Can cats eat chocolate?

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El chocolate It is one of the most consumed and appreciated sweets around the world, having even those who declare themselves addicted to it. Because it is so delicious, some tutors may want to share this delicacy with their feline companions and wonder if cats can eat chocolate.

While there are some human foods that cats can consume, chocolate is one of the foods forbidden to them, which can seriously harm their health and well-being. For this reason, we should never offer or leave within reach of our felines food or drinks containing chocolate and / or its derivatives.

In this article, we will explain why cats can not eat chocolate, in this way you can get to know your feline companion better and provide optimal nutrition. Keep reading! P

Why is chocolate bad for cats?

The main reason why cats can not 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 seeds and can also be added artificially to chocolate and its by-products during industrial manufacturing.

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

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

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

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

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Effect of chocolate on cats

As a consequence 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 your 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 the 24 or 48 hours later to consumption, which is the average time it takes your body to eliminate caffeine and theobromine from the body. In the case that the cat has ingested larger quantities 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 eaten chocolate?

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 feline will not consume this food in your absence, even if you leave it at your fingertips. However, cats are especially curious, so we advise you avoid leaving chocolate at your fingertips 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 veterinarian. In the veterinary clinic, the professional can examine the state of health of your cat, detect possible symptoms related to this intake and establish an appropriate treatment.

Logically, the treatment will depend on the state of health 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 pussycat does not present more serious symptoms and maintains its good health.

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

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My cat has eaten chocolate, should I make him throw up?

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

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

If it is a puppy cat, veterinary attention will be essential, 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 in our section of Feeding problems.

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