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The chocolate It is one of the most consumed and appreciated sweets around the world, and there are even those who declare themselves addicted to it. Because it is so delicious, some guardians may want to share this delicacy with their feline companions and wonder if cats can eat chocolate.
Although there are some human foods that cats can consume, chocolate is one of the prohibited foods for them, and 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 that contain chocolate and / or its derivatives.
In this AnimalWised article, we'll explain why can't cats eat chocolate, in this way you will be able to get to know your feline companion better and provide them with optimal nutrition. ¡Keep reading! PYou may also be interested in: Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Index
- Why is chocolate bad for cats?
- Effect of chocolate on cats
- What to do if my cat has eaten chocolate?
- My cat has eaten chocolate, should I make him vomit?
Why is chocolate bad for cats?
The main reason why cats cannot eat chocolate is that this food contains two substances that their body is not prepared to digest, which are caffeine and theobromine.
The first substance, the caffeine, It 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, it is a less popular compound that is naturally present in cocoa beans and can also be added artificially to chocolate and its derivative 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, additionally impacting cardiac, respiratory and muscular functions..
In people, moderate consumption of chocolate can offer a stimulating, antidepressant or energizing action. But cats and dogs do not have enzymes to digest chocolate or metabolize these two substances already mentioned. For this reason, drinks and foods containing chocolate or cocoa can 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 rapid weight gain, 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 is why they can also cause allergies in cats. Remember that, contrary to what the legends affirm, milk is not an appropriate food for cats, since the vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant.
Effect of chocolate on cats
As a consequence of their difficulty in metabolizing caffeine and theobromine, cats often show digestive problems after ingesting chocolate, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is also possible to observe alterations in their habitual behavior and symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety, or nervousness, thanks to the stimulating effect of the two substances.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Cats
These symptoms usually appear during 24 or 48 hours later consumption, which is the average time it takes your body to eliminate caffeine and theobromine from your body. In the event that the feline has ingested larger amounts 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 one 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 of this type of food, it is very likely that your feline will not consume this food in your absence, even if you leave it within reach. However, cats are especially curious, so we advise you avoid leaving chocolate within reach or any type of product, food, drink or potentially toxic or allergic substance.
But if for any reason, you suspect that your cat has ingested food or drinks containing chocolate, the best thing you can do is take it immediately veterinarian. At the veterinary clinic, the professional will be able to examine the health of your cat, detect possible symptoms related to this intake and establish an appropriate treatment.
Logically, the treatment will depend on the health status 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 kitten 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 doing a gastric lavage, as well as the possibility of managing drugs to control symptoms that may occur, such as seizures or cardiorespiratory arrhythmias.
My cat has eaten chocolate, should I make him vomit?
Upon perceiving that their cats have consumed a potentially toxic substance, such as chocolate, many guardians immediately think of making them vomit. However, inducing vomiting is only a recommended measure when they have only passed alone 1 or 2 hours from ingestion, Likewise, we will also take into account what substance or food the cat has consumed. After this time, inducing vomiting in cats is not effective in eliminating toxic substances and can damage their digestive tract.
Logically, it is essential to know the 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 long it has been since the ingestion of a substance, the best we can do is take our feline immediately to the veterinary clinic.
In the case of a puppy cat, veterinary attention will be essential, regardless of the time that has passed since consumption and the amount of chocolate ingested..