The short and simple answer to the above-stated question is no – cats should not drink lemon water.
All citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, are toxic to cats.
Rich in vitamin C and powerful antioxidants, lemons are considered a superfood for humans.
Sadly, when it comes to felines, lemons are forbidden.
If consumed in small amounts, lemons cause gastrointestinal upset.
Sadly, if consumed in larger quantities, they cause poisoning, which can often end fatally.
All parts of the fruit, including the seeds, pulp, and skin, are equally toxic to felines.
Their toxicity is due to the presence of three poisonous compounds: limonene, linalool, and psoralene.
Limonene is the substance that gives lemons their specific scent.
It is often used in dog shampoos and fragrances.
However, cats are susceptible to this substance, unlike most dogs, who can tolerate small amounts of limonene.
Linalool also contributes to the specific scent and can be used as an insecticide.
Psoralen can be used to treat certain skin disorders, but unfortunately, it is phototoxic – if applied on the skin and then exposed to sunlight, it causes skin burns.
Signs Of Lemon Poisoning in Cats
The severity of the signs and symptoms depends on how much lemon your cat ingested.
Smaller amounts lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal upset manifested with a lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.
More significant amounts cause more serious clinical manifestations followed by excessive salivation, drooling, lack of energy, depression, low blood pressure, cold limbs and paws, light sensitivity, tremors, muscle weakness, behavioral changes, and ultimately even death.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Cats, on the other hand, despise lemons and attempt to avoid them.
However, if you happen to observe your cat eating lemons, take it to the veterinarian right away; do not attempt to induce vomiting since even breathing in the oils of lemons might cause problems.
Expect the doctor to ask you numerous questions and to perform a thorough medical exam on your cat, including a urinalysis and blood testing.
First, the doctor will flush your cat’s stomach (gastric lavage) to remove as much of the lemon and toxins as possible.
In addition, the veterinarian will provide activated charcoal to prevent the absorption of any hazardous substances into the feline’s bloodstream.
Aside from that, your vet’s treatments are supportive, such as IV fluids that hydrate your cat and correct any electrolyte and blood glucose imbalances.
If your cat’s tremors become severe, it may need extra oxygen and anti-seizure medicine.
Cats And Lemons – The Potential Benefits
As can be assumed from the above-stated facts, the use of lemons for cats is quite controversial.
It is well-determined that lemon water and juice can be successfully used to naturally get rid of fleas from your cat, its bedding, and furniture.
However, this natural anti-flea remedy, although efficient, is not safe for your beloved cat.
Spraying your cat with lemon water is indeed less harmful than having your cat drink the lemon water itself, but we all know how much cats enjoy licking themselves.
If you spray even a tiny amount of lemon water on your cat, chances are the cat will eventually consume the sprayed mixture and develop symptoms related to poisoning.
If used correctly and in carefully determined amounts, lemon water can efficiently eliminate fleas from cats.
However, using lemons in cats is often associated with risks that can, more often than not, turn fatal.
Therefore, it would be useful to consider every situation individually and carefully assess the benefits and risks. However, in most cases, the cons outweigh the pros of using lemons for cats.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.