Sometimes our cats get really curious about what we have, and they try to eat it. You might wonder if cats are like dogs and if they can’t have chocolate.
Can cats eat chocolate? The short answer is no, and here, we’ll dive into why you shouldn’t give your cat chocolate.
You may wonder why cats can’t have chocolate, and we’ll touch on this issue as well in this post.
Do Cats Even Like Chocolate?
One thing that’s kind of nice about cats is that typically, they don’t bother with food unless they really want it. Cats don’t normally like chocolate, and they won’t eat it voluntarily.
But, how would a cat even eat chocolate in the first place then?
Well, some owners are kind of bad towards their cats, and they may do the following:
- They may coax the cats to eat it
- They may provide it in a treat
Usually, it’s the result of poor pet ownership, but occasionally you’ve got the curious feeling that wants to eat something, and it can be fatal for a cat.
The Chemical that Causes Problems
The reason why chocolate is so dangerous to cats is that it contains one singular chemical that’s a poison for most animals, and that is theobromine.
If a cat eats this, it can lead to many different medical issues, including the following:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Obviously, you don’t want this, and as a pet owner, it’s why you should keep chocolate out of a cat’s mouth.
There is more to This
Yes, there are actually other ingredients that are a threat to a cat’s health. They are as follows;
Caffeine is actually toxic for cats, and theobromine is actually toxic to most animals. While it might seem like a yummy delicacy for humans, this is very dangerous for cats.
So what does caffeine do to a cat’s body? Well, it simply does the following:
- Cats are sensitive to it
- When it’s absorbed in the body, it’s so much more potent than it is in humans
- It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst
- It also can cause restlessness and a higher heart rate
In the same vein, theobromine actually does the same thing to cats as well, and similar symptoms.
So, combine that together and you’ve got a surefire recipe for disaster.
What Amount is too Much?
The answer is any amount is actually toxic for a cat, and in any form or medium, especially the following:
- Cocoa powder
- Baking chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Semi-sweet chocolate
- White chocolate
- Milk chocolate
White chocolate is probably the least dangerous, due to the lowered percentage of cocoa, but the most dangerous is certainly the baking chocolate since it’s got a ton of theobromine in it.
But, the toxicity also depends on how much a cat has. To put it into perspective, consider the following:
- If you have a 1- pound cat, one square of chocolate can do as much harm as 23 chocolate drops
- It doesn’t matter how much, a little is incredibly dangerous for cats
So, plain and simple, don’t give your cat chocolate. They’re going to get sick, and it could threaten their life, so you need to be careful as a pet owner to put it away.
What to do if a cat does Eat Chocolate
Sometimes, we as pet owners don’t suspect that our cats would eat chocolate. They usually are better than this, but sometimes, they might get ahold of something they shouldn’t be, and then bam, they have chocolate.
Common ways cats could potentially get ahold of chocolate to include the following:
- There’s plastic from a brownie or chocolate you had
- Your cat likes to eat plastic bags
- They might have found a bread tie used to seal bags
You might not even think about this, because let’s face it, we kind of expect cats to be better than this. But, cats sometimes get curious, and sometimes that curiosity can majorly harm them.
Typically, if you see a cat experiencing chocolate poisoning, you’ll notice the following happen:
- Extreme thirst or excessive thirst
- Higher body temperature
- Muscles twitching or tremors
- Diarrhea or the poop just seems weird
- Higher heart rate
- More urination
- Rapid panting or breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Your cat seems to be having a seizure
- Cardiac failure or weakness
If you notice this, chances are your cat had something poisonous. Chocolate that’s either milk, semi-sweet, or baking chocolate will have the most profound effects on a cat’s health.
So if your cat somehow got into this, what do you do? Well, I’ll give you the answer in the following section on how to adequately treat this condition, and the best thing to do.
How to React
First thing’s first is to remain calm and be as calm as possible. You need to do this because of the following:
- Your cat is already riled up, and you getting upset is only going to make it worse
- You won’t be able to react rationally
- You won’t be able to react fast enough
- Your cat will sense that you’re freaking out, which won’t help the situation
So, you need to keep them calm, and you need to make sure that you get your cat to the vet as possible.
If you called the vet and they allow you to come in right away, do the following in order to prevent the symptoms from escalating:
- Put that cat in a cool place
- Put the cat in a place where there aren’t too many distractions
- Limit the loudness of anything around, especially other people, or other animals
- Keep quiet and calm, you need to
Once you get to the vet, you’re going to get a diagnosis, and it’s very important that you listen to what they have to say. They will help you through this.
