It is common knowledge that chocolate and dogs are a dangerous duo, but have you wondered what happens when a cat eats chocolate? Chocolate poses a great threat to cats just as much as it does to dogs. Just a small amount of chocolate is toxic to cats. Knowing the signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning just might save your pet’s life.
Clinical Signs of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic to cats. Dark chocolate contains a higher level of cocoa, which has both of those toxic compounds. Just a small amount of dark chocolate can put your cat in harm’s way. While dark chocolate is the most toxic, white and milk chocolate are also dangerous! These chocolates may not contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine, but they have a high sugar and fat content that can make your cat sick as well. Below are common chocolate poisoning symptoms in cats:
- Tremors in the muscles and limbs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Increased heart rate
If your cat ate chocolate and you notice these signs, seek treatment immediately. Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving medical advice. There is no safe way to induce vomiting in cats at home, so take your cat to the vet clinic as soon as possible. Depending on the dosage and when it was ingested your vet may induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to absorb the toxins in the system. Your cat may require hydration treatment and blood or urine testing. ECGs may detect abnormal cardiac rhythms. A bland diet is advised for the following four days to relieve symptoms. Ingestion of enough theobromine may cause death if not treated quickly.
Never give your cat chocolate as a treat, as you will only be putting your furry friend in a dangerous situation. Cats are curious creatures and like to explore. If you have chocolate in your home put it away in a place where your cat cannot get to it. If you want to give your cat a treat, consult your veterinarian for recommendations that are safe and nutritious for your beloved kitty.