No, cats can’t drink chocolate milk.
Chocolate milk contains preservatives and artificial colours, along with sugar and dairy milk, which are all unsafe for cats to consume.
Chocolate can also cause tachycardia in cats.
What Happens If A Cat Drinks Chocolate Milk?
Every cat will react slightly differently to drinking chocolate milk.
Not every cat has the same health status, the same chronic diseases, or even the same age.
Kittens younger than 2-months might be able to drink small quantities of chocolate milk without exhibiting any symptoms.
The reason for this is that until that age, they cannot be considered lactose-intolerant.
Once they are older than two months or when they have reached adulthood, it is not safe to give cats chocolate milk (or any other type of regular cow’s milk, for that matter).
So, if your cat is no longer a kitten and they have some chocolate milk, the most possible outcome would be for them to experience digestive distress.
Some of the symptoms you will notice are listed below:
How Much Chocolate Milk Will Kill A Cat?
Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and dogs.
It is one of the most common household items that can be lethal for pets, and that’s because chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that causes havoc in a cat’s cardiovascular system.
The answer to the question is, therefore, that even very small amounts of chocolate milk can kill a cat.
Store-bought chocolate milk is risky for many other reasons.
While you might think that the homemade type, which you make with cocoa powder, can be safer, that is not true.
Baking chocolate, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder are part of the same category, meaning food items that can cause pets’ deaths.
The same rule applies to cacao nibbles and other such ingredients.
What To Do If Your Cat Drank Chocolate Milk?
The best way to save your cat’s life, if they had some chocolate milk, would be for you to take them to the vet clinic as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, chocolate and other ingredients containing it will quickly absorb into your cat’s blood flow.
Therefore, flushing out your pet’s stomach will rarely be effective when it comes to preventing it from getting into the central blood circulation — unless it is done in the first 20-30 minutes following ingestion.
Causing your cat to vomit is not an option, as much as you might think it is. Doing so mechanically can result in you getting hurt or causing damage to your cat’s oral cavity.
Using hydrogen peroxide to stimulate vomiting, which is something that dog owners can resort to in such situations, is not a suitable alternative for cats.
Cats have digestive systems that are more sensitive compared to those that their canine counterparts are equipped with.
A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can lead to severe irritation on the lining of both the stomach and the oesophagus.
Unfortunately, there is no safe and effective method of making your cat vomit, so the best piece of advice that we have for you would be to take them to the animal hospital right away.
If your cat has drank chocolate milk we recommend you speak with a vet ASAP.
JustAnswer allows you to talk in real-time to veterinary experts for a small fee.
Chocolate Milk Alternatives For Cats
The only safe milk alternative that you have at your disposal is cat milk.
There are plenty of options available out there these days, and the main difference between them and dairy or plant-based is that they are specifically made for cats.
That means that even if you give cat milk to adult pets, they are not going to experience any of the symptoms we have mentioned above, particularly those relating to lactose intolerance.
Some cats like a bit of extra milk in their wet food.
If you go through the trouble of blending your pet’s cans or pouches (which is something you might resort to if they have chronic stomatitis, for example), you can use cat milk to make everything smoother.
Other alternatives that can be considered more or less safe for this species are the following:
- Rice milk
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Oat milk
However, none of these is species-appropriate, and that’s because cats are obligate carnivores.
These milk varieties do not come from animals, and while they do not contain lactose, so they might not cause any clinical signs associated with it, that doesn’t mean they are appropriate.
Oat milk can cause significant digestive distress just because of its consistency and content.
It’s also worth noting that all of these milk types contain a lot of calories, so they are not a good choice for cats that are seniors, have diabetes, or have developed obesity as a lack of exercise.
Besides all this, plant-based milk often contains other ingredients that are bad for cats, whether that be sweeteners or plain sugar or artificial flavours or colours that can have serious negative effects on your cat’s health in the long run.
How to Prevent Your Cat From Drinking Chocolate Milk
If your cat seems to be very motivated by food and treats and extra portions seem to be the only thing on their mind, making sure they never have access to milk, in general, is the best way of going about things.
Sometimes, cats can get into kitchen cupboards if they truly want to, so you should restrict your cat’s access to this room and also add locks to the pantry if that’s what you need to.
If you feel that your cat can get creative about the way they manage to drink chocolate milk, just avoid keeping it in your home.
Although they aren’t safe either, plant-based milk varieties are not lethal for cats, which means that you can use them as substitutes for your own diet — just to be on the safe side of things.
Do consider that giving your cat chocolate milk or any other type of dairy or plant milk does not provide them with any type of health benefit.
Cats can’t even taste sweet foods, so they will most likely not even perceive any aroma or flavour.
They might be interested in milk because of its fat content, as they might find that palatable instead.
In the end, giving cats chocolate milk simply isn’t worth the risk.