Written by Amir Ali | January 29, 2022
Here I’m again. With my lappy. Thinking about how to begin today’s chocolaty conversation. I’ll try to keep this post short. Sweet. And informative. So the question is, “Is Chocolate Good for Cats?” The answer is- No! It’s not.
Why? I’ll tell you why with reasons and references (as per our rituals). But before that lemme ask you something…
…Why would you want your cat to eat chocolates? Honestly, why?
The problem with us is, sometimes we see our cats as cats, sometimes we see them as dogs and sometimes we see them as humans. And, we try to fit felines in the canine or human mould. Too bad for us! This is the cause of the questions (like this),” Is chocolate good for cats?” “Can cats eat cheese?” Or “Do cats drink oat milk?” You know what I’m trying to say here.
Some ignorant people might think, if chocolate is a treat for us, it can be a treat for cats too. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, according to a study, chocolate Poisoning’ is one of the most common causes of accidental poisoning in dogs. The situation is no different for cats.
In this blog post, I’ll answer as many questions as I can about cats and chocolates.
Can Cats Eat Chocolates?
No! Cats can’t eat chocolates. You must never ever try to reward your cats with chocolates. A small amount of dark chocolate as less as 50g(2-ounce approx.) can be fatal to cats. Chocolate is one of those human foods that are poisonous to cats. Eating chocolates can result in abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death. So, you must drop the idea of rewarding your cat with chocolates. Reward her with cat treats instead.
However, the toxicity of chocolates on cats depends on the kind of chocolate(dark, milk or white), the age of the cat, and the amount of chocolate ingested by her.
But the rule of thumb is to keep the chocolates, and foods that have chocolates out of the reach of your cat. Fortunately, cats never try to eat chocolate on their own and most of the time chocolate poisoning is the result of forced feeding. So, you must not do this by yourself and keep your eyes on children too.
Why Is Chocolate Toxic to Cats?
Chocolates contain three chemicals that are toxic or unhealthy to cats. These three Chemicals are:
1. Theobromine or Methylxanthine
Yes, it’s hard to pronounce. Anyways, chocolates are made of the beans ‘Theobroma Cacao’ that contain ‘theobromine’ (aka methylxanthine). Theobromine is toxic to cats. It can cause Central Nervous System(CNS) Stimulation, hypertension, cardiac and respiratory hyperactivity. There are some other health problems that can be caused because of theobromine.
Theobromine is present in all chocolates(except white chocolates) whether it’s dark chocolate, milk chocolate or unsweetened baking chocolate. So, you must avoid giving any kind of chocolate to your feline friend.
The second sinner ingredient in chocolates is ‘Caffeine’. It’s a chemical cousin of theobromine.
Both cats and dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than humans.
Cats aren’t like us. They don’t need a cup of coffee or tea in the morning to charge them up. They just wake up; groom themselves and they are ready to welcome the day.
Cata can experience seizures, lose control of their muscles, and cause gastrointestinal problems.
“Caffeine also raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrhythmias, which can be dangerous.”VCA Hospitals
3. Lactose(in Milk Chocolates)
The third member of this group is Milk. More precisely lactose. Lactose is a carbohydrate present in milk and from milk, it comes to milk chocolates.
According to Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic, “Cats being lactose intolerant find it very difficult to digest lactose and may cause diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy, and dehydration in extreme cases.”
The reason behind this is after the breastfeeding period gets over the ability of cats to digest lactose declines as they grow up. Because their intestine no longer produces ‘lactase’, (an enzyme necessary to break down lactose into sugars). Thus, gradually, cats become lactose intolerant.
How Much Chocolate is Poisonous to Cats?
Now, this is a difficult question to answer and this is because there is no set quantity that ‘x’ amount of chocolate is fatal to cats.
In fact, the toxicity of chocolates to cats depends on different factors such as the weight of the cat, the amount of chocolate eaten, the kind of chocolate and individual sensitivity to theobromine.
In general, the higher the content of theobromine the more toxic it is for cats.
Similarly, baking chocolates are the most toxic to cats followed by dark and milk chocolates. Given below is the amount of theobromine and caffeine in different chocolates.
The Amount of Theobromine and Caffeine present in Different kinds of Chocolates
What are the Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity in Cats?
On eating chocolate, a cat can show one or more than one of the following symptoms:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased thirst
- Increased reflex responses
- Muscle rigidity
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Pudding?
My innocent friend, chocolate pudding is made of bakery chocolate. As you can see above bakery chocolate is the most toxic chocolate to cats. So it’s a BIG NO. Cats can not eat chocolate pudding at all!
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Brownies?
Brownies contain bakery chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate chips so there are plenty of ingredients to put your cat at risk of life. So, cats can’t eat Chocolate Brownies and one should force cats to eat them.
Can Cats Drink Chocolate Milk?
The effect of Chocolate Milk is no different than Chocolate Brownies and Puddings. As you know, to prepare a Chocolate Milk, Milk Shake or the like, you need a lot of milk and you need a lot of chocolate. Both of these ingredients are extremely harmful to cats.
Chocolates have theobromine and caffeine while milk has lactose so Chocolate Milk is even more dangerous than chocolate alone. So, neither give your cat chocolate milk nor plain milk.
Similarly, Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Cookies, and Chocolate Muffins are harmful to cats too.
What to do if a Cat Eats Chocolates?
Let’s take a worst-case scenario, suppose that your princess has ingested some chocolate accidentally. Now you have to respond to it very quickly and carefully.
The first step will be to observe her. Don’t get panic if she vomits. As in this case, vomiting is good for health that will throw out a large portion of ingested chocolate.
Now, as soon as she stops vomiting rush to the vet. And remember, you must take her to a vet immediately as soon as you discover that she has eaten chocolate even she does not vomit.
When you reach the vet, they may try to cure her in multiple ways depending on the condition of your cat and the visible symptoms.
You may find on some blogs that they are advising you to give hydrogen peroxide to your cat but I disagree with them. Because it’s about life and death. A slight mistake from your side can push your baby into danger. Therefore, don’t listen to them. I only want you to put your cat in the carrier and see the vet as soon as possible.
This is it!. As promised above, I have answered as many questions as I could think of about cats and chocolates. New cat parents often try to please their cats with the foods and drinks that they get pleased with which gives issues to accidental deaths or illness. So my advice to you is don’t experiment too much when it comes to nutrition. Don’t try to force-feed your cat homemade foods or foods that you like. Stick to branded cats’ food only based on the breed and life stage of cats. And, if you want to reward your princess then reward her with cat treats.
If you still have questions, kindly drop me a comment or send me an e-mail I’ll try to respond to you at the earliest.
Thanks for Reading!