Animals

Why cats can't eat chocolate

If you are one of those cat owners who simply can't resist pampering their pets, then you could even give your kitten a chocolate gift to make him happy.

Why is it a bad idea? Let's find out.

Cats are curious

They will not miss the opportunity to smell, explore and taste whatever you are eating, especially if they are spoiled and know that you cannot resist sharing your food with them.

But nevertheless, cats have very particular nutritional needs. They need a diet rich in meat and protein, and certain vitamins and amino acids that their bodies do not produce on their own.

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and offers protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron and other important nutrients. It has several health benefits for humans as it affects our nervous system, blood pressure, blood circulation and skin tissue.

Unfortunately, Felines are useless.

In fact, chocolate can be lethal to cats

Chocolate contains caffeine, sugars and theobromine, all of which are poisonous to your cat.

Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid that contributes to that special and distinctive chocolate flavor.

Both caffeine and chocolate theobromine are also toxic to other animals, such as dogs and mice.

The felines in particular they have an extremely low tolerance towards these ingredients and the lethal dose for theobromine cats is very low. If your cat continues to eat chocolate, it will begin to show symptoms of chocolate poisoning.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sickness
  • Fast breathing
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Panting

Side effects vary depending on the amount of chocolate the cat has ingested, but may include more serious things, such as:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Death

This all sounds scary, but don't worry yet.

Why is chocolate bad for cats?

The main reason why cats cannot eat chocolate is that this food contains two substances that your body is not prepared to digest, which are caffeine and theobromine.

The first substance, the caffeine, is well known for being present in numerous foods and beverages that we consume daily, especially in coffee and its derivatives. The theobromine, in turn, is a less popular compound that is naturally present in cocoa beans and can also be added artificially to chocolate and its derived products during industrial manufacturing.

Why is theobromine added to chocolate? Basically because, along with caffeine, this substance is responsible for producing this feeling of happiness, pleasure, relaxation or stimulation We feel when eating this food. Although it is less potent than caffeine, theobromine has a longer effect and acts directly on the nervous system, further impacting cardiac, respiratory and muscle functions.

In people, moderate consumption of chocolate can offer a stimulating, antidepressant or energizing action. But cats and dogs they don't have enzymes to digest chocolate or metabolize these two substances already mentioned. For this reason, drinks and foods containing chocolate or cocoa can reach intoxicate the organism of our feline companions.

We must also remember that chocolate contains sugars and fats in its elaboration, resulting in a high energy value. Therefore, its consumption can also lead to rapid weight gain, as well as possible elevations in glucose and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

In addition, commercial chocolates usually include milk in their nutritional formula, so they can also cause allergy in cats. Remember that, contrary to what the legends claim, milk is not an appropriate food for cats, since the vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant.

Effect of chocolate on cats

As a result of their difficulty in metabolizing caffeine and theobromine, cats usually show digestive problems after eating chocolate, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is also possible to observe alterations in their habitual behavior and symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety or nervousness, thanks to the stimulating effect of the two substances.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats

Usually, these symptoms appear during 24 or 48 hours later to consumption, which is the average time it takes for your body to eliminate caffeine and theobromine from the body. In the event that the feline has ingested larger amounts of chocolate, other more serious consequences may appear, such as seizures, tremors, lethargy, difficulty breathing or moving, and even a respiratory failure. When observing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to go immediately to the veterinary clinic.

What to do if my cat has>

Since cats do not perceive the sweet taste and have developed a natural rejection towards this type of food, it is very likely that your cat does not consume this food in your absence, even if you leave it within reach. However, cats are especially curious, so we advise you avoid leaving chocolate within reach or any type of product, food, drink or potentially toxic or allergic substance.

But if for some reason, you suspect that your cat has ingested food or drinks that contain chocolate, the best thing you can do is take it immediately to the vet. In the veterinary clinic, the professional can examine the health status of your cat, detect possible symptoms related to this intake and establish an appropriate treatment.

Logically, the treatment will depend on the health status of each cat and the amount of chocolate consumed. If it is a small and harmless dose, only clinical observation may be necessary to verify that the pussy has no more severe symptoms and maintains good health.

But your cat has taken high doses, the veterinarian will analyze the feasibility of making a gastric lavage, as well as the possibility of administering drugs to control the symptomatology that may occur, such as seizures or cardiorespiratory arrhythmias.

My cat has>

When they perceive that their cats have consumed some potentially toxic substance, such as chocolate, many tutors immediately think of making them vomit. However, vomiting induction is only a recommended measure when they have only passed by 1 or 2 hours from ingestionLikewise, we will also consider what substance or food the cat has consumed. After this time, inducing vomiting in cats is not effective in eliminating toxic substances and can damage your digestive tract.

Logically, it is essential to know the first aid in case of poisoning to act safely and effectively in case our minines consume food or toxic substances. However, since we are hardly certain about how much time has passed since the ingestion of a substance, the best we can do is take our cat immediately to the veterinary clinic.

In the case of a puppy cat, veterinary care will be indispensable, regardless of the time that has passed since consumption and the amount of chocolate ingested.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat chocolate?, we recommend that you enter our section on feeding problems.