10 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. But, white chocolate has hardly any theobromine.

So, if you use the 20 mg measure, a 25-pound cat will get 20 mg of theobromine by consuming about 4.5 ounces of milk chocolate.

But, the easiest thumb rule is that 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight can be harmful to cats.

So, for safety reasons, you better avoid feeding your cat with any chocolates at all.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Toxicity In Cats

Your cat will show symptoms of chocolate poisoning whether it consumes a small or large amount of it. Generally, your tabby may exhibit the signs of chocolate toxicity within an hour after it ingests it.

So, kindly keep a tight watch on your cat and check if she exhibits some of these common signs-

  • An abnormal rise in body temperature
  • Coma
  • Increased passage of urine
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excess thirst
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased breathing patterns
  • Lethargy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Twitching or body shivers

But, the severity of the symptoms will vary based on the amount and type of chocolate your cat consumed.

The cat owner may not be able to identify some symptoms such as low blood pressure, elevated heart rate, etc. And, these symptoms can only be discovered by a veterinarian.

So, without wasting any time, rush your cat to your nearest vet for treatment.

Is Chocolate Ice Cream Bad For Cats?

Yes, without a doubt. Chocolate ice cream has an outrageous amount of sugar, which is harmful to your tabby’s health. It also has milk as the next major ingredient, which is not suitable for felines as they are lactose intolerant.

Most noteworthy is that chocolate ice cream is a calorie-rich food item. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called “theobromine,” which cannot be processed by your cat’s body.

So, it is advisable for the feline owners to stay away from chocolate in any ice cream recipe they try.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate?

If your cat has eaten chocolate, the first and best thing you can do is to keep your eyes on it to watch for any signs.

When to Call the Vet?

If you notice any signs of chocolate toxicity in your cat, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. But, immediate veterinary attention is required in case if your 10-pound cat consumes any of the following.

  • 5 tablespoons of dry cocoa powder
  • 2 packages of regular M&Ms
  • Two whole 3 Musketeers bars
  • 23 Hershey’s Kisses (about a third of an 11-ounce bag)
  • 5 tablespoons of chocolate syrup
  • 78g (2.7 oz) of milk chocolate candies
  • A thin slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
  • One square of unsweetened baking chocolate

How to Tackle Your Cat When it Consumed Chocolate?

It is vital to monitor your cat when it consumed chocolate and you should know how to handle it. Here’re a few tips to tackle your tabby when it consumes chocolate.

  • Most of the cats will vomit after it eats chocolate. If your tabby doesn’t vomit, don’t try to induce vomiting in it without the vet’s advice.
  • Please remain as calm as possible because cats tend to copy the owner’s emotions. And, try to keep your tabby in a calm, cool, and quiet place to prevent escalation of the toxic symptoms.
  • If you have allowed your cat outdoors, keep it inside for at least 24 hours to make sure that your tabby doesn’t develop any signs. In such cases, keep the doors and windows closed and watch out for your cat when you come inside and leave the house.
  • Try to determine how much and what kind of chocolate your cat has consumed. Also, save the packets or wrappers as it will help them to determine the level of health risk to your cat.
  • Knowing your cat’s size and weight will be helpful when visiting the vet or when speaking with a vet over the phone.

Can Cats Eat White Chocolate?

Yes, of course. White chocolate contains only trace amounts of theobromine and has no caffeine. So, if your tabby licks small amount of white chocolate, it will be safe.

But, don’t feed your cat too much with white chocolate.

Is Chocolate Cake Safe For Cats To Consume?

No. Most of the chocolate cakes contain frosting over it, which may be appealing to your tabby. But, the frosting may cause severe toxicity in felines.

So, it is not advisable to feed even a thin slice of chocolate cake to cats.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate Pudding?

No. As chocolate is the major ingredient used in pudding, the toxic ingredients in it will cause toxicity to your cat. So, don’t feed it to felines and it is better to keep it out of reach from your tabby.

Can I Give My Cat Nutella?

No. Although Nutella is delicious, tasty and is an excellent spread for any kind of bread or pastry, it will cause terrible effects on your cat.

Both the chocolate and dairy content in Nutella will cause severe diarrhea in cats. Also, your cat’s health will deteriorate in the long run with repeated servings of it. So, avoid feeding it to your tabby.

Can Cats Drink Chocolate Milk?

No. Chocolate milk generally has less chocolate content but more milk component. Most cats can’t digest milk due to lactose intolerance and this will lead to gastrointestinal problems.

Also, chocolate is poisonous to felines irrespective of the amount. So, chocolate milk can easily result in unwanted consequences. Therefore, cats should not drink chocolate milk to avoid unnecessary issues.

How Is Chocolate Poisoning Diagnosed And Treated?

Feline owners are able to suspect chocolate toxicity in cats through a few signs. But, it is necessary to take your cat to the vet for diagnosis and treatment for chocolate poisoning.

Normally, the vet confirms chocolate poisoning in cats through complete physical examination, including chemical blood profile, electrolyte panel, and urinalysis.

With the results of urinalysis, the vet may be able to know whether or not your tabby has overdosed on caffeine and theobromine.

The vet may also perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) to confirm whether your cat’s heart is showing any signs of abnormalities.

Medical Treatment for Your Pet

The vet’s treatment for chocolate poisoning usually involves inducing vomiting within 2 hours after your tabby has eaten chocolate. He may also prescribe medications to control its heart rate.

Sometime, he will advise for the administration of intravenous fluids in cats to prevent them from the toxic ingredients causing further damage. These fluids will also keep the cat hydrated during the administration of fluids.

The vet may also provide activated charcoal to your cat to limit the absorption of toxic ingredients. Sometimes, the vet will also insert a urinary catheter in cats to manage the condition of chocolate consumption.

But, your cat’s health and weight along with the amount and type of chocolate it ingests will determine further tests and treatment.

How To Care Your Cat When It Gets Treatment?

After treatment, monitor your cat continuously for any other ill effects and ensure that it is completely all right.

You can also a few simple things to take care of your tabby after it receives treatment for chocolate toxicity.

  • Feed your cat a bland diet for a few days after it receives treatment as per the vet’s advice.
  • It is also necessary for the feline owners to take the necessary steps to ensure that your cat isn’t able to get into chocolate again.
  • Avoid feeding chocolates and chocolate by-products and make your cat adapt to certain safe cat foods.

How To Prevent Chocolate Toxicity In Cats?

As a matter of fact, chocolate toxicity is easily avoidable. Here’re a few ways to prevent chocolate consumption in cats.

  • Cats are sneaky creatures and hence keep all chocolates under protection (i.e. keep them out of your cat’s reach and its sight).
  • Do not feed your cat with food items that contain chocolate such as candies, cookies, doughnuts, and brownies.

Alternatives to chocolate for cats

Pet owners love feeding their cats with treats but it’s safe to stick to cat-specific treats. Such treats will keep your cat happy and healthy.

Also, it offers a range of health benefits by providing additional nutrients to support your cat’s diet and help with dental care.

The Bottomline

Bear in mind, chocolate ingestion can be prevented. How? You should place chocolates out of your cat’s reach.

Also, cats love snooping and are unpredictable and curious animals, and if required, place all the chocolates under lock and key.

Pet owners can reward their feline friends with high-quality cat treats and can keep the chocolate to themselves.

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