Can Cats Eat Citrus?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Can Cats Eat Citrus?

The short answer is no, cats should not eat citrus. Citrus fruits are high in acidity and can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. If your cat does eat citrus, watch for signs of gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Citrus fruits are a delicious and healthy treat for people, but can cats eat citrus? The simple answer is no. Cats are not able to process the citric acid in citrus fruits, which can lead to stomach upset and other health problems. If you’re looking for a safe and healthy treat for your cat, try one of these options instead.

Nutritional Value of Citrus Fruits for Cats

While citrus fruits are not a necessary part of a cat’s diet, they can be a healthy and delicious treat for your feline friend. Citrus fruits are a good source of Vitamin C, and they can also help to freshen your cat’s breath. However, it is important to remember that not all cats enjoy the taste of citrus, so you may want to try a few different fruits before you find one that your cat loves.

Vitamin C

Cats, like humans, cannot produce their own vitamin C and must obtain it through their diet. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for cats and helps support a healthy immune system. It is also important for the health of their skin and coat. Cats typically consume enough vitamin C from animal-based protein sources, such as liver and muscle meats. However, if a cat’s diet consists mostly of plant-based proteins or if they are not eating enough overall, they may need a supplement.

Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C for cats. While all citrus fruits contain vitamin C, some have higher levels than others. For example, one cup of orange juice has about 124% of the daily recommended value (DV) of vitamin C, while one cup of grapefruit juice has about 70% DV.


Citrus fruits are an excellent source of fiber, providing both soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that helps to slow down digestion and keep you feeling full for longer. This type of fiber is especially beneficial for cats who are prone to obesity or who have diabetes. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water and helps to add bulk to the stool, promoting regularity.


Water is an essential nutrient for cats, and citrus fruits are a great natural source of water. In addition to being a refreshing snack for your kitty, citrus fruits can also help keep her hydrated. Just be sure to offer only fresh, ripe fruit as some citrus fruits can cause stomach upset if they are overripe or not ripe enough.

Potential Benefits of Citrus Fruits for Cats

Citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin for cats. Citrus fruits also contain limonene, which is a compound that can help keep a cat’s fur clean and healthy. Citrus fruits are also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help keep a cat’s digestive system running smoothly.

Digestive Health

Citrus fruits are rich in fiber, which can promote digestive health in cats. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract functioning properly by bulk-ing up stools and promoting regularity. In addition, fiber can help cats feel fuller after eating, which may be helpful for cats who are trying to lose weight. Citrus fruits are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against cellular damage.

Immune System Support

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is important for cats because they are not able to synthesize their own. Vitamin C is essential for a variety of functions in the body, including the development and repair of tissues, the production of collagen (which helps heal wounds), and the proper functioning of the immune system. In addition, citruses contain bioflavonoids, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties and can help protect cells from damage. Citrus fruits also contain limonene, a naturally occurring compound that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in some studies.

Potential Risks of Citrus Fruits for Cats

citrus fruits are generally considered safe for human consumption, there are potential risks associated with feeding them to cats. The main concern is the possibility of gastrointestinal upset, as citrus fruits are acidic. Additionally, the essential oils in citrus fruits can be irritating to a cat’s skin and fur.

Gastrointestinal Upset

While it’s technically possible for cats to eat small amounts of citrus fruits without any ill effects, it’s generally not a good idea to give them citrus fruits on a regular basis. This is because citrus fruits can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, including vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat does eat a citrus fruit, watch for signs of gastrointestinal distress and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to citrus fruits are relatively rare in cats, but they can happen. Symptoms of an allergy can include itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If your cat has any of these symptoms after eating citrus fruit, call your veterinarian immediately.


In conclusion, while cats can eat citrus fruits, it is important to give them in moderation. Too much citrus can cause complications such as gastrointestinal upset or even liver damage. If you do choose to feed your cat citrus, make sure to monitor them closely for any potential problems.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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