Most pet parents know that chocolate is poisonous for dogs, but is it the same for cats? Can cats eat small amounts of chocolate? What are the signs of chocolate toxicity? Well, you’ll find all the answers you need here.
There are many foods loved by humans that are not acceptable for cats to consume. Chocolate is one of them – chocolate is toxic to cats. This article informs about the dangers of chocolate within cat nutrition.
Dangers of Cats Eating Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which can both be detrimental to your cat’s health if consumed, even in small quantities. While dogs are more likely to find your hidden stash of chocolates and guzzle down the lot, cats can also develop a taste for your chocolate.
So why is it that humans can eat chocolate, but cats can’t? One of chocolate’s components, theobromine, is metabolized in the human body when digested but this does not happen with dogs or cats. When your cat eats chocolate, they simply can’t digest it. Worse than that, chocolate can create a toxic build-up with serious cases resulting in liver failure. The amount of chocolate that will cause problems for your cat differs from animal to animal. Their age, metabolism and size will all play a role.
Both dark chocolate, cocoa powder and baking chocolate are more dangerous for cats to eat than milk or white chocolate, due to them having a higher theobromine content.
Signs of Chocolate Toxicity in Cats
There are certain signs to look out for that could indicate chocolate toxicity in your cat. These include:
- lack of appetite
- increased heart rate
- increased thirst
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If you suspect your cat has consumed chocolate and is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. If caught early enough, your veterinarian may be able to induce vomiting in your cat (you may be asked to do this at home using hydrogen peroxide but follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully) and prevent the toxic buildup. Try to evaluate how much chocolate your cat has consumed and bring the wrappers with you to the vet. This may be able to help them determine the severity of the case.
Once you are at your veterinarian, your cat will likely have blood and urine tests performed and maybe put on a drip to stay hydrated. They may perform an ECG to check their heart rhythm as well. Symptoms will most likely be treated as they arise.
Chocolate is one of the many human foods that are toxic to your cat. To be safe, ensure your cat is never left alone around any toxic foods to avoid any trips to the vet. In addition to this, there are many healthy food options if you would like to treat your feline friend. Things such as cooked skinless chicken, berries, bananas, plain rice, green beans, and carrots are all good options. These will add variety to your cat’s diet but remember, everything is good in moderation!
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