Have you ever seen a cat interact with an orange? It’s a really strange thing to witness and makes you wonder why cats hate oranges. You’re about to learn all about cats and their strange relationship with oranges in this article.
Cats hate oranges because they can’t stand the citrus scent. In fact, cats will have the same reaction with limes, lemons, and grapefruits, which are also citrus fruits. You’ll notice that after smelling an orange one time, the next time they encounter an orange, they will react even worse since they know what to expect.
There are a lot of reasons why cats hate oranges. The simplest reason is that the citrus smell is really strong to them, and they have sensitive noses. They can smell things to a level that we can’t even imagine. Even objects that smell subjectively good to a human can be overwhelmingly negative for a cat.
Let’s discuss this point further.
The Strength of a Cat’s Nose
As cute as a cat’s nose looks, it’s also very powerful. It’s common knowledge that dogs have greats senses of smell, but cats also share this trait. A dog’s nose is stronger than a cat’s, but a cat’s nose is much stronger than a human’s.
They have around ten times the number of olfactory receptors that we have. These are the things in our nose that can detect a smell. The more you have, the more powerful the smell seems to you. This means that cats can smell things at ten times the level that we can.
Not only are their noses a lot stronger, but they’re also a lot more sensitive. Cats use their eyes and noses for hunting. Smelling out prey is the only way to survive in the wilderness. That means that it also triggers their fight or flight instinct when they smell a strong scent.
In the cases of oranges, they can smell how unpleasant and sharp the aroma is from the orange. In this case, the cats will become erratic and upset. In the wild, cats are not hunting for fruits or vegetables to eat, so their body doesn’t even consider the orange food to begin with.
Additionally, the smell is so strong that it confuses the cat, and they understand to get away from it. You’ll learn in a little bit, but oranges are also toxic to cats. Perhaps the cat’s nose can detect that, and that’s another reason why they tend to stay away from an orange after smelling it. Their noses help them hunt and find food, but it also creates a strong reaction to smells that are unpleasant – namely, an orange.
Do Cats Hate the Smell of Oranges?
Thanks to their strong noses, cats can’t stand the smell of an orange. Think about it. You can usually smell someone eating or opening an orange before you can see them. Oranges have undeniably strong smells, even to humans.
Now take the strength of that smell and multiply it by 10, and you get what a cat smells. It must be unbearable for them to have an orange so close to their nose. It’s the same thing as us smelling an unpleasant smell that’s face level and really close. Our first instinct is to get out of the area and get away from the smell. The same is true for cats.
As funny as the reaction might be, it’s important not to overexpose your cat to oranges because they will get shaken up and upset from the interaction in most cases.
Are Citrus Fruits Poisonous to Cats?
In this case, some citrus fruit can be toxic to cats. There are certain enzymes and essential oils found in citrus fruits, specifically oranges, that can be toxic if a cat eats it. This is yet another reason to keep oranges away from your cats.
They typically don’t go looking for the oranges on their own, so it’s okay if you have oranges in the house. It’s just important that you don’t present the fruit as if it were food to your cat. You can’t predict what their reaction will be, so it’s better to avoid it altogether.
In small enough doses, a cat won’t have any adverse reaction to eating citrus fruits. As they eat more, the levels of chemicals will build up in their body, and they don’t know how to process it. That’s when it starts becoming dangerous.
That doesn’t mean that it’s okay for your cat to eat citrus fruits. You should keep the two separated at all times because you don’t know how much is too much.
Is Orange Toxic to Cats?
It’s the essential oils in the orange that can hurt the cat. Humans love eating oranges, and it’s actually healthy for us. They have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that our body craves.
In the case of cats, the same is not true. The essential oils that help humans actually hurt cats. That’s because we know how to process the oils, and cats don’t. Their bodies are built around eating proteins to survive, so foreign foods like oranges just can’t be processed.
Since the oils can’t be metabolized or processed, they just sit around in a cat’s body. With enough oils, the cat’s body will start to shut down, and the oils will act as a toxin in their body. This is why oranges are technically considered toxic to cats.
Remember, toxins don’t have to be poisonous and have immediate effects. Simply put, a toxin is something that your body doesn’t know how to process, so it just hangs on to it. Enough of a material that you can’t process will build up and react to nasty side effects – hence a toxic material.
Since the cat’s body can’t process the oils, this makes the food toxic to cats.
Can Cats Eat Oranges?
You should never feed a cat oranges. Giving oranges to a cat has a lot of bad reactions.
First off, they’ll hate the smell. Most cats will run away or get scared when they smell an orange. Bringing an orange close enough to a cat for them to eat it will stress them out and upset them. If that’s not reason enough to avoid feeding oranges to a cat, the orange is also toxic.
As explained earlier, cats don’t know how to process the essential oils in an orange. The oils stay in the cat’s body and eventually build up and become fatal. There’s no telling how much orange is too much orange for a cat, so it’s always best to avoid feeding oranges to cats altogether.
You’ll find that oranges are repellants for many cats, so you’ll be hard-pressed to feed an orange to a cat altogether. Their biology seems to understand that the food is dangerous and they should stay away. Couple that will the fact that the smell is sharp and hurtful to their sensitive noses. The result is no desire from a cat to eat an orange.
Even if your cat is becoming interested in orange and playing with it or smelling it, that is not a reason to feed the orange to your cat. It can result in your cat’s death.
Do Oranges Keep Cats Away?
Now that you know more about how cats react to oranges, you might be wondering if oranges can keep cats away. They absolutely can.
Actually, a lot of cat owners use oranges to their advantage. You can easily put oranges in areas that you don’t want your cats to snoop around.
Oranges will successfully keep your cats away. This is especially useful in gardens or areas that you experience stray cats that you don’t want. Putting out a fresh orange will keep them away.
The idea is that since cats hate the smell of oranges, the smell will make them not want to go to a certain area. The best part is that the oranges won’t actually hurt them, so it’s a humane way to deter cats without harming them. Plus, oranges are inexpensive and can be found easily. A lot of people like to use oranges for these very reasons.
What If My Cat Eats an Orange?
No matter how much of an orange your cat ate, it’s important to call your local vet. They might suggest that you take your cat in for them to help.
Remember that oranges are toxic, so you should treat this like any other instance in which your cat ate toxic food.
What Happens if a Cat Eats an Orange?
If your cat eats an orange, there are a few things that might immediately happen. First, they’ll start exhibiting strange behavior and acting weird. Not only did they just eat toxic food, but they also have the unpleasant smell lingering.
Depending on how much they ate, your cat might get lethargic or really upset and anxious. If they ate too much, the toxins will start shutting down their body, so you’ll have to act fast.