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Cats lack a taste receptor responsible for “sweet” – literally, they can’t taste sweet substances. This makes cats and chocolate an incompatible combination. Compared to your dog, your cat is very unlikely to taste chocolates or try a chocolate cake.
Chocolate and, of course, chocolate cake contain some ingredients that if consumed in high quantities can be toxic for your cat. I am talking about caffeine and theobromine, the last one being responsible for the so-called “chocolate poisoning”.
We must also remember that chocolate contains sugars and fat, resulting in a high energy value. Therefore, its consumption can also lead to rapid weight increase as well as possible increases in glucose and cholesterol levels in blood flow.
Two chocolate components are dangerous for cats.
Theobromine and caffeine stimulants pose no risk to humans but may cause serious problems in both dogs and cats, as they are absorbed more slowly.
Some types of chocolate are worse for cats.
The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated, which means it contains more theobromine. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst for a cat to eat, but semi-sweet and milk chocolate can also cause problems in sufficient amounts. White chocolate does not present any risk because white chocolate contains only traces of theobromine and caffeine.
Can chocolate cake be lethal for a cat?
The chocolate from a chocolate cake contains caffeine, sugars, and theobromine, all of which are poisonous to your cat.
Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid that contributes to that special and distinctive chocolate flavor.
Both caffeine and chocolate theobromine are toxic to other animals, such as dogs and mice.
Felines in particular have an extremely low tolerance to these ingredients found in a chocolate cake and the lethal dose of theobromine in cats is very low. If your cat continues to eat chocolate cake, it will start showing symptoms of “chocolate poisoning”.
The most common symptoms are:
- Rapid and heavy breathing
- Increasing body temperature
Side effects vary depending on the amount of chocolate cake the cat has ingested but may include more serious reactions such as:
- Internal bleeding
- Heart attack
This sounds frightening, but don’t worry just yet.
What happens if a cat eats chocolate cake?
As a result of their difficulty in metabolizing caffeine and theobromine, cats usually encounter digestive problems when eating even small amounts of chocolate cake, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is also possible to notice changes in their normal behavior and symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety, or nervousness due to the stimulant effect of the two substances.
Symptoms of chocolate cake poisoning in cats
Usually, these symptoms occur for up to 24 or 48 hours after consumption, which is the average time required to remove caffeine and theobromine from the body. If the cat has ingested higher quantities of chocolate cake, other more serious consequences may occur, such as convulsions, trembling, lethargy, difficulty in breathing or in motion, and even respiratory failure. When you see any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to go immediately to the veterinary clinic.
When it comes to cats and chocolate cake or just chocolate, the seriousness of the situation depends on how much and what type of chocolate cake your cat ate. The best thing to do is get the advice from your current veterinarian or you can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline Tel: 888-426-4435 to see if the quantity and type of chocolate ingested require medical treatment.
Although the induction of vomits is usually recommended for dogs that ingest certain toxins, the induction of vomits in cats is risky. At no time should you try to make your cat vomit, because it may not be necessary or recommended or may even be considered dangerous, depending on the situation. Always consult a veterinarian if you think your cat has ingested something toxic like chocolate or chocolate cake.
Logically, it is essential to know first aid in the case of poisoning in order to act safely and effectively if our pets consume toxic food or substances. However, given that we are not sure how long it has gone from the ingestion of a substance, the best thing we can do is to take our cat immediately to the veterinary clinic.
Even if cats are unlikely to eat these types of delicacies, it is better to keep the chocolate cake and other types of chocolate-based sweets safe at hand, especially around kittens, which are more likely to experience and eat strange things.