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Can Cats Drink Lemonade? What You Need to Know

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By Nicole Cosgrove

lemonade and lemons

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

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It is not recommended to let your cat drink lemonade for a variety of reasons. Lemons have certain toxic components that are not safe for cats, and lemonade is full of unhealthy sugars that do not belong in a healthy cat’s diet. Cats also do not enjoy the sour taste of lemons, so most cats will most likely refuse to drink lemonade.

If you are looking for answers as to why lemonade is harmful to cats and what you can give your cat to drink instead, then this article will tell you everything you need to know.

hepper-cat-paw-dividerWhy Should Cats Not Drink Lemonade?

Cats should not drink lemonade because it has a high acidic and sugar content and has no nutritional benefit for your cat. Furthermore, lemon is toxic to cats so you should avoid giving them any foods or drinks containing a high amount of lemon in it.

Not many cat owners know the dangers a seemingly innocent fruit can pose on their feline friend. Lemons are the primary ingredient in lemonade and are more prominent in homemade lemonade where freshly squeezed lemons have been used, in comparison to store-bought lemonade which is packed with other ingredients and lots of sugar. This makes homemade lemonade or organic store-bought lemonade more potent to your cat, so even if they have a few licks, it can become harmful for them.

Image Credit: Avadesign69, Pixabay

Is Lemon Toxic to Cats?

According to the ASPCA, all citrus fruits are toxic to pets. Lemon in particular contains certain toxins that horses, cats, and dogs should not ingest. Psoralens and essential oils are the two main toxins found in lemons that make them harmful to cats.

The specific harmful essential oils in lemons are limonene and linalool, which are perfectly safe for humans, but not for your cat and other pets. If your cat sniffs lemonade that has a low amount of sugar and a strong lemon scent, you may notice that they show visible discomfort towards the smell.

If your cat does ingest lemonade, you should expect to notice these symptoms in your cat:
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Situations, where your cat has ingested large quantities of lemonade, can lead to death
  • Swelling of the mouth, gums, and tongue
  • Choking or gagging gestures
  • Refusal to eat or drink
  • Seizures

If the lemon gets onto your cat’s skin, then they may experience signs of skin irritation in the form of itching, burning, and they will act abnormally because they cannot get the strong scent out of their fur. You will then need to bathe your cat immediately and apply a cat-safe shampoo directly to the area where the lemon has been spilled. If there are signs of rashes and skin irritation, then you should take your cat to a veterinarian so that they can give you a topical ointment to put on the affected area.

If you do suspect that your cat has been drinking lemonade, then it is best to take them to a veterinarian so that their health status can be monitored.

Do Cats Like Lemon?

Cats are curious creatures, which means that they are regularly tasting and sensing the environment around them. Most cats will avoid the smell or taste of lemon at all costs, but some cats write their own rules. If you leave lemonade unattended, your curious cat may decide to take a few licks.

The strong citrus lemon scent is enough to keep most cats away, which is why many household cats will avoid drinking or eating anything with a lemony taste or smell. Cats do not like lemon, which is also why some cat owners use a diluted mixture of lemon and water as a spray to keep their cats out of a certain area. However, it is not ideal to use this method because if the lemon mixture gets on your cat’s skin or in their mouth, they may have a reaction.

sliced lemons
Image Credit: Pixabay

hepper-cat-paw-dividerFinal Thoughts

If you do want to give your cat something else to drink other than freshwater (which they should have daily access to), then you can boil a chicken breast and once the water has cooled use this as a broth and you can provide them with a second water bowl of this broth alongside their main water bowl.

Always consult your cat’s veterinarian before introducing new food and substances into your cat’s diet to ensure that it is safe and will not harm them.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit to: lannisK, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is a lover of animals of all sizes but is especially fascinated with the feline variety. She’s the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese, and works every day so he can relax in the sunshine or by the fire. She’s always had a cat in her home and has spent countless days with others, observing behaviors and softening up even the grouchiest of the lot. Nicole wants to share her kitty expertise with you so you and your cat ...Read more

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