It’s not very common for cats to eat chocolate. Do cats eat chocolate in the first place? From such a simple question, let’s talk about cats and chocolates, such as whether it is okay for a cat to eat chocolate or what happens if they eat it!
In this article, we have summarized the symptoms of poisoning, lethal dose, and what to do when cats eat chocolate.
Can Cats Have Chocolate?
Well, it is dangerous to cats have chocolate. Chocolate is a popular food for people, but it is poisonous to the cat’s body. Chocolate contains a substance called “theobromine,” which is an ingredient similar to caffeine.
Theobromine is a bitter component in cacao and is harmful to cats. Cats can’t break down theobromine quickly. So, if you take it, your central nervous system will be damaged.
Not all chocolates contain a large amount of theobromine. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have low cacao content, so theobromine content is also small.
Bitter chocolate with a high cocoa content contains a large amount, which makes it a dangerous food for cats.
Is Chocolate Bad For Cats?
What is dangerous for cats is a substance called “theobromine” in cacao. It is a bitter component unique to cacao and has an effect similar to caffeine.
Theobromine has a stimulating effect on the cerebrum. When humans ingest it, it can be expected to refresh the head and increase memory. On the other hand, there are also functions such as excitement, diuresis, and activation of the heart.
For humans, these effects subside with theobromine degradation. But cats are very dangerous because they do not function to excrete theobromine out of the body and react strongly to theobromine. Excessive consumption can cause severe damage to the heart and central nervous system, causing poisoning and, in the worst case, dying.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Bread
Cat And Chocolates: What Are Chocolate Ingredients?
Chocolate contains two substances that can cause a cat to die. That is the theobromine and caffeine contained in the cocoa beans. These are the basic ingredients of chocolate.
Susan Hazel, the Senior Veterinary Lecturer at the University of Adelaide, Australia, has contributed to The Conversation about the dangers and countermeasures of chocolate for cats.
If a cat eats chocolate, the first effect is that caffeine is absorbed ten times faster than theobromine for the cat. The cat becomes restless and overactive, lasting from 2-4 hours after eating chocolate up to 72 hours later.
Is Chocolate Toxic To Cats?
It is chocolate that can be expected to relax and improve the work of the head for humans, but it is dangerous food for cats.
Why is chocolate toxic to cats? The reason is that the theobromine contained in chocolate cannot be discharged. Addiction symptoms often occur within 4 hours after ingestion.
You should take care of your cat. Because symptoms may continue, and sudden death may occur after 2 to 3 days.
Addiction Symptoms Of Poisoning When Cat Eats Chocolate
The main symptoms of poisoning that occur when cat overdose theobromine are:
- Diarrhoea, vomiting
- Dehydration symptoms
- shortness of breath
- Tachycardia, arrhythmia
- Mental instability
These symptoms often occur within 4 hours of taking chocolate. Symptoms may appear sooner because of fast digestion and absorption during fasting. If symptoms worsen, they may die within 24 hours. It is dangerous if a cat eats!
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter
Theobromine: The Cause Of Cat Poisoning
The cause of cat poisoning is a substance called “theobromine” contained in cacao, the raw material of chocolate. Cats, unlike humans, can’t excrete theobromine well, causing poisoning symptoms. Bitter dark chocolate contains more theobromine than cocoa than milk chocolate.
Baking chocolate used for baked goods and bread and cocoa powder contains a lot of theobromine. It also includes cola and tea, so be careful not to lick your cat if you make a mistake. Strawberry chocolate that does not contain cacao does not cause addiction, but it may cause gastrointestinal problems, so it is safer not to give human food to cats anyway.
What Is The Lethal Dose When Cat Eats Chocolate?
The Lethal dose when a cat ingests theobromine is about 250-500 mg/kg body weight. For a 3 kg cat, 750 mg or more is a lethal dose. Addiction symptoms appear at 15-20 mg / kg body weight.
The amount of theobromine varies depending on the chocolate. “Baking chocolate” is a bar of chocolate that does not contain sugar, and there are over 1300mg per 100g. In the case of “milk chocolate,” about 155 mg is contained per 100 g.
