Chocolates are one of those happy foods- sweet, chewy, and filling. Some of us can not go a week without it. We just love the good feeling of having that sweetness melt in our mouths. Chocolates are not just a nutritious snack for humans but they also boast a decent number of health benefits. The flavonols contained in dark chocolate are especially known to lower the risk of heart diseases in humans.
As a cat owner, thoughts of feeding this sweet treat to your furry guy may have crossed your mind before. You may have wondered, "Can cats eat chocolate?" If you didn't know already, I've got answers with reasons in this post. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about cats and chocolates.
Can Cats Eat Chocolates?
No, cats should not eat chocolates. Chocolates are listed as part of the top most toxic foods for cats. Chocolates contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which are stimulants and are highly dangerous to your cat's health. When it comes to chocolates, even a little is too much. Hence, cats should not be fed any kind of chocolate in any amount at all.
Will Chocolate Harm My Cat?
Chocolates are toxic to cats and contain substances known as toxins that do your cat harm. Chocolates contain small traces of caffeine and a very high amount of theobromine, which is the major reason why chocolates are bad for cats. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid found in the cacao plant. Humans can quickly metabolize theobromine but cats, however, require much more time to metabolize this toxin. This leads to a build-up of toxic by-products that have harmful effects on cats.
Although caffeine is just as toxic, its effect on cats is less compared to the effects of theobromine. Caffeine can also lead to a series of toxic symptoms in your feline such as vomiting, dehydration, and restlessness.
Other ingredients in chocolates that are equally harmful to your cat are sugar, fat, and xylitol, the latter being a sugar substitute. These ingredients are harmful to cats in varying degrees and as such, should not be allowed in your cat's diet too.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Cats?
Cats have no business eating chocolates. You must maintain all safety measures to keep your cat from having any. However, if your kitty ever goes behind your back and steals a few licks of your chocolate, these signs will give them away.
Cats may experience the following symptoms if they eat chocolate:
- Reduced appetite
- Increased urination
- Increased thirst
- Panting or rapid breathing spells
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tremors
Can My Cat Die From Eating Chocolates?
Yes, in fact. Cats can die from severe chocolate poisoning. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning can worsen very quickly, hence if left untreated, cats can die from severe symptoms.
Depending on the amount of chocolate consumed and the size of the cat, the symptoms may range from serious to fatal.
Chocolates such as baking chocolate possess more threat to your cat, compared to other kinds of chocolate. This is because baking chocolate has higher contents of theobromine. If your cat eats even a tiny bit of baking chocolate, you must consult your vet immediately to save their life.
In the case of chocolate poisoning, sooner is better rather than later. If you take your cat to be treated as soon as it gets poisoned by chocolate, the more chances you have of saying their lives. The longer it takes to get the cat checked, the more the toxins attack their bodies, which may eventually lead to death.
Can Cats Eat White Chocolate?
Although white chocolates contain a considerably lesser amount of caffeine and theobromine, it is still considered toxic to cats. Cats should not be fed white chocolates or other types of chocolates such as dark, milk, semi-sweet, dry cocoa powder, and baking chocolate.
Darker and baking chocolates are considered the most toxic chocolates to cats. However, even white chocolate, with its lower cocoa content is still harmful to cats. Cats have small bodies, hence they digest chocolates slowly. For that reason, even a small bite of any kind of chocolate can quickly become fatal to them.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Candies And Other Chocolate Treats?
Foods that contain traces of chocolates have lower levels of toxins. That being said, if you choose to feed any chocolate-based treat to your cat, you may still be exposing them to chocolate poisoning. The slight trace of chocolate can do a lot of harm to your furry guy and hence, should be completely avoided.
Another thing to consider is the fact that some of these treats may contain other dairy products like milk and cream. Lots of our furry friends are lactose intolerant, so this may prove harmful to their health.
Chocolate candies and other chocolate treats should be avoided completely. However, if your cat grabs a few candies off the table, watch out for any signs of chocolate poisoning.
What Should I Do If My Cat Ate Chocolate?
The first thing to do when you catch your cat munching on some chocolates is to not enter panic mode. An interesting fact is that cats can sense their owners' fear or worry and that in turn, can set their warning alarms off, making them worry and fret.
Next is to them to your veterinarian immediately. If you take them to the vet early, the vet can quickly work to rid your cat's system of all that bad choco by inducing vomit. Also, if your cat throws up before you reach your vet, it is nothing to worry about and is in fact, a good thing. But on no occasion should you try to induce vomiting in your cat by yourself using any means. Always take them to your vet and wait for their further instructions.
Then, it will be very helpful if you have an idea of how much chocolate your cat has consumed when bringing them to your vet. It will also help to bring the wrappers of the chocolate along with you or be able to identify the specific type of chocolate your cat ate. This information will go a long way in helping your vet determine the level of risk or extent of the damage.
Cats do not need to eat chocolates. Other healthier snack options should be considered for your furry friend. Put safety measures in place to ensure your cat does not get any stray chocolate pieces. However, if any chocolate poisoning happens, consult your veterinarian immediately.