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Can Cats Eat Nutella? Vet Reviewed Health Risks & Safe Alternatives

Written by: Keri-Beth Clur

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat

Can Cats Eat Nutella? Vet Reviewed Health Risks & Safe Alternatives


Dr. Maja Platisa Photo


Dr. Maja Platisa

DVM MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The world loves Nutella, whether it’s served on bread or eaten right out of the jar. It’s soft, creamy, tasty, and wonderfully portioned with 30% chocolate and 70% hazelnut. It’s so popular that there is even a World Nutella Day, giving fans yet another reason to indulge in its goodness.1

As adoring cat parents, we love to share the delights of the world with our fur babies, but it’s vital to first make sure what we offer is cat friendly. Unfortunately, Nutella is toxic to cats, so your kitty will have to skip this treat no matter how eager they may be to get a lick. Don’t worry, though; your cat won’t be missing out, as they can’t taste sweet things, anyway.

Keep reading to learn what makes Nutella so dangerous for cats, what to do if they get into the jar while you’re not looking, what alternatives you can use as treats instead, and what your cat’s diet should consist of.


Why Isn’t Nutella Cat Friendly?

What makes Nutella most dangerous to cats is the chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which give humans energy but are toxic to cats. The more cocoa in a product, the higher the amounts of these substances. Nutella also contains high levels of sugar, fat, whey, and milk powder, none of which will benefit your cat. 

Most cats can eat a very small number of hazelnuts without these being toxic to them. However, the nuts shouldn’t form any part of the feline diet, and they may still be harmful due to their high fat content and the risk of choking. Cats are obligate carnivores and require foods that contain animal proteins. Sugars and other human foods aren’t designed for cats, and their little bodies struggle to process them adequately, leading to stomach upset.

Nutella, as a whole, is toxic to cats. The ingredients can have dire effects on your cat’s body by causing a stomach upset, increasing their heart rate, decreasing their blood pressure, causing restlessness, and in some cats, depending on the amount of chocolate consumed, leading to seizures.

bread with nutella chocolate on the table
Image Credit: BrunO, Pixabay

What Do You Do If Your Cat Has Eaten Nutella?

If you’ve found Nutella all over your cat’s face or caught them in the act, the first thing to do is to call your vet and get your cat checked out immediately. If your cat has ingested Nutella, they’ll likely start showing signs of toxicity within 6–12 hours.

Signs of chocolate toxicity in cats include:
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive water drinking
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Coma

Regardless of how much Nutella your cat ingested, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately and inform them of the situation. They know your cat and any health condition they may have, and they will let you know if your cat needs urgent treatment. There is no known dose of chocolate where we can draw the line regarding whether a cat will be affected or not, so it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Your vet may ask you several questions to better assess the situation. They’ll ask you what time your cat ate the Nutella, how much they ingested, and what signs your cat may be displaying. They’ll walk you through what you should do, or they’ll tell you to bring your cat in for closer observation and treatment.

a cat that feels sick and seems to vomit
Image by: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

Instead of waiting it out and hoping your cat will be okay, act quickly. This will save your cat a lot of unnecessary discomfort, and your vet will be able to better help your cat right after they’ve ingested the Nutella than they would be many hours later once the toxins have been digested.

A cat’s body and metabolism are very different from a human’s, and even “small” amounts of chocolate can be harmful to your cat, as there is no established toxic doseThankfully, cats aren’t typically drawn to human foods as much as dogs are. Your cat is much more likely to steal a piece of chicken off your plate than eat their way through a jar of Nutella. Regardless, always keep the jar closed when you’re not using it, and store it away safely out of reach from your cat.

If your cat looks like they’re interested in your creamy chocolate spread, resist the urge to give them a lick. Because your cat wouldn’t instinctively eat Nutella, they may be sniffing around you out of curiosity.

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Treat Alternatives to Nutella

There are no chocolatey treats that you can safely offer your cat, and thankfully, your cat probably wouldn’t want them. If you’re looking for a Nutella alternative or something to excite your kitty, giving them cat treats that are specifically designed for cats is a good place to start.

If you don’t have any cat treats around, there are likely a few ingredients in your house that’ll gain the same enthusiasm from your cat. However, remember to offer them in moderation and in accordance with your vet’s advice.

  • Cooked chicken meat — high in protein
  • Cooked salmon meat (without the bones) — contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Cooked chicken liver — high in iron and vitamins B and A
  • Cooked eggs — contains protein and omega fatty acids
  • Cantaloupe — high in antioxidants and fiber
  • Pumpkin — high in fiber

Treats can be given to your cat to help with bonding and when they show positive behavior that you want to reward. As with everything, moderation is key, and their treats shouldn’t go over 10% of their daily calorie intake. Over-snacking can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to serious health issues.

cat eating boiled eggs
Image by: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock

What Should a Cat’s Diet Consist Of?

A cat’s diet should consist of high levels of protein and fat based on their age, health, and lifestyle. Speak to your vet about the appropriate balanced and complete food for your cat.

You can find all the nutrients they need in high-quality cat foods. There are various types of cat food, such as kibble, wet food, frozen raw cat food, freeze-dried raw cat food, and semi-moist cat food. Your vet will discuss the pros and cons of each and may help you choose, as there are some health risks associated with certain types of food, such as raw foods, that owners should be aware of.

If a food contains protein from animal sources as its first ingredient and all the essential amino acids for cats, including taurine and healthy fats, it should be nutritious enough for your beloved cat.

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Nutella is toxic to cats. The caffeine and theobromine that the chocolate contains are poisonous to cats and can cause serious health problems. No matter the amount of Nutella or other chocolate formulation your cat ate, speak to your veterinarian straight away. A delay in getting your cat treated may lead to more serious signs.

Cats need protein and fats that are found in animal sources to stay healthy and active. Their little bodies were not designed to process human food, and you should only offer them cat-friendly treats.

Featured Image Credit: BrunO, Pixabay

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