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Can Cats Drink Chocolate Milk?

If you’re a big animal lover, the chances are that you occasionally want to share the food and drink that you enjoy with your pet – so they can have as much pleasure from that luxury as you get, and to increase your bond with them. Food sharing is a big part of our society, and many people want to extend that to their pets, even with unusual food and drink. Have you ever wondered “can cats drink chocolate milk?”

You should never give your pet something without first checking that it is safe, as very unexpected foods can sometimes be toxic to certain animals, and if you don’t want to spend your day in an emergency vet clinic, it is always prudent to check foods before offering them. This is particularly the case for high sugar food and drink, because sugar is often harmful to animals, so chocolate milk is definitely one to be careful of.

Cats are famous for drinking milk, and a warm saucer of it is commonly given to cats in picture books and children’s stories, much to the delight of the cat. However, it’s becoming increasingly well known that cats cannot actually digest lactose well, so you should pause before giving your cat any milk, let alone chocolate milk.

Can Cats Drink Chocolate Milk?

No, cats cannot drink chocolate milk; it is highly toxic to them and they will likely die if they consume chocolate milk. Fortunately, most cats are aware that chocolate is unsafe for them, and they will not eat it or drink chocolate milk if you offer it to them. However, it is still extremely important not to do this, even if you think your cat will reject the milk. Don’t give your cat chocolate in any form, and never add chocolate milk to their food or offer it separately, as it can cause obesity, among other more serious problems.

Adult cats are lactose intolerant, and consuming even plain milk can result in extreme stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea, so you must be careful not to allow your cat to have milk, whether it likes it or not (a few adult cats are not lactose intolerant, but most are, and it is not generally worth the risk). Chocolate milk contains lactose, and is therefore unsuitable for cats – but the chocolate has its own issues too.

Chocolate milk contains a lot of sugar, and it also has a compound called theobromine, which cats cannot metabolize effectively, meaning it can build up in their systems and cause issues. Chocolate milk may also contain caffeine, which is not good for cats, and should be avoided at all times. Overall, given these major issues, chocolate milk is potentially quite dangerous to your pet cat.

How Much Chocolate Milk Is Toxic To Cats?

Any chocolate milk is toxic to cats, although a small amount is highly unlikely to do any damage; the cat’s body will simply process it and dispose of as many of the unwanted compounds as possible. A few drops will not be harmful, but if your cat drinks more, you are likely to start dealing with issues like diarrhea and possibly vomiting, and your cat may be lethargic and miserable for a few days. It should not need veterinary attention in most cases, but keep an eye on it and book an appointment immediately if its symptoms are getting worse.

If your cat drinks a lot of chocolate milk, you will need to take it straight to a vet, and they may have to pump its stomach to get the milk out of its system and prevent poisoning. If your cat has drunk a lot, don’t wait for symptoms to show; get medical attention for your pet immediately. Always keep chocolate milk in a sealed container in the fridge, and don’t leave it out on the kitchen surface.

Your cat will probably not attempt to drink chocolate milk, but some may do so because they can smell the calcium-rich milk in it, so you shouldn’t take the risk. Always put chocolate milk away, particularly if your cat shows signs of interest in it or tries to lick up any spills.

What Happens If My Cat Licks Chocolate Milk?

Your cat is very unlikely to hurt itself simply by licking up a few drops of chocolate milk, so you don’t need to worry if this happens. If your cat finds an empty glass of chocolate milk and licks up some of the dregs, or it gets to some splashes on the floor before you can, don’t rush to call a vet. Tiny quantities of chocolate milk should not be harmful, and your cat will be perfectly fine.

Licking chocolate milk on a regular basis could be more of an issue, as your cat will be constantly ingesting small amounts of something poisonous, which could damage its organs gradually. If you often drink chocolate milk, it is best to wash the glass out immediately, even if you only rinse the residue away. Alternatively, cover the glass so your cat cannot get to it, and clean up any spills.

While small amounts of chocolate milk should not be particularly harmful, they still aren’t good for your cat, and could make it sick in the long term. Being a responsible owner means keeping unsuitable foods away from your pet, and this includes chocolate milk.

Conclusion

There is only one answer to the question “can cats drink chocolate milk?” and it’s a firm no, even though some cats do appear to like the taste and will attempt to consume it if they find it. You should keep chocolate milk away from your cat, especially if it shows a taste for it, as the compounds within the milk are potentially dangerous and could poison your pet. If your cat does manage to consume a significant quantity of chocolate milk for any reason, make sure you get it to a vet quickly to minimize the damage that is done to its system by the theobromine, caffeine, and sugar.