Why Chocolate is Toxic for Your Cat

Giving your cat chocolate will cause an allergic reaction at the very least, because chocolate is a toxic food for them.

Chocolate - Feline Poison

Cats and dogs will develop severe allergies and can even die from the ingestion of chocolate. The main reason for that is a compound in chocolate - theobromine, which is a drug from the class known as Methylxanines. Chocolate may also contain caffeine which can be poisonous for animals.

The caffeine and theobromine will stimulate the cardiovascular and nervous system of the cat and will increase the blood pressure. Cats with high blood pressure are more at risk to develop complications after eating chocolate.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

If a cat has ingested chocolate and has poisoning, you will notice nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, nervousness, excitement or irritability, excessive thirst and seizures. In severe cases of poisoning the cat enters a coma or dies.

The symptoms occur within the first 12 hours after eating chocolate. If you see your cat ingest a large amount of chocolate or you have given your cat chocolate on purpose you should go to the vet immediately.

Toxic Chocolate Dosage

There are certain chocolates with less theobromine and caffeine (i.e. white chocolates), so those will be less toxic for the cat.

A dosage of 50 to 100 mg of theobromine per pound of body weight can be fatal to your cat. Cases of severe poisoning were reported at even lower levels of theobromine, which leads to the conclusion that the levels that are deadly depend on the strength of the immune system of your cat.

Regular milk chocolate contains between 40 to 65 mg of theobromine per ounce. A small chocolate chip will probably not harm your cat, but a chocolate bar will.

In any case, keep your pet away from any type of chocolate.

Chocolate Toxicity Treatment

If your cat has ingested chocolate in considerable amounts, pay a visit to the vet emergency room. An antidote for theobromine hasn't been invented yet, but the vet will prescribe IV fluids to eliminate the theobromine from the cat's system and heal the dehydration caused by vomiting or diarrhea. The cat will receive some activated charcoal to absorb the toxic substances.

Your cat might also receive some emetics to vomit the ingested chocolate. These are administrated if you take your cat within 4 hours after he eats chocolate.

If the cat presents seizures or muscle spasms, he will be given anti-seizure medication.

Cardiac medication might also be needed for cats with irregular pulse.