Citrus fruits are important in the human diet. They are rich in many nutrients, especially vitamin C.
Not only are citrus fruits beneficial to human health, but they are also undeniably delicious, especially oranges.
Oranges are really sweet, so you might be thinking of sharing such sweetness with your feline friends.
So, the question that has to be asked is, “Can cats eat oranges?” Let us find out.
Cats Have No Sweet Taste Buds
Cats cannot taste anything sweet. They do not have sweet taste buds.
So your cat will most likely not care so much about oranges and how good they must taste.
Even if your only intention for feeding your cat an orange was to let your furball experience the fruity sweet taste of oranges, it will be a useless effort because she cannot literally taste it.
If your other motive for desiring to give your cat a slice of orange was to give her a bit of a vitamin C boost, hate to break it to you but that is also for nothing.
Cats can produce vitamin C all on their own. Their bodies are designed to produce the vitamin C they need, no more, no less.
Now that we have tackled how useless and absurd the reasons for feeding your cat an orange is, let us delve deeper into why you should NOT feed your furball any orange.
According to ASPCA, oranges are toxic to cats.
Oranges contain essential oils and psoralens that are toxic to cats.
If your cat consumes an orange or any other citrus fruit, she can get a bad case of diarrhea and will most likely vomit.
Embrace Pet Insurance Director of Claims Jenna Mahan said that you should not feed your cat oranges because “the citric acid (in oranges) can cause stomach irritation and the essential oils can cause issues with the central nervous system.”
Why is Bad
The essential oils in oranges need glucosyl transferase to be metabolized properly.
Without it, these essential oils will only be sitting in your cat’s stomach.
The essential oils will accumulate in your cat until it builds up to toxic levels.
This can cause a number of unwanted health problems.
What do Oranges Cause?
Oranges, and other citrus fruits for that matter, can cause your cat to have depression.
It has also been observed to cause photosensitivity, which means that your cat will react abnormally to light.
Other effects are vomiting and diarrhea. While those are not the most serious effects, they should be enough of a warning that a cat’s stomach will reject an orange and other citrus fruit.
That should be a strong sign to cat owners that they should NEVER feed or give their cat an orange for food.
What if your Cat Eats a Small Piece of Orange?
Sometimes it is unpreventable to prevent your cat from eating what you know is bad for her. After all, cats are curious creatures by nature.
If your cat happens to eat a small piece of orange, she will suffer the effects of it.
Since only a small piece of orange was consumed, your cat will only suffer minor effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.
While those effects do not sound minor, they are minor compared to the effects of eating large amounts of anything in the citrus family.
If she consumes a large amount, she may suffer from photosensitivity and may even begin to hurt herself and others.
To be safe, cat owners should immediately take their pet to the veterinarian for a check-up if they notice anything unusual with their cat.
While it is true that a small amount of orange cannot overly harm or damage your cat, it will cause them stress. And stress is not good for cats.
If you notice any sign of distress, no matter how small, call the vet. It is always better safe than sorry.
Monitor your cat’s behavior because the more info you can give the vet, the better.
Can Cats Eat Oranges?
The short answer is a strong resounding “NO!” Under no circumstances you should feed your cat an orange and other citrus fruit like lime, lemon, or tangerine.
Citrus fruits contain essential oils and psoralens that are toxic to cats.
They also contain citric acid which can cause gastrointestinal upset in your cat.
There is no sane reason to give your cat a slice of orange for food.
She cannot taste its sweetness and she does not need its vitamin C because she can produce in her body enough of it.
Feeding your cat an orange is only giving her and yourself a case of headache.
Not only are you endangering her health, but you are also traumatizing her because the effects of such an act are severe.
Final Warning: Be Careful
A cat will naturally avoid an orange and other citrus fruit. She has a natural aversion to such fruits.
So, you, the cat owner and lover, do not have to worry that she will eat anything citrus.
That means that cat owners and lovers should be extremely careful about what they give their feline friends.
You should never mindlessly feed your cat what is in your hand.
If you want your cat to have healthier snacks and meals, there are certainly other options other than oranges and other citrus fruits.
There are other fruits and vegetables that are not toxic to cats.
A slice of an apple or a small bit of a banana is both safe and healthy for your cat.
Just remember, before feeding your cat anything new to them, find out if it is dangerous for her. As for whether can cats eat oranges, it is an emphatic “No!”