Skip to Content

Can Cats Eat Oranges? Would Your Cat Like Oranges?

Can Cats Eat Oranges? Would Your Cat Like Oranges?

Oranges are a year-round fruit. Their bright colors make them appealing to humans. And as a cat owner, you might think it is appropriate to share this fruit with your feline pet. But, can cats eat oranges?

No, cats shouldn’t eat oranges because some chemical substances in oranges are toxic to cats. You can find these substances in the orange peel and pulp. And your cat won’t show any interest in oranges.

This article will explain what makes oranges toxic. You will understand how the chemical components in oranges affect kittens. Also, you will know how cats react to oranges and orange-containing products.

Before concluding, we will give you information about citrus poisoning and what actions you should take if that happens to your pets. Also, you can find answers to more questions in our FAQ section.

Let’s Talk About Oranges


Oranges are a widespread fruit that comes from Asia. This fruit belongs to the citrus genus. Fruit vesicles, albedo, and oil sacs are the three essential components in an orange. Albedo and oil sacs are part of the orange peel.

What Makes Oranges Toxic To Cats?

Now that you understand the structure of oranges let’s talk about what makes them toxic to cats. The oil sacs we just mentioned contain limonene, linalool, and psoralens. These three substances are responsible for the poisonous reaction cats have towards oranges.

Let’s find out more about these chemical substances.

Substances That Make Oranges Toxic For Cats To Eat



You can find this substance in orange juice. It is an organic chemical compound that occurs naturally in oranges. Psoralens are responsible for protecting the fruit against fungus.

It is the substance that causes a toxic reaction in cats if they eat it. It would be best if you didn’t let your cat lick oranges. These fruits will immediately upset their stomachs.

Substances That Make Oranges Toxic For Cats’ Skin

Oranges also have adverse effects on a cat’s skin. Their toxicity can affect your cat. And, surprisingly many products you have at home can have some of these toxic substances.

Let’s check some other chemicals in oranges. And also let’s see the products where you can find them.


Limonene is the most prevalent oil found in orange peels. We can see this oil present in several products, including:

  • The food industry uses it to provide orange flavor.
  • Orange oil used for aromatherapy contains high amounts of limonene.
  • Various cleaning products contain limonene as a cleaning agent.
  • Plague control products use it in pesticides.
  • Tick control shampoos use it as an antibiotic agent.


Linalool is a liquid substance you can find in oranges. This chemical is available in products like:

  • Shampoos
  • Perfumes
  • Skincare products
  • House cleaning products
  • Mosquito repellents

Young kittens are susceptible to these chemicals. Researchers advise your cat can experience an adverse reaction to limonene and linalool products. These extracts can cause skin irritation. Vets recommend checking the label of the cleaning products you use on your cat—especially when using products for flea control.

How Do Cats React To Oranges


After reading all these adverse effects, you probably worry about your cat getting close to oranges. But, you don’t have to worry much. Your cat is not attracted to oranges.

If your furry friend shows any interest in oranges, he won’t eat them. Cats are good at self-regulating. Their instincts tell them when they shouldn’t eat something.

Another thing to consider, cats are carnivores. You can see domestic cats have changed their eating habits, but they will always prefer meat-based products over anything else you offer.

How Do Cats React To Orange Products

As we explained, orange is present in many products we didn’t even know. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to keep them out of the reach of your kitten.

Now we will see some everyday orange products and how you can expect your cat to behave towards them.

How Cats React To Orange Essential Oils

There are some stories on the internet about cat owners who believe they poisoned their cats with orange essential oils. Some people think of it as a deficiency in their organism, while others understand they are different from humans.

The truth is your cat will never interact with orange oils by itself. If you are the type of person who enjoys lighting a candle or diffusing oils to keep your spaces scented, make sure you don’t use citric essential oils.

How Cats React To Orange Juice

Cats hate orange juice, especially if you squeeze it right from the orange. If you try to force your cat into drinking orange juice, it won’t. Your cat will end up licking its mouth to clean it up.

The same thing happens with lemons, grapefruit, and any other citrus fruits.

Some people think cats like orange juice, especially the 100% version of it. Even though 100% orange juice doesn’t always contain oranges, it would be better to be careful about it. Several orange by-products and essential oils are used to make artificial orange flavoring.

Citrus Poisoning In Cats


Let’s talk about the disease caused by oranges to cats.

What Is Citrus Poisoning?

Citrus poisoning is the name of the health condition caused by the consumption of citric in cats.

Symptoms Of Citrus Poisoning

Some of the symptoms you will find in your cat are:

  • Your cat will try to empty its stomach by vomiting
  • You may find diarrhea
  • The cat won’t be able to stand correctly
  • Skin rashes may appear

How Can You Prevent It?

Prevention is the most critical action to take. You can talk to other members of your household about the effects of citric fruits on cats.

Remember, essential oils and cleaning products can have orange-based compounds.

Be aware of the ingredients in shampoos, pesticides, and plague control products. Most of them include limonene and linalool.

How To Act If Your Cat Is Citrus Poisoned

Suppose you identify your cat has been in contact with oranges. As soon as you see symptoms, take your kitten to the vet.

Make sure you provide detailed information to the specialist. It is crucial to diagnose what’s going on with your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell If My Cat Ate An Orange?

If your cat ate an orange, you would see it would have gastrointestinal distress and can experience skin irritation.

What Other Citric Fruits Are Toxic To Cats?

Many other citric fruits are toxic to cats. Here’s a list of some:

  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarins
  • Tangerines
  • Pomelos
  • Limes

Do Cats Like Oranges?

No, cats do not like oranges or any other citrus fruits. Even though you try to push them to eat oranges, they won’t do it.

Can Oranges Kill My Cat?

There’s a debate around this question. The facts show that oranges are not suitable for cats; even the oils in their peel can negatively affect your kitty. But, the reason why people believe they can’t kill cats is because they know better. Cats understand the need to stay away from these fruits, and they won’t show any interest.

The first group of caregivers says you need to be responsible for what products you use on your cat. There have been cases where people left orange products in the reach of their pets and found them dead.

Can An Orange Candle Kill My Cat?

All candles can be toxic to cats—the fumes of a candle release toxins in the air. It happens because most candles contain small amounts of petroleum.

It is better if you lit candles out of the reach of your pets.

Can I Use Oranges To Help With My Cat’s Behavior?

Yes, you can. Now you know cats repel the smell of oranges and any other citric fruit. You can put orange peels in places where you don’t want your cat.

You can use it to protect your plants, keep your cat out of the toilet, and many other places.

Final Thoughts About Cats And Oranges

Now you understand more about the chemical compounds that make oranges toxic to cats. These chemical components in oranges are a hazard to your kitty’s health. Thankfully, your cat is not naturally attracted to oranges. And will most likely reject them if you offer some.

Nevertheless, citrus poisoning can occur in rare cases. The best way to treat this is through prevention. Raise awareness amongst your household members about what can happen if your cat gets in contact with an orange.

If an unfortunate event occurs and your cat gets citrus poisoning, please take immediate action. Take your cat to the vet as soon as you identify the symptoms.

Keep in mind cats and humans are different. What is a treat for humans can be a threat to cats. We hope this information helps you. Knowledge is power, they say. And know you have the ability to help your cat live a healthier life away from oranges.

More like this post: