Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Here’s What You Should Know
It’s common knowledge that dogs should never be fed chocolate as it is toxic to them. But what about cats? Can cats eat chocolate, and what happens if they do?
The answer is that is that chocolate is also toxic to cats. Because of this, you should never feed your cat chocolate, and you should always keep it away from your furry friends. Like dogs, eating chocolate can even be life threatening if they have enough of it.
In this article, we will be explaining everything that cat owners need to know about cats eating chocolate. This will include how much is toxic to cats, what the symptoms of poisoning in cats are, and what you should do if your cat eats chocolate.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate?
No, cats cannot eat chocolate. This is because cats’ bodies cannot process the chemicals caffeine and theobromine, which is naturally present in chocolate. Because there is more cocoa in dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate, these are the most dangerous for cats to eat. Meanwhile, milk chocolates are not as potent in these natural chemicals, making them technically less dangerous for cats to eat but should still be avoided. While white chocolate does not contain any caffeine or theobromine cats may still get an upset stomach after eating white chocolate. As a general rule it’s not recommended to allow your cat to have any food with a high sugar content such as white chocolate.
How Much Chocolate Could Hurt a Cat?
So, chocolate is toxic to cats, but how much could really hurt them? Well, the answer to this question differs depending on the type of chocolate eaten. Generally speaking, Baker’s chocolate is the most toxic to cats because it contains the most cocoa powder, the ingredient that is toxic to cats.
Meanwhile, milk chocolate is the least toxic to cats, so they will need to eat a larger amount of it to experience toxicity. Here is a helpful table explaining how much of each type of chocolate can harm a cat.
|Type of Chocolate||Amount That Could Cause Toxicity in a Cat|
|Baker’s Chocolate||5.7 grams|
|Dark Chocolate||Around 14.2 grams (The more cocoa in the chocolate, the more toxic to cats it is.)|
|Semisweet Chocolate||14.2 grams|
|Milk Chocolate||32.3 grams|
The Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Cats
Like with any other type of poisoning, there are some signs of chocolate toxicity that cats will exhibit if they eat too much chocolate. Here are the signs of chocolate poisoning for cats that every cat owner should be aware of.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
- A Reduced Appetite
- Increased Thirst and Urination
- Increased Breathing and Heart Rate
- Restless Behavior
- Seizures and Muscle Tremors
- Coma and Death
If you notice any signs of chocolate poisoning in your cat then you should call your vet immediately, even if you did not actually see your cat eat any chocolate. This is because chocolate poisoning is a potentially fatal condition in cats, and it needs to be treated quickly once symptoms have set in. You may need to contact an emergency vet if your vet is closed.
How Long Does it Take for Chocolate Toxicity to Set in for Cats?
It can take up to four hours after a cat eats chocolate for them to exhibit symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Once these symptoms have set in, it can take anywhere between 24 and 72 hours for the symptoms to run their course, even after treatment. As a result, cats will need to be monitored for at least 24 hours after exhibiting symptoms of chocolate poisoning.
What Should You do if Your Cat Eats Chocolate?
If your cat is showing signs of chocolate poisoning, don’t panic. There is still a very good chance that you can get your cat help and save their life if you act quickly. Here is what you should do if your cat has eaten chocolate or is showing signs of chocolate poisoning.
Gather Essential Information
First, you will need to find out some essential information. Here is what you should know to the best of your ability before calling your vet or the nearest emergency vet.
- How much chocolate your cat ate
- The type of chocolate that your cat ate
- Your cat’s weight
- How long ago your cat ate the chocolate
- If they are showing any signs of chocolate poisoning. Take note of all unusual symptoms
This information will help your vet evaluate how serious the situation is, which will also allow them to give you the best instructions on what to do next.
Call Your Vet, the Emergency Vet, or Poison Hotline
Once you have all of this information gathered to the best of your ability, you should then call your vet, the closest emergency vet, or a poison hotline. It is important to call the vet before actually going so that they can prepare for your arrival. It will also allow them to give you instructions on any CPR actions that you should do for your cat before actually making the trip to the vet clinic.
Follow Any Instructions That the Professional Gives
Next, you should follow any instructions that the vet or professional through the poison hotline gives you. It is important that you follow these instructions exactly to help your cat become stable before taking them to the vet or emergency vet.
Take Your Cat to the Vet if Instructed
If your vet recommends that you bring your cat in for treatment or an evaluation, then you should take them. Just make sure that you follow any CPR instructions given before making the trip to the vet clinic or hospital.