It is probably not a good idea to treat the cats with chocolates, as it can lead to food poisoning and in extreme cases, it might result in death. Cats themselves never go for chocolates but if coaxed by the owners might try it. This can be really harmful as well as dangerous for cats as it results in serious consequences.
So as a cat owner one should be very alert that cats have no access to chocolates. We must keep chocolates in a well-secured place, out of the reach of cats. This is essential to keep cats out of danger.
Is Chocolate Bad For Cats?
Chocolates can be toxic to cats because of the two ingredients caffeine and theobromine present in them. Both of the ingredients are harmful to cats and can even be fatal if taken in large amounts. The level of toxicity greatly depends on the type and quantity ingested by the cat.
How Much Chocolate Is Toxic to Cats? As per the research, the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is due to the higher level of cocoa. Consequently dark chocolate poses a greater risk of poisoning; however white chocolate is not of much concern as it does not contain cocoa solids. So it is advisable not to feed cats chocolates, not even chocolate ice cream as it not only contains deleterious ingredients like chocolate but also lactose and sugar from milk which is highly unfavourable for your cat.
What are the most obvious symptoms of the toxicity and how to spot them?
Cats like dogs are far more sensitive to chocolate as compared to humans, ingestion of even a little amount will result in serious symptoms. It generally takes around 2-4 hours for the symptoms to appear but can take as long as 24 hours.
Chocolate toxicity in cats results in a plethora of symptoms ranging from diarrhoea, which is probably the first sign, to hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, seizures and death in extreme cases. Thus it is essential to give prompt treatment to cats in case of chocolate toxicity and one should not take it lightly.
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What to Do If Your Cat Experiences Chocolate Toxicity?
As a cat owner if you come across such a situation, then you must note how and where the poisoning took place. This is important for the cure of poisoning. Then rush to a veterinarian, as there can be some lethal consequences of the toxicity which the doctor can treat accurately. The doctor needs to start an immediate treatment, which usually begins with medically-induced vomiting which is the first step to tackle this situation.
Generally, doctors use hydrogen peroxide injection to do so. The later treatment will depend on the symptoms and results of the test conducted on your pet. In certain cases depending on the severity of toxicity doctors sometimes give charcoal to absorb the toxins from the cat’s body.
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In extreme cases, vets might need to give a fluid drip which is very helpful. If you are not able to take your pet to a vet immediately due to some reason, then you must contact the vet on the phone. He can guide you to start some home remedies till the time you reach the hospital for the required treatment. But be sure to carry on with the medication under the vet’s guidance. With timely and proper treatment most of the cats recover with no visible later symptoms.
Why is Chocolate Poisonous For Cats?
There are few precautions that we need to take to avoid our adorable cats getting into trouble. Never feed your pet chocolates or any other products that have chocolate. Children in the house also need to be aware of the dangerous side effects of chocolate intake so that they are also careful while consuming chocolate.
All the chocolates should be kept in the locked cupboards and if possible these cupboards should be at a height where cats have no access. Along with that, proper care should be taken for the disposal of chocolate wrappers as the cats might take them out of the garbage bins which can be quite risky.
Are there other food items that can be threatening to the cats like chocolates?
Yes, there are a few more items that can be toxic for cats like chocolate. So you as an owner need to be careful with these items which include; grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, raw dough and uncooked eggs. Although cats are not interested in these items, it is not a good idea to leave them around with such food, which can lead to serious problems.
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Healthier Options For Your Furry Friend
To have a healthy cat, doctors generally advise a diet rich in protein, a moderate amount of fat and a minimal amount of carbohydrate. Cats also need few nutrients to stay healthy, namely vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids.
All these daily requirements can be fulfilled by a diet that includes meat or meat by-products, poultry, grains, fish meal, berries, unseasoned rice, carrots, green beans and soybean. Canned food is a good option as it has high moisture content. However, it can be a little expensive to always go for canned food. In other words, a nutritious balanced diet is mandatory to keep your cat healthy.
In a nutshell, the answer to the question of whether cats can eat chocolate is a big no. This is due to the harmful ingredients present in them which can be deadly for cats. So avoid giving chocolate and products that have chocolate, to have a happy and fit cat who brings joy to our otherwise stressful life. They also provide unconditional love and companionship in their owner’s life.