Chocolate is loved by all of us, and undoubtedly, it is completely safe for our body. Whether it is Valentine’s Day or a birth anniversary, we generally offer chocolates to our dear ones. As we like to eat chocolate, we also often want to give this tasty food to our pets, like cats. But, we do not know whether this is really riskless for the health of any species of the cats.
Dogs may have the capability to consume almost any kind of food. Thus, it is also likely that they may be able to ingest large bars of chocolates of any category. On the other hand, the feline animals are generally considered to be very finicky eaters. Therefore, even when you have given chocolate in any occasion, it must be limited to a small portion.
Effects of the ingredients of chocolate
Any chocolate has some amount of chemicals that may be toxic for cats or many other pets, in few cases. To say more precisely, the chocolate, or the cacao holds a substance, known as theobromine, and this substance may cause four kinds of negative effects on the felines-
- This is some stimulant that augments the pet’s heart rate
- This is diuretic, and leads to the higher flow of all body fluids
- This may cause distress in stomach
- Besides, it can also affect the cat’s nervous system.
Science behind theobromine
Though the name of the substance is theobromine, it doesn’t have bromine. This is a kind of alkaloid that belongs to methylxanthine group. A different component of the same group is caffeine. In fact, the alkaloids are amines, which are generally created by plants, though presently, amine is formed from fungi and animals.
The term- theobromine has been extracted from the word, Theobroma, a kind of cacao plant that is comprised of the two words- one is the Greek term, theo (that means God), while other one is broma (which means food). Overall, it denotes food of gods. However, for the feline animals, this substance is never appropriate.
Is every chocolate type equally toxic?
All the chocolates may not be dangerous at equal level as various kinds of chocolates consist of the diverse amount of theobromine. This theobromine may be present in cacao. Thus, when the proportion of the cacoa, present in the chocolate is higher, the chocolate can also be more toxic. For instance, any milk chocolate has theobromine of about 60 Mg, while dark colored roasting chocolate has nearly 450mg per oz. In general, the level of risk in the chocolate depends on the level of cacao. Forty five to fifty milligram theobromine for one pound weight of a body is enough to harm a kitty.
It is a fact that the milk chocolate and white chocolate may have quite less amount of poisonous components than what you can found in cocoa seeds or baking chocolate.
Our body has the ability in the metabolization of theobromine efficiently. However, dogs and cats cannot do so. While the felines are provided with chocolate, this substance stays in their blood for maximum twenty hours. Moreover, if there is no clearance, it may cause theobromine accumulation, and it reaches deadly levels very fast.
Symptoms that may be seen after eating chocolate
Symptoms may differ on the basis of the chocolate pieces, the pet has eaten. Some of the common syndromes include diarrhea (as with cats eating pineapples), vomiting, too much urination, seizures nausea, and an unbalanced heartbeat. A higher dosage of chocolate will perhaps lead to death or coma.
Usually, these symptoms begin within some hours of the intake of chocolate. However, it can also take about one day to reveal the symptoms. While you consider that the kitty has consumed chocolate, you should not wait until the appearance of the symptoms. Get in touch with a vet at once. The level of toxicity differs, according to the quantity of chocolate consumed by cat. Thus, the veterinarian may ask you about this amount and the weight of the cat.
Diagnosis of the poisoning with theobromine
Diagnosis is based on record of physical signs, exposure, and chemical recognition of alkaloid elements in the blood serum, stomach and urine. If possible, you should try to take a specimen of your pet in order to show it to the vet. It may help to do the diagnosis properly.
How the condition is cured by the vets
Depending on how severe the level of poisoning is, the vet may try to manage the clinical symptoms, related to the toxicity. When the cat has consumed the chocolate bar just recently (within 2 hours), the experienced vet will perhaps encourage the vomiting in your pet. Or, he may also direct charcoal in order to keep away from any more poisoning. Medications may also be given to reduce the adverse effects, like seizures or tremors. And if the case is more serious, the vet may recommend artificial ventilation for your feline friend. The cat may also require constant observation of the cardiac activity, in these grave situations.
If you like to get your cat the best treats during the Christmas and Easter, you may choose Easter eggs or the treats, which are designed especially for the felines.
Follow the regular treats made for pets
Your cats may be high fond of eating chocolates. But, as its owner, you must be conscious of its health and mood. That is why you can buy some products, which have the taste exactly like a chocolate. With these products, you can make your cat happier. However, still, it is better to follow the regular cat foods.
All your family members have to be well-informed and recognize the dangers of any chocolate in the matter of treating the pets. In fact, chocolate is never suitable for the dental health of the cats. The tolerable quantity of chocolate pieces for the felines must be firmly restricted zero.
Where the chocolate or its ingredients may be available
The chocolates are found not only in the baked products but in your garden also. If your household has any cat, you must not grow cocoa bean mulch in the garden because this substance consists of the theobromine, which is poisonous to the cats.
We all know the fact that accident may happen at any time. For instances, your cats may wish to have the flavor of the holiday chocolate that you have in your room. Or, you canine friend also may dig through the garden area and consume some amount of cocoa mulch. Thus, you have to be careful in every way that your cat or any other furry animal is away from your stocks of chocolates.
When you have some more complicated questions and problems, you must try to visit the clinic of veterinarian for the checkup of your cat. The vets are the best persons to maintain the well-being and health of all the pets.
Lastly, remember that the cats are not the only creatures that cannot tolerate theobromine. The animals, like parrots, voles and horses also should keep away from chocolate. Thus, if you have any of these animals in your house, you must keep them away from all types of the chocolates or the chocolate-based products. Chips are not good cat treats either.