Why is Chocolate Harmful for Cats?

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It is common knowledge that eating chocolate can be fatal for dogs, but does the same hold true for cats too? Yes, for the most part. Chocolate is equally harmful for cats. While your cat may not try to steal from your chocolate stash, it will definitely be tempted if you drink a chocolate milkshake around it. Don’t give in to its begging – keep that chocolate drink away!

Chocolate and cocoa products contain an ingredient, theobromine, which gets naturally metabolized in our bodies. The same isn’t true for our canine and feline friends. It gets stored up in their bodies instead and this toxic build-up of the substance can lead to major health complaints such as liver failure.

How much chocolate will make your cat sick?

Even little amounts of chocolate can make your cat ill, so try to keep all your chocolates out of reach. The amount of chocolate that will make your cat sick will depend on a variety of factors starting with its metabolism. Your cat’s weight, size and the type of chocolate consumed all play a role. Milk or white chocolate is relatively safer than dark and bitter variants, which contain more theobromine content.

The following are common symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your cat that you should be watchful of –

  • Seizures
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Accelerated breathing
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness

If you notice any of these symptoms manifesting in your cat, contact a vet at the earliest.

What to do when you suspect your cat has ingested chocolate

If you suspect that your cat has taken a bite from your chocolate, keep it under close supervision for at least 24 hours and don’t let it escape outdoors. If you catch it in the act, take it to a vet clinic where the vet will try to induce vomiting in your pet. If your cat vomits out the chocolate, the toxic element will be prevented from building up in its body. Your cat may vomit of its own after having chocolate, but don’t try to get it to vomit by yourself without any knowledge or practice at home. Also, try to learn what kind of chocolate it has happened to consume and inform the vet of the same, so any risk posed can be duly assessed.

Remember – No chocolate for your cat! If you want to treat your cat, do it with cat treats. There’s a range of cat treats available in the market which not only appeals to your cat’s taste and sense of smell; they actually provide nutritional benefits. So, why put them at a health risk by giving them chocolate when you can give them a wholesome cat treats?