You have most likely seen or heard of a cat that likes milk, cheese, or even cream. Sadly, there are a couple of foods we consume on a regular basis that can be harmful to a cat.
In short, cats can not eat chocolate. This cacao-based treat contains theobromine and caffeine; both toxic substances to cats. It could cause gastrointestinal discomfort, and lead to further health issues later on which is why you should not feed it to your cat.
First, it is important to be aware that some of these delicious treats are actually risky to feed to your cat. We will now see which foods should not be in your cat’s meal plan. We will look into the consequences which can be expected if a cat eats chocolate or any other foods that are not recommended for our feline friends. Surely, chocolate is a favorite to many people, in all its glory and variations. Any form of chocolate can result in different negative symptoms and should not be fed to your cat.
Feeding Chocolate To Cats Is Not A Good Idea
It is not unusual that, as a cat owner, you may have been tempted to spoil or treat your cat with something tasty you think they will enjoy. As delectable as chocolate may be to most humans, it should stay far and away from cats. Theobromine and caffeine are two substances contained in chocolate that are poisonous.. Overexposure to these substances can even lead to heart failure, weakness, or a coma. Milk chocolate and dark chocolate can cause hazardous symptoms such as:
- Increased body temperature
How Much Chocolate Would Kill A Cat?
Being quite small creatures, it does not take much chocolate ingestion for a cat to become overdosed with the harmful ingredients found in this delicious treat. High levels of these poisonous chemicals can definitely intoxicate a cat. The bottom line is that chocolate poisoning acts fast and can kill a cat.
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What Happens If A Cat Eats Chocolate?
If your cat has been exposed to a harmful amount of chocolate, it may start with vomiting and continue with symptoms like restlessness, diarrhea, muscle convulsions, dehydration, rapid breathing, muscle stiffness, and hypothermia. Low blood pressure, seizures, and even cardiac failure can appear in major situations. In just a few hours from the ingestion, these symptoms can arise and worsen as time progresses. If your cat has eaten chocolate and you notice any of these symptoms, here is what you need to do:
- Try to note, as accurately as possible, when the ingestion occurred, how much chocolate and what kind your cat ate. Also, list the manifested symptoms.
- Take it to the veterinarian right away and do not try to stop the vomiting yourself. Vomiting is actually good for the cat to start getting rid of some of the chocolate in her system that hasn’t been digested, and should not be interrupted unless indicated by the veterinarian. Medications may be prescribed to your cat based on the level of the overdose.
- Maintain your cat well hydrated with natural water.
- Feed it bland food, like boiled chicken with rice. This combination is recommended as it will help protect the stomach.
Food That People Normally Feed To Cats
Milk, Cheese, And Other Dairy Products
You are probably familiar with the image of a kitty drinking milk. The truth is, dairy products have been proven to cause a negative effect on cats’ health. The majority of cats are lactose intolerant, leaving them vulnerable to products like milk, cheese, and cream. These products can cause vomiting and diarrhea. You may wonder, what about kittens? These same products containing cow’s milk should be scratched off. In the case of the very young kittens that cannot eat solids yet and do not have their mother’s milk available, it is suggested by veterinarians that they are fed kitten milk formulas. These are made with special essential nutrients that will help them grow and be good to their stomachs.
Raw Eggs, Meat Or Fish
To feed your cat raw eggs, meat or fish may only seem natural if you have a hunting cat. The same as for humans, these raw foods may carry threatening E.coli and salmonella bacteria, causing diarrhea, vomiting, and dullness in cats. Putting your cat in contact with these pathogens can even be deadly. A protein called avidin is also found in raw egg whites. The consumption of this substance can suppress the B vitamin Biotin in the cat which can lead to conditions of the skin and a faded coat.
Do you sometimes find your cat nibbling on your dog’s food? It is not evident that your cat will be at risk if a tasting happens once in a while, however, regularly giving your cat dog food can develop malnutrition. Cats and dogs need different nutrients in order to maintain healthy living. Vitamin A, Taurine, and Arachidonic acid are not present in dog food, but are necessary for cats. Some of the conditions that your cat can suffer from if only eating dog food are:
- Lack of Vitamin A: skin problems, a faded coat, muscular deterioration, or night vision deficiency.
- Lack of Taurine: heart disease, unhealthy coat or skin, and stagnation.
- Lack of Arachidonic acid: liver and kidney problems.
Bread And Yeast
As bread has practically no fat or protein, it has no nutritional value. Even though a little bit of bread consumed on any given occasion does not mean a threat to a cat, it should never substitute their regular cat food. On the other hand, yeast and raw bread dough are not recommended for cats to eat. Once in the cat’s stomach, the dough can rise and result in dangerous digestive problems.
This fish is proven to be an enjoyment to many cats. Once in a while, a serving of tuna is okay as long as it is not a regular treat in your cat’s diet. Tuna does not possess some of the nutrients necessary for cats’ well-being. It also has mercury which can be poisonous if too much of it is consumed. Always avoid cat raw tuna.
Onions And Garlic
These most popular members of the allium family, along with leeks and chives, are known to develop anemia in cats. These herbs are not recommended for cat consumption due to the fact that, in any form, can damage a cat’s red blood cells, cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Always keep in mind that your cat may be looking and wandering around your household and is likely wanting to explore leftover scraps on the floor or kitchen. Always keep those out of reach and well sealed.
It is no surprise that foods containing amounts of beer, liquor, or wine are no good for your cat. Basically, alcohol has the same effect on cats that it has on humans; it affects its liver and brain. The only difference is that it causes harm with much less quantity. As little as two teaspoons of whisky can put a 5-pound cat into a coma; add one teaspoon and it could be killed. The symptoms worsen according to the dose.
Grapes And Raisins
Even though grapes and raisins have often been given to pets as sweet treats, it is not the best idea. Both fruit forms pose kidney failure threats to cats; just a small amount can render a cat sick with continuous vomiting and jumpiness. There may be the occasional case of cats that don’t get sick, however, keeping your cat away from grapes and raisins is safer.
Fat Trimmings And Bones
Left overs or scraps of fat from meat and bones are not recommended for cats to ingest. Whether it is cooked or uncooked, it can be harmful by causing stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea. It is also a possibility that a cat can choke on a bone. Small bones that break can also cause a blockage or scratch the inside of your cat’s digestive system.
Can Cats Eat A Little Bit Of Chocolate?
Now that we have explained what certain foods and substances can do to cats, let us see if not too much of it will be safe to consume. The good news is, most cats will not be attracted by chocolate or eat it on their own. If they are fed chocolate, however, and enticed to eat it, they just might. Even white chocolate contains the toxic substance of theobromine which can be fatal for cats. The highest levels are found in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate and proven to be the deadliest even in small amounts. The smallest quantity of any form of chocolate can possess a risk for cats. The level of poisoning will depend on how much she ate and what type of chocolate it was. For instance, for a ten-pound cat, just a small square of baking chocolate can do as much harm to your kitten as twenty-three wrapped chocolate drops. Basically, it will depend on the cat’s weight, daily diet, and age. No matter the case, you should never trust any amount of chocolate to be good for your cat.
To wrap up, we wish your cat’s heath is never affected by eating chocolate and that you have learned a thing or two on what foods to keep your cat away from. Always remember, “Curiosity kills the cat, and so does chocolate”.