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Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

By Ameera Mills. Updated: June 4, 2019
Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

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Chocolate is one of the most consumed and appreciated sweets around the world. Being such a delicious food type, it's common for some tutors to want to share some of their chocolate bar with their cats. But, can cats eat chocolate?

While there are some human foods that cats can consume, chocolate is forbidden for cats. Chocolate can be extremely harmful to a cat's health. For this reason, you should never offer or leave chocolate lying around in reach of your cat.

If you want to know more about why cats can't eat chocolate, keep reading here at AnimalWised. In addition, we'll be telling you what to do if your cat has accidentally eaten chocolate, in addition to listing other foods which are poisonous for cats.

You may also be interested in: Why Can't Dogs Eat Chocolate?

Can cats eat chocolate?

The main reason why cats cannot eat chocolate is because chocolate contains two substances that a cat's body cannot digest; caffeine and theobromine.

Caffeine is present in many foods that we as humans consume daily and theobromine is a less popular compound that is naturally present in cocoa seeds. Theobromine is artificially added to chocolates. But, why is theobromine added to chocolate? This substance is added to chocolate, along with caffeine, as it is responsible for producing the feeling of happiness, pleasure, relaxation or stimulation. These are the reasons why we eat chocolate right? Although theobromine is less potent than caffeine, it has a longer effect and affects a cat’s nervous system directly. This then impacts a cat's cardiac, respiratory and muscular functions

In people, moderate consumption of chocolate can offer stimulating, antidepressant or energizing effects. But cats and dogs do not have the necessary enzymes needed to digest chocolate or metabolize these two already mentioned substances. For this reason, drinks and foods that contain chocolate or cocoa are toxic for cats and dogs.

We must also remember that chocolate also contains sugars and fats. Both of these hold a high energy value which can cause rapid weight gain in cats , as well as possible elevations in glucose and cholesterol levels in the cat’s bloodstream.

You may also be wondering, can cats drink chocolate milk? Or, can cats eat chocolate cake? NO! Commercial chocolates usually include milk, which many cats are actually allergic too. Remember that, contrary to what many believe, milk is not an appropriate food for cats, since the vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant. For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we answer the question, ''Can cats drink milk?''

Can Cats Eat Chocolate? - Can cats eat chocolate?

Can cats eat chocolate: side effects

Because cats struggle to metabolize chocolate and caffeine, if your cat does eat chocolate it will likely suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

Chocolate poisoning in cats: symptoms

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats usually appear roughly 24 or 48 hours after consumption. This is the average time it takes a cat's body to eliminate caffeine and theobromine from the body. In the event that a cat has ingested larger amounts of chocolate, other more serious problems may appear, such as:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing or moving
  • Respiratory failure.

If you observe any of these above mentioned symptoms in your cat, be sure to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

What to do if your cat eats chocolate

Cats are especially curious, so we advise that you avoid leaving chocolate or any type of product, food, drink or potentially toxic or allergic substance at cat distance. Cats are unable to taste anything sweet and generally have, over time, developed a natural rejection of chocolate. But as we always say, better safe than sorry!

But, if for whatever reason you suspect that your cat has ingested food or any drink that contains chocolate, the best thing you can do is take it to the vet immediately! A professional will be able to examine the poisoning thoroughly, in addition to detecting any related symptoms. Furthermore, once the specific diagnosis has been verified, a veterinarian can provide the appropriate treatment.

Logically, this cat chocolate poisoning treatment will depend on the individual cat and its health status. If your cat has eaten a small and somewhat harmless dose of chocolate, a simple clinical observation may be sufficient. On the other hand, if your cat has consumed a large dose of chocolate, a veterinarian will analyze the feasibility of performing a gastric lavage, as well as the possibility of administering drugs to control symptoms such as, seizures or cardiac arrhythmias.

For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss general poisoning in cats.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate? - What to do if your cat eats chocolate

My cat just ate chocolate, do I make it vomit?

If you believe that you cat has eaten or consumed a toxic substance, such as chocolate, you should not make your cat vomit. The induction of vomiting is only recommended when only 1 or 2 hours have passed since ingestion. This, in addition, should only be done by taking into account what substance has been ingested. After 2 hours, inducing vomiting in cats is no longer effective and can in fact damage the cat's digestive tract.

Can kittens eat chocolate?

No! And in the case that your kitten has eaten chocolate or any other toxic substance, take it to the vet immediately. This is regardless of how much time has passed since the chocolate was ingested.

Can cats drink chocolate milk?

Many carers ask, can cats eat chocolate cake? Can cats have chocolate milk? Can cats eat chocolate ice cream? The answer to all of the above is NO. Anything containing dairy or cocoa should NOT be given to cats.

Can cats die if they eat chocolate?

In addition to chocolate, you should be aware of other foods your cat should never eat. Poisonous food for cats include:

  • Salty foods
  • Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Raw fish
  • Sweets
  • Grapes
  • Raisins

For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss all food forbidden for cats.

Can cats and dogs eat chocolate?

Conclude that this question is equal to if cats can eat chocolate cake, NO. Like cats, dogs CANNOT eat chocolate. If your dog or cat have eaten chocolate and are experiencing symptoms of: vomiting, nausea or diarrhea, take them to the vet immediately. For more, take a look at our article where we discuss why can’t dogs eat chocolate.

Foods cats can eat

If you don’t have any cat food in the house, it’s important to know that you cannot feed your cat just any human food. For more, we recommend reading what human foods can cats eat.

While on the topic of toxic substances for cats, we suggest you take a look at our Youtube video where we list household items that are toxic for cats!

If you want to read similar articles to Can Cats Eat Chocolate?, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.

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alley
do you know if birds can have chocolate or if its bad for them because we give our bird chocolate icecream all the time
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Alley
chocolate is toxic to birds, therefore, you should not give your bird chocolate.

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