There is almost nothing better than a sweet, decadent, gooey chocolate dessert melting in your mouth. My favorite chocolate item is a hot lava cake with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some days I wish I could share this amazing dessert with my pets!
Sometimes when finishing up my favorite dessert, I notice that my cat is sitting next to me, eyeing my food.
Occasionally I wonder if I can share my great food, and I remember that there could be some problems if my cat eats chocolate. But can my cat eat chocolate?
After some careful research, it was evident that there are some important things to know when you are thinking about sharing chocolate with your cat.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate?
Where Does Chocolate Come From?
Chocolate is derived from the cacao plant, which grows in multiple West African countries, along with other very warm climates like Peru and the Caribbean.
The cacao bean is what chocolate is made from, a process that includes a lot of human work and processing to create.
Once the beans are picked from the trees, the beans are fermented, dried, then they are cleaned and packed up to ship to the next level of processing.
When the beans are sold again, they are processed again, which includes crushing them, removing the shells.
The beans are then roasted and ground up into powder and made into cocoa liquor, cacao butter, and cocoa powder.
The entire process involves many people, multiple continents, travel, and tremendous processing, all to make one of the most beloved treats in the world – chocolate.
Benefits of Cats Eating Chocolate
Although chocolate is a decadent treat for humans, it is an absolute no for cats. Your cat may even sit near you and beg for some chocolate, but the dangers far out way the nonexistent benefits.
Even if your cat seems interested and excited to try some chocolate, this is one of the situations that you must say no.
Chocolate in any form must be kept away from your cat.
Dangers of Cats Eating Chocolate
Similar to dogs, cats cannot digest the chemical properties in chocolate, which can act as a poison to them.
Chocolate contains the chemicals theomobrine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to your cat.
These two chemicals are stimulants that cats cannot tolerate.
Chocolate has different levels of these chemicals based on the darkness of the chocolate.
What that means is that there is a big difference between chocolate candy and dark chocolate with a high level of cacao.
The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it can be.
If you think your cat has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian to ensure that there are no emergency measures that need to be taken.
If you are worried that your cat has eaten some chocolate, you should monitor them for signs of toxicity seen below:
- Rapid breathing
- Restless behavior
If at any time your cat exhibits these behaviors, it is important to contact a professional immediately. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to significant illness or death for your cat.
Although it may seem unfair, there is no reason for your cat to eat chocolate, and as we have seen, chocolate can kill them.
Ensuring that your cat does not have access to chocolate is very important. Keeping chocolate locked up, especially baking chocolate, is critical to keeping your cat healthy.
Instead of chocolate, try to find something else for them to eat. There are many great cat treats that you can give your cat if you feel the need for them to have something special.