Almost all pet owners know that chocolate is a big no for dogs. However, cats are picky eaters compared to dogs but there are still possibilities that your pet cat will try and consume your sweet treats.
If you think that your pet cat can do better than dogs, you are wrong. Chocolates are also harmful for cats. But as owners, you cannot look after your pets 24/7, so if you think your cat has eaten a piece of your favourite dark chocolate or any type of food that has caffeine, it’s just necessary to reach out to your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.
Why Chocolates are Bad for Cats?
Always remember, if you have domesticated animals at home like dogs and cats, make sure to keep them away from your sweet treats. Chocolates are only for human consumption so despite all the affection and love they give to you everyday, never give in. A good amount of chocolate might kill your friendly pet.
Chocolate is made out of a mixture that contains theobromine and caffeine. These particular components can speed up and stimulate the central nervous and cardiac systems of your cats which can lead to death. Moreover, cats are small animals, they can easily digest big amounts of food and if your cat, unfortunately, takes a chunk of chocolate it could be worse.
Theobromine is a compound harmful to dogs and cats that is very similar to caffeine. This compound is popular across the medical field as a heart stimulant and a smooth muscle relaxant. Even though people drink coffee as a habit, for your pets, caffeine is a big no no.
Cats cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine. This makes them more sensitive to the chemicals’ effects.
However, a tiny amount of chocolate is not fatal for your cat especially if it contains less amount of cocoa. Below is just a shortlist of the sources of theobromine. It is arranged based on the toxicity level from worst to least:
Baking chocolate (worst)
White chocolate (least)
Similar to dogs, cats can catch mild symptoms of chocolate toxicity when it consumes 20mg of theobromine per pound of pet weight.
For better understanding, an average grocery-bought chocolate bar is 1.55 ounces, therefore, if your cat consumed pieces of your chocolate bars, especially if you often indulge with dark chocolate. This type of chocolate can be the healthier option for humans but it can cause some serious consequences for your pets.
Symptoms That a Cat is Intoxicated
If you already caught your cat in the act, immediately send it to your local veterinarian to prevent the worst case. On the other hand, if you suspect that your cat already consumed pieces of chocolate, you should observe and take note of these symptoms:
Abnormal heart rate
Collapse and death
You should take note that a steady stream of restless hyperactivity can lead to lethargy and can soon lead to a coma or death.
My Cat Ate Chocolate, What Should I Do?
If you believe your cat ate chocolate, the best thing you can do is to call your veterinarian for professional advice.
However, even before you reach your vet you should conduct an initial observation of how much your cat consumed and how it’s body is reacting after the accident. Your veterinarian would probably recommend further monitoring for signs and symptoms of toxicity. As the owner, keep those whiskers close to you and observe if the condition is not getting any better.
However, if your veterinarian prefers you bringing the dog into the clinic. Do it with urgency.
Take note, every case is different but you need to make sure to prevent accidents like this and take precautions at home if you have fur friends to prevent worst-case scenarios.
How to Prevent Accidents: Cats Eating Chocolates
Even though small amounts of milk chocolate which contain fewer cocoa products may not cause a problem, it’s still not a good idea to let them have chocolates in general. But as mentioned, as a pet owner, you cannot look after your pets 24/7 so here are some ways to prevent dogs from possible chocolate intoxication:
Keep Your Chocolates in a Safe and Secured Place
When you clean or arrange your stuff at home, make sure that all of your chocolate items, including cocoa powder or even your hot chocolate breakfast mix, are properly stored and secured in a place where your dog cannot reach them.
Also, you need to train and remind your children about this practice so they will keep their fur friends safe.
Moreover, it is your responsibility to remind your house guests that you have pets at home and chocolates are not for them.
Stick to Pet-friendly Treats
The market has a vast array of choices for animal or pet treats. Most probably you can find alternative tasty and sweet treats. However, this is not the best option if you want to keep your cats healthy and kicking, therefore, it is still best to stick with regular cat treats.
Generally, there is a long list of food and treats that are harmful to animals particularly to cats. As an owner, you must be aware of these.
Having a pet is a responsibility of every member of the household. Even the kids have to learn about the risks these foods and treats have for your furry friends. However, what is harmful to your pets are sweet treats for you. You can still occasionally indulge yourself with tasty and high-quality chocolates of your choice; dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate. Give your pet its treat and reward yourself with some sweets.