Chocolatey goodness. Or perhaps not.

I’ve just been told off by a friend for feeding her cat chocolate brownies. She claims chocolate is toxic to cats. I maintain that it actually dogs who suffer from this tragic affliction.
Which one of us is correct?

I’ve only seen it in dogs, and my textbooks state only that “several other species” can be susceptible. In any case, cats don’t need brownies as part of their diet. Don’t give your friend’s cat anything other than owner approved treats.


Oh, come on. Everybody needs brownies ;).
Cats is people too, you know.

From what I have been told, and have read, cats are actually more highly susceptible than dogs–small quantities of chocolate, supposedly, can be deadly to cats. However, I defer to Michi to check the veracity of this.

Nonetheless, I think the reason it’s not seen much in cats is that, in general, cats won’t eat just whatever you put in front of them, whereas dogs will.


I feed both my cats big bars of Ex-Lax all the time, and they love it. =)

I feed my dog cats all the time and she can’t get enough… oh wait. That isn’t what we were talking about. Nevermind

There is a caffine-like chemical in chocolate called theobromine which is no good for cats and dogs.

Here’s unca’ Cecils take:

In my Handbook of Household Vetenary Medicine it says Chocolate is bad for both dogs and cats as they cannot metabolize it, and it’s absolutly lethal to rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.

Well fine. All the more for me!

Our beloved springer spaniel Emily had a bad run-in with chocolate last winter. Although we don’t believe the chocolate killed her directly, if she hadn’t gotten into it I think she’d probably be with us today.

She had been on prescription weight-loss food, and she had developed a new ravenousness for anything she could eat. She started stealing food from the coffee table and getting into the garbage, things she’d never done before. One Friday night while we were gone she got into a can of unsweetened cocoa powder that was on a low shelf. (We never thought she’d consider that food!) She had spilled it all over the carpet; it didn’t appear that she’d consumed much, but she had chewed up the can, including the metal rim. We cleaned it up and watched her (she’d eaten chocolate before, with no ill effects); she seemed to have an uneasy tummy that night, and she had rather fudgy-looking poops the next day. Otherwise she seemed fine.

On Monday her eye (the conjunctiva) became somewhat red and swollen, as it had once before; it wasn’t too bad, so we watched it and medicated it with the cream the vet had given us the last time. But by the next Friday, it had gotten worse, so we took her in, and I mentioned (I thought peripherally – we didn’t see the connection) the cocoa incident. The vet found an infected molar, from chewing thbe metal, he said; the infection had traveled into her eye. He scheduled her to remove the tooth a week later.

Saturday she was fine, but Sunday she couldn’t keep food down. I won’t go into the horrid details, but we made two trips to the vet Sunday night, and she did not survive the second trip there. (God, by now we can remember her fondly, but I’m shaking right now just recalling our panic and disbelief.) We described what had happened at home, and the vet said the infection had traveled to her heart and caused heart failure. Mr. Scarlett says he could feel the fibrillating as he held her before that last trip.

I can see how some people might torment themselves with guilt over something like this – we should have put the cocoa out of reach, we should have taken her in sooner – but we see it as an unfortunate combination of accidents. After all, Emily was 11-1/2, and although she was not showing too much age, she did have a few health problems and for all we know she might have been hiding more.

But we do have a new location for the cocoa powder, well out of her successor Phyllis’s reach. :slight_smile: And I tell this story when the opportunity presents itself. So please put the Hershey’s Cocoa in a safe place!