Sharing your home with cute animals is always fun until you find them sniffing around your food. It feels nice to share whatever you’re eating with your cats, but is it safe? Some question that often comes to our mind is, Can Cats Eat Grapefruit? Is it OK for cats to eat fruits like grapefruits?
Can Cats Eat Grapefruit?
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they can not digest plants or fruits easily. Citrus fruits, like grapefruits, are a rich source of calcium and other Vitamins for humans; but when it comes to felines, they might not be a good choice.
Felines can not digest Psoralen compounds present in grapefruits and other citrus fruits, causing them to suffer from citrus poisoning. What’s worse is grapefruit peel coming in contact with the cat’s skin; the peel releases essential oils, which will instantly cause an allergic reaction.
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Here is all you need to know about grapefruits and cats. This article will highlight the symptoms of grapefruit poisoning and how to deal with it.
Is Grapefruit OK For Cats To Eat?
Unfortunately, grapefruits are highly poisonous and are absolutely not ok for cats to consume or even come near. You will be surprised to know that every part of grapefruit, from the interior flesh to the peel and seeds of this citrus fruit, can be dangerous to a cat’s health. The compounds in this fruit can cause serious health issues.
These compounds can be harmful when ingested or absorbed through the cats’ skin. Grapefruits can also cause gastric problems if ingested or skin rashes if the essential oils present in the peel contact a cat’s skin. However, the chance of death due to citrus poisoning in felines is quite rare.
Is Grapefruit Bad For Cats?
Many pet owners have noticed that cats vacate the area immediately if they smell a hint of grapefruit. This is because felines cannot stand the scent of citrus fruits. The compound inside grapefruits is very potent to the cat’s nose.
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Applied animal behavior suggests that cats have a powerful sense of smell, and therefore it means that cats can pick up every ting of it, which can be overwhelming. Other than the smell, grapefruit juice also causes skin irritation in cats. Hence it is clear that grapefruits are bad for cats.
Grapefruit Poisoning In Cats Symptoms
It is easy to figure out when your kitty is not feeling very well. They will look tired and often show signs of loss in appetite. On the positive side, not all cats face severe symptoms of citrus poisoning. The effect usually depends on the feline’s weight or the amount of fruit ingested.
However, if the illness is due to grapefruit, your cat will show some of the following symptoms.
When the peel of grapefruit comes in contact with cat skin, it causes allergic dermatitis due to the essential oils present. Symptoms of this reaction may vary from cat to cat, but the most common ones include excessive itching and hair loss. You may also notice bald patches around the cat’s body, especially on the head.
Vomiting is a common sign of poisoning in cats. As the compounds remain undigested, they’ll disturb the cat’s stomach, causing them to throw up. This vomiting can sometimes spread the poison and make the situation worse. In the case of citrus poisoning, vomiting is often followed by drooling.
Dietary sensitivities are a frequent cause of diarrhea in cats. You might notice blood or mucus in the stool. The stool will be softer or watery. The worst part of diarrhea in cats is abdominal pain and nausea.
Photosensitivity is also another prominent symptom of grapefruit poisoning. Due to this, your cat may show discomfort when exposed to bright light. You may also find cats vigorously scratching their eyes, ears, and nose. Prolonged exposure to the sun or light might cause redness as well.
Apart from the symptoms mentioned above, you might notice laziness and weakness. All these are signs of grapefruit poisoning. It is best to take your felines to the vet as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
Treatment Of Grapefruit Poisoning In Cats
A cat’s curious nature and obsession with sniffing can often lead them into serious situations. Grapefruit poisoning is quite common in cats, as it contains chemicals that they can not digest.
If you notice a cat near grapefruits and it shows the above symptoms, it is best to contact your vet as soon as you can. Below are a few steps you can follow to help your sick cat;
- Help Your Cat Feel Comfortable
If you notice your cat coughing or laying down in the same spot for hours, that can be due to weakness. At this point, you should make sure to provide your little friend with comfort and extra attention.
Firstly, shift it to a well-ventilated place, away from noise and commotion. Make a warm sleeping space. As for diarrhea, place a litter box near your cat to avoid any accidents. It is safer to use gloves as sick cats might scratch or bite.
- Keep The Surroundings Clean
Get rid of any grapefruit slices or peels from the area. Sanitize the place for your cat. Try not to hold or provoke the cat. Sick cats require extra care and cleanliness. Grooming your pet at this point will help it feel better. Comb its fur, clean its eyes, ears, and nose. Above all, pat it and keep it near.
- Keep It Hydrated
Citrus poisoning leads to water loss due to vomiting and diarrhea. To keep your pets safe from dehydration, remember to keep a clean water container near them. Observe your cat’s intake; to ensure that it stays hydrated and well-fed.
- Call Your Vet
In minor cases of grapefruit poisoning, visiting a veterinarian isn’t necessary. However, if you don’t see any recovery or more severe symptoms, it is advised to visit a vet as soon as possible. Tell the vet the amount of fruit the cat ate and how long it has been since the accident. This information will help the vet write an accurate prescription.
If the vet has prescribed any medicines, you must medicate your cat on time. Some cats are reluctant to take medication, but you have to be gentle. You can also hide the medicine in their food to make it easy for them to swallow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Cats Like Grapefruit?
It is rare for a cat to like grapefruits. Just like all other citrus fruits, cats hate the smell of it. They try to stay away from the fruit as it annoys their strong sense of smell. Most cats avoid eating or sniffing grapefruits. Sometimes they might ingest a bite out of curiosity or by accident.
Is Grapefruit Safe For Cats?
Grapefruits are a rich source of Vitamin C. When it comes to cats; their bodies produce Vitamin C themselves. Excess amounts of Vitamin C in cats can lead to calcium oxalate stones in the urinary tract. So it is unsafe for cats to consume grapefruits as it will occupy valuable space in their stomach leading to loss of appetite.
To sum up the discussion, it is safe to say that grapefruit is dangerous for cats. In case of an emergency, you can call your vet and treat your pet with all the necessary care. Luckily grapefruit poisoning is easily curable. So it is not a big deal.
Hi, Dr. Louise Cosgrove from Queensland, Australia. A veterinarian for 10+ years. I and my husband Jason Gray running a veterinary business at eevs.com.au. decided to create a blog about cats. I wanted to create a – what you can call a cat-o-pedia for people who don’t have a veterinary partner and often need to rely on the internet for quick and useful information about cats.