Grapefruit poisoning in cats: symptoms and remedies

Citrus fruits can be dangerous for the health of the cat. Do you know the symptoms of grapefruit poisoning in cats? Here’s everything you need to know.

You know, cats do not like citrus fruits, and grapefruit is no exception. They usually keep away from the taste of this sour fruit. However, it may happen that they ingest it accidentally, presenting worrying symptoms. This is grapefruit poisoning. Here’s how to behave just in case.

Citrus, no thanks!

The cat does not particularly like fruit. In truth, it is not even part of its natural diet. This is not to say that it cannot eat fruits; think, for example, of the blueberry, which in the right amount also brings benefits to the feline.

But there is a list of fruits forbidden to the catand among these are without exception all citrus fruits, including grapefruit. The cat by nature shuns their sour taste, so the risk that it can eat them spontaneously is almost zero in truth.

However, it may happen that the animal accidentally ingests grapefruit, perhaps in the form of oil, or as an ingredient in another food. In this case the consequences can be unpleasant and it is necessary to intervene promptly.

How does grapefruit poisoning occur?

Grapefruit is a fruit of common use in our culinary tradition, and it is easy that in the surroundings of our home there can be a tree of this fruit. It is good to pay close attention: both the peel and the pulp, including seeds, are toxic to the cat.

Be careful, however, unfortunately ingestion is not the only way to poison the cat. In fact, it can also propagate in its body through the skin. For example, some owners may use grapefruit oil as a holistic remedy for their cat, causing it to be poisoned.


Symptoms of grapefruit poisoning in cats can be different, and differ depending on the severity of the situation. Here they are:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Accentuated salivation
  • Vomit
  • Tremor
  • Weakness
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Irritation
  • Burns

In severe cases poisoning can cause even the death of the animal.

No to DIY diagnosis

If your cat also has one of these symptoms, take it immediately to your veterinarian. Do not take any personal initiative other than to facilitate the work of the professional. Put together all the information you can.

If the cat has vomited, collect a sample of the expelled substance: this will halve the time of diagnosis of the professional, especially if you have not seen the cat eat grapefruit. Once the grapefruit poisoning in the cat has been ascertained, the most suitable therapy for the specific case will be carried out.

If the cat has recently ingested the fruit, the veterinarian may induce vomiting. Otherwise it can proceed with a gastric lavage, to cleanse the stomach of toxic substances. Intravenous treatment of the cat is not excluded, to rehydrate the lost fluids.

Full recovery will take place in a few days, during which the cat will have to observe absolute rest and eat the foods indicated by the veterinarian, before being able to return to the usual diet.

Some useful tips

It is always good to prevent grapefruit poisoning in cats. As mentioned, the feline has a natural aversion to all citrus fruits in general. However, since even a seed can be harmful to its health, if you have a grapefruit tree in the garden, it would be appropriate to make it inaccessible to the animal.

Of course pay attention to the foods you share with the cat. It is always good to check if traces of grapefruit are contained. The same can be said of products used for holistic purposes.

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