Can Cats Eat Mandarin Oranges?

Sometimes, you eat oranges next to your cats, and they look at you in a manner suggesting that they would like to try some. You may feel like sharing your oranges or orange juice with them is the right thing to do. Many homeowners do not know if it is right to give cats oranges.

Well, you may give them, but the question is, will they eat oranges or drink its juice? Narrowing the question down a little bit, can cats eat mandarin oranges? It is always advisable to consult your vet before sharing human food with a cat or when you do not know what to do or not to do for your cat.

There are various types of oranges, and mandarin is one of them. Regardless of the type of orange, they all contain dietary fiber, calcium, carbs, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, copper, choline, and much more. From their nutritional profile, all oranges have nutrients that cats need.

Owning to the numerous benefits oranges have for humans, you can give them to your fluffy friends with the hopes that the fruit can benefit them too. But the question most people ask is, can cats eat Mandarin Oranges? 

Different people may give you answers that contradict, but that may be so because answers to the question may vary based on various factors.

Can cats eat Mandarin Oranges?

First things first, cats do not eat oranges, but some can eat mandarin oranges. Therefore, stop giving them oranges and their juices, including citrus fruit such as citron, tangerine, lemon, lime, pomelo, and such. Even if you try giving them, they will not even love the juice.

Cats abhor the strong scent of oranges and will turn away from its juice right from the moment the scent hits them. One of the major issues cats have with the various citrus fruits is their components, including psoralens, essential oil, and citric acid.

What Happens Why A Cat Eats Mandarin Oranges

Can Cats Eat Oranges

Citric acid may cause stomach upsets or irritations, while the essential oils and psoralens are toxic to felines. Also, essential oils require a chemical compound known as glucuronyl transferase to break down, without which they can build up to toxic levels. Cats lack this compound, and that makes essential oils toxic to them.

The toxins may lead to vomiting, depression, diarrhea, photosensitivity, and partial dermatitis. Therefore, never share oranges other than mandarin with cats no matter how much you think you know they need to be treated like humans. Oranges may be really sweet and tempting for some cats. Even if the cat seems to like the juice, try not to fall for it. It is completely unnecessary.

However, if your cat can eat mandarin oranges, you can give them a few slices as an occasional treat. By few, we mean just a few and not anything more than few. Since the inner part of the orange is less harmful, you can only give your cat this part of the orange and not any other part.

Mandarin oranges are very acidic and could therefore affect the feline friend’s urine alkaline balance. So, if your cat has urinary infections, do not give him any orange, including mandarin. But if you can avoid giving your cat any oranges, the better.

Most cats would not eat mandarin oranges even if you gave them the fruit. The fruit smells of intense citrus essential oils, which the cat will notice from a distance and get irritated by it. Eat your oranges without sharing them with your cats. Keeping your feline friends from eating most of these fruits will not be difficult, especially since they typically do not like oranges. According to professionals, the smell of citrus keeps cats away.

Why Oranges Are Not Good For Cats

Cats can develop a propensity for almost any edible, even those they are not supposed to eat. So beware never of putting any food that is unsafe for cats anywhere that are accessible by them. Essential oils are by far the most harmful content in orange for cats. 

They are more concentrated in the peels, which makes this part the most harmful for cats. I do not think any cat can find the taste of orange peels pleasant in any way, but you still have to take the necessary precautions. Keep them out of your kitty’s reach.

Cats are carnivores and are therefore designed to feed on meat. Their body is meant to get all the nutrients they need from the meat food sources. Also, their digestive system is only built to digest meat. Therefore, they may struggle to digest oranges and other food groups. 

This biology goes back even before cats were domesticated. Typically, animals have a natural defense mechanism response that makes them avoid foods that may be harmful. It happens like biology is trying to save them by preventing them from getting sick.

Oranges are foreign food concept compared to the kind of food that cats are naturally meant to eat. Any time your cat eats what is not biologically right for it, problems are likely to ensue. 

Since cats are very intelligent creatures, they will quickly learn to avoid the foods that make them feel ill. One day, if your cat tries to eat orange peels and harms him, he will avoid it the next time he sees peels.

You may also read: Can Cats Eat Cheetos? 

Final Verdict

Although many fruits and vegetables are harmful to cats to eat, there are a few fruits that are safe for cats to eat. For instance, you can give peaches, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and pears to your feline friend in small quantities. 

Some cats may show interest in human food, but fruits are usually not their favorite. So the answers to the question ‘can cat eat mandarin oranges?’ would depend.

Depending on the factors provided in this guide, you can give your cat mandarin orange, but it might not eat it anyway. Whether you should give your cat oranges or not, you should remember to feed your cat well. Provide him with the best cat food you can manage to secure. Make sure he is always well-fed. In that case, you can buy an automatic feeder to feed your cat.

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Mike Stiven
 

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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