My cat has eaten chocolate. What to do in case of poisoning?

No, don’t let your cat consume sweets and less chocolate. Chocolate 🍫 is one of the forbidden foods , it is like  poison for your cat .

I don’t know if it has ever happened to you, but my cat likes milk with “Cola-Cao”, I realized this when my son told me that the cat drank the “Cola-Cao” that he dropped in tray when he had breakfast. This became a daily habit, the two of them had fun, so I let it go.

This curious fact, taking into account that my cat does not taste “human food”, led me to look for an explanation on the Internet.

I did not find anything related, but I did read that chocolate is a toxic product for cats . I started to worry. Because of this concern, I write this article to warn of the danger that your cat has eaten chocolate.

Why is chocolate poisonous to cats?

The chocolate is even more dangerous for cats than for dogs, because of their relatively small size. We must be aware of the danger of chocolate and what you should do if your pet eats it, because it is like a poison for your cat .

There are fewer cases of poisoning in cats, but it is because they are less likely to consume “human food”.

The cacao plant, from which chocolate is made, contains caffeine and a compound called theobromine . Despite its name, it does not contain bromine. It is an alkaloid, which is a natural chemical compound found in plants. The chemical formula for theobromine seems harmless enough, but it is a time bomb in a cat’s body.

The theobromine causes in the body of the cat:

  • Incrise of cardiac frecuency.
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • It acts as a diuretic that increases fluid loss.
  • Stimulates the nervous system.
  • Relax your smooth muscles.

The human body can metabolize theobromine , but felines cannot , the compound can remain in a cat’s bloodstream for nearly 24 hours after ingesting chocolate, and because the body cannot eliminate it, poisonous build-up leads to disease and, in some cases, causes death.

 

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What is the lethal dose of theobromine in cats?

The lethal dose of theobromine poisoning is as little as 100-200 mg  per kg  of body weight and 15  mg per kg of body weight for caffeine.

Ingestion of theobromine lower than the lethal dose can also cause acute and life-threatening symptoms. As I have already indicated, caffeine is also toxic to cats, however the levels of caffeine in chocolate are quite low and cats metabolize this much faster than theobromine .

Veterinarians often report an increase in chocolate poisoning cases in cats during holiday periods like Easter and Christmas, where well-meaning pet owners share their treats. If you suspect or know that your cat has ingested chocolate, seek veterinary advice immediately. The earlier a cat is treated, the better the outcome.

Another less discussed problem with chocolate is its high fat content that can cause  pancreatitis in cats.  This is an extremely painful disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed due to the inappropriate activation of digestive enzymes that begin to break down the pancreas. There are a number of causes, including high levels of fat in the blood (hyperlipidemia).

 

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

The severity of symptoms a cat may experience after eating chocolate will often depend on the amount of chocolate that was ingested and the type of chocolate . Of the various types of chocolate found in the home, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and baking chocolate are the most toxic to cats.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Throwing up
  • Weakness
  • Fast breathing
  • High temperature
  • Muscular stiffness
  • Increased reflex response
  • Convulsions
  • Heart attack
  • Eat

There are also some symptoms that the cat owner may not be able to identify, such as low blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. These symptoms can only be discovered by a veterinarian.

 

Diagnosis of chocolate intake

If you think your cat has ingested chocolate, or if you notice that he shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should take him to the vet immediately.

Your vet will perform a complete physical exam, as well as a urinalysis, electrolyte panel, chemical blood profile, and ECG to see if your cat’s heart shows signs of abnormality. Urinalysis plays an important role in the diagnosis of chocolate poisoning because the results will tell the vet if your cat has overdosed on caffeine or theobromine.

 

Treatment of intoxication due to chocolate

There is no antidote to chocolate poisoning in cats . Treatment is aimed at removing chocolate from the stomach if possible or preventing further absorption. Unfortunately, theobromine is reabsorbed through the urinary bladder, so it may be necessary to continue treatment for up to 24 hours to ensure complete elimination.

Treatment will include:

Induce vomiting:  if the ingestion of chocolate has been within 2 hours.

Administer activated charcoal:  this prevents any further absorption of theobromine.

Intubation and artificial ventilation  : for cats that have difficulty breathing.

Intravenous fluids –  to treat dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea and to help flush out toxins by increasing urine output.

Medicines to control tremors and seizures: such  as diazepam or a barbiturate.

Urinary catheter:   to avoid the reabsorption of toxins.

Heart monitoring:   If the heart rate is elevated, medications to slow it down, such as beta-blockers, may be prescribed.

Once you can bring your cat home, you should feed him a soft diet for a few days after receiving the treatment, according to the indications prescribed by the veterinarian. You should also take the necessary steps to ensure that your cat cannot consume chocolate again.

Alternatives to chocolate for cats

If you want to give your cat chocolate as a gift, there are alternative “chocolate flavored” treats for cats that are produced by some pet food manufacturers.

They will use a custom made plant substitute that will taste like chocolate, will eliminate theobromine, or will use very low and safe levels in the chocolate treats they produce.

While a very small amount of chocolate may not be harmful to some cats, it is always safer not to give them anything.

conclusion

I have always read that it is not advisable to feed dogs chocolate. So is it applicable to our cats? Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

The easy answer is yes. Sure, you can give your cat a piece as a reward, but try to avoid it .

With all the symptoms and negative consequences that eating it can cause, you’ll feel a little better if your cat stays away from it entirely .

Cats are less likely to  be attracted  to chocolates because they cannot appreciate sweetness like dogs . Cats can also digest and break down theobromine a little faster. This are good news. But remember that the toxic threshold for cats is lower than that for dogs.

 

 

 

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