can cats eat oranges?
Cat Food and Hydration

Are Cats Allowed to Eat Oranges?

While most felines are indifferent to fruit, there are exceptions to every rule. Some cats will be intrigued by what their owners eat. If you’re enjoying an orange, you may want to share it with your pet. Surely this is fine – after all, oranges are a great source of Vitamin C.

Are oranges safe for cats? Oranges are toxic to cats. They contain citric acid, which will irritate your cat’s gut and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Besides, oranges contain essential oils that harm your cat’s nervous system. A cat that eats an orange’s flesh will likely become sick, but consumption is rarely fatal.

It’s the peel of the orange that’s most dangerous to felines. The flesh of the fruit contains fewer essential oils. This doesn’t make it safe, but the side effects will be less severe.

Can Cats Eat Oranges?

Some cats will try to eat anything. This doesn’t always mean that it’s good for them, though. Oranges are an example of a food that could intrigue a cat but harm them.

The ASPCA lists oranges as a toxic food, primarily due to the essential oils in the peel. These will irritate your cat’s stomach no end. Vomiting and diarrhea are inevitable due to citrus poisoning.

While cats experience fewer issues if they eat the flesh of the fruit, it’s not safe. Your cat will likely experience some degree of stomach upset.

Another issue with oranges is the presence of psoralens within the fruit. These compounds make the skin sensitive to sunlight, as Brown University explains.

Humans can be adversely affected by psoralens, but it will happen much faster to a cat. Felines are already sensitive to the sun, and their paper-thin skin burns easily. Bring oranges in their diet, and your cat will struggle even more.

What is Citrus Poisoning?

Limonene and linalool from essential oils are harmful to cats. If exposed to these oils, your cat may develop citrus poisoning.

In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, common symptoms of citrus poisoning include excessive drooling, and muscle weakness. Your pet may also experience depression, as the oils play havoc with their hormones. Thankfully, many cats dislike oranges.

If your cat does experience citrus poisoning, it’s not the end of the world. It’s rarely fatal. It will be uncomfortable, though.

Are Cats Allergic to Oranges?

A cat that’s allergic to oranges may experience side effects due to close proximity. This means that they may suffer just through brushing against an orange tree.

Common side effects of allergy in cats include:

  • Swelling around the face
  • Itchy and running eyes and nose
  • Trouble breathing
  • A breakout of hives
  • Itchy skin, especially around the base of the tail

Proximity to oranges can bring about these side effects in a sensitive cat. If you believe that your cat is allergic to oranges, take appropriate precautions.

Can Cats Smell Oranges?

Oranges have a very distinct scent, even to humans. When we consider that a feline nose is considerably stronger than ours, smells can become overwhelming.

In addition to this, most cats loathe the smell of citrus. This isn’t necessarily because they know it’s harmful to them. They consider citrus to be an assault on their senses.

This means that orange peels can make a useful cat deterrent. If you have neighborhood cats using your yard as a toilet, dot some orange peels around. They’ll soon leave your property alone.

Naturally, you’ll have to tread carefully. Curious cats may nibble on these peels, and make themselves sick. There is always the risk of an allergic reaction, too.

Why Don’t Cats Like Oranges?

Most felines have a natural aversion to citrus fruit. The biggest turn-off of oranges for a cat is the scent.

In addition to this, many cats will be indifferent to the taste of oranges. This fruit is very sweet. Felines cannot taste sweetness. As a result, they’ll be immune to the flavor of an orange.

My Cats Likes Oranges

There are exceptions to every rule. Some cats enjoy sweet fruits, and will hunt them down.

Also, some cats even like the smell of oranges. That’s extremely rare, but it does happen. In such an instance, your cat will rub themselves against the fruit. This can be dangerous, and spark a reaction. Be careful about this behavior.

What’s most likely is that your cat asks you to share your orange through imitation. If your pet sees you eating an orange, they’ll assume that it’s tasty. As a result, they want some too.

You’ll likely find that, upon offering your cat a slice of orange, they’ll walk away after a sniff. There’s always the risk that they’ll develop a taste for it, though. With that in mind, it’s better not to take the risk of sharing in the first place.

Do Oranges Have Health Benefits for Cats?

The fruits are packed with Vitamin C, but a healthy cat will not even need additional Vitamin C as their liver generates it.

If a cat consumes too much Vitamin C, it puts their health at risk. As Tufts University explains, excessive quantities of this vitamin can cause bladder and kidney stones.

