Chocolate is a tasty deal with for people, however it’s extremely poisonous to many animals, together with cats and canines. This article goals to elucidate the background to chocolate poisoning, serving to cat homeowners to know why it occurs, what may be finished if their cat is affected, and the right way to stop it from taking place within the first place.

Some cats eat chocolate as a deal with, if given an opportunity, though they’re much less doubtless to do that than canines. And typically homeowners prefer to spoil their feline associates by giving treats, and in the event that they have no idea higher, they could provide chocolate.

About Chocolate Poisoning In Cats

Chocolate incorporates so-called methylated xanthine alkaloids or methylxanthines, particularly theobromine and a few caffeine. These chemical substances give people a nice and mildly euphoric feeling, however cats are unable to metabolise them successfully, so ranges quickly enhance within the bloodstream after ingestion, resulting in some severe poisonous results.

How Chocolate Affects Cats

Chocolate toxicity causes a variety of poisonous results in cats, together with central nervous system (CNS) stimulation, elevated pressure and fee of coronary heart contraction, elevated gastric secretions, elevated easy muscle leisure across the physique, and elevated urine manufacturing (diuresis).

How Much Chocolate Is Poisonous?

Toxic doses of theobromine are 20 mg per kg of a cat’s physique weight (9mg/ pound), and a severely poisonous dose is twice this dose (40mg/kg or 18mg/pound).

The botanical identify for the tree that chocolate comes from is Theobroma Cacao, and Cacao is the identify of the seed (also called cocoa bean) which is used to make the varied chocolate merchandise, from Hershey to Cadburys and lots of extra, from Easter eggs to chocolate bars to chocolate drinks.

Different varieties of chocolate comprise totally different quantities of theobromine, which is the principle poisonous element. The darker the chocolate, the extra poisonous. So darkish baking chocolate is extremely poisonous, regular plain chocolate is subsequent, milk chocolate is much less poisonous, and white chocolate incorporates no theobromine, so it’s not poisonous in any respect.

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Specifically, the poisonous doses of theobromine are 20 mg per kilogram of a cat’s physique weight (9mg/ pound), with very extreme toxicity if twice this dose is given (40mg/kg ro 18mg/pound).

  • An common cat weighs round 5kg, so this could imply 100mg whole poisonous dose, or 200mg for extreme toxicity.
  • Milk chocolate incorporates 1.5mg/gram (44 mg per ounce) theobromine, darkish consuming chocolate (also called semi-sweet) incorporates 5mg/gram (150 mg per ounce), and baking chocolate incorporates 14mg/gram (390 mg per ounce), whereas dry cocoa powder incorporates round 2mg/g (56mg/ounce)
  • So poisonous doses of every for a typical 5kg cat can be 66g or 2.3 ounces of milk chocolate, 20g or 0.7 ounces of darkish chocolate, simply 7g or 0.25 ounces of baker’s chocolate, or 50g (simply lower than two ounces) of cocoa powder. And extreme toxicity can be attributable to twice these portions.
  • There are many on-line chocolate toxicity calculators, similar to this one

Most calculators of this kind point out solely canines, as a result of canines are extra generally affected than cats, however cats have the identical sensitivity to chocolate toxicity as canines, so the identical calculations apply.

One additional danger that cat homeowners ought to pay attention to: when cocoa beans are roasted, the shell separates from the bean, and if these shells are gathered, they can be utilized to create cocoa shell mulch, which is then bought for use in gardens. There is a small danger of toxicity if cats occur to ingest cocoa mulch.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Cats

The indicators of chocolate poisoning in cats are many, with vomiting, diarrhea and elevated urination being the commonest ones.

The most important indicators of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, elevated urination, agitation and hyperactivity, trembling, twitching and seizures, muscle tremors, fast respiration, elevated coronary heart fee, with irregular coronary heart rhythms, and in the end loss of life in extreme instances.

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Diagnosis Of Chocolate Poisoning In Cats

​1. Detailed History Taking

A vet will talk about each side of your cat’s background and total care, in addition to taking particulars of when, how a lot, and what sort, of chocolate that has been consumed. The quantity and sort of chocolate that has been eaten is extremely important with a purpose to decide the poisonous danger, and a neighborhood animal poison management heart or a pet poison helpline could also be contacted as a part of this preliminary dialogue to do particular calculations of danger.

​2. Physical Examination

Your veterinarian will test your cat over fastidiously, checking for any indicators suggestive of chocolate poisoning, together with listening for abnormalities to the center fee and rhythm.

​3. Routine Blood Tests

Your DVM veterinarian might perform routine blood work, together with the standard panel of diagnostic assessments, similar to hematology (blood rely) and biochemistry profiles to test for any harm to inside organs by the toxins within the chocolate.

​6. Other Tests

Urine assessments, ECG, blood stress measurement, radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasound could also be carried out to test different elements of your cat’s well being.

Treatment Of Chocolate Poisoning In Cats

Vomiting or gastric lavage, activated charcoal or help remedies can all be efficient methods of eradicating or blocking chocolate from the cat’s system.

Induction of emesis (vomiting) or gastric lavage may be an efficient manner of eradicating any chocolate from the cat’s abdomen if that is carried out promptly sufficient (ideally inside an hour of ingestion).

Activated charcoal might also be beneficial in an try and restrict the absorption of chocolate from the digestive tract.

Otherwise, help remedies are given to counteract the antagonistic results of chocolate toxicity, and it’s very doubtless that your cat will should be an in-patient on the animal hospital for this to be given.

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Sedative sort remedy could also be given to regulate agitation and hyperactivity, in addition to trembling and twitching. If seizures develop, full normal anaesthesia could also be wanted.

If cardiac arrhythmias are current, particular remedy could also be wanted to regulate these.

General supportive therapy can also be necessary, together with intravenous fluids, digestive tract protectants, and different remedy to regulate any indicators that the cat could also be exhibiting.

​Prevention Of Chocolate Poisoning In Cat

Pet homeowners ought to retailer all chocolate safely, out of the attain of pets, and chocolate ought to by no means be given to cats.


Chocolate poisoning is an uncommon poisoning in cats, however it may well occur. If a cat is thought to ingest chocolate in harmful portions, immediate motion by taking the cat to the emergency veterinarian is crucial and may be life saving.

​Frequently Asked Questions

How a lot chocolate is poisonous to cats?

An common cat weighing 5kg, would endure poisoning if 100mg of theobromine was eaten, which is round 66g (2.3 ounces) of milk chocolate, 20g (0.7 ounces) of darkish chocolate, or 7g (0.25 ounces) of bakingchocolate.

How lengthy does chocolate poisoning final in cats?

The indicators of poisoning can begin inside just a few hours of ingestion, and it may well take as much as 4 days for chocolate to work its manner via the cat’s system.

Will my cat die if it eats chocolate?

What ought to I do if my cat eats chocolate?

You ought to use a web-based calculator to work out the chance of toxicity, and in case your cat has consumed a probably poisonous quantity of chocolate, it’s best to contact your native emergency veterinarian instantly.


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