Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Is Chocolate Toxic For Cats?

can cats eat chocolate

You know as well as I do, that dogs can’t eat chocolate right? But, what about our feline friends, can cats eat chocolate? 

Here I’ll give you the short and sweet answer, fill you in on some facts about pets and chocolate and if there is an alternative for them to snack on.

Let’s get into it then, the short answer. 

The Short And Sweet Answer

Absolutely not! Yep, the same goes for cats as it does dogs. So, no tasty chocolate for them, which means more for us. 

To sum it up, they can’t eat chocolate because of an alkaloid called theobromine. Which is basically the same as caffeine, once ingested it can lead to all sorts of problems.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

Definitely not! You likely already knew this, but may not have necessarily looked into exactly why. So i’ll cover that further into the article. 

What about other chocolate foods, such as chocolate flavored ice cream? Although cats can enjoy a very small amount of yogurt and ice cream, you must avoid any chocolate flavoring. Cocoa is toxic for cats so no matter what the food, if it contains cocoa it’s a big no-no. 

can cats eat dark chocolate

How Much Chocolate Is Dangerous For Cats?

Chocolate can have a deadly effect on our feline friends. Yes deadly!

Your cat should never ingest any amount of chocolate, as little as 20mg of theobromine per kilo of your cats weight can have a toxic effect. 

That’s about 3 squares or blocks or chocolate to be potentially deadly for your cat!

While it does depend on your cats weight and age, the type of chocolate can also determine the toxicity. In any case it’s easier to avoid giving chocolate to any pet, plus it provides no nutrition at all.

The Science Behind Why

If we take a look at the ingredients used to make chocolate, we can begin to understand why it’s toxic for our pets. Chocolate is made using cacao, sugar, milk powder, caffeine and the alkaloid theobromine. It can also contain phenylethylamine and flavonoids.

One look at that list and you start to see why it’s toxic.

The ingredients that give us humans that oh so good feeling are the same ingredients that cause our furry friends so much trouble. While they release serotonin in humans they act as a stimulant for our feline friends. 

This over stimulation of the heart, causes stress, anxiety and can lead to heart failure in cats. 

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate

If you suspect your cat to have eaten chocolate you must bring them to your local vet immediately. On the way or while waiting, try to keep your cat cool, calm and quiet. You’ll want to avoid any increase in stress, raising their heart rate is the last thing you want to do. 

If you live far from your local vet, call them and have them suggest a course of action. Your vet will perform tests such as an ECG, blood profile and an electrolyte panel, these tests will determine if your cat is overdosing on caffeine or theobromine. 

You’ll want to keep your cats water intake up over the next three days as well as feed them a bland diet that’s easy for them to consume. 

Symptoms

tabby kitten

The following symptoms can be observed when your cat has ingested anything toxic. They’re not limited to just chocolate.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid Breathing
  • High Body Temp
  • Increased heart Rate
  • Seizures

Symptoms can also vary depending on the type of chocolate eaten and the amount.

Chocolates that are especially toxic to cats are baking chocolate, sweetened chocolate and milk chocolate. 

What Types Of Chocolate Is Most Dangerous

Yes, some chocolates pose a bigger risk to your cat than others. The biggest danger to your cat is easily dry cocoa powder, the kind you’d use for baking or making a hot chocolate. This powder contains about 8 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. 

If as little as a teaspoon is ingested, it could be fatal for your cat.

Dark bakers chocolate is also very potent, if your cat ingests as little as 2 squares to cause a toxic reaction. Think of it like this, the darker the chocolate the more dangerous. 

White chocolate poses the least threat to your cat, however, in no circumstances should you let them have it. And if they do manage to ingest some, keep a close eye on them for any symptoms. 

can cats eat white chocolate

Cats are usually picky when it comes to food, they will generally avoid anything bad for them. At times they can succumb to their curiosity, and because of the sweet smell of chocolate they can at times be tempted to take a bite.

Prevention is key, keep all chocolate products out of their reach and in a secure container. Chocolate should only be enjoyed by us humans, besides, kitty would prefer a proper cat treat anyways. 

So, Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Definitely Not!

That’s the hard and final word on the matter. At no time should we feed or allow our pets to eat chocolate of any kind. 

Remember, if you suspect your kitty to of ingested chocolate, get them to a vet right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.