Can Cats Eat Tangerines?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

We all know that cats are finicky eaters, but did you know that there are some foods that they shouldn’t eat? Tangerines are one of them. While the scent of a tangerine may be enticing to a cat, the citrus fruit can actually make them sick. So, if you’re wondering “Can cats eat tangerines?”, the answer is no.

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While cats are carnivores, they are not averse to eating the occasional fruit or vegetable. While tangerines are not toxic to cats, they are not a necessary part of your cat’s diet and should only be given as a treat. When feeding your cat tangerines, be sure to remove the seeds and pits, as these can be dangerous for cats if ingested.

What is in a Tangerine?

There are a few things to consider before feeding your cat any type of citrus fruit, tangerine included. The first is the sugar content. Cats don’t process sugar well, so too much can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Secondly, the acidity in citrus fruits can cause stomach upsets in some cats. If your cat doesn’t have any known allergies or sensitivities, and you want to give them a small taste of tangerine, make sure to remove the skin and seeds first.

The Pros of Cats Eating Tangerines

Giving your cat tangerines may have some benefits. For one, tangerines are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for cats and helps support a healthy immune system.

In addition, tangerines contain antioxidants that can help protect your cat’s cells from damage. Antioxidants are important for overall health and may help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as cancer.

Tangerines are also low in calories and fat, making them a good choice for cats who are overweight or obese. Overweight and obese cats are more likely to suffer from health problems like diabetes, so it’s important to keep their weight in check.

The Cons of Cats Eating Tangerines

Though tangerines are not toxic to cats, there are a few potential downsides to allowing your feline friend to eat this citrus fruit.

Tangerines are acidic, and consuming too much acid can lead to gastrointestinal upset in cats. Symptoms of gastrointestinal upset in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If your cat consumes a large amount of tangerine or any other citrus fruit, it’s important to monitor them for these symptoms and contact your veterinarian if they occur.

Tangerines also contain a substance called limonene, which can be toxic to cats in large amounts. Limonene is found in the peel of tangerines as well as the flesh, so it’s important to keep your cat from eating both parts of the fruit. Symptoms of limonene toxicity in cats include drooling, oral and paw irritation, difficulty breathing, and weakness. If your cat displays any of these symptoms after eating tangerines, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Finally, tangerines contain sugar just like other fruits. While a small amount of sugar is not harmful to cats, too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems over time. It’s important to feed tangerines to your cat in moderation and only as an occasional treat.


Cats can eat tangerines, but only in moderation. The high sugar content in tangerines can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, so it’s best to give them only a small amount as a treat. If your cat is diabetic, you should avoid giving them tangerines altogether.

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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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