Can cats eat chocolate? The answer to this question is very simple: DEFINITELY NO! The reason for this is that chocolate can be lethal for cats.
Scientific studies on the question of “can cats eat chocolate” show that the toxicity level of chocolate for cats is so high that it can be lethal or cause very serious health issues at best. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it becomes. Let’s see what makes a food so dangerous for cats while it is so innocent for human consumption except for the extra calories it includes.
How Much Chocolate Is Bad For Cats?
The amount of chocolate that is lethal for cats depends entirely on the type of chocolate. The chocolates that include more cocoa such as baking chocolate or dark chocolate are a lot more dangerous than chocolates that are less “pure”. But this doesn’t make them any more innocent because all chocolates include cocoa which includes theobromine and caffeine.
An exception to this issue can be white chocolate which is not made with roasted cocoa seeds but with cocoa butter which decreases the theobromine levels significantly but it still includes some. Although, it is still not recommended because what is the point? Cats don’t even have the taste buds to know the taste of sweet. Why would you give something harmful to your kitty knowing that it is not able to taste it anyway?
The toxicity table below is prepared considering an 8 lb. cat so if your cat is bigger or smaller please calculate the minimum amount of chocolate that can be really harmful to your cat accordingly.
|Type of Chocolate||The Amount That Can Be Toxic|
|Baking Chocolate||0.2 oz.|
|Dark Chocolate||0.5 oz.|
|Semisweet Chocolate||0.5 oz.|
|Milk Chocolate||1.14 oz.|
This article prepared by veterinarians from vetlearn.com provides the amount of the foods that are harmful to your cat and how the poisoning cases are treated.
What Happens if a Cat Eats Chocolate?
The symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats can include:
- increased reflex responses,
- muscle rigidity,
- rapid breathing,
- and increased thirst.
And the unwanted result can even be death as mentioned before. The severity of the symptoms depend on your cat’s weight and the amount of chocolate it consumed.
My Cat Ate Chocolate. What Shall I Do?
Since chocolate is so dangerous, calling your veterinarian first and taking your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible in accordance with the veterinarians instructions would be the best course of action. Taking a sample of the chocolate your cat ate can also be a good measure because your veterinarian may want to see what kind of chocolate your cate ate.
Can Cats Have Chocolate If The Amount Is Small Enough?
If you are asking this question you should ask yourself a more important question first: “is chocolate bad for cats?” The answer to this question is very clearly yes, the chocolate is harmful to cats so cats should not eat chocolate even if the amount is very small.
Are Cats Allergic to Chocolate?
Cats actually are not allergic to chocolate. The issue with cats and chocolate is a toxic agent named theobromine and the not so good old caffeine. Since theobromine is absorbed a lot slower in feline digestion, even a small amount of it can be fatal. Cats are stimulated by caffeine a lot more than humans so cats are more sensitive to it, too.
While theobromine in chocolate is not good for human consumption either, the amount a human needs to consume to experience serious health issues is around 77 pounds of milk chocolate in one go which is not likely.
These two substances increase the heart rate of cats and act as a diuretic so they increase the loss of the bodily fluids. Both elevated heart rate and losing too much fluids can be fatal for or cause serious damage to our little friends.
Is Chocolate Poisonous to Cats?
Chocolate is toxic to cats which can also be understood as poisonous but there is a difference between toxic and poisonous. Toxic means that a substance can cause damage to an organism, while poisonous is the next level of toxic which means that poison implies a high level of toxicity.
So, technically is chocolate poisonous to cats? No. Is chocolate toxic to cats? Yes, absolutely. However, even a small amount of chocolate can become poison for your cat depending on the purity of the chocolate and the amount of cocoa used in it.
Cats Can Not Taste Sweetness
Since cats are carnivorous mammals, their taste buds are different than ours. They biologically don’t have any taste buds to experience the sweetness so the number of cats eat chocolate on their own is very little because they have not interest towards it. The only exception here is their curios nature kicking in.
The vast majority of chocolate poisoning in cats are caused by their humans thinking they are giving their cats a treat. Although the thought itself is very innocent, the result may cause the cat its life and an unforgettable remorse on the human’s part.
Can cats eat chocolate? No, they definitely shouldn’t. Are cats allowed chocolate? No, even if it is white chocolate, please don’t give your cat any. I can write the same question in many different ways but the result does not change. Chocolate is dangerous to cats and can even be fatal for them.