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Cat Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Chocolate? (Hint: They Definitely Can’t!)

As pet owners, there are thousands of tasty treats that we want to share with our furry friends. Unfortunately, cats don’t have the same digestive capabilities as humans. But, how can we know what is good and bad for our cats’ bellies? More importantly, can cats indulge in some of our sweet treats? For example, can cats eat chocolate? 

Well, the short answer is no. But, let’s take a closer look at why cats and chocolate simply don’t mix in this article. 

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you know that this also applies to cats? That’s right, our feline friends can’t eat one of the most delicious foods on our supermarket shelves. Chocolate contains theobromine, an ingredient that unlike humans, cats can’t metabolize. The worst thing is that your cat doesn’t have to each much chocolate to get very sick!

How Much Chocolate Is Toxic to Cats?

The truth is, different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. A toxic dose of the ingredient in cats is 200mg per kilo. When it comes to milk chocolate, your cat only needs 1.14oz to experience negative side effects. And, that’s not to mention the dairy which may also upset their stomach. 

Dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate are more of a concern as your cat will only need to eat 0.5oz to get sick. The worst type, however, is baking chocolate, where only a 0.2oz dose can be dangerous for cats. 

Chocolate Poisoning Symptoms in Cats

Chocolate toxicity in cats varies in symptoms depending on the type of chocolate, the size of your cat, and it’s overall health. Plus, all cats have different sensitivity levels to both theobromine and the caffeine found in cacao. Some of the symptoms you should look out for include:

  • Restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Tremors
  • Increased reflexes or twitchiness
  • Rapid breathing or heart palpitations
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Seizures
  • Muscle rigidity

Theobromine toxicity in cats can lead to death in very severe cases. It’s important to note, however, that your cat is extremely unlikely to go for your chocolate as they’ll likely prefer their own food. 

Steps to Take If Your Cat Eats Chocolate

So, is chocolate bad for cats? The short answer is yes! If your cat experiences any of the symptoms above, take them to your local vet as quickly as possible. If caught early on, your vet may be able to induce vomiting to clear some of the chocolate from their body. Also, bring any packaging from the chocolate bar with you so your vet has a clear picture of what they’re dealing with. 

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