Can Cats Eat Oranges? Everything You Need to Know

On a hot day, nothing beats a delightful glass of ice-cold orange juice or, better yet, a freshly cut orange. Oranges are not only delicious, but they are also packed with vitamins.

You may find your cat staring at you pleadingly while eating this delicious fruit and question if it’s safe to give your pet a taste. Can cats, on the other hand, consume oranges? Is it safe for your cat friend to eat these delicious fruits?

Oranges are unfortunately not safe for cats, so the short answer is no. Oranges, like many other citrus fruits, contain a lot of sugar, which isn’t good for your cat, and they’re really harmful to cats. Let’s go into everything you need to know about feeding oranges to your cats in more detail.

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Why shouldn’t cats eat oranges?

While oranges contain vitamin C, which is beneficial to humans, cats synthesize their own vitamin C and, unlike humans, do not require it from their diet unless in exceptional situations. Oranges are also high in sugar, which cats should avoid because it can quickly develop health problems.

Oranges and their skin contain oils that are toxic to cats, and intake of these oils can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as nervous system diseases. Psoralens, a chemical found in oranges and other citrus fruits like lemons, is a toxin that can cause sensitivity.

Citrus poisoning is a mild but debilitating illness in cats that is rarely fatal. It’s crucial to remember that both the fruit and the peels are toxic to cats, with the peels possibly being even more so due to a higher concentration of oils.

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Signs of citrus poisoning in cats

Whether your cat takes a taste of your freshly squeezed orange juice or ran away with a few peels, they’ll almost certainly start to display symptoms right soon. These symptoms will vary depending on how much orange they have consumed; if they have consumed a large amount, the symptoms will be more intense and severe. These are some of them:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Listlessness
  • Shaking
  • Photosensitivity
  • Seizures

If your cat has eaten any amount of orange and is showing any of these symptoms, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Fortunately, citrus poisoning is rarely fatal, and with the correct treatment, most cats recover completely.

How can I stop my cats from eating oranges?

Fortunately, you won’t have to do much to keep your cat from eating oranges or citrus in general, as cats dislike the taste and smell. Cats despise the smell so much that oranges are frequently used in cat repellent sprays! Of course, oranges or lemons can be found in a variety of foods and beverages, and you should never feed them to your cat.

There are also a lot of common cleaning sprays on the market that include citrus, which could be harmful to your cat. While these items are unlikely to be consumed by your cat, it’s still a good idea to avoid spraying them near their sleeping space, toys, food bowls, or litter box.

What fruits can cats eat?

Cats are obligate carnivores, thus they shouldn’t eat a lot of fruit. Although giving your cat specially-made cat treats is a better alternative, many fruits are okay to give cats on occasion, and some are even included in commercial cat foods. When offering cats any form of fruit, keep in mind that moderation is important. It should not exceed 5%-10% of their daily caloric intake and should be given only once or twice a week, if at all. Fruits that are safe for felines to eat include:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Watermelons


Cats don’t need any extra vitamin C in their food because they produce it on their own. While oranges are a good source of vitamin C for humans, they are not necessary for cats and can potentially be harmful to them. Due to the oils in oranges, there is indeed a risk of citrus poisoning, and the high sugar level is also not optimal. Instead, try specifically made cat treats or healthy, cat-safe fruits to offer your cat a treat.

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