Can Cats Eat Lime?

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Cat Eat LimeLime is from the family of Lemons, and there are chances that you might have heard of lemon poisoning due to the essential oils, lemon juice, lemon water, and all lemon tree parts that contain toxic substances which can cause adverse reactions in your cat’s digestive systems and may lead them to severe health problems. So, as pet owners, whether giving lime a good idea to your feline friend or not is a question that we will be answering.

Is Lime Plant Toxic for Cats?

Lime is a human food that contains vitamin C, comes from citrus trees, and has many health benefits for us, but what about our furry friends? When it comes to cats, even small amounts of lime can give them stomach upsets and disturb their whole gastrointestinal tracts. As cat parents, we should always keep the smell of citrus, lime peels, citrus sprays, lime fruit, and even the lemon lime plants away from our obligate carnivores.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness says that citrus trees like lime trees, lemon trees, orange trees, etc., are desirable for their fruit and attractive flowers. The American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists that citrus oils or citrus juices like lime juice, lemon juice, lime oil, lemon oil, etc., containing linalool or limonene, are what cause gastrointestinal distress in pets.

Do Cats Like Limes?

The simple answer is no. The good news is that your feline friends do not usually like citrus fruits, including citrus aurantifolia, citrus limon, oranges, grapefruits, etc. The main reason is that cats hate the smell of lemon as they only like human foods because of their smell or texture. They don’t even get a taste of sour citrus fruits. These common household fruits, lemons or limes, have quite an aroma. Your feline friends have a sensitive sense of smell, so rich citrusy smells irritate them. Some pet parents even place rind of limes due to their fragrance of citrus in different places of the house to make their cats stay away.

What Happens If a Cat Eats Lime

Cats are obligate carnivores and love eating raw meat, but sometimes they eat human foods like rosemary, lime, lemon, mint, etc. All these are not good for them, especially the rind of the lime. The rind of the lime contains the main toxic substance in huge quantities, whereas the lime fruit contains psoralens, responsible for skin irritations and photosensitivity. 

As soon as your friend eats too much lime or too much lemon, they might feel skin irritation and a digestive upset. In some cases, they will feel difficulty breathing if too much lemon is given to them. This excess lemon can lead to decreasing red blood cells, causing liver failure and kidney failure, and might even cause sensitivity to UV rays causing skin burns. Compared to all the other items listed above, rosemary is not toxic for your cat. 

However, rosemary has some volatile oils that, if ingested in large quantities, can cause stomach upset or depression in your feline friend. If your feline friend accidentally eats a little amount of rosemary, it won’t be as dangerous for them as eating a lemon or lime piece would be. So, carefully select your feline friends’ occasional treats and give them the best life and diet you can.

Why is Lime Toxic to Cats?

Limes have two volatile compounds that have high poison levels and leave toxic effects on your feline friend. The psoralen and limonene can cause skin irritation, food poisoning, abdominal pain, and other side effects if consumed in huge quantities. Cats have sensitive digestive systems that do not know how to consume lemon, and eating limes in large amounts causes adverse reactions. 

By only eating lime rinds, your feline friend can get health problems like vomiting, photosensitivity, diarrhea, excess salivation, loss of coordination, weakness, and dermatitis. These are majorly due to the essential oil limonene in the lime peel, and removing this toxic substance as soon as possible is important. Also, remember, you should never ignore these symptoms of lemon poisoning and should keep an extra eye for diarrhea or vomiting as they are much more serious symptoms than any other present.

If the above symptoms are not taken seriously, and your feline friend is not treated immediately, their condition can become severe, causing them to die. So, always keep away fresh dishes from them if your dish soap has high amounts of lime or lemon oils or fragrance added, and if they still accidentally get lime poisoning, then to keep them safe, take them to the vet immediately.

How To Treat Lime Poisoning in Cats

The best way is to call the pet poison helpline and tell them your feline friends’ symptoms and the severity of the signs to get a first-aid treatment plan from them. However, once first-aid is given, rush them to their vet for proper treatment. If your cat is ingested lime poisoning, then a gastric lavage might be performed along with doses of activated charcoal.

If you see excessive salvation in your feline friend before bringing them to the vet, you should tell them everything in detail, as that is the only way to save your cat’s life. The vet will give a thorough bath to your cat if they come in contact with large amounts of lime oil as that will further stop the dermal absorption and remove lime oil residue.


It is a popular belief that putting rind of the lime is a good thing as your cat will stay away from those places. In the first place, this is true that the vast majority of cats have a natural aversion to key lime pie and its smell, but you should avoid putting the rind of the lime. The main reason is that your cats eat everything they see, and if they do not eat it, they will lick it, and a single lick of lemon/lime is poisonous. Lemons/limes are a good source of vitamins for us, but they are quite dangerous for our cat’s diet, so as pet parents, always give them a healthy diet after discussing it with your vet. 

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