Chocolate in Dogs and Cats: A Common Pet Poison: Why Chocolate is Dangerous, Possibly Deadly for Dogs & Cats

Chocolate is one of the most common sweets available for people. There are not too many people who have never enjoyed a chocolate candy bar, chocolate cake, chocolate cookies or other form of chocolate.

Because most people enjoy chocolate, it can be tempting to share our chocolate treats with our pets. However, this may not be advisable. For pets, chocolate can be extremely toxic, potentially resulting in severe and sometimes fatal poisoning.

Why is Chocolate a Poison for Dogs and Cats

Chocolate actually can work as a poison in many different ways for dogs and cats. In mild cases, the high fat and sugar content of chocolate can cause gastrointestinal upset, resulting in an “upset stomach”.

In more severe cases, chocolate can cause a condition known as pancreatitis, an inflammatory response within the pancreas of the dog or cat. Pancreatitis results from the ingestion of high fat foods and chocolate is a food which has a very high fat content.

Pancreatitis in dogs and cats can cause:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lack of appetite
  • dehydration
  • depression
  • abdominal pain
  • death

In addition to acting as a poison for dogs and cats by causing pancreatitis, chocolate also contains a chemical known as theobromine. Theobromine is also a potent poison for dogs and cats and can cause:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • restlessness
  • hyperactivity
  • muscle tremors
  • seizures or convulsions
  • heart arrhythmias which may result in fainting or episodes of dizziness
  • death

How Much Chocolate is Necessary to Result in Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs and Cats

The amount of chocolate which must be consumed by a dog or cat before the chocolate begins to act as a poison depends on the type of chocolate ingested as well as on the size of the dog or cat.

Different forms of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine. Types of chocolate which contain larger quantities of theobromine are stronger poisons than those containing smaller amounts. Generally speaking, the higher the content of chocolate liquor in the chocolate product, the higher the level of theobromine. Higher levels of theobromine in a chocolate product result in increased toxicity and an increased risk of pet poisoning. Cats may be stressed out and claw at their cat scratcher.

Chocolate used in baking is the form of chocolate with the greatest potential for poisoning a pet. Semi-sweet or dark chocolate is slightly less dangerous than baking chocolate. Milk chocolate followed by chocolate flavored cookies and cakes are the chocolate products least likely to act as a poison for dogs and cats, but these types of chocolate can be quite dangerous as well.

How is Chocolate Poisoning Treated in Dogs and Cats

If the chocolate has been recently ingested, it may be possible to induce vomiting to remove the majority of the chocolate from the stomach and prevent the chocolate from acting as a poison. Vomiting can be induced by administering hydrogen peroxide or ipecac syrup by mouth.

If the chocolate was not ingested recently and has already been absorbed from the stomach, it is likely that affected dogs and cats will need to be hospitalized and treated supportively. This treatment will be necessary until the chocolate has been fully metabolized by the pet and is no longer affecting the body systems of the poisoned dog or cat. This may take up to four days or longer to achieve and is not always successful. Chocolate poisoning in pets can be lethal


Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat

Introducing your cat to a new cat can be a challenging event. Given a cat’s nature it is highly likely to start out defensive. Cats prefer to be loners and often not accepting of newcomers. This having been said, there are several things that you can do to try and put the situation in a better light.

First Impressions are Important

You will want to avoid a violent initial meeting because cats can hold onto those feelings and then any additional introductions might be useless. Keeping the animals separate initially is very important. They will likely know each other is there without any help from you.

Familiarize Them with Each Other

If at all possible allow them to eat on opposite sides of a door. This will allow them to slowly smell the other and get used the scent of the other cat. You can even provide each cat with a blanket and then mid way through the period of time they are separated, switch the towels so they can get used to the scent. Trying to get the animals to play with one another under the door or such is a terrific way for them to become familiar with one another.

Time is the Test

Allow this process to continue for several days before deciding to change rooms with the animals, putting them on the opposite side of the wall. This will again allow them to become familiar with each other’s territory. This entire process should take several days to perhaps as much as a week. The last thing you want to do is rush the process. They may react poorly and all the work will be for nothing.

Introduction Time

When the animals are content, such as after eating or while napping, they are less likely to be aggressive. Start by using a screen if at all possible between the two animals. Do this with a bottle of water or a spray bottle in hand in case things should get out of hand. If this process seems to be going well you can attempt to remove the screen and see how things go. If this does not go well, take it back a step and separate them for a time longer.

