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What Smells Do Cats Not Like

Why Do Cats Hate Oranges

Funny Cats Reaction To Food And Bad Smells Cats React To Spicy Food

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One of the many reasons we love cats so much is their wide range of often unexpected reactions. Whether thats the love of chewing cardboard, crawling under the covers, or just zooming around the house for fun cats can certainly be a little weird.

Because of this, its no surprise that cat owners have tried to present just about every type of food they can find to their cat and excited waited to see their reaction and while theres also unique preferences across different cats, its pretty typical to find that cats dont like oranges.

So why do cats hate oranges? Cats are carnivorous creatures with an extremely powerful sense of smell so it should come as no surprise that the powerful citrus smell of an orange is completely unappealing to the senses of your meat-eating cat.

But lets dive a little deeper into why cats hate oranges.

Which Smells Are Calming For Cats

Scents can have powerful properties. In humans, scents have the power to relax us, energize us, and even evoke emotions. Unsurprisingly, some scents can have similar effects on our feline friends.

Catnip contains an essential oil called Nepetalactone. This is what attracts your kitty to it and what causes them to become super playful initially, and then calm down and get very sleepy. Using the smell of catnip can help to relax a cat that is stressed or anxious.

There are also commercial cat calming sprays that use pheromones to make cats feel calm, safe, and at ease. These sprays mimic the pheromones released from a mother cat to her kittens. This is said to relax cats suffering from anxiety, so these products can help in situations that can cause feline stress, such as moving or vet visits.

Things Cats Absolutely Hate

Theres no doubt that cats are mysterious creatures. Even though theyre adorable in their own way, theyre known to be temperamental, with a long list of things they arent keen on. Here at Webbox, weve put together the top 15 things cats absolutely hate, so that you know what to expect and have the tools to be the best pet parent for miles around!

1) Smells

As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They cant stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus. Many essential oils are toxic to cats so it stands to reason that they instinctively want to run the other way when they get a whiff of your bath oils. They also arent a fan of strong menthol smells.

2) Too much attention

If youre a cat mum or dad then youll know that cats are independent creatures. They cant stand over-aggressive petting and many of them just like doing their own thing. Respect your cats boundaries and dont try to force them to spend time with you if they dont want to- they will let you know when they need love and affection!

3) Not enough attention

4) Medicine

5) Spoiled food

6) Competition

7) Loud noises

8) Tummy rubs

9) Baths

10) Being groomed

11) Strangers

12) Change

13) Being stared at

14) Low temperatures

15) Being cradled like a baby

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Use Peppermint To Change Cat Behavior

Probably one of the easiest plants to grow and keep around is mint. There are many different varieties of mint, all of which cats dislike!

Mint is perennial, it comes back all by itself year after year. Mint is notorious for its tendency to spread quickly and voraciously wherever it is planted.

If you are concerned about it overtaking your yard, you can plant mint in pots to keep it contained. Also, consider that mint is toxic to cats, so youll want to make sure your cat isnt overexposed to mint, peppermint, spearmint, or any kind of mint youre using.

Lavender Geranium And Eucalyptus

Smelly cat, smelly cat, it

Some gardeners use lavender plants to deter deer, but you can also try this as a deterrent for felines. Likewise, geranium and eucalyptus plants give off an odor that cats dislike. Keep in mind that lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus are all somewhat toxic to cats if ingested, they can cause excess salivation, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, depression, or dermatitis.

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Do Cats Hate The Smell Of Alcohol

Although some humans hate or like the smell of alcohol, they were rubbing it on surfaces will keep the cat away from it. You can either soak a ball in the alcohol or rub it on objects you want untouched by cats. Cats hate this because they have an ultra-sensitive nose, and the smell of alcohol is intense.

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Veterinary Nurse Helen Crofts Explains Why Cats Turn Their Noses Up At Oranges And Lemons

We all know how important it is for us to get our five portions of fruit and veg a day and citrus fruits are one of the most popular fruits available. There is also something very seasonal about the smell of spices and oranges. It reminds us of winter and especially Christmas. Citrus fruits also find their way into our fruit bowls at this time of year with oranges, lemons and limes all ready to be added to a seasonal tipple. Its also still popular to buy a few satsumas as a traditional Christmas stocking filler!

