Tangerines are a citrus fruit that are round and have a thin, orange peel. The flesh of the fruit is also orange and is segmented like an orange. Tangerines are smaller than oranges and are usually sweeter as well. So, can cats eat tangerines?
No, cats should not eat tangerines. The citrus fruit can cause digestive upset in cats and may also lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Tangerines also contain a substance called psoralen, which can be toxic to cats if ingested in large amounts.
If your cat has eaten a tangerine, it is important to watch for signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if your cat becomes sick. Keep reading to learn more about why tangerines are not safe for cats and what to do if your cat has eaten one.
Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Cat Tangerines?
Tangerines may be small, but they can still cause big problems for your cat if ingested. Here I’ll go over some of the dangers of tangerines for cats:
1. Tangerines Can Cause Digestive Upset
The most common problem that tangerines can cause for cats is digestive upset. The citrus fruit is acidic and can irritate the stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat ingests a large amount of tangerine, it can even lead to an intestinal blockage.
2. Tangerines Contain Psoralen
Did I mention that tangerines are also toxic to cats? That’s because they contain a substance called psoralen, which can be harmful if ingested in large amounts. Psoralen is a photosensitizer, meaning it makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. If your cat ingests enough psoralen, it can develop severe burns on its skin and in its mouth. In severe cases, psoralen toxicity can be fatal.
3. Tangerines May Cause Allergic Reactions
Some cats may be allergic to tangerines and can have a reaction after eating the fruit. Allergic reactions can range from mild (rash, hives) to severe (trouble breathing, swelling of the face or throat). If your cat has eaten a tangerine and starts having any type of allergic reaction, it is important to get them to the vet immediately.
4. Tangerines Are High in Sugar
Tangerines, like all citrus fruits, are high in sugar. While a little bit of sugar won’t hurt your cat, too much can lead to obesity and diabetes. If your cat is overweight or has diabetes, it is best to avoid feeding them tangerines.
5. Tangerines May Contain Pesticides
Tangerines that are grown commercially may be sprayed with pesticides, which can be harmful to your cat if ingested. It is always best to buy organic tangerines if you plan on feeding them to your cat.
What’ll Happen If My Cat Eats a Tangerine?
If your cat has eaten a tangerine, it is important to watch for signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if your cat becomes sick. Symptoms of tangerine toxicity in cats include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it is important to get them to the vet immediately.
Treatments of Tangerine Toxicity in Cats
If your cat has ingested a large amount of tangerine, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment will depend on the severity of the toxicity and may include:
1. Fluids to prevent dehydration
I know, no one likes to get an IV, but it’s important to keep your cat hydrated. Dehydration can lead to serious complications and may even be fatal.
2. Medications to reduce stomach acid
If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, they may be given medications to help reduce the amount of stomach acid. This will help to prevent further irritation and will also help to absorb any toxins that may have been ingested.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any tangerines that are still in the stomach or intestine. This is usually only done if there is a blockage or if the cat is not responding to other treatments.
4. Psoralen detoxification
If your cat has ingested a large amount of psoralen, they may need to be treated with a special light therapy called phototherapy. This treatment helps to break down the psoralen and reduce the risk of burns.
5. Blood transfusions
Last but not least, your cat may need a blood transfusion if they are anemic or have low blood sugar. Blood transfusions are usually only done in severe cases and will be determined by your veterinarian.
How to Prevent Tangerine Toxicity in Cats?
I know, tangerines are delicious and it’s hard to resist feeding them to your cat. But it’s important to remember that tangerines can be harmful to your cat if ingested in large amounts. Here I’ll give you some tips on how to prevent tangerine toxicity in cats:
1. Keep tangerines out of reach
Make sure to keep tangerines out of reach of your cat. This means keeping them stored away in a cupboard or on a high shelf where your cat can’t get to them. If you have tangerines that are within reach of your cat, be sure to monitor them closely so they don’t eat too much.
2. Don’t feed your cat tangerines
It may be tempting to share your tangerine with your cat, but it’s best to avoid feeding them the fruit altogether. If you must give your cat a tangerine, make sure to give them only a small piece and monitor them closely for any signs of illness.
3. Buy organic tangerines
If you do decide to feed your cat tangerines, make sure to buy organic fruits. This will help to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure and will also be better for their overall health.
4. Check for allergies
Before feeding your cat any new food, it’s always best to check for allergies. Some cats may be allergic to tangerines and may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. If you think your cat may be allergic to tangerines, it’s best to avoid feeding them the fruit altogether.
5. Visit the vet
If you have any concerns about feeding your cat tangerines, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian first. They can help you determine if tangerines are safe for your cat and can also give you advice on how much to feed them.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
As they say, prevention is the best medicine. The best way to prevent your cat from getting sick is to avoid feeding them tangerines. If you do feed them tangerines, make sure to only give them a small amount and always remove the seeds first. It is also important to buy organic tangerines to avoid any pesticides.
If you have any questions or concerns about feeding tangerines to your cat, please consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice for your specific situation. Thanks for reading!