Cat lover. Chocolate lover. My kids have paws. I am a mother to the two most amazing and cutest cats, Zeus and Apollo. I feel beyond blessed to have such sweet pets and dote on them every day. I am feline good. Unless, of course, they get into something that would be detrimental to their health. Humans eat many tasty things. Of course, our furry ones want to try them. For some, they just want to share whatever they are snacking on with their furry babies. Chocolate may have its health advantages for people, but it certainly does not for animals. So what if a cat happens to get a morsel of Chocolate? Do they need to be taken to the vet? Doesn’t it all depends on the kind of Chocolate, like milk, white, or dark, and the amount? Well, not so fast.

Cats are undoubtedly curious. But their curiosity can get them into trouble, which we never want. What should you do if your feline gets into that candy you left in your purse? It was a very small piece of your leftover Hershey’s candy bar. Sammy should be fine, right? Keep him inside for 24 hours and carefully observe him to make sure he does not have chocolate poisoning.

Critical factors include your pet’s size and weight and the type of Chocolate. Dark Chocolate poses an even higher risk due to the higher levels of theobromine, which is not naturally metabolized in cats as it is in humans. Dark Chocolate has health benefits for people, but there is quite the opposite effect on felines. Any kind of Chocolate, even white, which has a low percentage of cocoa in it, is not for your feline. But what about just a teeny, tiny amount? I would recommend avoiding any amount. And it is not just solid chocolate bars, but also food containing Chocolate.

Some owners incorrectly believe that they are giving their furry babies an appropriate treatment, but this is one of the last things a cat should have. Reach for something that is purr-fect for your pet, such as chicken or salmon-flavored dental treats. Chocolate also has caffeine in it, which will elevate your pet’s nervous and cardiac systems, leading to tremors and seizures. Let’s not forget the amounts of sugar and fat in most Chocolate. Amazing and scary how pets share similarities with humans, far more than just in different personalities.

Having your furry one get into something harmful for them can be beyond scary. Panic takes over, and you just want to know that your baby is okay. This happens to me one day before I was to go to training for a new job. My cat Apollo managed to the closed pantry door open and got into a powdered milk bag and candy melts used for baking. I was already running late, and it seemed that my feline had not gotten much in his system, but still. I could not change it for anything. I stayed with my cat, and fortunately, he was okay. I was and still am so grateful. He and his brother are everything to me.

Quite the adventurers, both of my cats, may be considered “seniors” at their age of eight, but they are more like kittens than anything. They love to get into things and have such an incredible sense of curiosity that it amazes me. This means having to watch them like a hawk. Any food that I may be cooking with must always be accounted for. Any food leftover from dinner must be put away, and any cooking utensils washed or turned upside down in the sink so that they do not lick the dinnerware. My partner always wants me to sit down with him for dinner, but I must do something else first. When things are situated, then I get to sit down with one or both of my cats on my lap and get the best cuddles.

Even when I am cooking, it is quite an adventure with my felines, particularly Zeus. He loves to jump up onto the counter and then the cutting board, especially when it has chopped up onions on it. He is like his grandma, who always comes by when she smells them cooking in the pan. Onions in any form are also very toxic to your pet and can lead to anemia.

Today, several parcels from Sam’s Club came. Two of the Hershey’s cocoa containers exploded inside one of the boxes. Now, normally both of my cats would want to investigate new boxes that have arrived. Apollo was in the laundry room, on his favorite spot, the top of the dryer, and Zeus was busy playing with a new plastic bag that had come. He went from attacking it to just happily sitting inside of it. He was extra good while we were able to get everything cleaned up and put away before either cat could get any of the cocoa.

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This got me wondering just how bad Hershey’s baking cocoa would be for a cat. It is very bad, to say the least. As theobromine is not naturally metabolized in cats, the toxic buildup can lead to liver failure. Even a seemingly small amount can lead to severe problems for your kitty. We know that every cat is unique, and the exact amount of Chocolate that can lead to issues is unknown, so a good rule of thumb is this: Do not feed Chocolate to your cat.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning to watch out for include increased heart rate and breathing rate, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, excessive urination, and increased body temperature. Get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible if you see any of these symptoms. Watch them closely for 24 hours, which is not a challenge for most cat parents. Snuggles are sweeter than anything, even Chocolate!

If you determine that your cat needs to see his or her vet, make sure to take any wrappers with you that are left. The vet will need to know what type of Chocolate and how much was consumed. He will likely take a urine sample and examine your cat, also performing a heart exam to look for any heart abnormalities.

Hide the Chocolate! Lauren is here. This might be something loved ones would joke about if they knew that I was coming over. Chocolate is never safe from me. Candy bars, cookies, brownies…you name it. If the treatment is of the chocolate persuasion, then I will want to get my hands on it, and it will be gone before you know it! Just as humans need love, cats certainly do. Extra affection is beneficial for both pet and owner. If you believe that your pet has chocolate poisoning, remain calm, as difficult as this may be. Cats are very in-tune with the emotions of their owners, so they need their owners to be a rock for them.

The love of an animal is certainly strong. Being a cat mom is no small feat. They have their own personalities. Headstrong and adventurous, my own cats keep me on my toes. Being a chocolate lover, I always have a lot of Chocolate in the house. But the love of my cats is much stronger. My goodies are always put safely away. Even wrappers are immediately scooped up. They are easy enough tasks, but they are crucial. Once cats get a taste of something, then they will try even harder to get it.

While it can be easy to share your snack with your special furry one, I recommend keeping their snacks to tasty cat treats like Meow Mix Brushing Bites Dental Cat Treats. They clean teeth, reduce tartar and plaque, and also taste amazing! My cats go absolutely crazy for them. They also love Friskies Party Mix Treats with cheese. See, even cats can sometimes splurge, too!

I love being a cat mom more than anything. Taking care of my cats is what I live for. The love and affection they give me every day is something that I would never trade for anything. I want the best for them, so keeping a diligent watch on them comes naturally to me. I probably smother them, but they are so cute and so sweet that no one can blame me!

I know that you want the best for your fur babies. Ensuring that they stay away from Chocolate seems simple enough, but life can get hectic, to say the least. You go to check your phone for a second, and in that brief amount of time, your cat has snatched a piece of your food. They are so precious and special, so being overprotective is far better than not watching them closely enough and discovering that they have consumed Chocolate.

Love them, care for them, snuggle them—and keep them away from Chocolate. Something so delicious for humans is something so dangerous for cats.

Happy Cat-Momming.

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