Run of the House

Now that they have been properly introduced you will want to allow them to tour the house. They may do this in a shy manner at first and then grow more comfortable with one another. Do not be surprised if the cat with the longer tenancy gets offended if the new cat wanders onto some of his favorite territories. Also, try not to be to doubting over the new cat. This may cause some upset feelings by the other feline friend. Keep a close eye on them for a day or so. You may find however, that the cats will never be best friend, lending back to the preferred life of solitude.


Little Known Cat Facts: Get to Know Your Cat as Never Before

Cats truly are riddles wrapped in mystery inside enigmas. They have roamed the earth before man, which lends to our fascination. The more we learn about them, the more fascinating they become. And perhaps the mysterious and independent attitudes cats display causes them to be the most popular domesticated pet. More people share their home with cats than any other animal.

Perhaps also because of their mysterious ways, cats have been worshipped, feared, thought to be gods and witches’ familiars, and have served as household companions since King Tut was a child.

But What Do You Truly Know About Your Cat?

When your pet rubs its head against your ankle, or traces a crazy eight pattern between your feet as you attempt to walk, does it really mean affection or is it a malevolent attempt to trip you? Probably neither.

According to The Complete Cat Book by Paddy Cutts, the truth is, cats do not demonstrate affection by this maneuver and if they wish to do you harm, it will be with teeth and claws. No, this contact simply allows the cat to mark his or her scent upon you. Cats have glands behind their ears which produce a scent distinctive to each individual cat. With its scent upon you, undetectable by human senses, it means you now belong to the cat – so perhaps that reflects affection or at least acceptance.

Cats Have Unique Physical Abilities

They walk on their toes, can jump five times their own height and the domestic cat is the only species of feline that holds its tail vertically while walking. At their fastest, they can run approximately 30 mph.

They perspire through their feet. They breathe about 20 to 30 breaths per minute with a pulse rate of 130-240 beats per minute. Their normal body temperature remains around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. And, most cats are left-handed — or is that left-pawed?

Paw prints may all look alike, but nose prints – now that’s a cause for identification. The ridges on a cat’s nose are as individual as fingerprints to a human.


Have you noticed your cat apparently hyperventilating after having taken a few minutes to do some intense investigative sniffing? It’s called Flehming. It is found in many mammals. Flehming causes the lips to curl back which allows more chemical aromas to register in the Jacobson’s Organ, situated in the roof of the mouth. Most cats look a bit dotty while doing this.

Cleaning Up Cat Urine

A useful bit of information about cat urine: it glows under black or ultraviolet lights. Black lights can be easily purchased at novelty stores and help you find the puddles and demonstrate after cleaning that the urine is truly gone. Cat urine is highly concentrated and requires an enzymatic cleaner such as F.O.N. (Feline Odor Neutralizer) to eradicate it. Never use ammonia based products as this may encourage the cat to reuse that spot for urination.

Cat Eyes

Cats’ eyes are distinctive in that they have three eyelids and the eye is so designed that it makes it easier for cats to see in low lights. It is untrue that they can see in total darkness.

Their eyes, in proportion to body mass, are the biggest of any mammal.

Cat IQ

If your cat will hold still long enough, count the whiskers framing his mouth – the average number is twelve. Some believe that the number of whiskers reflect the cat’s intelligence. No evidence has been established to support this, but it’s fun to consider.


Signs that your cat loves you

Cats fill my life with the much-needed splash of cuteness when I return home from a tiring day at work. This furry friend has been with me for the last 3 years and I can’t thank her enough.

There are some people though who are clueless when understanding their cat. To start with let’s see how a cat conveys its love for you.

Lays down with its tummy facing you:

This is the position which fierce animals like cats take only when they trust the people around. This is when they are most vulnerable and believe me you have to be very special to a cat if it behaves so when you are around.

Brings you a gift:

Cats are naturally fierce predators. They are fed by you now but that doesn’t mean that they will stop hunting. They live their inner predator and catch a prey and guess what they may gift you that prey because it doesn’t understand that a dead rat is not what you want from it, all they know is that they want to give this special thing to you.

Following you:

Yeah cats follow the people they love. Some are simple as they rub against your legs and accidently tripping around you. On the other hand, there are some coy ones that pretend they don’t care but they want to be near you if not directly against your body.

Love bites:

Cats nibble at the people they really love. The bite here signifies their comfort with you. This is what they would do to other cats if they were around and if they do this to you, you are that special person for them.

If the thought of a cat biting at you sounds scary, it’s nothing to be scared of as this mystical creature manages to keep these bites just ticklish with no pain.

That eye contact:

Seriously this is the epitome of love for cats. They don’t care about what is happening around and generally about the world. But through all that if they decide to make eye contact with you, trust me you are very special to them and nothing can ever replace you in their life.