Can Cats Eat Mandarin Oranges? (Is it Safe for Cats?)

Can Cats Eat Mandarin Oranges? (Is it Safe for Cats?)

Mandarin oranges are not safe for cats. It is because they feature high concentrations of essential oils. Your cat’s stomach can not handle them due to the lack of vital enzymes. Though it is best to avoid it, you can give one or two tiny slices of these mandarin oranges as an occasional treat.

Cats have more dangers of eating oranges than the nutritional benefits. You still need to know more about oranges and cats before thinking about feeding them. Scroll down to look at in-depth information.

Can Cats Eat Mandarin Oranges? 

In short, mandarin oranges are neither the best nor the healthiest food you can give to your cats. They contain psoralens and excess essential oils, which are poisonous to kitties.

Another risk of giving oranges to your furry pets is citric acid. This fruit contains citric acid, which is non-toxic for cats in tiny amounts. But excess quantities of citric acid can lead to an upset stomach. It can disturb the feline’s stomach lining. Other problems include diarrhea, vomiting, and long-term problems.

Mandarin oranges are very acidic. They tend to change the urine pH or alkaline balance in felines. Avoid feeding oranges to furry pets who have urinary infections.

Mandarin oranges have high amounts of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient. Cats do not need the vitamin C nutrition from these oranges. It is because their body can produce this vitamin by themselves.

Can Cats Eat Oranges? 

No. Cats should never eat oranges. Many cats would not even like to eat them. Plus, oranges are toxic to your furry friends. [1] The main reasons why your cat can not eat oranges are essential oils and psoralens.

Oranges contain high amounts of fiber and protein. They have moderate levels of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. All these nutrients are safe for cats, but oranges have essential oils, so you should not feed them.

One primary difference is that oranges include every crucial amino acid. Meanwhile, mandarin oranges do not have the vital amino acid methionine. Oranges come under low glycemic index foods.

In general, these oranges have a little more alkaline state. Plus, they are a perfect fruit to mix with low-calorie and low carbohydrate foods. Oranges have plenty of vitamin C and are a rich source of B vitamins (B1, B2, and B5).

Even though oranges have a high nutritional profile, you should never offer them to your cats. Besides that, the orange peels can be dangerous to your felines.

The glucuronosyltransferase enzymes are necessary to break down the essential oils in oranges. But, cats do not have this enzyme in their body which leads to abnormal metabolism.

Due to the lack of essential enzymes, the toxins will build up in the feline’s body. Plus, oranges include psoralens, which are also toxic to cats. All these reasons can cause indigestion and depression in your cats.

Nutritional Value Of Mandarin Oranges 

Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of mandarin oranges. One large mandarin orange (120 grams) offers the following amounts of nutrients:

  •  Water – 102 g
  •  Energy – 63.6 kcal
  •  Sugars – 12.7 g
  •  Vitamin A, IU – 817 IU
  •  Vitamin C, (Ascorbic acid) – 32 mg
  •  Folate – 19.2 µg
  •  Calcium, Ca – 44.4 mg
  •  Iron, Fe – 0.18 mg
  •  Magnesium, Mg – 14.4 mg
  •  Phosphorus, P – 24 mg
  •  Potassium, K – 199 mg
  •  Protein – 0.972 g
  •  Total lipid (fat) – 0.372 g
  •  Total dietary fiber – 2.16 g. [2]

Mandarin oranges are a rich source of phytochemicals like flavonoids and carotenoids. They have moderate vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and sodium content.

These mandarin oranges have plenty of vitamin A and calcium. Iron, magnesium, and phosphorus are also present in high quantities. They come with tiny amounts of sodium as well.

Mandarin oranges also have some quantities of vital zinc and copper. You can find balanced doses of calcium and potassium. Plus, they have more calories, carbs, and fat content.

Mandarin oranges also contain selenium, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Other nutrients include carotenoids, antioxidants, and zeaxanthin.

Why Are Mandarin Oranges Bad For Cats? 

First of all, cats are carnivores and depend on animal meat to grow and survive. They do not have any nutritional requirements from mandarin oranges. The cat’s stomach can only handle the carnivorous diet. But, oranges are plant-based foods that can cause digestion troubles in felines.

Mandarin oranges contain excessive amounts of essential oils. Glucuronosyltransferase enzymes can break down these essential oils. But, your cat’s liver can not generate these enzymes. Due to that, if your furry animal has eaten an orange, these oils tend to build up in the feline’s body as toxins.   

Also, mandarin oranges contain high levels of psoralens. These compounds are dangerous to your furry animals. Some cats might vomit or suffer from diarrhea after eating some orange slices.

Next, mandarin oranges have citric acid. Because of this, your furry friends tend to experience stomach irritation. It may also suffer from other digestive problems.

Like many other fruits, oranges are high in sugar content which is not safe for your cat’s health. If your cat is eating high sugar foods daily, it will become obese. In extreme cases, your cat may suffer from feline diabetes.

Do not feed mandarin oranges to your cats because it might lead to depression. There is a risk of the feline becoming photosensitive and harming itself.

Are Orange Peels Toxic For Cats? 

The peel or skin of many fruits is not safe for your furry friends. The peels of citrus fruits are more toxic and can cause severe damage to your cat.

The peel is long with a hard texture and can cause blockage or obstruction in your cats. Besides that, it increases the risk of choking hazards. In most cases, cats would not come near the orange. But, if your kitty has ingested the peel, it may suffer from upset stomach problems.

Also, the liquid that comes out when you pinch the orange peel can sting your cat’s eyes. If you want to give a small slice of orange, make sure to remove the peel.

Signs Of Citrus Poisoning In Cats 

Some cats tend to show signs of citrus poisoning if they have eaten more oranges. Based on the number of oranges your furry pet has eaten, the severity of these signs will differ. Here are a few typical symptoms of citrus poisoning, which include:

  •  Diarrhea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Allergic dermatitis
  •  Excess drooling
  •  Weakness and inactive
  •  Lack of energy  
  •  Depression
  •  Frequent shivering. [3]

Can Cats Drink Orange Juice? 

No. Oranges in any form, such as fruit, juice, muffin, cookie, and candy, are not safe for your furry friends. Orange juice also contains citric acid, which can cause discomfort to the feline’s gut. Furthermore, this juice includes high concentrations of essential oils. Your cats can not absorb them due to the lack of vital enzymes.

Several store-bought orange juices contain high amounts of added sugars and other preservatives. Excess sugar levels are one of the causes of weight gain and feline diabetes. Plus, juices have preservatives and artificial ingredients. They are present to increase their shelf life. These ingredients are not safe for your furry pet’s health.

Are My Cats Allergic To Oranges? 

A few cats show allergic responses to oranges. In some cases, they develop adverse reactions even by standing next to the fruit or orange tree.

Some cats will have swollen faces even with a slight contact of orange fruit and trees. Your furry pet might face trouble breathing, and they tend to have a watery nose and moist eyes. Other responses include itchy skin, scratching, and also hives.

Bottom Line  

It is best to avoid feeding mandarin oranges to your cats. But if your feline has ingested one or two small pieces, there would not be any possible harm. Try your best not to give any of the citrus fruits to kitties. They have high concentrations of essential oils, which can weaken your cats.  

As for oranges, they are far more toxic to your furry pets. Everything in oranges, such as the outer peel, seeds, stem, and leaves, is not safe for your kitties. The citrus positioning in cats varies from mild stomach pain to severe allergic dermatitis.

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