Why can’t cats eat chocolate?

The cats are animals that greatly appreciate a varied diet. In fact, while there are various fruits and vegetables that are effective in supplementing the nutritional intake of these pets, there are certain foods to avoid in their bowls as well. This is particularly the case with chocolate. But why is chocolate dangerous for animals?

Why is chocolate dangerous for animals?

Chocolate is dangerous for animals because of its content of substances such as theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline.

It is the cocoa contained in the chocolate which is the cause of this dangerousness. This is because it contains a substance called theobromine, which most animals have difficulty absorbing normally. Theobromine is a molecule that acts as a vasodilator in animals. It dilates their blood vessels by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of these vessels. This causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to death.

In addition to theobromine, chocolate also contains caffeine and theophylline. These have a negative impact on the nervous and respiratory systems of animals. It should, therefore, be remembered that chocolate is dangerous for animals (including cats), because it acts as a poison in their body.

In its opinion of June 10, 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was very clear on the subject. She concluded that the current maximum levels for chocolate could be dangerous for certain animal species. For the safety of your cat, the ideal would, therefore, be to avoid feeding it.

What are the effects of chocolate on the cat’s body?

The effects of this food on the cat’s body vary depending on the amount consumed and the cocoa content of the chocolate. In general, some chocolates contain more cocoa than others, and the consequence of their consumption ranges from simple intoxication to cardio-respiratory complications capable of causing the death of the animal.

The gastrointestinal effects are the first to occur in cats. Indeed, they occur only a few hours after consuming chocolate. The most common symptom is the cat’s abnormal increase in salivation. It can also be observed that the animal vomits a lot. He may eventually have diarrhea.

After the digestive effects, it is the turn of the nervous symptoms to appear in the pet. Here, the cat becomes more nervous than usual. He is very restless, has difficulty breathing properly, is short of breath, and suffers from constant tremors.

Regarding the cardio-respiratory effects, these are the most dangerous for the animal’s organism. They quickly and abruptly lead to the death of the child when they are not quickly taken care of. They are characterized by tachycardia, bradycardia, and tachypnea. These symptoms represent respectively cardiac acceleration, cardiac decrease, and respiratory acceleration of the cat.

However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no sudden cat death without the appearance of symptoms. This is the reason why it is advisable to remain attentive to the unusual behavior of your pet.

What if my cat eats it?

If by carelessness you leave your box of spread open, there is a good chance your cat will eat it. This consumption can be fatal for the cat. That is why you should immediately contact a veterinarian if this happens. This specialist is able to prescribe an adequate treatment according to the symptoms presented by the animal. Since there is no antidote for theobromine, the veterinarian will proceed with eliminatory and symptomatic treatment to treat the cat.

Treatment by elimination

For the veterinarian, this is to expel the theobromine residues from the cat’s body. This expulsion can be by vomiting or urine. Treatment by elimination can be carried out:

  • making the animal vomit
  • by performing gastric lavage
  • by performing fluid therapy (infusion).

Nevertheless, it is important to know that in this type of treatment, the infusion is systematic. It helps the animal to evacuate intoxicated molecules through urine.

Symptom treatment

Here, it is for the veterinarian to treat your animal according to the symptoms that it presents. Very often this is the case with cardiac and nervous symptoms. Thus, the use of certain drugs to calm the pain, digestive symptoms, heart, and counter convulsions of the cat is required. These include:

  • anti-diarrheal drugs,
  • gastric dressings,
  • analgesics,
  • valium,
  • lidocaine, etc.

Self-medication on your cat is strongly discouraged in such situations. This could make matters worse and cause the animal to pass away. The ideal is to call the veterinarian. He alone is authorized to prescribe the dosage and treatment adapted to the case of your animal. He will also give you advice on how to vary your cat’s diet to maintain good health.



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