Cat Chocolate Toxicity
From Pet Health Learning Center
Cat Chocolate Toxicity (Cat Chocolate Poisoning)
Most pet owners do not realize that chocolate is just as toxic to cats as it is to dogs. Cats may not, however, gobble down a piece of chocolate, but they would slowly nibble on a piece until it was all gone. Since your cat does not know the chocolate is bad for them, it is up to you are their care taker to make sure that you cat does not have any access to chocolate.
The Type of Chocolate Matters
The type of chocolate your cat consumes matters because different types of chocolate are toxic at different amounts.
- Baking chocolate toxicity can occur at just 0.1 ounce for each pound of body weight. Therefore, if your cat weighs 5 pounds, a mere 0.5 ounces can cause mild toxicity. This means that just one square of baking chocolate could be extremely toxic to your cat.
- Milk chocolate toxicity occurs at around 0.7 ounces for each pound your pet weighs. If you have a 15-pound cat, approximately one pound of milk chocolate can be toxic; however, much less is required for cats since they typically weigh less than 20 pounds.
- Semi-sweet variety of chocolate, which is normally what you use in chocolate chip cookies, toxicity can occur at around 1/3 of an ounce per pound of your cat's weight. If your cat does weigh 20 pounds, just six ounces of semi-sweet chocolate could prove lethally toxic.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
Symptoms normally do not occur for a few hours after ingestion. These symptoms include:
If you suspect or know for certain that your cat has eaten chocolate, it is best to take them to your veterinarian before you see any symptoms. However, if you have been away and your pet sneaks some chocolate and begins showing any symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
The course of treatment depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed. Sometimes, you may not know how much your cat has ingested or even the type of chocolate that was ingested. Your veterinarian will begin administering fluids intravenously; administer medications to help with vomiting, diarrhea, and the stimulant effect your cat may be experiencing. Recovery for chocolate toxicity is very good if your cat is treated properly.
Obviously, you want to make sure you keep anything that has chocolate in it out of your cat's reach. When eating chocolate, be sure not to drop any because your cat will scarf it down faster than you can pick it up off the floor.