So, oranges make cats vomit, suffer diarrhea, potentially be sunburned, become depressed, and cause internal blockages. Plus most felines loathe the smell and taste.

There are no benefits to feeding these fruits to your pet.

Can Cats Have Orange Juice?

Slices of orange, and the peel, are toxic to cats. How about orange juice, however? Would you cat benefit from lapping at this favorite breakfast beverage?

Unsurprisingly, cats and orange juice should be kept far apart from each other. All the warnings associated with oranges also relate to juice.

Also, orange juice is typically packed with sugar. This will potentially cause issues with your cat’s teeth, as felines are prone to dental disease.

Excessive sugar can also spike your cat’s blood substantially. This will potentially lead to an array of issues with their internal organs.

Most cats will ignore your orange juice, for the same reason they ignore oranges. The smell will be potent, and the taste largely apathetic.

Just like with oranges, your cat may see you drinking and decide to investigate your juice. Deter them from doing so. It will not end well.

What are Cat-Friendly Alternatives to Oranges?

Very few fruits are safe or suitable for cats. Also, most cats are mostly indifferent to fruit. There are a handful of options that you can offer a cat with a sweet tooth, though.

A watermelon is a good option for a cat that loves fruit. It’s almost entirely made up of water. This means that it’s low in calories, and hydrating during the summer months. If your cat doesn’t drink enough, watermelon is a great treat.

Some cats also enjoy summer fruits, such as strawberries or blueberries. In this case, your cat is more likely to enjoy the smell than the taste.

You may also want to consider offering your cat a slice of apricot, or pear. The flesh of these fruits contains antioxidant properties that prevent cancer.  You must remove the pips first though, as these contain arsenic.

For the most part, there is no real need to bring fruit in your cat’s diet. A portion of good, balanced pet food will meet all of their needs. If you want to offer a healthy treat, consider vegetables instead.

can cats smell oranges?

My Cat Ate an Orange

If your cat does eat an orange, stay calm. Although these fruits are toxic, they’re not immediately life-threatening.

A lot depends on what part of the orange your cat eats, and how much. The peel of an orange, and any leaves from the plant, are most dangerous. Your cat will likely start to vomit almost immediately.

One single slice of orange may not have any real impact on your cat. This is especially likely if they spat it out. A cat’s curiosity may quickly evaporate when they consume orange.

In the immediate aftermath of a cat eating an orange, observe them. You should seek professional help if you spot any of the following:

  • Your cat vomits continually for over 24 hours. This leaves them at risk of dehydration.
  • Your cat has diarrhea for over 24 hours, or has blood in their waste.
  • Your cat exhibits any signs of difficulty breathing.
  • Your cat is lethargic and withdrawn for more than 48 hours.
  • Your cat shows struggles to regain consciousness, and has seizures.
  • Your cat will not eat or drink for more than 24 hours.

These symptoms suggest that your cat is experiencing a reaction beyond the expected. In such an instance, your pet may need to undergo further tests.

Should I Induce Vomiting If My Cat Eats an Orange?

In some instances, you may wish to induce vomiting to purge a cat of orange. This is not a decision to take lightly, though.

Only induce vomiting in a cat if they ate the orange less than two hours ago. It should also not be attempted unless advised by a professional.

If you wish to induce vomiting in a cat, follow these steps:

  1. Mix two teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide with water
  2. Apply this solution to a syringe, or similar
  3. Restrain your cat and keep them calm
  4. Apply the solution to your cat. They will resist, hence the syringe. A teaspoon will see the solution spilled and wasted
  5. Repeat every ten minutes, at a maximum of three times
  6. If your cat does not vomit, you’ll need professional help

If your cat eats a slice of orange, they’ll vomit independently due to stomach irritation. Consider induced vomiting if your cat is visibly struggling, though.

I Grow Oranges in My Garden and I Have a Cat

If you grow oranges, or any citrus fruit, you’ll need to keep your cat away. Most cats will generally avoid such fruits. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, though.

Place a small fence around the orange tree. This will restrict your cat’s access. As a result, they won’t be able to climb the tree. In addition, they won’t have easy access to fallen fruit.

This is pivotal to your cat’s health. The leaves of an orange tree are just as toxic as the fruit’s peel. Keep your cat well away.

There is no reason for a cat to encounter oranges in their daily life. Most felines will not be interested in eating the fruit, and they receive no benefits from doing so.