Unfortunately, like dogs, cats can’t eat chocolate. Chocolate can cause severe problems at not only dogs but also cats, although it is not dangerous to humans.
Caffeine and Alkaloid theobromine in the Methylxanthines compound can be very harmful to cats. And chocolate includes this compound. Chocolate poisoning can lead to arrhythmia, and this can have the ability of life-threatening.
It is right for you to practice your cats to eat many types of food and feed them well. Nevertheless, some kinds of taboo food jeopardize their health. One of those is chocolate. Please note this to keep your cat stay far away from chocolate!
Why is chocolate bad for cats?
You can know that chocolate is very toxic to dogs if you are a dog’s boss. However, if you nourish a cat, do you know about chocolate and cats? Is chocolate poisonous to cats? The answer is “yes”!
There are four harms of chocolate to cats:
- Diuretics causing dehydration in cats’ bodies.
- Stimulant making heartbeat increase.
- Capable of stimulating the central nervous system.
- Cause stomach disorder.
Different kinds of dangers in chocolate
If cats absorb a significant amount of chocolate, the stimulant will affect the heart and central nervous system. Additionally, cats’ digestive systems cannot handle and break theobromine properly. Chocolate poisoning is rare in cats because they do not like eating sweet food as much as dogs. Nevertheless, it is still dangerous! The best thing to do is keep chocolate and other products containing chocolate out of reach of cats, especially kittens, the ones that are more likely to eat and experience everything.
Cats cannot metabolize theobromine as fast as humans. So, the impacts of theobromine on cats will be much stronger if they eat the same amount of chocolate as humans. Just a short time after eating chocolate, cats will have expressions of dehydration, vomiting, faster heartbeat, vertigo, etc.
Moreover, if cats overeat chocolate, the result can be death. A small amount of chocolate is still harmful, although it may not be life-threatening to your cats. Cocoa accommodates theobromine. Therefore, the higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the more toxic it is for cats.
Homemade dark chocolate accommodates 450 mg theobromine/oz. The amount of theobromine in milk chocolate is 60 mg/ oz. However, 1 oz of dark chocolate, equivalent to only 45-50 mg of theobromine for 1 pound of body weight can cause poisoning for cats.
The darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is to your cats. In other words, the darker the chocolate is, the more it attains theobromine. So, you should make sure that your cats stay away from dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine amount, and it is more dangerous to cats. However, cats should stay far away from all types of chocolate, even white chocolate, which only attains a small amount of caffeine and theobromine.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning
You should refer to veterinarians’ ideas immediately and observe the following signs if your cats overeat chocolate:
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Excessive gasping for breath
- Excessive urination
- Blood pressure decrease or increase
- Dynamic increase
- Muscle convulsion
Symptoms often appear within a few hours after your cats eat chocolate, but it can take a few days for you to realize. If you see the signs above, you should bring your cats to see veterinarians immediately. Veterinarians will ask about the chocolate quantity and weight the cats eat because the level of poisoning and these symptoms depend on the amount of chocolate your cats eat. Diarrhea, vomiting, convulsion, nausea and abnormal heartbeat are common symptoms. If cats eat a significant amount of chocolate, they can be in the status of coma or death.
Chocolate is very beneficial to our health, but this does not mean that it is an appropriate kind of food for cats. In several cases, to cats and other indoor animals, chocolate can lead them to death since it has many chemicals. So, you should keep chocolate bars and kinds of homemade chocolate at safe places.
What to do if cats eat chocolate?
When talking about chocolate and cats, the severity of the circumstance depends on the kinds and amount of chocolate your cats eat. We need to do the following steps if unfortunately our cats eat chocolate and have expressions of vomiting:
- Help them vomit as much as possible to push the remaining chocolate in their intestine out.
- Encourage them to eat charcoal to detoxify.
- Encourage them to drink water after vomiting for rehydration.
- Take them to meet veterinarians.
Receiving medical advice from veterinarians is the best thing for you. Veterinarians can guide you to do steps to make your cats vomit chocolate out, or they can do it themselves when you take your cats to their workplaces. Therefore, if cats eat chocolate, you can also contact them immediately!
They will check clinical signs, depending on the severity of the poisoning. If your cats eat chocolate within two hours, they will have solutions to make your cats vomit. These solutions even include using activated carbon to stop and prevent theobromine from diffusing into the blood. Other remedies consist of artificial respiration, using the anticonvulsant and anti-tremor drug, as well as cardiac monitoring.
To continue to observe after the first treatment, veterinarians may keep your cats at their workplaces.
Like dogs, cats cannot eat chocolate as chocolate attains theobromine – a kind of enzyme known to make blood pressure decrease, heartbeat increase and stimulate the nervous system.
Just keep chocolate and products attaining chocolate on shelves or in cabinets where your cats cannot reach as chocolate can lead death to them. Prevention is the best treatment for chocolate poisoning!