Is chocolate bad for cats?August 25, 2021
Chocolate is a food of high nutritional value that, in moderate amounts, can be part of a balanced diet for humans. However, for some animals, it can be toxic. For example, today, we know that chocolate is bad for cats. It contains certain substances, such as caffeine and theobromine, which can cause health problems in felines or even cause death in high doses.
Pussycats are not particularly sweet. Out of curiosity or accidentally, they can try some food with chocolate. This article explains what happens if a cat eats chocolate and what you should do if your feline has ingested a dangerous amount of this sweet temptation. Keep reading: Do ants sleep
Is chocolate bad for cats?
“My cat has eaten some chocolate” is a situation that worries many guardians, who, aware of the possible danger, wonder how much chocolate a cat can eat. As we have indicated, it is not convenient to give chocolate to a cat, but neither should we be alarmist and think that the worst outcome will occur by taking a tiny amount.
Foods that contain cocoa provide the body with caffeine and theobromine, substances responsible for the pleasant sensations that chocolate causes in people. However, felines do not have the necessary enzymes to digest these substances. Therefore, these components of cocoa can cause poisoning, which will be more or less serious depending on the amount ingested with the weight of the animal.
To give you an idea, just taking about 20 mg of chocolate for each kg of the animal’s weight could already cause gastric complications and, if we increase that dose to 80 mg/kg, it could speak of severe poisoning. Higher amounts of up to 200 mg/kg would probably be a lethal dose.
How much chocolate can kill a cat?
The symptoms that indicate a possible poisoning in cats by ingestion of chocolate are variable and, in any case, they must be given maximum attention. These symptoms do not appear immediately after ingestion but a few hours after taking it. It must be borne in mind that they can even appear in the following 24 or 48 hours.
If your cat, for no apparent reason, begins to drink excess water and urinate, also, with an abnormal frequency, it may be that he has eaten some chocolate that he found within reach. Vomiting and diarrhea are also frequent symptoms, as the body tries to animals expel the chocolate.
In addition, when the cat takes large amounts of this food, more serious symptoms may appear, such as tachycardia, tremors, seizures or bluish discoloration of the mucous membranes. These symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats require urgent veterinary attention.
How to make a cat vomit when it has eaten chocolate?
First of all, we must clarify that inducing vomiting in a cat is complicated and may not be the best solution for several reasons:
- Perhaps the amount of chocolate the animal has ingested is so small that it is not necessary to make it vomit. You could do him more harm than good.
- Once 2-3 hours have elapsed since ingestion, making your cat vomit does not make sense since the toxic substances, after the digestion time, are no longer in his stomach but have passed into his intestine. At this point, vomiting won’t do any good.
- Trying to make him vomit is an extreme measure. You will always have to consult with the veterinarian in advance because it is discouraged if the cat has symptoms such as tachycardia, drowsiness, or seizures.
- Even so, if the vet tells you to try to make him vomit in an emergency, the best option to achieve this is to give him hydrogen peroxide ( hydrogen peroxide) of 3%, calculating 5 milliliters for every 2.5 kg of animal weight. It is important to calculate the exact dose because, in higher amounts, hydrogen peroxide could damage the animal’s digestive tract and system.
To give this remedy, you will have to take your cat and wrap it gently in a towel to prevent it from scratching you. Place him on your lap so that he is as comfortable and calm as possible, and try to give him the hydrogen peroxide well with a syringe or a small spoon. You probably don’t want to open your mouth. Do not insist on it. Just pour the hydrogen peroxide on the sides of the mouth, separating the cheek area a little.
Veterinary treatment for chocolate poisoning in cats
The best option to know what to do if a cat eats chocolate is to consult with the veterinarian. In most cases, it is very difficult to know how much cocoa the animal has taken and the best option to prevent complications. If you suspect that your feline friend has ingested chocolate, take him to the vet so that he can receive the best treatment in each case.
Faced with severe symptoms, the cat may have to undergo gastric lavage to remove toxic substances that put its health and, perhaps, its life at risk. The veterinarian will consider the symptoms (respiratory distress, vomiting, diarrhea, tachycardia, etc.) and will determine the ideal drugs to control them. Your cat may have to be observed at the clinic to monitor its progress.
Is there special chocolate for cats?
It is clear that, even in small quantities, any type of cocoa-based product is not recommended for cats, but if you want to treat your cat to a treat, there are some special ‘chocolates’ for him. They are made from carob flour. Like cocoa, this legume is rich in antioxidants and also provides a good dose of fiber.
Carob flour, free of caffeine and theobromine, is used in many products of the food industry (biscuits, cakes, bars …) and is a good option as a treat and cat treat, as long as you offer it sporadically and in moderate quantities.