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Can cats eat chocolate?

October 15, 2021

Table of Contents

Do you know the answer to this burning question? Can cats eat chocolate? The short answer is yes, but with a caveat. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are both toxic to cats. A single ounce of dark chocolate can be enough to kill your cat, so proceed with caution when feeding your feline friend treats.

How much chocolate is toxic to cats?

The level of toxins in chocolate is measured as a percentage. For example, baker’s chocolate contains 60% theobromine and 12% caffeine. The amount of theobromine in a given quantity of a particular food is usually much greater than that of caffeine.

Cats are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine and theobromine because they lack the necessary enzymes to metabolize these substances efficiently. Theobromine is also known as xanthosis, which is a diuretic. It increases water loss through urination resulting in thirst and dehydration.

If your cat ingests chocolate, keep watching your cat, so he doesn’t develop digestive problems, seizures, or even death.

Will a small amount of chocolate hurt a cat?

Yes, it will. A little bit of chocolate adds up over time, so even a tiny treat given now and then can be harmful. Remember that milk chocolate contains more theobromine than dark or baker’s chocolate.

So, smaller amounts of milk chocolate are especially dangerous to cats because they have less appetite for it. So, if you give your small cat amounts of milk chocolate, it is even more toxic.

How long does it take for a cat to get sick from eating chocolate?

It takes only two hours for caffeine and theobromine to take effect in cats if they ingest large quantities. The symptoms appear rapidly and include diarrhea and vomiting, increased urination and thirst, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

How much chocolate is too much for a cat?

Even a few ounces of milk chocolate can be fatal to your cat. If you give your cat more than one ounce of dark or baker’s chocolate, it may cause theobromine poisoning, leading to death. So, please remember that even small amounts of chocolate can cause life.

Can a cat die from eating chocolate?

Yes. Too much theobromine in the bloodstream can cause death due to cardiac arrest or severe muscular weakness. Cats are especially sensitive to it because they lack the particular enzymes necessary to metabolize theobromine safely.

Cat monitoring by LifeVet

What should you do if your cat ate chocolate?

If you suspect your cat has eaten any chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately. The toxicity of chocolate varies with the type, quantity, and size of the cat. There is no antidote for this poisoning, so prevention is key for you and your pet.

To learn more about what to do if a cat ate chocolate or other types of poisons, check out ASPCA or Pet Poison Helpline.

What food is toxic to cats?

Chocolate is not the only threat that you should keep away from your cat. Many foods can be dangerous for cats. Other toxic foods include avocados, caffeine, garlic, cheese, onions, grapes and raisins, alcohol, or yeast dough. Cats should not eat any human food unless it is specifically made for cats to eat. Please keep your cat safe by knowing what foods are toxic to cats.

Conclusion

If you suspect your cat has eaten any chocolate, call your vet ASAP. The toxicity of chocolate varies with the type, quantity, and size of the cat. There is no antidote for this poisoning, so prevention is key for you and your pet.

Remember that milk chocolate contains more theobromine than dark or baker’s chocolate. So, smaller amounts of milk chocolate are especially dangerous to cats. A little bit of chocolate adds up over time, so even a tiny treat given now and then can be harmful.

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson
I am a happy cat parent and animal lover, and I am from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Living with three cats and my lovely husband - James. We like traveling around with our cats and writing in our free time. Sharing what we have learned over the years of cat ownership brings joy.
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