These Are the 3 Smells Cats Hate, and You Probably Should, Too

When it comes to the battle of noses, dogs are often recognized as the champion. Well, we can’t dispute that given that their olfactory receptors reach up to a staggering 300 million. Nevertheless, our cats’ receptors, which average at 45 to 80 million, are still nothing to sniff at (wink wink). We humans only have a sad 5 million receptors after all.

So if you can smell a colleague’s shampoo or perfume during a short encounter, you can bet your whole fortune your cat can smell the dirty litter box or your perfume from a mile away…or at least from the next room.

These Are the 3 Smells Cats Hate and You Probably Should Too

What Kinds of Smells Do Cats Hate?

Now that we’ve established how keen our cats’ sense of smell is, let’s talk about the common smells cats hate. There are two good reasons you should know them:

  • It helps you avoid using scents that may continuously irritate or even negatively affect the health of your cat; and
  • It gives you options for natural repellents—to keep your cats away from certain things/parts of the house as well as drive away feral visitors that might engage your indoor buddies

You gotta agree; they come pretty handy. So, what are these three smells cats hate?

Cats Generally Hates Citrus Fruits and Smells

Citrus

Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, and grapefruit have a very strong scent, which may feel like an assault to cats’ sensitive noses. Both their peels and juice can be potent deterrents, although there are a few cats that actually like having a taste of them.

Mint, Wintergreen, and Menthol Smells Are Too Harsh for Cats

Mint, Wintergreen, and Menthol

These have a more pungent smell (that’s the cat talking). With mint, you’d think that being in the same family as catnip will make cats look at it favorably. But no, they don’t like it. At all. While they have a cooling effect for us, especially in forms of candy, oil, and liniment, they are deemed abrasive by our cats. A small sniff will make them madly run and hide in a corner until you have properly stored away the source of the foul smell.

They’re also toxic when ingested, so my advice for this group is to avoid at all cost. If you rely on them frequently, at the very least, keep them safely stored when not in use.

Cats Hate a Handful of Herbs and Spices Like Rosemary and Lavender

Rosemary, Rue, Cinnamon, and Lavender

Often used for garden solutions, these herbs and spices are highly disliked by cats. Personally, I’m enamored with lavender, but I have since stopped using it due to two of my three fur babies giving me the stink eye whenever I did. You can use them as fresh plants, dried, or, depending on the plant, oil.

Be wary of using too much lavender, though, if you’re thinking of making it a deterrent. In oil form, it becomes toxic and has been known to cause liver damage and fatality. The same goes for cinnamon oil and pretty much all other essential/aromatic oils you may come across. Rue can be a hit or miss like citrus while rosemary only thrives in warm weathers, so you might have to skip it if you leave in a wet and cold area.

To be perfectly honest, there’s a horde more of smells that cats hate. However, the three groups we shared with you always top the list.

Now tell us, what kinds of smells does your cat hate? Is it any of the three we listed above or something else? Make sure to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!

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