Did you know?


Fidy Says
9th October 2007

Did you know?

posted in Cat Care, Cat Facts, Cat Health |

Did you know that chocolate is poisonous to cats?

Chocolate, or more precisely cacao contains a compound called theobromine which has four different adverse effects on cats:

It is a stimulant which increases the heart rate.
It is a diuretic (increases production of urine) resulting in increased loss of body fluids.
It causes stomach upset.
It acts on the nervous system.

The symptoms will very depending on the amount of chocolate the cat has eaten. The most common symptoms are:  vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive urination, nausea, seizures, irregular heartbeat. A larger dose of chocolate may well cause a coma or death. Symptoms usually start within a few hours of ingestion but can take up to 36 hours. If you think that your cat has eaten chocolate, don’t wait for the symptoms. Try to induce vomiting and contact your vet asap.

Not all chocolates are equally dangerous because different chocolates contain different levels of theobromine. As mentioned above, theobromine is found in cacao, so  the higher the percentage of cacao in the chocolate, the more poisonous the chocolate is. For example, milk chocolate contains 60mg of theobromine per oz whereas dark baking chocolate contains 450mg/oz.  As a general rule, the more cacao in the chocolate, more dangerous the chocolate is. 45-50mg of theobromine per pound of body weight is sufficient to poison a cat; and 45-50mg is just 0.1oz of dark chocolate!

Why is chocolate poisonous to cats?
Whereas humans can metabolize theobromine effectively, cats cannot. If cats are fed with chocolate the theobromine remains in their bloodstream for up to 20 hours. The lack of clearance will result in the accumulation of  theobromine, which will quickly reach toxic levels. Nor are cats the only animals which cannot metabolize theobromine. Chocolate is also toxic to horses, dogs, voles and parrots.

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  1. 1 On March 23rd, 2009, ayesha said:

    thanks for cats care information.

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