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Are Citrus Fruits Poisonous to Cats?

Maximus loves his fruits and veggies. I usually give him a few cranberries everyday, as he just adores them! When I eat an orange he is always right up in my face. I've given him a very small bit once before and he loved it. I'm just afraid that citrus might be poisonous to cats. Is it? Maximus just loves oranges and will actually eat pieces of orange! I don't want to let him have anymore until I know it is safe. He is such a funny cat.


  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 23 December, 2009
    That is unusual! Most cats dislike citrus. Citrus oils are toxic to cats. I know that the concentrated oil is the most dangerous (as in cleaning products and things) but I'm not sure what the level of toxicity is for the fruit itself. I wouldn't let them eat it though because I know cats are pretty sensitive to the oils so it might not take too much of the fruit to cause a reaction (not sure.)
  • Eva viezelEva viezel MontrealMember Posts: 3,008
    edited 25 December, 2009
    First of all the oils in citrus fruit come from the peel. It is highly unusual for a kitty to actually like citrus fruits. However nothing about kitties surprises me:) When I don't know something I let Google show me the way. I found this site that has a list of foods which are not safe for them. It says citrus fruit and seeds can cause vomiting or diarrhea. So if your kitty is OK with small amounts I would say let him enjoy!
  • Miyuki has CatsMiyuki has Cats Member Posts: 12
    edited 3 January, 2010
    I have read somewhere that cats, kittens especially, can have Cat Diabetes, so sugary fruits are ok, in small amounts. :D
  • Sharon MurphySharon Murphy SurreyMember Posts: 1,652
    edited 23 May, 2010
    Alaidh used to lick lemons I'd put down to keep Sammie from resoiling a certain spot on the carpet. It kept Sammie away, but Alaidh loved the lemons. She was a weird kitty. They never hurt her, but it's probably best to only allow tiny amounts.
  • Jenne LloydJenne Lloyd Member Posts: 6
    edited 26 May, 2010 Please vote for Leonardo for Arizona's Top Pet in the Cat category. Voting began today!
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 24 May, 2010
    I don't touch them, but I LOVE it when Meowma starts peeling an orange; those citrus repellents wouldn't work on me; of course I never do anything wrong, so I don't need to be repelled!
  • edited 5 June, 2010
    Cranberries are perfectly fine and good for cats. They help protect against UTIs.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 18 June, 2010
    To Alaidh: I didn't realize your relationship with "Reilly Seamus O'Fluffington" until I looked on your page again. Gorgeous cat. Indigenous Maine Coon (my MCs are sort of artificially produced.) Grey is great, but red tabbies are the best!!! Love!
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 25 July, 2010
    I realize this post is old and probably not even looked at any longer but I just answered another post about oils so I wanted to repost this info from my website: Citrus fruits and oils of any kind can cause severe vomiting and GI distress. d-Limonene and linalool are citrus oils with insecticidal properties. These are metabolized in the liver resulting in liver damage or failure. If ingested, citrus oils and any essential oils in full strength form, can cause liver or kidney failure. If they're inhaled they can even cause neurological disorders and brain damage. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. If the product also contains piperonyl butoxide, the toxic effects of citrus oil extracts may be increased. Never treat your cats with dog products, the result may be fatal.
  • Karina GressKarina Gress Member Posts: 402
    edited 27 July, 2010
    Limonene and Linalool are only present in the peels, not the fruit itself. I\'m a lab tech at a college and we do a lab where we extract these compounds from the skin of oranges, and not only are they very hard to extract, very little is actually in the peel. We\'re talking maybe a fraction of a drop. It doesn\'t take much to hurt/kill an insect, but would take a lot to hurt kitty, and you\'d have to eat the actual compound itself. If a cat or human were to eat a bunch of the peel, expulsion (via vomiting) would occur before these compounds would really have a chance to hurt you. The fruit of a citrus fruit would probably cause GI upset in large quantities, but a little taste now and then won\'t hurt. Don\'t let kitty eat the seeds. Of course never let kitty eat any citrus based insect repellent itself.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 28 July, 2010
    Louie thank you, that's great info to have! I tend to air on the side of caution with stuff on my website because there are people that go to extremes and I've seen them give kitties a lot of something that won't be good for them in the long run. I may pawmail you later with some questions if you don't mind so I can have the entire facts on some things. Thanks so much!:h:
  • Pipi PupiPipi Pupi Member Posts: 1
    edited 8 May, 2014
    I gave one of my kitties a little morsel of an orange blossom muffin a few minutes ago :s Then I forgot whether or not cats can have oranges, so I looked it up! I just looked at the ingredients and I think there is only orange juice concentrate and concentrated orange juice, but no orange oil or extract. I think it's safe, plus I gave him a very small amount! Do you guys think it's safe? :s
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