We often hear stories about dogs that suffer from chocolate indigestion. However, chocolate toxicity can be a threat to cats too.
So it is very important for all cat owners to keep this product away from their fluffies.
You must know what to do if your pet ate too much chocolate.
Why is chocolate dangerous for cats
Is chocolate bad for cats? Yes, it is!
Can cats have a small piece of chocolate? No!
This product contains two very harmful ingredients: theobromine and caffeine. Large quantities of these substances may cause digestion and other serious problems with health.
Moreover, theobromine is not good for almost all kinds of animals.
As for caffeine, it stimulates a cat’s nervous system much more than a human one.
Chocolate also contains sugar, fat, and xylitol which are also harmful to your fluffy.
How much chocolate is dangerous for a cat
How much chocolate is toxic to cats? Any amount. If you think that milk chocolate is less dangerous, you are wrong. Dry cocoa powder, dark, semi-sweet, milk, and even white chocolate are hazardous for cats. Moreover, baking chocolate is extremely dangerous with its high percentage of theobromine.
How much chocolate can a cat eat until the first symptoms occur? It all depends on the kind of chocolate your cat ate. For instance, a square of baking chocolate is as dangerous to your fluffy as 23 wrapped chocolate drops.
In fact, there is a confirmed data about the amount of choco that can be harmful:
|Milk Chocolate||1.14 ounces|
|Dark Chocolate||0.5 ounce|
|Semisweet Chocolate||0.5 ounces|
|Baking Chocolate||0.2 ounces|
The level of danger depends on the percentage of theobromine in chocolate. As you may notice, there is no white one on the list. However, it doesn’t mean that it is absolutely safe for your pet. The thing is that white chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids. This product has a low concentration of chemicals. Bit it still has some.
So if you noticed that your cat ingested just one bar, it doesn’t mean it’s okay. The percentage of toxic ingredients this small portion contains can be fatal.
Further reading: List of human foods that are toxic for cats.
So the moment you noticed your cat ate chocolate, try to define what kind of product it is and then start to act immediately.
Main symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats
Chocolate poisoning may cause a lot of symptoms and lead to a cat’s death if it is not treated properly. Each cat has its own level of sensitivity to toxic substances, so you never know how much danger it may cause.
Contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice your cat ate this product.
However, there are main symptoms of chocolate toxicity:
- Muscle rigidity
- Rapid breathing
- Increased reflex responses
- Increased thirst
- Rapid breathing
Don’t be afraid to miss the first symptoms. Cats are more sensitive to theobromine and caffeine. That’s why you’ll notice your pet’s unusual behaviour very fast. It all starts with restlessness and tremors. If these symptoms are not treated in time, your cat can start to vomit. This process can be followed by diarrhea.
If your pet ingests a serious amount of chocolate, it may cause seizures, stiffness, rapid breathing and even death.
How to treat chocolate toxicity
First of all, stay calm. If you start to panic, it won’t do your cat any good. Remember everything you read about the problem. If you are an experienced cat owner, you know that your cat can read your emotions perfectly well.
Then you should call your veterinarian. However, if you can’t call him/her, there is a couple of steps you can do.
Give your cat 1-2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. It is a medicine that induces vomiting. This method is good, especially if your cat ate a small amount of choco. However, it can be quite difficult to make your cat drink hydrogen peroxide. So make sure you have a syringe at home. If it still doesn’t work, you need to take your fluffy to the animal hospital urgently.
As soon as you are at the hospital, make sure your cat’s blood or urine tests are performed right from the start. In some cases, your vet may prescribe both blood and urine tests to get a more exact result.
It is very important to make EGG as well to see if there are some heart rhythm problems.
In fact, there are a couple of factors that are important for a doctor before he/she determines the number of tests. It is your cat’s health, weight and amount of chocolate that was ingested.
Usually, a vet prescribes a bland diet for a few days after your cat ate chocolate. Sometimes this diet may be prolonged. It depends on how fast your fluffy recovers.
How to prevent the danger
The simplest advice – keep the chocolate away from cats. At first, this advice may seem very easy to follow. However, it is harder to implement than you think.
First, you need to take into account that cats are very curious and unpredictable by nature. They are in love with secret boxes, they adore sneaking in the kitchen when you don’t see. Sounds familiar, right?
So you can obviously underestimate your cat’s ability to find the desirable food. You need to take into account all the food that may contain chocolate as well: brownies, donuts, cookies, candies and many more.
You’ll need a full inventory of your kitchen to make it a safe place for your cat.
Holidays like Halloween are the most dangerous time for your pet. Make sure all the treats are located in a safe and unreachable place. You need to store all the sweets after your party ends. Many children like to feed animals with candies and chocolate. Make sure none of your little guests tries to implement that.
In a word
It is not so hard to keep your cat away from chocolate. However, you need to respect the principle of precaution. Never underestimate your cat. These animals know how to find what they really want.
If the worst did happen, make sure you stick to all the rules. Don’t panic. And call your vet immediately.