Can Cats Eat Oranges? What About Lemons?

Cats are very picky when it comes to food. If your cat likes oranges, it's very unusual because oranges aren't good for your cat. They are more harmful. Read on to discover why your feline shouldn't eat oranges, no matter how much you love them.

Vitamin C is excellent for humans. Luckily, this vitamin can be found in citrus fruit in generous amounts—nothing like a nice apple and an orange to keep the cold away.

You may love to eat fresh organic or to use them to create extra delicious mulled wine, but should your feline eat oranges? Moreover, does she like this fruit?

Once you take upon yourself to be a feline-owner, you are actually; promising to another living being that you will take care of her.

You are promising to provide proper vaccination, deliver daily high-quality food, regular veterinarian check-ups, and daily love and care.

Can Cats Eat Oranges?

The short answer is no; cats can’t safely eat oranges. In fact, oranges are toxic to cats due to the essential oils contained in oranges. In general, citrus fruit is considered toxic to cats.

As always, you should talk to your veterinarian before you introduce any new food to your feline.

Make sure that you know which human foods are safe for your feline and which should be avoided.

Let’s explore further the connection between oranges and cats.

Why Are Oranges Bad For Cats?

Vitamin C is beneficial to humans for many reasons, and eating an orange a week can boost your immune system and keep you safe during the cold winter days. Although this is beneficial for you, it is definitely harmful to your feline.

The essential oils that oranges contain are toxic to cats, so you shouldn’t force your cat to eat it. Moreover, even if you allow your cat to eat it, she will sniff it and refuse it, in most cases.

You will see the change; she will stay away from any place with orange on.

If a cat eats an orange, she might experience severe diarrhea and excessive vomiting. Citric acid will always upset a cat’s stomach, even in the smallest amounts.

In some cases, it has been proved that oranges can actually make a cat depressed or even cause them to be highly photosensitive.

What To Do If A Cat Ate An Orange?

If you notice that your cat has eaten an orange, it’s crucial to monitor her behavior. Monitor if there are any signs of distress. If you notice vomiting, call your veterinarian immediately.

They will ask you about the symptoms the cat is showing. They will also ask you which part of the orange your cat has eaten.

The more information you can deliver, the better; therefore, try to memorize everything you notice.

What About Lemon?

If oranges aren’t your cat’s favorite, should you try to give her another citrus fruit, like lemon? The answer is, no. Never force your cat to eat any citrus fruit.

Lemons contain the same toxic ingredients as psoralens and essential oils. Compared to oranges, lemons are even more harmful, and they are more likely to upset your cat’s stomach.

Oranges, lemons, pomelos, limes, tangerines, and grapefruits should be on your cat’s menu, no matter how much you love citrus fruit.

Even if your feline loves citrus fruits (which is unlikely), don’t let her eat them. Keep the fruit away from her reach. It’s the veterinarian’s job to know everything animal-related.

It’s true that a tiny piece of citrus fruit will not harm your cat, but it will cause strong and intense stress.

Plus, it’s not an ethical action to feed your cat with something that can hurt her, just because you can. Abstain from giving the cat oranges or any citrus fruit.

But… Can Cats Eat Fruit?

Dogs are interested in eating everything, even fruit. With cats, the situation is slightly different. Unlike dogs, cats aren’t interested in the sweetness of the fruit.

Still, cats can tolerate some fruit, which is safe for them. In most cases, they will take in as a part of dry food and rarely raw.

Still, if your cat likes some of the following fruits, serve it; just make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian first.

The following fruit is listed as safe for cats, but it should always serve only tiny pieces. Fruit should be a treat, not a full meal.

Always cut food in bite-sized pieces that do not pose a choking hazard for your cat and kitten.

To be sure, follow the same serving instruction for dogs, as listed above. Here is the fruit that your cat may enjoy safely:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon (seedless)

What Fruits to Avoid With Cats

Consuming the wrong plant-based food can pose a severe risk to your feline.

So far, you know that anything citrus-like is dangerous, but there is more. The following fruits should not be given to your feline:

  • Cherries
  • Citrus (as mentioned earlier: oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, limes)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Tomatoes

Can cats eat fruit? Absolutely – if it’s the right fruit and in moderation. Certain fruit can lead to significant changes in your cat’s health and not a good one.

If you are looking for some varieties of your pet’s snacks, you have many safe options to choose from.

Just do your research first on what’s the right cat food and talk to your veterinarian.

Monitor careful your cat’s behavior after every food change. If you notice anything unusual, contact the veterinarian.


Since you know that citrus fruits and others listed above a big no-no for your feline, you should think about substitutes. Focus on fruit that’s actually good for them and serve it in moderation.

Always introduce fruit slowly to your feline and serve only small pieces. Double-check with your veterinarian if it’s ok to serve certain fruit to your cat. With so many fruits available, you just need someone to point you to the safe one.

Healthy Fruits and Veggies For Cats

Cats are hypercarnivores in nature. This means that they need a daily meat intake.

As carnivores, cats cannot properly digest plants, which can cause digestive issues such as vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.

Again, they can enjoy certain fruit and vegetables in moderation. Some fruits and veggies provide them great nutrition, especially for kitties, as long as you feed them the right amount.

Fact List On What Cats May Eat

  • Apple, no skin and seeds
  • Avocado
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Cranberries
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Strawbery, watermelon, and blueberries mentioned above

Fact List On What Cats Shouldn’t Eat

  • All citrus fruits
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • Rhubarb
  • Grapes
  • Tomato

The Bottom Line

While oranges are considered toxic to cats, the reassuring news is that most cats will run away from anything citrus.

Moreover, they will show an aversion to any citrus fruits, so you won’t have to hide oranges from your cat.

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