How Toxic Is Chocolate For Cats?

By November 16 | See Comments

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We all know that chocolate can be deadly for our canine friends. But what about our cats? Is this delicious human treat safe for cat consumption? Cats are not as curious as dogs when it comes to food. They usually just eat what they’re given and don't really bother about the other things. But sometimes, even cats can be minimalistic foodies. So if they just happen to stumble upon some left over baking chocolate carelessly left on the counter, can ingestion be as fatal as it is for dogs?Although the dangers of ingesting chocolate are not as dire in cats as it is in dogs, some properties in chocolate can still be toxic. The caffeine and theobromine that are found in chocolate are especially problematic when ingested by cats. When your cat eats chocolate that contains high amounts of these properties, she may experience a number of medical symptoms and complications which can sometimes even be quite serious.

Causes And Symptoms

If you’re unsure of whether your cat has indeed ingested chocolate, watch out for these symptoms to be sure.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • An increase in body temperature
  • An increase in reflex responses
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rigid muscles
  • An increase in heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Sometimes your cat can even sow really serious signs like weakness, cardiac failure, and coma depending on how much chocolate she has had.

The symptoms can vary in accordance with the type and amount of chocolate that she was exposed to. Some chocolates are especially more poisonous to cats like milk chocolates, baking chocolates, and semi-sweet chocolates.

Diagnosis

The first thing you should do if you think your cat might be suffering from chocolate poisoning is take her to the vet immediately. You might not know the severity of her condition and only a vet will be able to properly determine and diagnose her. You vet will conduct a thorough physical examination. He will also include a chemical blood profile, urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel. The urinalysis will help the vet determine the amount of caffeine and theobromine that your cat has had and whether she has overdosed on either of these substances.In some cases, to be sure without a doubt, your vet may even order an ECG to help determine whether your cat’s heart is functioning properly or if it is showing any abnormalities in its rhythm, or its conduction of heart beats.

Treatment

Remember that cats also need reassurance so while they’re being evaluated by the vet, try to keep them calm and cool. The symptoms will only escalate if the cat is put under too much stress. Your vet could also recommend that you induce vomiting to get rid of all the toxins before it causes any serious symptoms. Keep your pet hydrated and only feed her bland foods for the following week.Try to keep any chocolate out of reach from your kitty. Cats are not as curious about food as dogs are but if they find it, what’s to stop them from having a taste? Take special caution not to accidentally feed her anything that might contain chocolate.

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