Cats and Lemons: Can Cats Eat Lemons?

It is a common misconception that cats can eat lemons without any adverse side effects, but this simply isn’t true.

Cats are susceptible to getting sick from consuming lemons because of the toxic chemicals found in them.

If your cat has consumed lemons or lemon juice and doesn’t receive immediate medical assistance, it might be fatal to the feline.

For these reasons, it is important not to let your pet consume lemons!

Can Cats Eat Lemons?

Cats should not eat lemons as they can be hazardous to their health.

Citrus fruits contain a number of harmful substances which can have a negative effect on your cat.

For example, when cats are exposed to sunlight, psoralens, which are phototoxic, can cause skin burns.

It is therefore important to keep lemons away from cats and to make sure they have a safe and healthy diet.

Can cats eat lemon juice?

Lemon juice is not safe for cats and should be kept out of their reach at all times.

There are a number of hazardous substances found in citrus fruits that can have a negative effect on your cat, including psoralens. 

As such, it’s important to keep lemons and lemon juice out of reach in order to avoid any potential issues.

Lemons also contain high levels of citric acid, which can be damaging to your cat’s urinary tract if ingested.

Cats’ bodies are not equipped with the proper enzymes that break down this chemical compound into a safer substance, so it is best to keep lemons and lemon juice away from them in order to avoid any potential ailments.

Cats can also suffer from a condition known as feline hyperesthesia, which is characterized by episodes of compulsive self-grooming that lead to skin lesions when citrus fruits are consumed.

The acidity in lemons especially triggers these behaviors due to the fact that they contain compounds that induce phototoxic effects.

The chemicals found in lemons can also cause damage to your cat’s red blood cells, which makes them more vulnerable to bruising and bleeding.

Why Are Lemons Toxic to Cats?

Why Are Lemons Toxic to Cats?

There are a few reasons why lemons are toxic to cats.

The first reason is that lemons contain essential oils and poisons, which can cause DNA mutations in cats.

Secondly, these essential oils can be harmful to the cat’s respiratory system.

Lastly, the lemon peel contains an insecticide called linalool, which can also be harmful to cats.

Psoralen, linalool, and limonene are all poisonous to cats and can cause DNA mutations.

Symptoms and Health Effects Of Feeding Cats Lemons

The first thing that you may notice is for your cat to have a lack of appetite as well as vomiting shortly after eating lemons.

You can also expect trembling in the limbs, drowsiness, and exhaustion, along with drooling and diarrhea, if they eat lemon oil or tree bark from an actual lemon tree.

Any hazardous ingredient in lemon oil can cause skin irritation or rash, photosensitivity, and depression if it is absorbed via the skin and inhaled.

Ingesting lemon can also cause problems such as gum irritation, tooth decay, and bad breath.

If you think that your cat has swallowed a lemon fruit, watch for any of the following symptoms: lack of appetite, vomiting, trembling limbs, drooling, diarrhea, gum irritation, tooth decay, and bad breath.

If your cat experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Gelatin?

What Happens If Your Cat Eats Lemons?

If your cat eats lemons, it is important to monitor the feline’s behavior. 

So, you know if and when your cat has consumed a potentially harmful amount of citrus fruit. 

There are many variables to consider, such as the size of the lemon and how much your cat ate.

Because lemons contain citric acid, it’s possible that even a small amount can cause stomach upset in cats.

Ingesting too much could lead to more serious problems, like pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas.

In some cases, a cat eating lemons may show no symptoms of illness at all, but this is dependent on the amount of citric acid is consumed and whether or not its digestive system was able to break down the fruit’s acidity. 

If your cat eats part of a lemon – especially if there are any seeds involved – you must call your veterinarian right away. 

Poisons operate swiftly, and the sooner your vet knows about the situation, the better chance of recovering your cat has.

Symptoms of illness in cats that have consumed lemons can include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, and acting out of character. 

What to Do If Your Cat Eats Lemons?

Keep in mind that unwell cats tend to disguise their symptoms.

If your cat eats lemons, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian.

If you find that the symptoms are due to the lemon, your veterinarian will give you a treatment plan.

Activated charcoal and a gastric lavage method are commonly used in the treatment of cats that have eaten lemons.


You may think that because your pet can eat something, it should be safe for them.

But this isn’t always the case! While lemons are great for humans and even other animals like horses, they’re not recommended to feed cats due to life-threatening symptoms or death.

To keep your cat away from these dangerous foods, make sure you store them high enough off the ground so they can’t get at them (or bring out any supplies used in baking).

If you suspect their curiosity is getting the best of them, consider installing a door lock on cupboards or drawers where food storage products are located.