Are you wondering if cocoa is safe for your feline friend? You’re not alone, many cat owners wrestle with this same question. Cocoa has a sweet, chocolaty taste that many people enjoy, but unfortunately, it’s not something we can share with cats. Even just a small amount can be toxic to cats. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning could prove to be crucial in saving your cat’s life.
Cocoa is more dangerous for pets because it contains more theobromine than plain chocolate. The two stimulants found in cocoa, theobromine and caffeine, can cause adverse effects in cats. Cats absorb these compounds at much slower rates than humans, which allows the toxins to build up in their system, leading to poisoning symptoms.
Potential Symptoms of Cocoa Poisoning
If your cat has ingested cocoa, you must seek medical attention immediately. Common signs of cocoa poisoning include:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for prompt medical help if your cat has consumed cocoa. There is no safe way to induce vomiting in cats at home, so you must take your cat to the animal hospital as soon as possible. Depending on when and the amount consumed, your veterinarian may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind the toxins. Aggressive IV fluids will aid in excretion. Heart medications will help reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. If needed, anticonvulsants will help control seizures and sedatives will calm your cat. Antiacids will be given to relieve stomach discomfort and diarrhea. If the poisoning is severe, hospitalization will be necessary for supportive care and monitoring.