Can Cats Eat Chocolate? What You Need to Know
When it comes to the subject of cats and chocolate, many often ask, “Is chocolate bad for cats?”. As ironic as it sounds, this absolutely harmless snack that can easily be fed to felines everywhere, poses several serious threats. Breaking down the properties of chocolate, on whether they are harmful to cats or not, and what happens when ingested, will help prevent many of such situations from occurring. This article centers on everything you need to know about cats eating chocolate, and insightfully, has useful tips to handle such scenarios in any case they arise.
Are Cats Allergic To Chocolate?
Pet owners may often ask the question, ‘are cats allergic to chocolate?’ in order to identify what should be administered to their cat. As a matter of fact, chocolate is undisputedly unhealthy for cats to intake. This is as a result of the components found in chocolate which are a threat to cats and their wellbeing. As sweet and delicious as this snack is to us humans, ironically, a cat’s body isn’t built to handle the properties in that tasty bar of chocolate sitting on your living room coffee table.
In particular, chocolate is composed of two main ingredients that are harmful to cats: caffeine and theobromine. In the human body, when chocolate is ingested, there is an adequate metabolic process to handle the substances; whereas, in a cat’s body, the reverse is the case. Cats don’t have the required metabolism to properly digest these substances, and as such, it results in a buildup in their stomachs, which is essentially toxic to their health. If not handled adequately, this further causes several health conditions that are highly detrimental to their health, wellbeing, and in diverse cases, their lives.
Thus saying, the intake of chocolate is one that should be handled with utmost care to avoid negative occurrences. No doubt, there are many factors to consider on the subject of cats taking chocolate, helping every pet owner make the right decisions when faced with such circumstances. These factors, which are often at times misconstrued, could help save your feline friend from harmful conditions.
How Much Chocolate Can A Cat Eat?
As chocolate carries more theobromine content than others, posing to be more of a threat; however, no matter the type of the chocolate, be it a dark, white, bitter, or semi-sweet chocolate, none should be consumed by your cat in any desired amount.
“What happens if a cat eats chocolate, but in just a small portion?” some may ask. Well, according to the laws of nature and anatomy, there is no specified amount of caffeine or theobromine content known, which when taken in, results in harmful effects to a cat; all that is known is the poisonous disadvantages it wields. As such, it doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny bit, or multiple packets consumed, all undeniably still pose the same adverse effects to a cat’s health. This means that no amount of chocolate should be given to your cat. On the other hand, there are many highly recommended treats specified for cats that would provide advantageous and nutritional features as a replacement for chocolate.
The weight and size of the cat, however, plays a major role as to how fast the harmfulness of eating chocolate would be. The smaller your cat is in respect to the amount of chocolate consumed, the greater the amount of attention needed for the situation; whereas, the larger your feline is in respect to the littleness of the consumed chocolate, the slower the process leading up to the harmful effects; however, still demand an equal amount of attention.
My Cat Ate Chocolate: Symptoms to Look Out For
If you suspect that your cat has ingested a portion of chocolate, it is highly essential to observe your cat for related symptoms. This will best describe the degree of harmfulness the ingestion has reached, of which immediate action needs to be taken. Some of these symptoms include:
- Muscle rigidity
- Increased rate of breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tremors
Watching out for symptoms may be the toughest part, but it is highly essential. If you are suspicious about your cat ingesting chocolate, it is important to contact a vet to be on the safe side, however, proper and close monitoring needs to be done alongside.
Ensure your cat remains in your care and in the same vicinity for as long as you are monitoring. There should be no instance where your cat is left unwatched. Once any of these symptoms are observed, even just one, the next and immediate thing to do is to report your findings to your veterinarian and follow his/her instructions accordingly. Taking note of your cat’s size and weight will help your vet tremendously, in finding out the degree of harm reached. Also, the packet of the suspected chocolate is essential information for your vet to have, in order to know the exact ingredients featured in the snack.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate
When faced with an obvious situation such as, “my cat ate chocolate!” as briefly explained earlier, the immediate thing to do, is to call a veterinarian. Your vet may ask you to induce vomiting if the incident just occurred and will provide precise information on how to go about this action. If he/she does not recommend that you do so, it is advised that you do not induce vomiting by yourself.
If the condition is more critical, the vet will ask you to bring your cat for immediate treatment, where several drugs will be administered. These steps will help your vet to know if there are any abnormalities in the heart and if your cat has taken in a tremendous amount of either caffeine or theobromine. Several other tests may be run alongside in order to adequately flush the substance from the system. If the organs have been affected, such as the liver, treatment will be started immediately.