As the sweet, juicy taste of satsumas, clementines and oranges brings a welcome hit of sweetness to our palates you can be forgiven for thinking that a little segment of fruit will be enjoyed by your cat too. However, cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and as citrus fruits are very aromatic, what smells heavenly to us is way too over the top for cats.This dislike of citrusy scents can be turned to an owners advantage. If you want to discourage your cat from using a particular area of your garden as a toilet, leaving orange peel among the flowers may help persuade your cat to cease digging around your prize marigolds. The idea behind this is simply the cat smells the fruit, dislikes it and so wanders off. Interestingly, for cats who have come across this pungent smell before, it is likely that they will have an even stronger reaction to citrus smells than normal.

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How Can I Use Smells To Deter My Cat

Cat parents have tried it all when it comes to deterring our curious felines from unwanted behavior, including using bad smells. What smells do cats stay away from? Here are a few true-and-tried DIY cat deterrents:

  • Rubbing lemons on your couch to stop scratching.
  • Stocking your fruit bowl with ripening bananas to discourage a counter-jumping feline.
  • Scattering citrus peels around your yard to keep the tomcat from roaming about.
  • Cleaning counters and other cat-free surfaces with white vinegar.

Is vinegar and other smells a good cat repellant? Sure, using bad smells can deter cats from going places youd rather them not go. Commercial cat deterrents have even bottled up the worst smells for easy use. Theres just one problem with this approach, Delgado says.


Smells travel. They can move away from the intended target and now your whole room smells unpleasant to your cat, she explains. But that doesnt mean all hope is lost to stop your cat from jumping on the counter.

Its much more effective to try to understand why your cat is engaging in a behavior that you dont like, she says. Focusing on the five pillars of a healthy feline environment can help narrow down why your cat is doing a behavior and how to provide an environment that discourages the unwanted behavior:

iStock/Ingus Kruklitis

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Lotion

6 Smells That Many Cats Don’t Like

Say the cat smells like your wifes lotion or your husbands cologne these are all common. The reason for this is that your cat can soak up your smell like a sponge. Laundry: Have you noticed how your cat loves to sit on top of a pile of warm laundry? They not only like the feel of the warmth, but they also like the smell.

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/ House Cleaning Products

It is well known that the products we use for cleaning are full of chemicals. And cats can sense this. Therefore, use natural products such as white vinegar or baking soda. Be aware of the soaps and cleaning products you use for your home, litter box, dishes and personal hygiene. Remember that smells either attract or repel cats.

What Smells Do Cats Like A Summary

As you can see, there are lots of scents that are popular with domestic cats. But, the exact likes and dislikes of each individual cat will vary.

When youre trying out new smells, make sure you arent exposing your cat to any dangerous substances. Check ASPCA to ensure you arent using any toxic plants.

What smells does your cat love? Have you tried out any of the ones listed in this guide?

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Understanding The Cats Smell

Although it is the third most important sense after sight and hearing, the sense of smell is essential for the cat to communicate with other cats, to select odours and to distinguish complex chemical mixtures.

The cat’s nose is rich in special glands – very similar to our sweat glands – which only become active and produce secretions when necessary. This is the explanation for the dry or wet nose – which does not depend on the cats health, but on the olfactory interest the cat has in its environment. If the cat is hungry or alert, the nose becomes wet, whereas the nose remains dry when digesting or resting because it does not need to work at full capacity.

A cat perceives odours 50 to 70 times better than we do. This is due, firstly, to the activation of Bowman’s glands which, by secreting a particular substance is capable of dissolving the particles of any effluent, allow the olfactory endings to make a thorough evaluation, and secondly, the Jacobson’s organ, or vomeronasal, located inside the cats nasal cavity and opens into the roof of the mouth, right behind the upper incisors, participates in this outpouring of scents it concentrates the odours in two small pockets located at the level of the cat’s nasal cavities in order to better analyse them, which is why your cat may sometimes roll up his jowls. This action allows him to direct the odours from his nose to his mouth to better interpret them.

What Plants Do Cats Like The Smell Of

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Catnip is one of the most well-known plants that many cats will react to. But, studies have shown that one in three cats dont respond to this scent.

If your cat doesnt respond to catnip, or if youre looking for a new plant to try, here are some others that have elicited reactions in cats during research studies:

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Out of the three above plants, one study found that silver vine was the most popular.

In fact, silver vine has also been found to repel mosquitos from cats that rub on the plant, so it is useful to them as well as smelling nice!

You can test out lots of plants on your cat at home or in your yard to see what they think. Just remember to check first that you arent bringing home any toxic plants or plant varieties.

