Are cats allowed to eat chocolate?
Can cats eat chocolate? Although many people cannot imagine giving up chocolate, and while sweets are certainly not healthy, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of chocolate occasionally. But what about cats? Can cats eat chocolate, or is it possibly toxic to them? We'll provide you with the answer below.
Chocolate for cats – the most important points at a glance
- Cats should not eat chocolate because their bodies cannot metabolize the alkaloid theobromine found in it.
- Theobromine poisoning can be fatal for cats at sufficiently high doses.
- The higher the cocoa content, the more the chocolate contains theobromine.
- In case of suspicion of theobromine poisoning, cat owners should definitely consult a veterinarian.
- Reward your cat with the grain-free cat snacks from I love my cat in a healthy way.
Do cats like chocolate?
Cats are obligate carnivores, and this fact is reflected in their sense of taste. Unlike humans, cats do not have taste receptors for sweets. Consequently, treats like chocolate are usually not very tempting for them. On the other hand, cats are known for having their own minds. Therefore, for safety reasons, you should always keep chocolate out of reach of your pet, as chocolate is highly toxic to cats. In the worst case, consumption can even be deadly for them.
Why is chocolate toxic to cats?
Cocoa beans contain the alkaloid theobromine, which, similar to caffeine, stimulates the nervous system. The human body has specific enzymes that break down theobromine, but cats lack these enzymes. As a result, the theobromine in chocolate is metabolized much more slowly in cats, allowing it to exert its toxic effects and, at a sufficiently high dose, lead to the death of the cat.
At what point is chocolate dangerous for cats?
Chocolate can be dangerous for cats even in relatively small amounts. The theobromine content (and thus the poisoning potential) depends on the type of chocolate. For example, one gram of dark chocolate contains about 16 mg of theobromine, while milk chocolate contains just over two mg.
Initial symptoms of poisoning can occur in cats with less than 20 mg of theobromine per kilogram of body weight. The lethal dose is around 200 mg. However, individual differences are possible, so some cats may be more sensitive to theobromine poisoning than others. You are on the safe side only if you do not let your cat eat any chocolate at all.
Can cats eat white chocolate?
White chocolate contains almost no theobromine. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the consumption of white chocolate would cause poisoning in cats. However, this does not mean that it is suitable as a reward for your pet. White chocolate contains a lot of sugar and fat, making it definitely unhealthy for cats.
What symptoms does theobromine poisoning cause in cats?
Theobromine poisoning in cats can manifest through various symptoms that vary depending on the severity of the poisoning. It can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, excessive salivation, and increased urination. Additionally, rapid heartbeat and accelerated breathing are also possible symptoms.
In severe cases, there may be disturbances in consciousness and seizures. With a sufficiently high dose, theobromine poisoning ultimately leads to death, which can occur, for example, due to respiratory failure, cardiac arrhythmias, or overheating of the body (hyperthermia).
What should you do if a cat has eaten chocolate?
Poisoning is always a medical emergency. This also applies if your cat has eaten chocolate and has thus suffered from theobromine poisoning. Therefore, seek the advice of a veterinarian immediately so that they can treat your pet properly. It is best to announce your arrival by phone to avoid long waiting times. In addition, it is helpful if you bring the chocolate packaging and can provide information about the amount consumed.
Appropriate reward instead of chocolate for cats
Of course, cats appreciate receiving a small treat in addition to their main meals. However, please do not choose chocolate or other foods that are unsuitable for cats. Instead, reward your pet in an appropriate way with cat snacks from I love my cat.
Our grain-free cat snacks have been developed with great care. Natural ingredients and a high content of animal proteins make them a healthy treat for your cat that she will undoubtedly enjoy.
Chocolate for cats: a conclusion
As you can see, chocolate is not only unhealthy for cats but also highly toxic. Therefore, make sure that your pet does not have the opportunity to consume chocolate or other cocoa-containing foods. Instead, opt for a species-appropriate diet and healthy treats, such as the grain-free cat snacks from our range. Your cat will find these little treats much more delicious than any chocolate.