If you’re anything like me you always have some chocolate to hand. Plus, my cats are usually never far away, especially if they hear the rustling of some kind of food.
A lot of cats will have a nibble on various foods that are left out. They are good at being naturally aware of that is, and isn’t good for them. But chocolate presents a bit of a temptation as it’s so sweet and contains milk.
You’ve probably heard that chocolate isn’t good for animals, especially for dogs. But what about cats, is chocolate bad for cats? I’ve been digging around and finding out all the information I can, and I’m going to summarize it here for you.
Is Chocolate Bad for Cats
Chocolate is made from cacao, which is the main ingredient and it doesn’t agree with cats for a number of reasons. So yes, chocolate is bad for cats if they eat it. Here are some of the effects of chocolate:
– Chocolate is a stimulant that increases heart rate.
– It’s a diuretic which increases the rate that a body loses fluids.
– It can cause stomach upsets.
– It has a negative effect on the nervous system.
If My Cat Eats Chocolate, What Symptoms Will There Be?
If your cat has eaten some chocolate, the symptoms will vary depending on the amount and the strength of the chocolate they’ve eaten. The most common symptoms are:
– Excessive Urination.
– Irregular Heartbeat.
If a cat ingests a considerable amount of chocolate, they can suffer a coma or death. So this should be quite clear how dangerous it is, if you were not already aware of this it’s something to be mindful of now.
The symptoms will typically start to show within a couple of hours, but can take a day or so sometimes. However, if you think your cat has eaten some chocolate you shouldn’t wait for the symptoms to show.
You should contact your vet immediately and follow their professional advice.
Why Is Chocolate Harmful to Cats but Not Humans?
This is always a common question. It’s because humans are able to metabolize theobromine effectively, but a lot of animals such as cats and dogs are not able to. The chocolate remains in their bloodstreams for up to 20 hours.
Having this substance in their bloodstream causes a toxic effect, resulting in the above mentioned symptoms.
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. Obviously no chocolate is safe, but it’s worth being aware that some is particularly toxic and present a much higher risk.
For example; milk chocolate contains around 60mg ot theobromine per ounce. On the other hand, dark chocolate contains around 450mg per ounce. Quite a difference between the two, keep that dark chocolate locked safely away!
How Do I Treat a Cat That Has Eaten Chocolate?
Like I mentioned earlier, the amount and severity of the poisoning has an impact on the treatment and the severity of the health concern. Always consult a vet, never try to deal with this yourself.
If you notice within an hour or two and contact your vet, they may induce vomiting to force the chocolate out. More extreme measures include helping with ventilation, medication to control the cat’s heart rate and any tremors or seizures.