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How To Make Your Own Cat Repellent

If youre looking for a natural, homemade way to keep your cats away from certain areas of your home, you can try making your own cat repellent. Cats dislike certain smells and scents, so using these to create a barrier should help to keep them away.

common ingredients that you might already have around the house, like vinegar, citrus, and eucalyptus oil. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like peppermint or lavender for an extra boost. Just mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and spritz it around areas where you dont want your cat to go.

If youre looking for a more long-term solution, there are also some commercial cat repellents that use ultrasonic sound waves to keep cats away. These devices are safe to use around humans and animals, but they can be expensive. You could also try covering furniture with double-sided tape or aluminum foil, which will deter cats from scratching or napping there.

Cat Insurance For A Soft Landing

They say cats have nine lives and always land on their feet. We now also know they can probably smell danger from a mile away. That said, accidents do happen and its wise to have pet insurance. That way, whether its a minor scrape or a major break, you can think about your cat rather than the cost.

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Why Do Cats Have Such A Strong Sense Of Smell

This strong sense of smell is what has helped cats become outstanding hunters as they can sniff prey from a long way off. However, this also means they can sniff cat food and treats from a long distance as well!

Male cats mark their territory with urine or pheromones from glands in their face and feet. They will sniff new territories to see if they can smell the markings of other cats letting them know if a territory has been marked by another cat.

Cats also relate to each other through smell. A kitten cannot open its eyes initially so will use smell to find and latch on to its mother.

Cats also show affection to each other and to their humans by rubbing their heads against each other and their humans. This adds pheromones and oils to mark their favourites.

Butt-sniffing is a greeting in the cat community whereas spraying is more about marking territory. And when it comes to mating female cats can seek out males territory whilst emitting their own powerful sex pheromone which males can detect.

This sensitivity to scent is perhaps another reason that cats so enjoy grooming themselves imagine how much cleaner you would want to be if you could smell the slightest hint of an aroma you found unpleasant?

What Does A Cat Love

What Smells Deter Cats From Peeing

In most cases, the things your cat loves are the very same things you lovelike fresh, tasty food, long naps in cozy spots, and plenty of fun activities, to name a few. Just like us humans, the things cats find interesting, fun, or exciting can change as they ageyour cat may love her toy with feathers one day,

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Products That Help Repel Cats

Vinegar is particularly useful when you are looking for a way to deter negative cat behaviors. You can use vinegar on its own to repel cats or you can mix it with any of the other essential oil varieties that cats do not like. Most DIY cat repelling sprays contain vinegar as at least part of their base ingredients list.

A pre-made Cat & Kitten Training Aid with Bitter can also be very useful for keeping cats at bay inside your home. These sprays work by using scents that cats hate to deter them from bad cat behaviors like marking and scratching furniture, rugs, or curtains.

Additionally, you can take a look at our piece on the best cat deterrents and repellents here!

Why Do Cats Hate Some Smells

A cat’s nose is much more sensitive than a humans. So if you think of a smell that seems strong to you, itll smell way stronger to your cat.

There are some 200 million olfactory receptors in the nose of a cat, compared to 5 million in the nose of a human, Dr. Wooten said.

Because cats sense of smell is so strong, harsh, spicy and acidic scents are way too much for their noses to handle.

A lot of these strong-smelling substances are also toxic to cats, so when they smell them, the scent is telling them to stay away.

Cats use their noses to inform themselves about potential danger and food, Dr. Wooten said. If they dont like the smell of something, there is something within their brain that is telling them that particular scent is associated with something dangerous or undesirable.

For example, capsaicin, the substance in peppers that makes them spicy, can cause mouth and skin irritation and stomach problems in cats, so cats want to stay away when they smell it.

But keep in mind that some cats can be attracted to toxic substances, like beer, so just because your cat likes the smell of a food doesnt mean its safe for him to eat.

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Smells That Dogs Dont Like

Dogs are lovely companions, loyal and tender, but they hate strong smells either chemicals or naturals.

  • Vinegar: it has a strong and disagreeable smell this is why it is used to correct undesirable behavior in our pets. For instance, keeping them from making a mess in the house.
  • Alcohol: it is another smell they dislike. For instance, it is not an appropriate product for disinfecting their wounds.
  • Nail polish remover and nail polish: these are strong, unpleasant smells for our dogs. It is better not to use them near our pets.
  • Naphthalene: it is highly toxic for dogs. It can cause them a lot of harm, so you should keep them out of their reach.

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