Can cats eat chocolate? Having a safe Easter staycation with your pets involves thinking about the sort of hazards you might find around the home. And when it comes to Easter, one person’s treasure might just be a pet’s downfall.
Chocolate toxicity in dogs is well documented, but what about our feline friends? We answer the question of if cats can eat chocolate, as well as some other Easter FAQs all pet parents should know.
Bookmark this, because you might want to refer to it again before your Easter Sunday egg hunt.
Can cats eat chocolate?
First off, THE big question when it comes to cat ownership at Easter: can cats eat chocolate? Short answer: no.
The longer answer is chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats because of a compound called theobromine that’s found in cocoa. Humans can metabolise this quite easily, but dogs and cats take a long time to process it.
If they eat chocolate it stays in their systems for a long time and can cause toxicity, or theobromine poisoning.
Because cats are less likely to get into chocolate stashes than dogs, there’s less research on the effects of theobromine in cats than in dogs. So maybe that saying about curiosity and the cat isn’t true after all?
The problem is that cats aren’t as big as dogs. Because they’re small, the amount of chocolate (theobromine) they need to consume for it to be toxic is less than dogs, simply because a chocolate bar would have less impact on 40kg German Shepherd than a 4kg Russian Blue. The same goes for small dogs, by the way.
Because theobromine is found in cocoa, dark chocolate is more toxic than white or milk chocolate. But milk and white chocolate are still high in dairy, fat, and sugar. So allll Easter eggs should be kept away from pets.
Easter dangers for cats and dogs (that aren’t chocolate!)
So, now you know cats can’t eat chocolate. But we also know that dogs and cats tend to get into all sorts of mischief when the holiday spirit strikes them.
Ingestion is another common danger to watch out for this Easter. You’ve all heard about someone’s dog eating their entire couch or their favourite pair of shoes. Or a cat swallowing an entire catnip toy. These stories are more common than you’d think. And over Easter holidays, where pets are often less closely supervised and there’s a lot more going on than usual, the risk is high.
Here are some commonly ingested items to keep out of their reach this Easter:
Cats – Easter no-no items:
- Cooked and easily splintered bones
- Wool (perhaps from those knitted Easter jumpers?)
- Rubber bands
- Small toys, which often increase in number during long weekends/holidays and family gatherings where kids need to be entertained and kept busy
- Toxic or poisonous prey, such as rats who have ingested rat poisoning, cane toads, sick birds, and more
Dogs – Easter no-no items:
- Clothes…and socks.. and shoes… and you get the picture
- Cooked and easily splintered bones
- Food wrappers (it’s not just the chocolate you need to watch out for, but the packaging too)
- Any toys that can be chewed apart and choked on or swallowed, causing stomach obstruction
Cats and dogs can easily surprise you with the things they get their paws (and teeth) into. So the best course of action is to make sure there’s an area they can’t access where you can leave Easter goodies, shoes, jackets, kids’ toys, and so on. Pop the Easter chocolate straight in the fridge, pronto.
And of course, be especially sure to keep an eye on them during the Easter dinner. More on that below.
FAQ about what cats and dogs can eat this Easter
Right, so it’s clear dogs and cats can’t eat chocolate. That means no sharing the Ferrero Rocher after dinner with the furkids. All the more for you!
Though it’s not Christmas time, we understand that most big holidays involve food of some sort. Ok, maybe food of ALL sorts. So we put together a guide on Christmas dinner for pets. It outlines what you can and can’t share with your cats and dogs from the table. Regardless of the reason for celebration, these feasting guidelines still apply for the furry family members.
Then there’s the fact that it’s not only food items you need to worry about when it comes to pets sneaking a taste of something forbidden. Guard the Easter eggs carefully of course (from the pets, we mean, not the family members), but keep an eye on these items too:
- Toxic plants (did you know lilies are highly toxic to cats, for example?)
- Essential oils
- Common household items like salt lamps
- Choking risks – toys, small decorations, cooked bones, etc
And if you’ve ever been cooking dinner while your pup stares at you and you’ve debated sharing a morsel of whatever random ingredient you’re holding at that moment, you’re not alone.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of common food items people keep turning to Google to ask about. Check out “Can Dogs Eat…?” for everything from watermelon to cheese.
Safe Easter staycation with pet insurance
Having a good pet insurance policy can take away some of the stress of Easter holidays. And all other holidays, for that matter.
We might now know cats can’t eat chocolate, but you can’t keep an eye on them 24/7. And if your cat or dog does manage to cause mischief, knowing you can visit the vet without the added stress of finances can be a big weight off your shoulders.
While you’re at it, enjoy your Easter staycation too with one of our holiday reads for animal lovers, dog movies, or movies with cats. A long weekend lazing on the couch reading and watching TV while your pet snuggles up to you? Well, that sounds like what dreams are made of.