Can chocolate hurt cats? (5 Warning Signs)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can chocolate hurt cats? We will discuss how and why chocolate is capable of hurting or even killing a cat. We will also discuss how to proceed and care for your cat if it eats chocolate.

Can chocolate hurt cats?

Chocolate can hurt cats; in fact, could be lethal to them. The theobromine compound that accompanies caffeine in chocolate is deadly to the feline family. 

Any kind of chocolate, including white, can hurt a cat. The deadliest chocolate that a cat can eat is dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate.

If a cat eats chocolate, it can cause significant damage to the cat’s neurological system, including abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Dark and baker’s chocolate have a high amount of cocoa that can be deadly to a cat. Cocoa has theobromine and caffeine; the compounds that are present in coffee as well. Other chocolates such as milk chocolate and white chocolate have a comparatively low level of cocoa. 

What happens if a cat gets toxic poisoning from chocolate?

The toxicity of chocolate causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and an increased heartbeat. It also causes an increase in thirst and urination in cats. 

Other neurological symptoms that affect cats are restlessness, panting, tremors, seizure, and coma.

Why is chocolate harmful to the cat?

The methylxanthines compound, collectively theobromine and caffeine, is lethal to cats and dogs. The methylxanthines compounds enter the bloodstream from the digestive system; enter all parts of the body and, harm some of the organs of the body. In some cases, it even causes death.

The symptoms of chocolate poisoning occur within 6 to 12 hours after a cat eats chocolate. 

How much chocolate would it take to harm a cat?

If a ten-pound cat eats chocolate, for example, baker’s chocolate or dark chocolate, it takes hardly a tiny square to cause an adverse reaction. To cause the same level of toxicity in a cat, it needs 23 drops of chocolate. 

Other kinds of chocolate such, as white in significantly higher doses than milk, will not cause a reaction but must still be avoided at all costs.

Toxicity levels tend to differ with individuals. The body mass of a cat and; its sensitivity would impact the toxic value of chocolate required to hurt a cat. 

For further information regarding the cat’s tolerance to toxicity levels of different foods, you can visit the Merck Veterinary Manual’s chocolate toxicity calculator. 

IF your cat shows symptoms of being poisoned by chocolate, you need to call your veterinarian or animal poison control. Chocolate poisoning can be a serious issue and, you need to address the problem as soon as you can.

The treatment that is given to cats after they eat chocolate varies with the cat’s condition. There is not an antidote to treat after a cat eats chocolate, however, there are strategies that doctors use to get the toxin out of the cat’s body.

When you take the cat to the hospital, they will perform tests and measures to rehydrate the cat after it vomits. Moreover, the vet will inquire about the cat’s health and information regarding the ingested chocolate.

If the cat is convulsing or has severe tremors, they will be medicated to stabilize their condition. If the situation happens to be under control the cat is treated to draw the poison out of its stomach. 

If the cat does not vomit on its own, then medications are used to encourage it. 

Another substance called activated charcoal is used as a magnet to stick the toxins to itself. The toxins then pass through the digestive tract and excrete out of the body. 

If the cat shows severe signs of poisoning, the doctors might suggest admitting the cat to the hospital. 

What foods are harmful to the cat?

Other foods that can seriously hurt and harm a cat’s health are onions, garlic, and leeks. Alcohol such as wines and beer can also be fatal for cats.

Grapes, raisins, and raw dough are also unhealthy and must not be fed to the cats. 

How to prevent cats from reaching out to chocolate?

The best you could do to protect your feline from ingesting chocolate is to keep them out of their reach. The chocolates must be kept in an airtight jar which cats will not be able to open. 

Cats are curious and smart creatures who need to be kept away from chocolate and candies. 

If you want to reward your feline friend with a treat, keep cat treats and do not offer chocolate or candy to them.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can chocolate hurt cats? We discussed how and why chocolate is capable of hurting or even killing a cat. We also discussed how to proceed and care for your cat if it eats chocolate.

Citations

https://pets.webmd.com/cats/ss/slideshow-foods-your-cat-should-never-eat
https://www.dailypaws.com/cats-kittens/cat-nutrition/what-can-cats-eat/can-cats-eat-chocolate
https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/nutrition-feeding/is-chocolate-bad-for-cats

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.