The weight of a typical chocolate bar is about 50 g. And if it is milk chocolate, even if you eat a whole piece of a chocolate bar, the risk of death is low. However, if you eat the same amount of baking chocolate, it will die; the risk of doing it is high.
Even a little chocolate is dangerous food for cats. Regardless of the amount, make sure that cats do not eat or accidentally swallow cocoa.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Coconut
Not Only Chocolate But Cocoa Is Dangerous For Cats Too!
As we have seen, theobromine contained in cacao, the raw material of chocolate, is poisonous to cats. Cocoa, like chocolate, is made from cacao at home.
Cocoa is also dangerous for cats, so don’t give even a small amount. There seem to be cases where the owner’s food is covered with cocoa powder or used to change the taste of rice. Since it can lead to death, please be sensitive.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?
Chocolate ice cream also contains concentrated milk, raw milk, egg yolk, and sugar, so the amount of caffeine and theobromine may be less than general chocolate. Still, chocolate is chocolate.
If you don’t know what the ingredients are, you don’t have to take any risks. Also, eating too much raw milk or other cold foods can damage your cat’s stomach.
So, it is not recommended to give your cat chocolate ice cream. Cats do not have a lot of sweetness. If you feed them, they will become obese and diabetic. Chocolate is not good because of theobromine poisoning.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Yogurt
When The Kitten Eats Chocolate
Kittens are smaller and less stable in metabolism and absorption than adult cats. Even very small amounts can be lethal for kittens. If you have a kitten, take it to the animal hospital immediately, regardless of the amount.
What To Do When A Cat Eats Chocolate
If a cat eats chocolate, it may not be lethal depending on the type, but it does not change the danger to the body, so take immediate action.
Take your cat to the hospital
If you witness the moment your cat ate chocolate or finds that it’s out of chocolate, take it to the hospital as soon as possible. If a cat goes to the hospital within 30 to 1 hour after entering the stomach, it may be as simple as revoking or cleaning the stomach.
It is important to treat foods that can cause poisoning, such as chocolate, as soon as possible. Let’s see the situation by self-judgment and rush to the hospital as soon as possible than the treatment by an amateur.
Spit out chocolate
If you have just eaten, you may vomit if you stimulate the back of the cat’s tongue with a cotton swab. However, the cat’s trachea is very delicate and easily damaged. If you put your finger too hard or force it to vomit, it may be worse than the poisoning symptoms of chocolate. Don’t forget to visit the hospital.
Do not drink salt water
If a cat accidentally swallows chocolate, it can be exhaled by drinking salt water. Information circulates online, but it is very dangerous for cats to drink salt water.
For cats, too much salt is a dangerous activity that can lead to death in the worst case. Drinking a lot of salt water can spit out chocolate and save lives, but you can not say that the action will surely spit out the chocolate. If you have time to drink salt water, hurry to go to the animal hospital as soon as possible or call a veterinarian for instructions.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Popcorn
Other Than Chocolate: Dangerous Things For Cats To Eat
There are many other foods that cats should not eat besides chocolate. Onion is famous. An ingredient named “Allylprovir disulfide” in the leeks destroys red blood cells and causes hemolytic anemia. Boiled green onions are also dangerous. Never give even a small amount.
For humans, coffee and alcohol, which are highly preferred, are also legal. The caffeine in coffee etc. may cause poor physical condition when ingested by cats. However, even if a small amount of alcohol is used, cats with a small body will be in a state of jealousy.
In addition, the reason is unclear, but it seems best to avoid the grapes: vomiting, liver dysfunction, and death in the worst case. Grapes are not necessary for cats, so there is no problem even if you give them. Be careful not to eat your cat accidentally.
Other foods that you should not give to your cats include abalone, trout, squid, raw eggs, raw pork, spices, avocados, human medicines and supplements, and milk.
Final Verdict: Can Cats Eat Chocolate
I found it better not to give the cat chocolate. There are also many other foods that you should not give to cats besides chocolate.
There may be many cat lovers who read this article who love chocolate. Just as I introduced this time, chocolate is a terrible poison for cats. When placing chocolate in your home, be careful not to put your cat in your mouth by putting it in the refrigerator or in a door where your cat’s hands do not reach.
We care about food to protect our cats, but that is one of the important owners’ efforts! Let your cats stay healthy forever.