are oranges safe for cats

It’s sadly unsafe for cats to nosh on oranges or any other citrus fruits. Oranges contain compounds such as limonene and linalool, which are toxic for cats. (Dogs can handle such fruits in moderation, much to their delight.)

Why Are Oranges Unsafe for Cats?

Oranges are inappropriate for our furry friends for a few main reasons.

Like other citrus fruits, oranges can be toxic to cats due to their essential oils and other components. The primary carcinogens in oranges are the peel’s limonene and linalool compounds.

Oranges’ high sugar content may be detrimental to cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their bodies are designed to consume a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, unlike humans. Their systems are not designed to process sugars efficiently.

Cats with diabetes or pre-diabetes may find high sugar content particularly problematic as it can cause blood sugar spikes. Frequent consumption of sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity in cats, even those who do not have diabetes. This increases the risk of developing other health issues such as cardiovascular disease or joint problems.

The peel and seeds of oranges contain chemicals called psoralens. The flesh also contains these chemicals.

When your cat enjoys a sunny day outside, psoralens can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight, which could result in redness, irritation, or blisters.

Additionally, eating the peel may result in gastrointestinal obstruction or choking. The indigestible peel has the potential to lodge in a cat’s digestive tract or throat. This obstruction can be fatal if not promptly treated.

Because oranges are acidic, cats who eat them may experience upset stomach pain, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Signs Your Cat Has Eaten an Orange

Your cat will probably only experience upset stomach if they swallow a small amount of orange flesh. However, if your cat does, in the unlikely event that it consumes more orange flesh, you might notice additional symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Your cat might exhibit the following signs if they consume the peel:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin irritation
  • Depression of the central nervous system

Signs Your Cat Has Eaten an Orange

are oranges safe for cats

Whether you saw your cat chewing on an orange peel or running off with a piece of fruit that fell off, you should keep a close eye out for any symptoms of citrus poisoning. Typically, symptoms are linked to the digestive system, but in cases of severe poisoning, the nervous system may also be affected. Additionally, your cat may experience an allergic skin reaction after coming into contact with an orange peel on a body part.

Symptoms can include:

Given that the peel of the orange contains more toxic compounds than the fruit, the amount and specific part of the orange that your cat consumed will determine how severe their reaction was. Orange poisoning rarely results in fatalities, and with prompt treatment, the majority of cats can recover completely. Therefore, if you observe any of the above reactions, make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


What happens if my cat eats an orange?

Cats can experience gastrointestinal upset if they consume citrus fruits, and they can also experience skin irritation if their skin comes into contact with one of these fruits. Citrus fruits are toxic to cats because they contain essential oil extracts such as limonene and linalool, as well as psoralens.

What fruits can cats not eat?

Cats should not be fed grapes or raisins as they can lead to kidney disease and organ failure. Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes) are also mildly toxic for cats and can cause a stomach upset.

What citrus is toxic to cats?

The substances found in lemons (Citrus limon) is toxic to your cat, even though you and your family can safely ingest lemons. Toxic compounds in the lemon include linalool and limonene, along with psoralens.

Do cats like the taste of orange?

Most cats hate the smell of orange (and all things citrusy), so if they do taste one once they are unlikely to repeat the experience.