The biggest thing you must do is stay calm, and don’t worry about your cat. Always be the stronger one in a situation like this, because it’s traumatic for them, and it can be quite shocking for you.
If you see these signs, and you’re pretty sure your cat has ingested chocolate, bring it to the vet immediately. Your vet will check on the cat, and look at some of the symptoms.
Some of the tests that your vet will do include the following:
- A complete exam physically
- A chemical blood profile
- A urinalysis to look for the caffeine and theobromine
- An electrolyte panel
- Occasionally an ECG to check for heart abnormalities
Remain calm as you have this happen. Your cat is probably just as traumatized as you are, and while the vet can only do so much, it’s certainly not the best situation for them.
Your vet may, as a treatment measure, include the following:
- Have you induce the vomiting quickly to prevent more chemicals being absorbed
- Control seizures if they occur
- Administer fluids in order to keep your cat hydrated as it improves
- Once your cat keeps food down, give them a bland diet for a few days after it’s been treated
Usually, cats live if they are taken care of immediately, and if the vet can jump on this to help, your furry friend should be okay. But of course, it isn’t fun for you, or for them, that’s for sure.
In some of the more severe cases, you might have to put your cat in a hospital. Sometimes, there are a few things your vet will do, including the following:
- Administer charcoal
- Give them medications to help with the side effects
- Intubate the pet in a serious situation
- Put on a ventilator if you suspect they’re having trouble breathing
- Monitor the cardiac activity
Again, this is usually if you’re in the situation where the pet has had a lot of chocolate, or if they weren’t treated right away. While this tends to be more serious, sometimes your cats can be treated and bounce back from this.
However, regardless of the treatment used, you’ll be able to help your cat, and you’ll be able to help them in the worst of cases.
Cat-Friendly Sweet Treats
There are cat-friendly sweet treats that have a chocolate taste, that some pet owners think that they should give their cats. However, I don’t think this is a good idea.
Why is that? Well, there are a few reasons for that:
- Simply put, cats don’t like sweets
- They’re pickier than dogs, so they might not like it
- They also don’t have sugar detectors on their taste buds, so they won’t taste it
- Cats like meat, not sweets, but commonly they usually get that “sweetness” from the corn and other grains that are in pet food
To put it simply, your cat won’t want these sweet treats, so why should you bother?
Some cats are weird though, and they might eat sweet things. Here is why:
- They like the smell of it, and that is the “flavor” that they’re tasting
- There are salts or amino acids in desserts that are attracting the kitty
- Some other flavor might interest the cat, such as maybe the bitterness of dark chocolate
- The cat might like the texture
With humans, we have five different taste buds, and they are sour, meatiness, salty, bitterness, and well, sweet, but cats don’t really care about that. Meat is their friend, so give them some meaty treats.
If you do have a cat that for some reason keeps trying to eat chocolate, in the next section we will highlight some of the different preventative measures to help stop them from having chocolate.
How to Prevent this from Happening
So your cat tried to eat chocolate, or maybe you had a scare. Usually, if this happens one time, it kind f deters them from doing it again.
But, there are a few ways to help you prevent your cat from having chocolate:
- Give them meaty treats as a way to encourage them to have those
- Secure all chocolate in tightly-sealed containers
- Think of anything that contains chocolate, and hide them
- Put candy dishes in places that are hard for cats to get to
- If you notice them close to it, do spray them with a spray bottle on the butt, this will get them to understand
- If they’re really tricky, you can put them in a cupboard and lock it up, or place it on a high enough shelf that they can’t get to, or they can’t open
This is all totally preventable, and you just need to think like how a cat does. The reality of it is cats are super tricky, and they tend to be the types that don’t even realize what they’re doing.
But, as a pet owner, it’s your responsibility, and you can always give them safe cat treats that are well, made for them. Remember too, that cats don’t like sweet things as much as we humans do, so if anything, give them a treat that’s focused more on meat, and less focused on anything sweet that might potentially be in it.
Don’t Give Your Pets Chocolate!
This isn’t just dogs either for cats cant’ have chocolate. Theobromine is a chemical that can kill animals, and the last thing you need to deal with is a trip to the vet’s office because of some negligence.
While cats tend to be pickier eaters than dogs are, it’s still imperative that you watch what you’re doing, and always prevent your pet from having chocolate. It can save their life, and as a pet owner, it’s very important to make sure that you stop this.