Brown in color, smooth in texture, and sweet in taste, chocolate is a heavenly treat for humans. We all love chocolate. Am I right or am I right? But what about our four-legged friends?
It is a known fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but what about their feline cousins. Can cats eat chocolate? Or is chocolate bad for cats too?
Cats and Chocolate
Cats do not really like chocolate, so there are very few chances that your cat will gatecrash the stash of chocolate bars or Easter eggs and gobble up a lot of chocolate. You can expect this behavior from dogs who have a sweet tooth but not from their feline counterparts, who do not have the taste buds to appreciate the sweet taste of chocolate.
Most cats do not like chocolate, but there are always exceptions—maybe your cat loves to steal a lick or a square of chocolate now and then. However, most often, it’s cat owners who are to blame. They coax their reluctant feline friends to eat chocolate because they think if they’re giving their cats a heavenly treat. They don’t have any idea how toxic chocolate is for cats.
Pro Tip!Never share any human food with your feline friends unless you have discussed it with a vet or you are 100% sure that the given food is safe for cats to eat. If you are not sure, it is best that you remorsefully deny your cat instead of sharing and putting her health at risk.
If you are a feline lover who happens to love chocolate and are tempted to share the sweet taste of chocolate with your cat, keep on reading. In this article, we are going to address: Can cats eat chocolate? Can cats eat white chocolate? Is chocolate bad for cats? Why is chocolate bad for cats? Can chocolate kill cats? And a lot more about cats and chocolate. And in the end, we will learn about chocolate poisoning in cats—its symptoms and what you can do if you suspect that your furry companion has consumed chocolate.
If you love sharing your food with your felines, you should check out our Human Foods For Cats: What Human Foods Can Cats Eat?
Can Cats Eat Chocolate?
No! Chocolate is toxic to cats, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. All chocolates are unhealthy for pets, but the toxicity’s severity depends on the type and amount of chocolate eaten by your cat. Generally, the lesser the sweetness and darker the color of chocolate, the greater the toxicity to cats.
Why Chocolate is Bad for Cats?
Now that you know cats cannot eat chocolate, you must be wondering why chocolate is bad for cats. What makes chocolate toxic to cats?
Well, the compounds that make chocolate so delicious for us humans are the same that renders chocolate toxic to cats. It’s caffeine and theobromine, the naturally occurring stimulants that make chocolate so satisfying for us. However, when it comes to cats, these naturally occurring stimulants act as toxic agents.
Caffeine and theobromine are present in cocoa solids that are used for making chocolate. So the concentration of the toxic agents is proportional to the amount of cocoa used in the making of chocolate. Hence, darker and baking chocolates are the most dangerous for cats as they contain a higher cocoa content.
Can Cats Eat White Chocolate?
Ok, cats cannot eat ordinary brown chocolates but what about white chocolates—it does not contain cocoa solids. Can cats eat white chocolate?
No, cats cannot eat white chocolate either. No doubt, white chocolates pose a comparatively lower risk to our cats, but still, they are a no-no for cats. According to Pets WebMD, all kinds of chocolates are toxic to cats, even the white ones.
White chocolate contains only traces of caffeine and theobromine because no cocoa solids are used in its making. But that does not make it a good treat for cats as it is made using milk, cocoa butter, and sugar. None of these ingredients is healthy for cats.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?
No, cats cannot eat chocolate ice cream. It contains chocolate that is toxic to cats. By eating chocolate ice cream, your cat will also be ingesting caffeine and theobromine that can cause chocolate poisoning in cats.
Let alone chocolate ice cream, cats cannot eat any flavor of ice cream at all. Actually, cats are lactose intolerant, and as the ice cream is made using milk, it’s by fact, a no-no for cats. On top of that, the high sugar content in ice creams increases the risk of obesity in cats.
Can Cats Drink Chocolate Milk?
No, cats cannot have chocolate milk for the same reasons they cannot have chocolate ice cream. Chocolate milk not only contains caffeine and theobromine that are toxic to cats but it’s also loaded with lactose sugar. Given that cats are lactose intolerant, it is better that we give almond milk to cats instead of giving them cow milk or chocolate milk.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Brownies?
No, cats cannot eat chocolate brownies either. Chocolate-filled brownies are a delight for our taste buds, but the same cannot be said about our feline friends. One, chocolate brownies contain chocolate—caffeine, and theobromine—which our cats are unable to metabolize.
Second, brownies are loaded with sugars, and given that cats are sweet-blind, the sugar content of brownies is only going to increase the caloric intake of cats and increase their risk of growing obese.
Chocolate Poisoning in Cats
Eating chocolate or anything else that is made using chocolate, such as chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies, can cause chocolate poisoning in cats. Different chocolates have different toxicity levels. Actually, it’s the amount of cocoa solids, which contains theobromine and caffeine, used in making chocolate that determines the toxicity level of chocolate for cats.
Chocolate Toxicity Levels in Cats
Different types of chocolates have different toxicity levels for cats. This is because the amount of toxic agents—caffeine and theobromine—differ from chocolate to chocolate. Below, we have listed the minimum amount of chocolate that can get an eight-pound cat in trouble.
|Type||Minimum Amount That Can Be Toxic|
|Baking Chocolate||o.2 oz|
|Dark Chocolate||0.5 oz|
|Semisweet Chocolate||0.5 oz|
|Milk Chocolate||1.14 oz|
|White Chocolate||No toxicity|
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats
A lick or two of chocolate might not hurt your cat, but if she manages to eat the above-mentioned amount of chocolate, she will experience chocolate poisoning. Chocolate poisoning can make your cat exhibit a variety of symptoms.
|Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats|
|Coma||Elevated body temperature|
|Elevated blood pressure||Elevated heart rate|
Can Chocolate Kill Cats?
Unfortunately yes, cats can die if they have consumed a high quantity of chocolate and are not treated promptly. However, you need not worry if you have provided prompt help to your cat. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, “death is rare in pets who receive prompt and appropriate treatment.”
But you should keep in mind that some types of chocolates are more toxic to cats than others. Dark and baking chocolates are more likely to lead to the death of your cat if consumed in large amounts.
My Cat Ate Chocolate! What can I do?
If you just caught your cat nibbling on chocolate, instead of panicking, you should take a long breath and calm yourself. Here is what you can do to help:
- Immediately take away the chocolate from your cat
- If there is still some chocolate in your cat’s mouth, try to retrieve it safely
- Check how much chocolate and what type of chocolate your cat has eaten
- Call the Pet Poison Helpline, your vet, or maybe take your cat for an emergency vet checkup
- Take the wrapper of the chocolate with you—it’ll help the vet identify the proportion of toxic agents in the chocolate
- Keep on observing clinical signs of sickness your cat may exhibit—these will help the vet to provide the most appropriate treatment to your cat.
CAUTION!Don’t be a fool by giving your cat hydrogen peroxide to make her vomit unless you are directed by a vet to do so. If your vet asks you to do so, ask them to walk you through the process. Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide can cause severe stomach ulcers in cats.
How can you Prevent Future Chocolate Toxicity in Your Cat?
To prevent any future chocolate poisoning in cats, you can try keeping chocolate in cat-proof cabinets and containers. Putting chocolate on top of a fridge or a bookshelf won’t help as cats are not dissuaded by heights.
Try not to leave any unfinished chocolate unattended. If you were eating a chocolate bar or ice cream and you did not finish it in one go, make sure you put it away in a cat-proof container.