Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Is It Bad For Them And Will It Make Them Sick?

If you’re one of those cat owners who simply cannot resist spoiling their pets, then you may even give your feline furball a chocolate treat just to make it happy.

Bad idea!

Why is it a bad idea? Can cats eat chocolate? Let’s find out.

Cats Are Curious

They won’t miss their chance to sniff, explore, and taste whatever you’re eating, especially if they’re spoiled and they know you just can’t say no to sharing your food with them.

However, cats have very particular nutritional needs. They need a diet abundant in meat and protein and certain vitamins and amino acids that their bodies don’t produce by themselves.

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

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do felines any good.

In Fact, Chocolate Can Be Lethal To Cats

Chocolate contains caffeine, sugars, and theobromine – all of which are poisonous to your precious feline friend.

Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid which contributes to that special, distinctive chocolatey taste.

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

Felines in particular have an extremely poor tolerance towards these ingredients and the lethal dosage of theobromine for cats is really low. If your cat keeps eating chocolate it will start showing symptoms of chocolate poisoning.

The most common symptoms are:

  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting,
  • nausea,
  • rapid breathing,
  • increased body temperature, and
  • panting.

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

  • internal bleeding,
  • seizures,
  • arrhythmia,
  • heart attack, or even
  • death.

All of this sounds frightening, but don’t panic just yet!

Cats Can’t Taste Sweet

Felines don’t have a sweet receptor on their tongue’s taste buds. This means that they can’t actually taste chocolate as a form of a sweet treat. Thus, cats won’t see chocolate as a guilty pleasure.

Furthermore, most furballs are so capricious that there’s a huge possibility your kitty will never feel tempted to lick the chocolate even if you allow your pet to sniff a block of chocolate or some other similar treat.

Regardless of the fact that kitties can’t taste sweet stuff, cats are nothing if not contrary! So in rare cases, some may develop a liking towards chocolatey food items if they’re given the chance to try one.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate?

Consult with your vet immediately and take your cat for a thorough evaluation and check-up as soon as you can. If your precious furball has swallowed the chocolate recently (in the last few hours), the vet may try to induce vomiting.

This will prevent the chemicals and ingredients from being absorbed and digested.

You’ll need to make sure that your kitty is getting as much fresh water as possible in the following days. After your vet has treated your pet against chocolate poisoning, it may need a change of diet for a few days

The best way to prevent your kitty from going through the suffering of chocolate poisoning is to always keep the chocolate in your home out of your feline furball’s reach.

Even though a tiny one-time chocolate snack won’t necessarily hurt your furry pet, the chemicals and ingredients found in chocolate are toxic and can be lethal if too much is ingested. If you want to serve tasty treats to your cat and spoil it, always opt for high quality cat food and kitty treats. Don’t ever make a habit out of sharing your food with your furry friend. Chocolate isn’t the only dangerous human food for felines!

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

2 thoughts on “Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Is It Bad For Them And Will It Make Them Sick?”

  1. Just reading this article before giving our previous puss an overdue Christmas treat. Thankfully we did. If chocolate is so dangerous for cats why oh why were Lidl selling these WHITE CHOCLATE MICE by Rosewood, called Cupid and Comet, specially for cats. Ingredients listed: Milk and Dairy Products (40%) Oils and Fats, Sugar Minerals.

    • Milk chocolate is not actually chocolate. It has no coco bean in it and I don’t think it has caffeine. They make milk chocolate treats for dogs, but cats are mostly lactose intolerant so I’d avoid giving them any milk other than kitten milk ( which adults love just as much)

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