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Can Cats Eat Lemon?

Cats are one of the most incredible pets to have in your home. And if you love feeding it with fruits, then you may be wondering whether she eats lemons. Are they good or unhealthy for your friend? Well, the short answer is that lemons are toxic to cats. You need to keep them away from your pet.

According to ASPCA, citrus fruits are toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets. Luckily, cats can easily smell citrus scents, and they usually avoid it. Ensure your pet doesn’t ingest the juice, fruit, or other products made with lemon. Besides, lemons contain toxins that are poisonous to cats, dogs, and horses. Therefore, if you are storing some lemon in the fridge, ensure your pet doesn’t access them.

Can Cats Eat Lemon

What is Lemon Poisoning?

If the cat ingests even a small amount of lemon, then it will experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The lemon fruit and tree are ladened with toxic chemical poisons, and the cats usually retreat when they smell it and go to another area they deem “inoffensive.” Therefore, besides lemons, other citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, and grapefruits are toxic to your furred friend. Also, any part of the fruit, whether the skin of the fruit, can present a health hazard.

Why Lemons Are Poisonous to Cats

Unlike dogs and human beings, cats are classified as obligate carnivores. Therefore, they majorly feed on meat, and even though they have evolved, they are not adapted to feed on plant materials like omnivores.

Also, though lemons are safe to human beings, they have substances that are poisonous to the cat’s body. These include limonene, linalool and psoralens. Psoralen is a chemical that affects their DNA and results in mutations. And though the compound helps treat psoriasis in human beings, it’s different for cats. Also, the plant has a phototoxic compound that can cause skin burns in cats after they are exposed to sunlight. Besides the lemon being poisonous to the cats, the chemical responsible for its scent is toxic to cats.

Limonene is a terpene that gives the lemons their characteristic citrus scent. It is a common ingredient in dog fragrances and shampoos. But only a small amount is used, which is safe for the dog. If you are using lemon products on the dog, avoid using them on your furry friend.

Symptoms of Lemon Poisoning in Cats

If the cat feeds on any part of the lemon plant or fruit, it will develop the symptoms below:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Excessive drooling
  • Photosensitivity
  • General body weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes or irritation
  • Tremors
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sudden death

What to do when your Cat Loves Lemon Juice?

One moment you have filled lemon juice in your glass, and the next, the cup is empty. If you are familiar with this situation, what should you do? For starters, observe the cat’s behavior after it ingests the lemon. Whether the cat will show symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and seizures depend on numerous factors such as the cat’s weight, age, and the quantity ingested.

Concentrated juice is more toxic than diluted juice and if the cat intakes it, then call the vet right away. The vet will inquire about the quantity ingested and use activated charcoal to prevent juice absorption into the bloodstream. If the cat shows severe symptoms like seizures, the vet can keep it overnight until its health improves.

Can Cats Eat Lemon

How to Diagnose Lemon Poisoning in Cats?

If you feel that the consumption of lemon may have poisoned your cat, or if you find it nibbling a piece, then visit the veterinary officer immediately. Take a sample of the lemon fruit or lemon tree to assist during the diagnosis.

Your vet may ask many questions in the vet center and examine your cat physically, such as its blood work and urinalysis. The vet will identify the toxins that could wreak havoc on your pet from the blood chemistry profile. Additionally, the vet may demand the pet’s stool or vomit to identify the possible toxins. And as the amount of the consumed lemon increases, so does the severity of the symptoms.


As a cat owner, you must keep the environment safe for your cat and other pets. This includes providing them with a healthier diet and ensuring they don’t take any toxins to their bodies. Now that you know lemons and other citrus fruits are toxic to your cat ensure they are far away from your pet.

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