Have you ever wondered if cats will eat lemons? The definitive response is “no.” Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges contain compounds that are poisonous to cats and other common household pets.
Pet owners who also tend lemon trees should be wary, as these toxins are found in both the fruit and the plant.
If your cat consumes lemons, lemon juice, or anything else containing lemons, it is imperative that you take them to the vet immediately. Keep reading to get the lowdown on whether or not feline felivores can enjoy the tart flavor of lemons.
Can Cats Eat Lemons?
Three times, no! Citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, are toxic to cats.
Citrus can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, cold hands and feet, and even low blood pressure, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
However, when a cat consumes an excessive amount of citrus fruits, it can lead to poisoning, organ failure, and even death.
Cats Recognise Lemon Citrus
Thankfully, cats learn early on to associate the citrus smell with danger and steer clear of it almost always. You can keep your glass of lemon juice out in the open without having to hide any lemons.
Some cat owners take advantage of this natural defense mechanism by placing lemon slices or peels in areas they don’t want their cat to investigate, such as the garden or the dinner table.
However, cats don’t always use their keen sense of smell to its full potential.
A cat needs to get very close to the lemon and start sniffing it very carefully in order to detect the citrus aroma.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, so your cat could still unwittingly ingest the lemon peels.
Is Lemon Toxic For Cats?
Can cats tolerate lemon?
To put it briefly, yes. They get very sick from it.
Essential oils and toxic compounds and elements found in lemons are toxic to cats. The lemon’s peel, seeds, and pulp all contain these poisons.
Limonene, linalool, and psoralen are the most lethal compounds.
Lemon’s zesty aroma comes from limonene, an essential oil.
Limonene is toxic to cats but safe for dogs at low concentrations. That’s why you’ll find this ingredient in lots of dog grooming supplies.
Having said that, you shouldn’t wash your cat with dog shampoo. Only cat shampoo should be used on your cat.
Cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and room fresheners all feature limonene as an ingredient. Your cat should not have access to these items.
The citrusy aroma of lemons is contributed to in part by linalool. You can find it in shampoos, cleansers, and even insecticides.
Thirdly, psoralen, if ingested, can cause mutations in a cat’s DNA.
Using psoralen on your cat is just as risky as it is for you.
While it may help humans with psoriasis, it has a very negative effect on cats, causing burns to their skin. A car needs to be kept inside if it comes into contact with lemon peels or lemon juice.
Sunburns and irritation are the results of too much time spent in the sun.
So obviously giving cats citrus is a MAJOR DEAL.
Why is Lemon Poisonous To Cats?
Cats can experience stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea from ingesting as little as a few drops of lemon juice or a few peels.
The severity of the symptoms will increase the more lemon your cat consumes. This citrus fruit, if consumed in large quantities, can cause severe illness or even death.
Liver failure, sensitivity to light, and itching are also very serious side effects.
One who is photosensitive is extremely sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and other sources of artificial light.
Although poisoning can occur from eating too much lemon, it is completely unreasonable to give your cat even a small piece.
Remember that giving your cat a lemon won’t help it fight off illness.
Don’t bother trying to convince them of that, because it won’t work.
Your cat is unlikely to agree with you no matter how hard you try. Its ability to detect the citrusy scent depends on the health of its smell receptors and the clarity of its nasal passages.
When it does, it may turn its head away in disgust, attack the lemon, or flee.
What is Lemon Poisoning?
Toxins in lemon and other citrus fruits can be toxic to cats.
To cause poisoning, one would have to consume a great deal of lemon. The onset of multiple symptoms so soon after eating the poisonous food is a clear indication that your cat has been poisoned.
What Are Symptoms of Lemon Poisoning in Cats?
An inquisitive animal might investigate a lemon by sniffing it, licking it, or biting its branch. This level of exposure is harmless, and it’s likely that your cat will avoid the area because of the smell and the taste.
Obviously, you should rush your cat to the vet if it eats any pieces of lemon fruit or ingests any lemon oil.
There is a spectrum of possible side effects from consuming lemons, from nausea and vomiting to diarrhoea and drooling to fatigue and shakiness to numbness in the extremities to low blood pressure. Lemon oil’s toxic compounds can cause skin irritation, rashes, photosensitivity, and even depression if they come into contact with the skin.
We can’t possibly keep tabs on our cats’ every move, so if you even suspect they might have eaten some lemon fruit, any of these signs should prompt an immediate trip to the vet.
Treating Lemon Poisoning in Cats
In all cases, a treatment plan for your sick pet should be prescribed by your veterinarian. The first step in treating a cat poisoned by lemon is determining how severely ill it is.
Activated charcoal and gastric lavage are commonly used together to treat poisoning and stomach pain.
Charcoal acts as a barrier to prevent poisonous particles from entering the bloodstream, and a gastric lavage cleans out the cat’s stomach.
