My Cat Ate Chocolate Pudding: Should I Worry? (Solved & Explained!)

Pudding is delicious. Creamy, packed with flavor – admit it or not, everyone scrapes that cup to death with their spoon and licks it for good measure! Your cat sees this, however, and wonders what the fuss is about. What happens if your cat ate chocolate pudding when you weren’t looking?

Chocolate is toxic because of a compound called Theobromine and the average pudding cup has just under 70 milligrams of Theobromine per cup. As the toxic dosage is considered about 200 milligrams, your cat will like get diarrhea, vomiting, and a very bad stomachache. Get them to the vet, as Theobromine amounts vary wildly from brand to brand.

Today we’ll tackle this subject in-depth so that you’ll have the facts at your disposal that you need in the case that your cat eats chocolate pudding. While your kitty may just get aa bad tummyache, it can definitely be worse and we’re about to tell you why!

Is all pudding harmful to cats?

Just pudding by itself isn’t really something that you should feed your cat (despite said cat’s opinion on the matter). If we take a look at the components, then this is basically what we have:

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Starting with milk, most cats are lactose intolerant, but in small amounts it’s generally okay. Net we throw in butter, which is quite fatty, and also a dairy product. Eggs are okay for cats in small amounts, but they are calorie packed and not recommended.

All that remains is the sugar and the salt, neither of which are good for cats either. With too much sugar in their diet, there is an increased risk of feline diabetes down the line, and salt will make your cat drink more water but thankfully, the amount is pudding is definitely short of toxic.

On their own, aside from the sugar and salt, each of these components can be eaten in small amounts by your cat, but throwing them all together makes pudding a very unhealthy thing for your cat to eat, indeed. Now, when we add chocolate into the equation, things go from ‘bad’ to potentially deadly. Let’s take a look!

How much chocolate will hurt a cat?

The amounts of chocolate that it takes to hurt a cat are actually frighteningly small. Just .2 ounces of baking chocolate, for instance, are considered dangerously toxic to an -pound adult kitty.

Milk chocolate, by contrast, takes about 1.1 ounces to be considered highly toxic, while dark and semi-sweet are only .5 ounces. To give you a visual idea, .5 ounces is a single half-square of chocolate – that’s all it takes to severely harm your cat.

The problem is a chemical called Theobromine, which is produced when cacao beans are roasted to perfection in order to make cacao powder and other products. This chemical is easily digested by humans, but for cats and dogs this is not the case.

Once it gets to their stomachs, the toxins start their work, but even after it goes into the intestines, the Theobromine isn’t done. A part of it gets reabsorbed into the intestinal lining and back into the bloodstream. As it turn outs, chocolate isn’t a delicious treat for cats after all, it’s potentially deadly.

How much Theobromine is in chocolate pudding?

This number is really going to vary based on the kind of chocolate pudding. You’ve got dark chocolate puddings, double chocolate puddings, and the like. That said, if we are talking your average, everyday generic grocery store pudding then you can expect about 70 milligrams of Theobromine for every 100 grams of pudding.

A pudding cup is typically 3.25 ounces, which is around 92 grams, so it will contain a little under 70mgs of Theobromine, while the toxic dose in for cats comes is about 200 milligrams. While this means that your cat won’t suffer the worst of chocolate poisoning, diarrhea and vomiting are likely going to happen.

Keep in mind that again, we are simply talking about a generic chocolate pudding. Dark chocolate pudding or a ‘double chocolate’ variety is going to have a higher amount of Theobromine, and one of those pudding cups might well be enough to put your little on in danger.

As such, we simply cannot recommend that you give your cat chocolate pudding. It’s too much risk – but there is a little good news. You can substitute something else for the pudding, because cat’s can’t taste the sweet parts of it and they won’t miss it – we’ll tell you more about this shortly.

How long after a cat eats chocolate will symptoms show?

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity will show within the first 4 hours in most cases, and may include one or more of the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle jerks/spasms
  • Panting/difficulty breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Decreased appetite

These symptoms are bad enough on their own and definitely warrant an immediate vet visit, as severe cases of chocolate toxicity can cause a cat to go into a coma and even to die. Feline physiology simply isn’t equipped for eating chocolate.

Remember – while they can certainly eat and enjoy some human foods, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they are designed to extract vitamins from a diet of meat. They can’t digest certain plants and scientists have found that they don’t even have the receptor in their taste buds for ‘sweet’!

When they eat something like a pudding, they can only taste  the ‘bitter’ part of the chocolate – they aren’t even tasting the sugar. What they are responding to is the proteins and fat content, which they can definitely detect in the product. As such, you could make them just as happy with a healthy plain, nonfat yoghurt!

In conclusion: No pudding for you, kitty!

Even non-chocolate puddings are not a good idea for your kitty, as they simply have too much dairy, fat, and sugar for (admittedly adorable) obligate carnivores like your cat. Once chocolate comes into play, then it becomes downright toxic, so if your cat gets into your chocolate pudding you should get them to the vet right away.

Thankfully, now that you know your cat doesn’t have the taste receptor for sweet, you’ve got a lot of options for giving them the creamy goodness that they crave. We recommend a little plain, nonfat yoghurt, just make sure it doesn’t contain any sugar substitutes such as Xylitol which are toxic to cats as well.

They won’t notice the difference and you might just find that sharing yoghurt with your cat is a fun and healthy way to enjoy each other’s company!