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Can a Cat Eat Chocolate? Is it Bad for Cats to Eat Chocolate?

Can a cat eat chocolate? This is one of the most common questions about can cats eat chocolate.

Can a cat eat chocolate?
Can a cat eat chocolate? Is Chocolate good for cats?

Cats can be curious and playful. Unfortunately, they can also get into things that can be hazardous to their health like chocolate! Knowing the right steps to take is important when your cat has eaten something it shouldn’t have. In this article, we will discuss what happens if a cat eats chocolate and what you can do about it so you can avoid any dangerous side effects from happening.

Can Cats Have Chocolate?

Since pet owners want to give their feline friend a treat, it can be a tough decision: “can I feed my cat chocolate?” However, in any case, NO! Cats can’t eat chocolate because it can be toxic for them. Chocolate can kill cats. If your cat eats some, it can be very serious and even fatal for them leading to death in most cases. Cats should never eat chocolate even as a treat.

Why is Chocolate Poisonous to Cats?

Cats can’t eat chocolate for the reason that it can be poisonous to them. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which can cause fatal heart problems and seizures. Cats are unable to metabolize caffeine which can lead to cardiac arrest and death if they ingest enough of it. Chocolate can be harmful to cats, as it can cause them to suffer from pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If your cat eats chocolate, you should call your veterinarian immediately.

What Happens When a Cat Eats Chocolate? Signs and Symptoms

What Happens When a Cat eats Chocolate?
What Happens When a Cat eats Chocolate?

Your cat’s symptoms will depend on how much chocolate they ate and what type it was. If they’ve eaten dark chocolate, they might experience vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, urination, panting, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, or even death. Milk chocolate can cause tummy upset and pancreatitis in cats. If your cat has eaten any chocolate, keep a close eye on them.

The most common side effect is that cats often suffer from diarrhea after ingesting chocolate products. The substance inhibits the production of certain enzymes needed by a cat’s liver to metabolize it properly. Either way, if your cat has gone on a fun hunt around for some goodies before you return home — make sure anything edible was long eaten before you let out your pet.”

Listing all common symptoms of chocolate toxicity in a cat up:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Stiffness
  • Panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased Reflex Responses
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Death

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How Much Chocolate Can a Cat Eat? Can a Little Bit of Chocolate Kill a Cat?

The answer to this question can vary depending on the type of cocoa bean that was used in making the chocolate and also answer similar questions: “Can a cat eat white chocolate?”, “Can a cat eat dark chocolate?”, “Can a cat eat baking chocolate?”.

The type of chocolate is important. Chocolate can contain sugar and cocoa solids and can range in cocoa content from milk chocolate which is made with milk and has a lower amount of cocoa solids, to unsweetened baker’s chocolate which is used primarily in baking and has a much higher cocoa content. The cat’s weight also determines how much chocolate can cause toxicity in cats.

Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it can be for cats (the lighter varieties tend to be less dangerous). Hence, dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder pose a higher risk than milk or white chocolate. However, If your cat eats a lot of milk chocolate, it might be just as harmful as dark chocolate.

Statistically Speaking, How Much Chocolate is Too Much?

Type of ChocolateMinimum Amount That Can Be Toxic to an 8.00 lb. Cat
Baking0.2 oz
Dark0.5 oz
Semisweet0.5 oz
Milk1.14 oz

Baking, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate, as seen in the chart above, provide a greater risk to a cat than milk chocolate. Because white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids like other forms of chocolate, it poses no risk of theobromine or caffeine poisoning.

White chocolate contains extremely low levels of the ingredients required to cause toxicity in a cat. Baking chocolate is typically huge bars or pieces of 4 oz and is not sweet, therefore it is exclusively used in the preparation of confections. Only 0.2 oz of baking chocolate needs to be eaten off of a bar to be hazardous to a cat. If it is semisweet or dark chocolate, slightly more must be consumed, but it only takes 0.5 oz for a cat to reach a hazardous level of these sorts of chocolates. Milk chocolate contains significantly less theobromine and caffeine than more harmful chocolate variants, thus a cat would need to consume little more than 1.1 oz to reach a deadly amount.

What if My Cat Eats Chocolate? Treatment & Procedure

If you think that your cat has eaten chocolate, it is best to call your veterinarian right away. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action, which may include inducing vomiting, giving your cat activated charcoal to absorb the toxins, or prescribing medications. The most important thing is to get your cat help as soon as possible if they have eaten chocolate. Chocolate can be deadly for cats, so it is not worth the risk to wait and see if they can pass it without treatment.

The sooner you can get help, the better your cat’s chances will be of making it through this ordeal in one piece. If the chocolate has been ingested within 2 hours, go to a vet immediately. After 2 hours have gone by, call for advice from a vet.

“My Cat ate a Tiny Bit of Chocolate.” What Should I Do?

If you’re sure that your cat has only eaten a small amount of chocolate, monitor them closely for any signs of distress and call your veterinarian for treatment advice. If your cat can hold down food and water and is acting normally, you can assume that they’re just fine. However, if they can’t keep anything down or are lethargic, weak, or depressed, call the vet immediately for emergency care.

Make sure to keep all chocolate away from your pets in the future!

Bottom Line:

Chocolate can be very dangerous for your cat and can cause serious harm or even death to them if they ingest enough of it. Cats should never eat chocolate because it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and coma which can last for days or weeks. If you think your cat has eaten some chocolate then take him/her straight to the vet as soon as possible so they can treat your furry friend before they get any worse. In order to avoid these terrible effects from happening in the first place make sure that you keep all candy away from your pets at all times!

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