Why Do Cats Hate Oranges

Cats are carnivorous animals with a strong sense of smell (16 times stronger than humans). It should not be surprising that the strong citrus scent of an orange is unappealing for your cat’s senses.

We love cats because of their many unexpected reactions. Cats can be very strange, whether they love to chew cardboard, crawl under the covers or just enjoy zooming around the house.

It’s not surprising that cat owners try to give their cat every kind of food possible. They are eager to see what their cat’s reaction is and, while cats have different preferences, it’s quite common to find out that they don’t like oranges.

  1. The Power Of A Cat’s Nase (Root Cause Their Weird Response)

I mentioned earlier that I would discuss how cats’ sense of smell can play a major role in their reaction to Oranges. This is why I’m going to explain more.

The sense of smell is a very powerful one in cats. It is superior to ours. It is, however, not as powerful as the dog’s. But that’s another story.

This is a significant number considering that our noses contain approximately 5 million olfactory receptors. A cat’s nose is said to contain more than 50 million (between 45 and 80 million). Impressive, right?

  1. The Strength of a Cat’s Nose

Although a cat’s nose is adorable, it can be very powerful. Dogs have a great sense of smell. Cats also have this ability. The nose of a dog is stronger than that of a cat, but the noses of cats are stronger than those of humans.

Their olfactory receptors are approximately ten times as many as ours. These are the parts of our nose that detect a scent. The stronger the smell, the more you can detect it. This means cats can sense things at a ten-fold higher level than we can.

Their noses are stronger and more sensitive than ever. Cats hunt with their eyes and noses. To survive in the wild, cats must smell for prey. It triggers their fight/flight instinct when they smell strong scents.

Oranges can make cats smell the unpleasant, sharp aroma. The cats may become disoriented and erratic in this situation. Wild cats don’t hunt for food, so the body doesn’t even consider orange food.

The smell can also confuse cats, so they learn to ignore it. Oranges can also be toxic for cats, as you’ll see. The cat may be able to detect this through their nose, which is why they will avoid oranges after sniffing them out. Although their noses are useful in hunting and finding food, they also react strongly to unpleasant smells, such as oranges.

  1. Are Cats Sensitive to Oranges?

Cats can’t smell oranges because of their strong noses. It’s amazing, don’t you think? It is common to smell someone opening or eating an orange before you see them. Oranges are known for their strong scents that can be detected even by humans.

Take the strength of this smell and multiply it with 10, and you will get what a cat smells. It must be very difficult for them to smell an orange so close. The same goes for us when we smell something unpleasant that is very close to our noses. The first instinct we have is to leave the area and run away from the smell. Cats are the same.

Regardless of how funny the reaction may be, you should not expose your cat to too many oranges. They will become upset and shaken from the interaction.

  1. Are All Cats Hateful to Citrus?

Not all cats hate citrus. There are also cats who love the smell of lavender. There are always exceptions, as every cat is unique and has their own personality, preferences, and temperament. Although most cats don’t like oranges, some pet owners have found that their cats do not seem to be affected by citrusy smells.

Surprisingly cats are unable to taste sweet foods. Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat to obtain all the nutrients they need. Cats eat more meat and less fruit for their nutrition requirements.

  1. Can Cats Eat Oranges?

Oranges should be avoided by cats. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, eating oranges could cause harm to your cat due the essential oils in them that can’t be metabolized by the body. These substances are not metabolized in the same way as humans. Cats don’t have the ability to do this. Oranges are toxic to cats, and they could get diarrhea if they eat them.

Citric acid can cause stomach upset in cats, and cat vomit may occur. Research suggests that oranges may make cats feel depressed and could even cause them to become photosensitive.

  1. Cats are Carnivores without a Sweet Tooth

Why are humans drawn to oranges?

Oranges are sweet, which is why they appeal to most people.

Scientific American says that cats cannot taste sweet flavors, so oranges are not appealing to them. This is logical evolutionaryly speaking, since cats are obligate carnivores.

Obligate carnivores refer to species that eat meat and only meat in order to obtain all of their essential nutrients. Vitamin A is one of the best examples. Although humans and other animals can convert beta carotene from carrots, cats lack the enzymes necessary to do this. Cats need to eat animal products like liver to obtain vitamin A.

Also, your cat doesn’t need an orange!

  1. Are Oranges Good for Cats?

Orange essential oil, orange-scented cleaners and orange rinds can be used to keep cats from certain areas of countertops. Cats seem to dislike the smell of oranges. This is true for all citruses, not just oranges.

You can find my entire guide on essential oils for cats (and other areas) here.

  1. Why are Cats Afraid of Oranges?

Although cats don’t like oranges most cats aren’t afraid of them. They would prefer not to be around them. Oranges are a common smell for cats. It might also be a common smell for humans who avoid unpleasant smells such as sulfur and other unpleasant smells.

You are not really scaring your cat by letting them sniff oranges (like that person in the video at top of this page). Your cat will decide to go outside instead, because he doesn’t want any more!

  1. Are Oranges Safe For Cats To Eat?

Don’t let your cat eat an orange. The ASPCA provides a quick breakdown of the effects that an orange can have on a cat’s health. It has to do with essential oils found in oranges. Cats don’t have the ability to metabolize essential oils in the same way humans do. This makes oranges toxic for cats.

  1. Do I let my cat smell an orange?

It is possible for your cat to smell an orange. However, she should not be forced to. It might be worth holding the orange out to your cat and seeing if she responds. Oranges are not a repellent for all cats. Some cats actually love the smell of citrusy foods. For her health, however, you should not encourage your cat’s consumption of oranges.


Cats are very sensitive to the smells around their environment. Cats have a sense of smell that is at least 14 times more advanced than humans. Citrus smells are repelled by them as they find it so offensive. This does not mean all cats dislike oranges. Some cats actually love the citrusy smell.

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