Can Cats Eat Lemon? What You Need to Know |Expert Insights

Cats are obligate carnivores, they need animal-source protein in their diet. However, fruits and vegetables aren’t. If you want to give lemon to your cat, then you should read this article before giving it. 

In this article, I will tell you whether lemons are healthy or unhealthy for your feline friend. 

Can Cats Eat Lemon? 

It would be best if you didn’t give lemons to your cat because lemons are toxic to them. Keep them away from the reach of your feline friend as much as possible. 

However, the plus point is cats don’t like the smell of citrus and they tend to avoid eating it. That’s why there’s less chance that lemon may attract her. 

Why Are Lemons Harmful to cats?

can cats eat lemon

Lemon is a type of citrus fruit and it’s high in citric acid. Unfortunately, this acid is harmful to cats and can cause digestive problems, such as upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. 

As well as the oils in lemon peels are also toxic to cats and they can harm them if ingested. 

Why are citric acid and lemonade harmful to cats?

Citric acid and lemonade are harmful to cats because they can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. As well as it can exacerbate kidney problems. However, cats with kidney disease may be more sensitive to citric acid because it increases the acidity of urine. Which can cause damage to the kidneys.

Lemon is Toxic to Cats:

If you’re a pet owner then you should remember that just because you can eat the food or the food is okay for you to ingest is not a guarantee that it’s also safe for your pets to consume. 

The human digestive system is suitable to digest meat, beans, fruit, vegetables, etc but a cat’s digestive system isn’t suitable to digest everything that humans can digest. 

As mentioned at the start of this article, cats are obligate carnivores. So this means that the majority of the diet should come from meat. Like us, cats aren’t able to digest plant materials.  

The main reason why lemon is toxic to cats

The main and big problem with lemon or any other citrus fruit is an ingredient that’s called Psoralen. Actually, this chemical can affect DNA and can cause mutations. Moreover, this also has therapeutic applications in people that are for treating health conditions such as psoriasis. But for cats, it’s not the same story.

In lemon peels, there are essential oils such as limonene, which is also a problem for cats. In fact, these compounds are also toxic to dogs and some other animals. 

Whereas It’s not just lemon itself that can cause a problem for cats, also the chemical responsible for the lemon scent is considered toxic to our cats. In fact, it’s not advisable to use lemon shampoo on the cat. 

Is citric acid used in cleaning products harmful to cats?

Yes, cleaning products which contain citric acid can be harmful to cats. However, Citric acid is commonly used in many household cleaning products. Primarily it’s used in natural cleaning products. 

All those cleaning products that contain citric acid can harm cats’ health that’s keep them away from your feline. 

11 foods that are Toxic to cats

7 gorgeous cute cat breed

Following foods are harmful to cats and you should keep them away from your cat’s reach because all these foods are toxic to cats. 

  1. Onions
  2. grapes and raisins
  3. Lemon
  4. Garlic 
  5. Chocolate
  6. Caffeine
  7. Alcohol
  8. Dog food
  9. Milk and Dairy products 
  10. Fatty foods

In addition, if you suspect that your cat has consumed any of those toxic foods then it’s necessary to take her to the vet as soon as possible. 

Health Effects and Symptoms

Even if your cat ingested a small taste of lemon, it’s enough to cause gastrointestinal distress in your cat. if just because of the high acidity. However, if she had consumed lemon the health effects also depend on the amount and the form. 

Symptoms of lemon poisoning:

can cats eat lemon

If your cat has consumed lemon then she can have lemon poisoning and if she is having lemon poisoning she can have 

Following symptoms. 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea 
  • Drooling
  • Irritation (around her mouth)
  • Tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression 
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Increased health rate
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Death

Lemon poisoning can put your cat’s life in danger. If you suspect any of these symptoms in your cat then it’s important to immediately seek veterinary attention for your feline friend.


Is it safe for cats to smell lemon?

Unfortunately, the lemon smell can irritate some cats. Because cats don’t like the citrus smell, that’s why the lemon smell is an unpleasant smell for them. It’s better to keep that away from them.

What happens if my cat eats a little bit of lemon?

Lemon juice or lemon peels are harmful to cats and even if ingested with only a few drops of lemon juice or a few lemon peels, it can lead to stomach issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort. in cats. Moreover, it could even lead to poisoning and even death, if ingested in large quantities. 

Is lemon juice harmful to pets?

Yes, lemon juice is harmful to pets. It contains high amounts of citric acid, which is toxic to cats and dogs.
Furthermore, keep your pet away from lemons and other things toxic to them.


Cats shouldn’t eat lemon as mentioned above, lemon is toxic to cats as well as if ingested in high quantities it can be life-threatening. 

Remember, it’s not necessary that the food you eat is also safe for your pet (cat) to eat. Many foods are completely safe for us to consume but not safe for cats. 

Moreover, cats need meat in their diet, fruits, and vegetables aren’t ideal food for cats. Although, cats need animal-based protein in their diet. In addition, if your cat eats lemon, take her to the vet immediately. 

In summary, you should know what foods are toxic and non-toxic to your pet. Make sure the food you’re giving to your feline is safe for her to consume. If you don’t know about any food that whether it’s safe or not for her then it’s best to discuss it with your vet.