What to Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If your cat happens to eat chocolate, don’t panic! Here’s what to do to make sure they’re safe and healthy.

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Introduction

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is toxic to cats. The level of toxicity depends on the type of chocolate and the amount ingested. For example, Baker’s Chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate and white chocolate.

If you think your cat has eaten chocolate, watch for signs of toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.

The prognosis for cats that have ingested chocolate is good if they are treated quickly. Treatment may include inducement of vomiting, administration of fluids and other supportive care.

Theobromine Poisoning in Cats

Chocolate can be poisonous to cats. Theobromine is a compound found in chocolate that is toxic to cats. If your cat eats chocolate, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. If you think your cat has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.

What is theobromine?

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant and is found in chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate. It’s also in cocoa, cocoa beans, cola and tea. Theobromine poisoning usually occurs when dogs or cats eat chocolate or other products containing cocoa.

In chocolate, the higher the percentage of cacao, the more theobromine it contains. For example, 1 oz. of milk chocolate has 44 mg of theobromine, while 1 oz. of unsweetened baking chocolate has 390 mg. Practically speaking, this means that eating just one milk chocolate candy bar could make a small dog sick, while eating a square of baking chocolate could kill a small dog.

What are the symptoms of theobromine poisoning in cats?

The symptoms of theobromine poisoning in cats can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur within 6-12 hours after ingestion. The most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, increased urination, muscle tremors, and seizures. In severe cases, theobromine poisoning can lead to coma and death. If you think your cat has ingested chocolate, it is important to contact your veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately.

First Aid for Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

If your cat has eaten chocolate, it is important to act fast and seek professional help. Chocolate is poisonous to cats and can cause serious health problems. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, and seizures. If your cat has eaten chocolate, call your vet immediately.

Induce vomiting

If you know or suspect your cat has eaten chocolate, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian or, if after hours, your local emergency veterinary hospital. Your veterinarian will want to know how much chocolate your cat ate and what type of chocolate it was. The severity of the toxicity will depend on the amount and type of chocolate consumed. The next step will be to induce vomiting. This is best done within two hours of ingestion and is most successful if done by your veterinarian.

Give your cat activated charcoal

If you think that your cat has ingested chocolate, the first step is to call your veterinarian or local animal hospital. They will be able to give you specific instructions on what to do next. In the meantime, there are a few things that you can do to help your cat.

The first is to give them activated charcoal. This will help to absorb the toxins in the chocolate and prevent them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Give them 1 gram of activated charcoal per pound of body weight. You can mix it with a little bit of water to make a slurry and then syringe feed it to your cat.

The next thing that you can do is to give them plenty of fluids. This will help to flush the toxins out of their system and keep them hydrated. Offer them small sips of water or milk every few minutes. If they are not interested in drinking, you can try offering them some ice chips or Pedialyte.

Do not try to make your cat vomit unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Chocolate can cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach and esophagus, so making your cat vomit could actually make things worse.

Monitor your cat’s vital signs

If your cat has eaten chocolate, it is important to monitor its vital signs and seek professional medical help if any concerning symptoms arise. Some symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, increased urination, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and seizures. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

When to See the Vet

If your cat has eaten chocolate, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you how much chocolate your cat ate based on their weight and the type of chocolate. They will also be able to tell you if your cat needs to be seen right away or if you can watch them at home.

Prevention

The best way to prevent your cat from eating chocolate is to keep chocolate out of reach. If you have chocolate in your home, make sure it is in a safe place where your cat cannot get to it. If you think your cat may have eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keep chocolate out of reach

The best way to prevent your cat from eating chocolate is to keep it out of reach. Store chocolate in a sealed container on a high shelf, and be sure to keep any wrappers or discarded pieces of chocolate well out of your cat’s reach. If you suspect that your cat has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.

Keep your cat indoors

One of the best things you can do to keep your cat safe is to keep them indoors. This will prevent them from coming into contact with any potential dangers, including chocolate. If you do let your cat outdoors, be sure to supervise them at all times.

Another good way to keep your cat safe is to make sure that any chocolate you have in your home is out of their reach. This means keeping it in a cupboard or on a high shelf where they can’t get to it. You should also be careful not to leave chocolate lying around where your cat could find it.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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