9 Scents Cats Can’t Stand

When you think of a pet with a super nose, the dog usually comes to mind. But the sense of smell also plays an important role in cats. Some things she can’t even smell. Here you can read which scents cats particularly hate. They can be harmful!

Cats have up to 70 million olfactory cells. In comparison: We humans only have 5 to 20 million olfactory cells. Even kittens have a good sense of smell and it is only thanks to it that they easily find their way to their mother. However, because of their sensitive nose, cats are also particularly sensitive to smells. They can’t stand these 9 scents.

Scent for the Litter Box

Cats don’t have fun with the litter box. It needs to smell clean and fresh, which is why you need to clean the toilet at least once a day. Please do not use any other scents that only soothe the human nose. Many velvet paws don’t find deodorants for the litter box that tingling and litter aren’t always really accepted. If your cat suddenly becomes unclean, you know why.

Typical Household Scents

Room fragrance, scented candles, or incense sticks: we think it’s great, the cat doesn’t. If it smells intensely of oranges and citrus, of musk and cinnamon, it is very unpleasant for our animals. Therefore, be sparing with such smelling items in the household.

Tea Tree Oil and Other Remedies

Tea tree oil is not only toxic to cats but also uncomfortable. The kitty doesn’t like the intense smell. This also applies to other remedies. Eucalyptus and menthol are also not what our cat likes. If you’re sick, you’d better rub yourself in another room. Cats only like one thing: valerian.

Cigarette Smoke

Smoking is unhealthy and passive smoking is also a frequent cause of cancer in cats. Cats also find the smell really bad: Cigarette smoke is very hard on their sensitive olfactory organ and only disturbs the cat. Therefore, please always light your cigarette outside and always smoke outside. In this way, your cat does not become a passive smoker.


Cats would never understand why we spend a ton of money on perfume. For them, the fragrant scents of rose, violet, and patchouli are simply disgusting. The intense nuances, which we find very pleasant, trigger discomfort in the cat. So don’t take it personally if your cat sniffs at you, and it’s best to live by the motto: less is more.

Unpleasant Plant Odors

The harp bush is also called a “piss-off plant”. He keeps cats away doing their business in beds. Even in the garden, the cat is not a fan of plants with a citrus scent and often avoids the strongly scented lavender. All plants with an ethereal smell tend to be avoided by cats.

Foreign Smells

Even if cats don’t find them directly unpleasant, they still don’t want one thing on their territory: the smells of strange cats. The velvet paws usually try to cover them up with their own smell.

Household Cleaners

Of course, you have to clean, but some cleaning products are completely out of the question for cats. The pungent odor rouses her. You should therefore use a mild cleaning agent that smells as little as possible. Your velvet paw will thank you.

Typical Flavors From the Kitchen

Not all people like garlic. Cats all despise him. The cat will back away from a person who is sniffing garlic – it’s best to save money with it when eating – here, too, less is more. In the kitchen, please keep the healthy ingredients odor-free. Coffee grounds, lemon, vinegar, cinnamon, or coriander are just as unpopular with cats and sometimes even poisonous to cats. The animal should be kept away from it. If that succeeds, you don’t have to do without anything yourself.

There are also many smells that cats like. If you want to make your cat happy, you can offer her a real change of pace with exciting smells with a small, cat-friendly herb garden.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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