Electrolyte supplements and intravenous (IV) drips for rehydration may be used as supplementary treatment methods. A topical treatment plan is recommended for skin burns.
Seizure-affected cats often require additional oxygen and anti-tremor medication if their condition is particularly dire.
If you think your cat has been poisoned, a thorough physical examination by your vet is in order.
Toxins in the stomach will be flushed out by the veterinarian using gastric lavage.
Your cat will be given activated charcoal afterward. It will flush the poison out of the cat’s system completely.
The vet will treat each symptom separately after the toxins have been removed. He plans to administer intravenous fluids to treat the dehydration brought on by the vomiting and diarrhea.
And if the acidity of the lemon causes any skin irritation or redness, he can treat it with topical creams.
The veterinarian may advise you to keep your cat indoors until it has finished its course of cat medicine and has fully recovered if photosensitivity symptoms are also present.
But you should keep your cat away from the bright window. However, you can reduce exposure to the sun’s UV rays by covering the windows with blinds if you choose to do so.
Can Cats Recover From Lemon Poisoning?
Cats rarely suffer from lemon poisoning because they avoid foods that smell strongly of citrus.
If your cat does eat a piece of lemon, though, you shouldn’t worry because cat owners know that their feline is above the law. In most cases, and especially with veterinary care, cats make full recoveries from this condition.
In the weeks after the poisoning, it’s best to take them in for routine checkups at the vet’s office. In addition, you may want to bring your outdoor cat inside for a few days while you watch for signs of poisoning from lemons.
Using Lemon Water as a Deterrent for Fleas
I recently read that spraying a cat with lemon water can help keep fleas at bay. The answer to “can cats eat lemons?” likely leaves you wondering about the safety of lemon water spray.
The obvious response is that fleas hate lemon, but your cat probably feels the same way. We also know that direct contact with lemon juice or oil can be dangerous for a cat.
If your cat has a flea problem, you should use an anti-flea treatment that won’t be unpleasant or harmful to your feline friend.
Vinegar is safe for cats to consume, and any leftover vinegar can be used for other purposes.
Can I Keep a Lemon Tree if I Have a Cat?
The fact that a lemon tree can be grown in either an indoor or outdoor setting adds to the pleasure of caring for one. It’s not always easy to decide to keep a lemon tree in the house because of the potential danger they pose to our pets.
Here’s some encouraging news. Most cats, as I mentioned before, have a strong aversion to the scent of citrus fruits and will therefore likely avoid your trees.
However, I would caution you to keep an eye on your cat for the first few days or weeks as it interacts with your new lemon trees.
Your cat and your lemon trees in the garden should be safe if they just leave the tree alone.
Can Cats Eat Lemons FAQs
Are citrus sprays bad for cats?
Essential oils are becoming increasingly fashionable, and many citrus-scented sprays already include them. Essential oils contain chemicals that are toxic to cats and can quickly make them sick.
These oils are easily absorbed through the skin, but cats’ livers lack the enzymes necessary to properly metabolize them.
Despite this, citrusy smells tend to make cats very anxious. Therefore, the answer is yes; they are harmful to felines.
Will lemons keep cats away from my plants?
This is a very useful method for preventing damage to your plants caused by cats’ sharp claws and inquisitive nature.
Cats have sensitive noses, so scattering some lemon peels around the plants’ bases may be enough to deter them. Make sure your cat is not averse to citrus before trying this, though.
Do Cats Like Lemon Juice?
No. Citrus juice is not liked by cats. They don’t like the way lemon smells either. They will try to avoid being near it because they see it as dangerous. To prevent your cat from entering certain areas, some people use citrus peels.
Can Cats Have Lemon Juice in Their Drinking Water?
No. You shouldn’t put citrus juice in your cat’s water because it contains toxins that can be fatal to a feline.
Even a small amount of lemon juice can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain in adult cats. It may progress to a fatal liver failure if left untreated.
Are Citrus Fruits Bad for Cats?
Yes. The health of a cat is seriously endangered by exposure to citrus fruits. Essential oils and toxins like limonene and linalool are what make them up, and they’re the ones responsible for the aforementioned gastrointestinal distress, skin irritation, depression, and photosensitivity.
Can Cats Eat Lemons? No!
Even though a cat probably wouldn’t eat a piece of lemon if it wasn’t forced into its mouth, it’s not unheard of. This is why it’s important to know what foods are safe and unsafe for your pets.
Indeed, if you notice your cat is upset and you think lemon is to blame, don’t delay in taking it to the vet.
The age-old debate of “can cats eat lemons?” has finally been settled. If you’re curious whether or not your dog is an exception, keep reading to find out everything there is to know about canines and lemons.
Do you want to read more about lemons? To learn more about planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more with lemons, please visit our page dedicated to lemon trees.