While most felines are indifferent to fruit, there are exceptions. Some cats will be intrigued by what her owner eats. If you’re enjoying an orange, you may want to share some of it with your pet. This sounds fine as oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, but that’s not the case.
Oranges are toxic to cats. They contain citric acid, which will irritate your cat’s gut, causing vomiting and diarrhea. Also, oranges contain essential oils that can harm your cat’s nervous system. A cat that eats an orange’s flesh will likely become sick, but consumption of this fruit is rarely fatal.
It’s the peel of an orange that’s most dangerous to felines. That’s because the flesh of the fruit contains far 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 her, though. Oranges are an example of a food that could intrigue your cat but do her a lot of harm.
The ASPCA lists oranges as a toxic food, primarily due to the essential oils in the peel. These will irritate your cat’s stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are to be expected due to citrus poisoning.
While cats experience fewer issues if they eat the flesh of the fruit, it’s still not safe. Your cat will likely experience a stomach upset.
Another issue with oranges is the presence of psoralens within the fruit. These compounds make the skin sensitive to sunlight, according to Brown University.
Humans can also 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. Introduce oranges to their diet and your cat will struggle to cope even more.
What is Citrus Poisoning in Cats?
Limonene and linalool from essential oils are harmful to cats. If exposed to these oils, your cat may experience citrus poisoning.
In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, common symptoms of citrus poisoning in cats include excessive drooling and muscle weakness. Your pet may also experience depression as the oils affect their hormones. Thankfully, many cats dislike eating oranges and other citrus fruit.
If your cat does experience citrus poisoning, it’s rarely fatal.
Are Cats Allergic to Oranges?
A cat that’s allergic to oranges may experience side effects due to its close proximity. This means that they may suffer just through brushing against an orange tree. Common side effects of an allergy to oranges 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 to avoid this from happening.
Can Cats Smell Oranges?
Oranges have a distinct scent, even to humans. When we consider that a feline’s nose is considerably more sensitive than ours, then these sorts of smells can become overwhelming.
In addition, most cats loathe the smell of citrus fruit. This isn’t necessarily because they know it’s harmful to them. They just 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, put some orange peels around and they’ll leave your property alone.
Naturally, you’ll have to tread carefully. Curious cats may nibble on these peels and make themselves sick. There is also the risk of triggering an allergic reaction.
Why Don’t Cats Like Oranges?
Most felines have an aversion to citrus fruit. The biggest turn-off is the scent.
In addition, 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 as some cats enjoy the taste and texture of sweet fruits.
Also, some cats even like the smell of oranges. That’s rare, but it does happen. In such an instance, your cat will rub herself against the fruit. This can be dangerous and cause a reaction.
What’s most likely is that your cat asks you to share your orange through imitation. Cats mimic the behavior of their owners. If your pet sees you eating an orange, she’ll assume that it’s particularly tasty. As a result, she’ll want to eat some too.
Upon offering your cat a slice of orange, she’ll walk away after a sniff. There’s always the risk that she’ll develop a taste for it, so 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 need additional Vitamin C. That’s because the liver generates Vitamin C in cats.
If a cat consumes too much Vitamin C, it puts her health at risk. As Tufts University explains, excessive quantities of Vitamin C can cause bladder and kidney stones.
So, oranges make cats vomit, suffer diarrhea, potentially become sunburned, become depressed, and cause internal blockages. And most felines loathe the smell and taste.
There are no benefits to feeding oranges or orange skin to your cat.
Can Cats Have Orange Juice?
Slices of orange, and the peel, are toxic to cats. So, how about orange juice? Would you cat benefit from drinking the juice of an orange?
Unsurprisingly, cats and orange juice should be kept far apart. All the warnings associated with oranges also relate to the juice that comes from an orange.
Also, orange juice is packed with sugar. This will potentially cause issues with your cat’s teeth as felines are prone to dental disease. If your cat’s teeth hurt, she’ll stop eating her food.
Excessive sugar can also cause your cat’s blood sugar levels to spike. This can lead to issues with its internal organs.
Most cats will ignore your orange juice for the same reason that they ignore oranges. The smell will be potent, and the taste largely apathetic.
Just like with oranges, your cat may see you drinking and take an interest in your glass of orange juice. You should deter them from doing so as it will not end well.
What are Cat-Friendly Alternatives to Oranges?
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 few chunks of watermelon is a good option for a cat that loves to eat 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 wonderful 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 of the fruit.
Consider offering your cat a slice of apricot or pear. The flesh has antioxidant properties that can help to prevent cancer. You MUST remove the pips first as these contain arsenic.
There is no health reason to bring fruit into your cat’s diet. A portion of good, balanced pet food will meet all of her dietary needs. If you want to offer a healthy treat, consider vegetables.
My Cat Ate an Orange
While orange is toxic to cats, eating this fruit isn’t immediately life-threatening. Much 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 a significant effect 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 closely. You should seek medical assistance if you notice any of the following health problems:
- Your cat vomits continually for over 24 hours as it’ll be at risk of dehydration
- Your cat has diarrhea for over 24 hours or has blood in its 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 or has seizures
- Your cat will not eat or drink for more than 24 hours
Should I Induce Vomiting If My Cat Eats an Orange?
Only induce vomiting in a cat if she ate the orange less than two hours ago. It should not be attempted unless advised by a vet. If you need to induce vomiting in a cat, follow these steps:
- Mix two teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide with water
- Apply this solution to a syringe, or similar
- Restrain your cat and keep them calm
- Apply the solution to your cat. They will resist, hence the syringe. A teaspoon will see the solution spilled and wasted
- Repeat every ten minutes, and a maximum of three times
- If your cat does not vomit, you’ll need to take her to a vet
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 from them. Most cats will avoid such fruits because they are obligate carnivores and dislike the scent/taste.
Place a small fence around the orange tree. This will restrict your cat’s access. As a result, she won’t be able to climb the tree. In addition, she won’t have easy access to any fallen fruit.
There is no reason for a cat to encounter oranges in her daily life. Most felines will not be interested in eating the fruit, and they receive no dietary benefits from eating oranges.