Are Citrus Fruits Poisonous to Cats?

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Purred: Mon Dec 21, '09 11:41pm PST 
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.

QGM- Harlequin- (Striped- Seven)

I am a show- champion!
Purred: Wed Dec 23, '09 10:40am PST 
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.)

Edited by author Wed Dec 23, '09 10:40am PST


Alfie♥Forever Loved

Little boy in a- catsuit
Purred: Fri Dec 25, '09 2:39pm PST 
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 mesmile
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!


Hi I'm Fiddley.- I'm a Catnip- Addict.
Purred: Sat Jan 2, '10 10:54pm PST 
I have read somewhere that cats, kittens especially, can have Cat Diabetes, so sugary fruits are ok, in small amounts. big grin

Alaidh - my little- angel

The only real- cat is a grey- cat!
Purred: Sun May 23, '10 8:34pm PST 
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.


headed for the- light.
Purred: Mon May 24, '10 6:46pm PST 
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!


Purred: Sat Jun 5, '10 12:34pm PST 
Cranberries are perfectly fine and good for cats. They help protect against UTIs.


Has been COTD!
Purred: Fri Jun 18, '10 4:54am PST 
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!

Edited by author Fri Jun 18, '10 5:09am PST


Finnegan (Finney)

I am a- CARNIVORE! Not a- Cornivore!
Purred: Sun Jul 25, '10 9:56am PST 
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: http://ibdkitties.net/Toxicfoods.html.
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.

Louie- (1996-2013)

The love sponge!-
Purred: Tue Jul 27, '10 4:58pm PST 
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.

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