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Chocolate and Cats
Chocolate is derived from Theobroma cacao which are seeds that have been roasted and prepared to eat many owners know that it is toxic for dogs but cat owners may have some concerns as well and want to know if cats can eat chocolate.
Is chocolate toxic to cats?
Simply put, yes chocolate is toxic to cats. You should never feed your cat chocolate no matter how small a piece.
Chocolate is toxic to cats due t the caffeine and theobromine that can be found in the food. Theobromine is also found in many beverages like tea and some foods.
Chocolate toxicity in cats usually occurs around the holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s day when there are usually treats galore for your cat to choose from.
Can cats die from chocolate?
Yes, ingesting chocolate can be life-threatening for cats, if your cat gets too much it can result in dysfunction of their central nervous systems and cardiac arrhythmias.
Which forms of chocolate are safe for cats?
Can cats eat chocolate ice cream?
No cats should not eat chocolate ice cream as this can be harmful to them as well, in fact, chocolate ice cream may be worse as it usually includes added sugar and preservative.
In most cases, a cat eating chocolate ice cream is not fatal, but it will surely cause some digestive issues or stomach upset and may even warrant a trip to the emergency veterinarian.
Can cats have chocolate milk?
Since chocolate milk has the same makeup as chocolate and includes caffeine and theobromide although to a lesser extent than just chocolate alone.
Also, many cats are lactose intolerant and don’t tolerate milk well.
If you want to read about cats and milk, read our latest article here: Cats and milk, all you need to know.
Can cats eat white chocolate?
Any form of chocolate can be harmful to cats and white chocolate is no exception since it includes a small amount of cocoa
Can cats have Carob?
According to the ASPCA Carob is non-toxic and perfectly fine for cats. Carob does not contain caffeine or theobromine which are compounds that can poison cats in chocolate.
However, most pet experts wouldn’t recommend feeding your cat carob as it isn’t a necessary part of their natural diet. As obligate carnivores, cats derive the bulk of their nutrients from meat sources and don’t really have a need for carob which is derived from plants.
How much chocolate is toxic to cats?
Chocolate is toxic for cats so any amount can cause toxicity. Some issues may not be as severe or life-threatening depending on how much a cat eats but they will surely have some gastrointestinal upset.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Panting or breathing rapidly
- Shaking or trembling (tremors)
If your cat has eaten chocolate or is showing signs of chocolate toxicity or chocolate poisoning you should contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian right away!
You should also have the number for the ASPCA on hand for emergency purposes. 1.800.213.6680
5 tips for preventing chocolate poisoning in cats
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent chocolate poisoning in your cat
Keep chocolate out of reach
Cats are so limber and agile that they can reach just about any spot they want no matter how high. So keep any chocolate you have out of reach and tucked away in a cabinet or pantry. Unless your cat knows how to open doors you should be fine
Let family and friends know
Many times cats get into chocolate around the holidays, make sure you let any company that visits and brings treats refrain from feeding any to your pets
Toss chocolate wrappers
Don’t leave any wrappers laying around for your cat to lick as even a small amount can cause some problems in the long run
Secure the garbage
Use a garbage can with a lid that your cat can not get into
Don’t leave baked goods or baking ingredients unattended
If you have a cat that likes table food they will surely be tempted to sniff around what you are cooking up even if you just have to step away for a quick minute.
The advice provided on this blog is for informational purposes only, not medical advice regarding pets. For specific information on your pet and an accurate diagnosis please see your veterinarian.
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