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Can cats eat lemons?

Can cats eat lemons?

Cat owners wonder, “can cats eat lemon or other citrus fruits?” The answer is a big no. Lemon juice and lemon oil are highly toxic to cats because of limonene and psoralens.

Lemon water and essential oils have a citrusy scent because of limonene. This chemical is also present in various dog shampoos and other cleaning products.

Pet owners must know that limonene can cause skin irritation and skin burns. If you have products with various citrus scents, do not apply them to your feline companions.

Lemon poisoning in cats can be fatal, and the lemon tree is also responsible for this. Cat owners must avoid using this tree to protect their plants from cat invasion.

When workers rescue cats from the suburban area, they look for poisoning symptoms. The first sign would be drooling and lethargy if the cat ate lemon or other citrus fruit.

Read along to dig deep into lemon poisoning and how you can save your cat from this menace.

Are lemons a good food for cats?

Lemons are not good food for cats by any means. Cats are obligate carnivores and have evolved over centuries to claim this title.

These true carnivores need lean protein from small game to live and thrive. Birds and rats are the perfect food source for cats; only this source is good food for felines in the wild.

But lemons are not what your furball needs daily. Lemon is healthy for humans because of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But for cats and their needs, this food cannot provide amino acids, fat, and taurine.

Are lemons safe/toxic for cats to eat?

There is no second opinion regarding the toxicity of this food. The use of lemon is safe for humans, but this fruit is highly toxic and poisonous to felines.

Limonene is a chemical that is found in abundance in lemon peel, oil, and bark. This substance can make your cat suffer from severe illnesses and medical conditions.

Psoralens is also in abundance in lemon and is a perfect cleaning agent. But for the feline skin, this agent can cause irritation and skin burn.

Many pet parents use lemon sprays for freshness. One must avoid using these sprays and cleaning products in the cat’s presence.

Are there any side effects of feeding cat lemons?

If your cat has accidentally licked lemon and taken a bite of lemon-flavored food, the things might remain under control.

You will not have to worry about lemon poisoning, but this food’s harmful agents will cause serious side effects. A single bite and a single lick are enough for your cat to suffer from the following side effects:

  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Bloating
  • Stomach ache
  • Skin infection

These side effects usually don’t last longer than a few days, but you should not wait. If you don’t know the amount of lemon the cat has eaten, take your furball to the vet immediately. The timely measures can save your cat from the adverse effects of lemon poisoning.

How many lemons can a cat eat?

There is no chance that your cat will eat half a lemon and can survive the adversity of lemon poisoning. If you could keep your cat alive from the poisoning, the harmful chemicals would affect the vital organs of the feline body. The brain is the most hit part of the cat in case of feline poisoning.

Your furball will suffer from fits that can cause more brain damage if the spells remain more prolonged and more frequent. The damage to the kidney will be crucial, and the cat might have to stay on meds for a couple of years.

If you ask about lemon-flavored products like lemon bread and lemon pie, these things are also not safe for feline consumption

What are the risks of feeding cats lemons?

If you feed your cat lemons, the poor souls will suffer from lemon poisoning, and the consequences can be fatal. You must react swiftly if you notice that the cat has consumed lemon juice, peel, or some part of the lemon. Take the cat to the vet for induced vomiting.

The vet would start the procedure to make your cat vomit all the lemon substance that could cause poisoning. When the cat has regurgitated the stomach, the next step is to use charcoal. It will prevent poisonous chemicals from making their way to the bloodstream of your furball.

The vet will keep the cat under observation to look for the following signs and symptoms of lemon poisoning and administer medicines accordingly:

  • Brain damage
  • Fits
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart problem
  • Poisonous elements in the bloodstream

Can kittens eat lemons?

Kittens cannot eat anything before weaning except mother milk or formula. You cannot give any random formula to the kitten as it could result in digestive issues, and the poor kitten can lose its life.

You must be very cautious with citrus fruits in the presence of kittens. The use of this fruit is highly poisonous for kittens, and the poisoning can kill them in a matter of days.

When kittens start eating cat food and enjoy other treats, they are not strong enough to ward off the threat of citrus fruit.

Adult cats are as docile before citrus fruit as kittens, and using products made with citrus fruit will result in no good. That’s why vets recommend that pet parents avoid eating these things in the presence of kittens and cats.

Lemons Nutrition Benefits For Cats

Lemons have nutritional benefits for humans and contain harmful agents and chemicals for cats. If cats were humans, they could get the following benefits from this citrus fruit:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates

How should lemon be avoided in the presence of a cat?

Cats are naturally curious; they usually despise the smell of lemon and other citrus fruits. But their inquisitive nature forces them to give a lick or nibble on the food you are trying.

Vets recommend when you have a cat, do not eat the food in their presence because any fallen piece can make its way to the cat’s digestive tract. It would be best to always dispose of lemon peels and husk appropriately in a locked bin to avoid cat access.

What about lemon juice? 

You might think a refreshing sip of lemon juice on a hot summer day will not cause any problem to the kitty.

Do not think that again, and never try sharing your lemonade, lemon juice, or lemon-flavored drink with your cat. Using such drinks will do no good; it will make your cat suffer from lemon poisoning and severe risks.

Can cats eat an orange?

Orange can be a bit sweeter than lemon, but it is not free from poisonous elements for felines. This fruit is also a big no for kitties; you must keep things this way.

Can cats eat tangerine?

No, cats cannot eat tangerine or anything made from citrus fruits. If you want to share lemon bread or tangerine-flavored food with your kitty, this idea can cost your cat her health and longevity.  

Lemons Alternative Healthy Snacks

There are no healthy alternatives to lemon and citrus fruit. But if you are willing to provide your cat a healthy diet with a blend of different minerals and vitamins, you have various options. According to experts, you must give your cat other fruits and veggies to give them the necessary nutrients.

These snacks must not be a daily thing and always keep the snacks in moderation. You can offer your cat any of the following as an occasional treat:

Final Thoughts

  • Lemon is poisonous to cats, and you must avoid sharing lemon with your cat in any form.
  • Using the lemon tree to protect plants is not good as lemon bark is also poisonous to cats.
  • Kittens cannot eat lemon, and the dire consequences can claim their life within days.
  • Lemon bread, lemon pie, and other lemon foods are highly toxic to felines.
  • In case of lemon poisoning, take your cat to the vet immediately to prevent damage to the vital organs.  

FAQs for cats eating lemons

Is lemon spray effective against fleas?

The lemon spray is effective against fleas because they don’t like the smell and chemicals, but your cat is also the same. The lemon spray will have the same effect on fleas and cats and result in skin burn and irritation.

Can lemon kill my cat?

No, a lemon cannot kill the cat right away. Vets and experts are more worried about the damage the hazardous chemicals make to the feline’s vital organs. If you do not take your pet to the vet in time, the effects could be fatal in the long run.

Is lemon poisoning fatal?

If you do not act swiftly and take your cat to the vet after lemon eating, the harmful chemicals will make their way to the cat’s bloodstream. These chemicals will damage the brain, heart, and kidneys.
If the cat suffers from diabetes or other medical conditions, the fatality could be in a couple of days. But for a healthy cat, the damage to the vital organ can result in fatality at different times.  

Is lemon shampoo safe for my cat?

Many dog shampoos come in a lemon flavor for good fragrance and freshness. But if you think of using this on your cat, you will make your kitty suffer from irritation and skin burn. The chemical responsible for the smell is highly problematic for feline skin.