Can Cats Have Orange Juice?


A lot of people enjoy orange juice. It may or may not be healthy. However, it is full of sugars, which explains its sweetness. If you enjoy orange juice, it is natural to wonder whether you can give some to your cat or not. After all, we like sharing things that make us happy with our pets to make them happy. Unfortunately, Hepper makes it very clear you shouldn’t give orange juice to your cat.

Can Cats Have Any Juice?

For that matter, Cattime says it isn’t a good idea to give any juice to cats. It doesn’t claim that juice is toxic for them. As a result, it seems that orange juice is particularly bad for cats. Meanwhile, other kinds of juice are still bad for cats for other reasons.

Why Should You Avoid Giving Any Juice to Your Cat?

The fundamental issue is that cats are obligate carnivores. That makes them very different from us. After all, we are omnivores, meaning we have a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to our nutritional intake. For example, people can do just fine on a plant-only diet. Likewise, people can do just fine on a meat-only diet. In contrast, cats can’t do the same because their status as obligate carnivores means they must eat meat. As a result, they don’t benefit much from drinking juice, though they can absorb some nutrients through this method.

On a related note, cats aren’t very good at digesting juice. Due to this, they sometimes experience gastrointestinal distress when they drink the stuff. An upset stomach isn’t any more enjoyable for cats than it is for humans. Even worse, cats can experience more unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting if they are unlucky.

The last issue is that even if cats can digest juice, it isn’t very healthy for them. As mentioned earlier, orange juice contains a lot of sugar, which is one of the primary reasons why people aren’t sure whether it is healthy or not. Sadly, it isn’t the only kind of juice with this problem. On top of this, it is very common for juice producers to add more sugar, more flavors, and other ingredients. Just that sugar is enough to make juice something cats should avoid because it causes weight gain. The other ingredients have the potential to cause other complications of their own.

Why Should You Avoid Giving Anything Citrus-Related to Your Cat?

If there is one good thing about juice, it is that most kinds of juice aren’t straight-up poisonous to cats. The same isn’t true for orange juice. First, it contains citric acid. Humans can consume the substance. Cats cannot do the same. Gastrointestinal distress is a common outcome of cats consuming citric acid. However, it is also possible for cats to experience symptoms indicating a depressed central nervous system because of the substance. Generally speaking, cats won’t die from consuming citric acid. Still, interested individuals should know that it is something that can happen. Second, orange juice contains essential oils. Some animals have livers that can take care of these substances with minimal issues. Cats aren’t one of them.

Cat owners need to watch out for various symptoms if their cats consume orange juice. Gastrointestinal distress is very common. The problem is that it can indicate a wide range of issues, which aren’t necessarily connected to what the cats have been eating. Besides this, cat owners need to watch out for tremors, staggering, wobbling, drooling, breathing problems, a slow heart rate, and a low body temperature. These are serious symptoms. As a result, if they see these, they should get their cats to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Swifter intervention can make a real difference in health outcomes.

Oranges and Other Issues

Be warned that this issue isn’t limited to oranges. Cuteness states that every kind of citrus fruit is poisonous to cats. Oranges are the most popular citrus fruits. Alas, the citrus family isn’t one of those families with just a single commercially relevant species. Instead, there are tens of species and hundreds of cultivars, which isn’t even including the hybrids. Chances are good that interested individuals can name some of the better-known ones such as limes, lemons, and grapefruits. Regardless, the important point is that cats should never eat either citrus fruit or anything derived from citrus fruit. They get either no or next-to-no benefits from doing so. In exchange, they are likely to suffer some degree of citrus poisoning.

There is a small upside in that cats aren’t very interested in either citrus fruit or citrus fruit-derived products as a rule. The smell is a well-known deterrent to them, so much so that people use it in products meant to drive away curious cats. Still, cat owners can’t count on their cats’ sense of smell to keep themselves safe because that won’t work for every cat every time. Please note that the flesh of citrus fruits isn’t the most dangerous part. The skin, the stems, and the leaves tend to contain more of the substances mentioned earlier.

Further Considerations

On a final note, cat owners should always consult their veterinarians when they are thinking about adding something new to their cats’ diets. Sometimes, a kind of food is so widely known to be bad for cats that its rejection is obvious. Other times, the situation is much more complicated for one reason or another. There are a lot of foods that are fine as snacks but not as staples for cats. As a result, cat owners can always benefit by getting some advice on portion sizes from veterinary professionals. Similarly, there are a lot of foods that some cats can eat but other cats can’t. Veterinarians are supposed to have a good understanding of their charges’ general condition, thus making them the right people to make judgments on what they can and can’t eat.

Of course, even if a veterinarian gives the go-ahead, that doesn’t mean that a kind of food is guaranteed to be safe. Complications can show up out of seemingly nowhere because of limited information. Cats can have allergic reactions to food. Indeed, it isn’t unknown for them to have allergic reactions to oranges and other citrus fruits.

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