Pretty much every pet owner knows about the relationship between dogs and chocolate. Of course, we mean that dogs should never have chocolate!
Have you ever asked yourself, “can cats eat chocolate?” Most people have a strong affinity for chocolate, but does that mean we should be sharing our cherished treats with our furry friends?
Read below to find out if cats can eat chocolate and what other foods they should avoid.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate?
If you’ve asked yourself “Can cats eat chocolate?” the short answer is they should NOT eat chocolate. The good news is that most cats will not want to eat chocolate.
You won’t have to make sure every morsel is cleverly hidden away so your cat won’t find it. They likely won’t be interested in it. If you have kittens however, they may be willing to give it a try more than an adult cat. Your adult cat may also give chocolate a try if they think you are offering it as a treat or reward. So be certain to keep your chocolate snack to yourself.
What Happens If My Cat Eats Chocolate?
If your cat gets their mitts on some chocolate, you can expect the following symptoms:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle rigidity
- Increased body temperature
These symptoms can vary based on the type of chocolate your cat has consumed and the amount. The darker the chocolate your cat eats, the worse it is for them because it contains more of the toxins that harm your cat.
These toxins are caffeine and theobromine. You’re probably already familiar with what caffeine is. Theobromine is a chemical that acts like caffeine, but to a lesser degree. Even people can be affected by theobromine, however people almost never receive a dose strong enough to cause harm. A cat’s smaller size can make even a small amount of chocolate very dangerous. Most animals also process this chemical much slower than humans.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate
If you’ve discovered your cat has eaten chocolate, you must act right away. Assess how much they may have eaten and check if they are showing any symptoms. If they are not yet displaying symptoms, you can call your vet to see if they recommend inducing vomiting.
Otherwise you want to make sure you keep your cat cool and in a quiet place. If your cat starts showing any of the above symptoms, you’ll want to get them to the vet immediately.
Are There Other Foods My Cat Should Avoid?
Moderation is everything! Tuna is okay sometimes but adding too much to your cat’s diet can lead to malnourishment and mercury poisoning. It just doesn’t have all the nutrients your cats need to live a happy, healthy life.
Even a little alcohol can injure your cat. No alcohol – not beer, wine or spirits are safe in any way for your pets to ingest.
Garlic, Chives, and Onions
These vegetables can make your cat anemic. Whether it’s fresh or dried and sprinkled on your food, it’s no good for kitty. No matter how little your cat consumes, they’ll probably struggle with intestinal issues.
Dogs and cats alike should not eat grapes or dried grapes (AKA raisins). Why? It can cause kidney failure. Vomiting or hyperactivity are early signs of poisoning.
Cats are not great at digesting fat. Their stomachs can become upset. As for bones, they pose a choking threat as small pieces can splinter and get caught inside the body.
Coffee, Tea or Any Caffeine
There is no treatment for caffeine overdose in cats, so it’s crucial that they avoid ingesting it altogether. Chocolates, some medications, and energy drinks should be avoided as they contain caffeine.
Raw foods can make people sick as well as pets. Bacteria like salmonella may be present in raw foods. To be safe, avoid feeding your cat raw eggs.
Dough Containing Yeast
Uncooked dough can swell in stomachs of pets causing distress and blockage. The yeast in the dough can ferment in the gut creating an alcohol byproduct. The result? Alcohol poisoning.
Although a little dog food isn’t likely to hurt your cat, it’s not a substitute for cat food. Cat food is formulated for our feline friends, and dog food just doesn’t work for kitties.
Keep it Safe
Cats are what they eat. To keep your kitty safe, feed them only veterinarian approved food and treats.
We hope this article answered your question: “Can cats eat chocolate?” Stay safe!