The answer to the question can cats eat white chocolate is a controversial one. Is it harmful to cats? Yes, very much. Is it as toxic as other chocolates? No.
As you see, the answer to can cats eat white chocolate is not as simple as a “YES” or “NO”. The issue with the chocolate is that it includes a chemical called theobromine which is highly toxic to cats. It also includes caffeine which is also toxic to our little friends. Theobromine comes from cocoa plant itself and it is in its higher concentration in unsweetened dark chocolate.
The difference between white chocolate and other types of chocolates i.e. dark, milk, cooking chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate is that white chocolate is made using cocoa butter whereas others are made directly using roasted cocoa seeds. Although this lowers the theobromine concentration in white chocolate to negligible levels from human perspective, it still includes some. Also, white chocolate has lots of other ingredients that are really harmful to kitties such as sugar, fat and milk.
Can Cats Eat White Chocolate in Small Amounts?
As mentioned above, although in small amounts, white chocolate still includes theobromine. You may think white chocolate as a treat to your cat but in addition to not including anything that is beneficial to cats, your kitty can not even taste the sweetness of the chocolate because cats don’t have the taste buds for sweetness. So it is not only harmful but also unnecessary to give chocolate to cats.
Also, even small amounts of white chocolate can cause serious health issues because all cats are different and some of them have weaker metabolisms. Theobromine absorption is much more slower in felines than in humans therefore even a small amount of theobromine can be dangerous to cats.
A good example here could be cigarettes. Would you give cigarettes to your small kids knowing that they are harmful to them and there is nothing they can gain from them? Now multiply the harm cigarettes do to kids because chocolate is even more harmful to cats than cigarettes to kids.
Chocolate Toxicity Levels in Cats
Only 0.004 oz. (125 mg) of theobromine per pound of cat weight can be lethal to your little friend. Since it is hard to measure how much theobromine a chocolate includes as it may change from brand to brand, you may check this article named Hidden Dangers in the Kitchen: Common Foods Toxic to Dogs and Cats that is prepared by Kim Gugler, Christopher Piscitelli and Jeffrey Dennis who are all Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). In this article you can find many foods that are dangerous to cats from garlics and onions to caffeine and theobromine.
What If My Cat Ate White Chocolate?
As mentioned above, the answer to can cats eat white chocolate is no but let’s say little rascal pulled a classic grab & run. If you see any of the symptoms below, contact your veterinarian immediately:
- Increased thirst
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive urination
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle rigidity/tremors
- Heightened body temperature
- Low blood pressure
Treatment of Chocolate Toxicity in Cats
If you realize that your cat ate some chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting or recommend that you do it before you bring your kitty to the veterinarians office. Once at the veterinarians office, your veterinarian may require some blood or urine tests performed in addition to fluid therapy to keep your cat hydrated.
Since the symptoms vary from hyperactivity to even coma or death, the treatment will be determined by your veterinarian according to the seriousness of the case. However, not matter how serious the case is, the treatment should start as early as possible. Even the minutes are important in chocolate toxicity.
Can cats eat white chocolate? No, they should not. Although the theobromine levels in white chocolate are very low, white chocolate is very harmful to your cat because it includes other harmful substances and ingredients, too such as milk, fat and sugar.
On top of that cats can’t really taste sweetness so it is unnecessary to give your cat something harmful when it really can’t understand the taste of it. If you want to give a treat to your cat, you may give some other healthy alternatives such as lettuce, broccoli or one or two slices of cucumber.