What Smells Do Cats Like?

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:

However, you must be careful when looking for new smells for your cat to enjoy, as some fragrances come from toxic sources. There are plenty of smells most cats love, from types of plants, to scents of certain foods.

Have you noticed that certain foods will bring your cat rushing to the kitchen? When youre cooking, you may notice that your cat responds positively to the following foods and their smells: Basically, if its meaty or fishy, your cat is likely to enjoy the smell of it.

Cats are obligate carnivores , which means they get all of their nutrients from meat. Some people might find that their cats enjoy the smells of dairy products, like cream and milk . And, some people suggest that cats like the smell of certain fruits and vegetables.

Just like the nicest scents for cats will vary, so will the least appealing ones. Did you know that thousands of research papers have been published on cat behavior and health? Finding out which smells your cat enjoys can be a really fun process.

Make sure to check that you arent exposing your cat to anything that is potentially toxic to them , particularly when testing out their response to different plants. In most cases, cats will need to consume matter from these plants in order to experience any really negative effects. You might find some of the listed plants surprising, as humans usually love their scents!

If your cat responds negatively to a smell, its best to remove it as quickly as possible so your kitty will feel relaxed once more. 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.

Bol, S. (et al), Responsiveness of Cats (Felidae) to Silver Vine (Actinidia Polygama), Tatarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera Tatarica), Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis) and Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) , BMC Veterinary Research (2017) Big Cats Want Your Old Purrrfume! , Banham Zoo (2020) Uenoyama, R. (et al), The Characteristic Response of Domestic Cats to Plant Iridoids Allows them to Gain Chemical Defense Against Mosquitos , Science Advances (2021) Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List , ASPCA Bradshaw, J.

What smell do cats love the most?

Catnip and More.. Many herbs we use in cooking are safe and fun for cats to sniff, and some are known to be feline favorites. Catnip, part of the mint family, affects many cats with a scent-induced kitty “high.” Silver vine has a similar effect. And valerian can energize cats.

What smell is irresistible to cats?

Cats typically respond to catnip (the so-called “catnip response”) by sniffing, licking and biting it; shaking or rubbing their head, chin or cheeks against it; rolling over in it; drooling; and even kicking at the material with their hind feet. This response has been described by some as “euphoric.”

What are cats most attracted to?

Cats are most attracted to smelly foods rich in proteins and fats, like oily fish and poultry. A cat uses its heightened sense of smell to seek out food, so the smellier the better.

Inside the comparatively tiny nose of a cat, there are a whopping THREE square inches of receptors dedicated to trapping odor molecules and sending information about them back to the brain!

A cats sense of smell is their dominant source of information about the world. In humans, the surface area inside our nose dedicated to bearing odor receptors covers a mere 0.3 to 0.5 square inches.

With such a rich and detailed sense of smell, which are the scents cats get excited to encounter? But weakness for catnip is actually a hereditary trait in cats, so not all felines experience that euphoric response. If your cat is unmoved by the fragrance of catnip, theres no point trying to coax them into feeling any differently its a genetic trait that cant be learned or taught.

Whilst you may not have heard of it before, youll be able to find silver vine alongside catnip in most large pet stores, and online. One study specifically focussed on the Tatarian variety of honeysuckle found that about 50% of cats have a mild to intense pleasurable reaction to chemical compounds in the wood. About half of cats also respond positively to the smell of cut and dried valerian root.

Except rather than go to sleep, they have a euphoric response similar to cats enjoying catnip. Interestingly, several researchers are now exploring the possibility that extracts of a different compound from olive plants can have powerful antiviral effects , including perhaps the potential to combat feline herpes virus and feline leukemia virus. But for now, your cats enjoyment of olive plants is purely for fun, not any medicinal purpose.

One small study of cats visiting a veterinary clinic found that exposure to lavender fragrance reduced behaviors associated with stress and anxiety. This might be because its so pungent, that pleasant levels of lavender fragrance can quickly tip into being an overwhelming stench for their super-sensitive noses. Despite how powerful their noses are, cats dont actually rely very much on their sense of smell for hunting.

But this doesnt stop them twitching their nose at tasty aromas inside your home though. Few things grab a cats full attention like the smell of their favorite dinner hitting the bowl! Although at least that means theres no obligation on us to keep a selection of toys impregnated with eau de dead rabbit around!

Lots of other food smells pique a cats curiosity too, even if they dont belong to something they would ultimately eat. Thats because we serve a lot of our meals warm, which makes them extra-smelly and worthy of further examination. Friends and family From the moment they are born, kittens can recognize the smell of their mom and their nest.

They do this by producing and detecting special scents from glands in their cheeks, called pheromones. Synthetic facial pheromones in products like Feliway reduce anxiety, and promote behaviors associated with well-being, such as playing, eating well, and engaging with other people and animals. Themselves Have you ever noticed your cat rubbing their cheeks on the walls of your house, or scratching the door frames?

Its a way of asserting their ownership of a territory, and it makes them feel confident, secure, and relaxed in their environment. Its also why theyll reject a brand new cat bed in favor of curling up on your favorite sweater again. Your scent triggers all the positive emotions and associations that your cat has of you, and makes them feel safe, secure, and happy.

Strong smells Cats noses are very sensitive, so anything too potent is likely to be overwhelming for them. Its a smart preference, because limonene, a key compound in the rind of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits, is toxic to cats. Exposure to too much causes excessive salivation, loss of coordination, shivering and dermatitis.

Spices Cats tend to dislike spicy smells, so you may notice they retreat to a bedroom or out into the yard when you cook with them. They might even react negatively to a familiar cat, if they have been taken to the vet or groomer and returned smelling wrong. Understanding what smells your cat enjoys and dislikes is really useful for creating an enriching home environment for them.

Use strong smelling foods for games to fill puzzle toys or play hide and seek. And harness the power of synthetic pheromones to comfort them during events like moving house.

Our cats are sensory creatures, but we often overlook their acute sense of smell. Using scent to enrich their environment offers inexpensive, effective, and fun ways to keep your cats happy, stress free, and healthy.

My cat Karma loves to stand on his hind legs and press his nose to the opening, especially when it rains. Catnip, part of the mint family, affects many cats with a scent-induced kitty high. Silver vine has a similar effect.

Other safe herbs cats may enjoy sniffing include dill, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. Amy Shojai (www.SHOJAI.com) is an IAABC-certified behavior consultant (cats/dogs), and Fear Free certified pet care expert.

Cats seem to rely on their noses to understand the world more than we humans do. Cats detect smells and sense pheromones (chemicals produced and released by other cats) through their olfactory systems. For confined cats, appreciating the importance of their sense of smell can greatly enrich their environments, which generally means a happier cat.

While the allure of catnip is well-documented, a recent study investigated cats responses to some of these other lesser-known plants to provide support to anecdotal reports.

What Smells Do Cats Like?

Whether you’re looking to find something your cat will love or are simply curious, learning what smells cats like can be pretty fun.There are plenty of smells most cats love, from types of plants, to scents of certain foods.But, it will vary from one cat to another. Studies into cat reactions have shown that not all cats respond positively to the same scents.In fact, many studies have shown that one third of cats do not react to catnip – a scent that’s often seen as a cat favorite!A zoo in England has also found that big cats love the smell of old perfume, especially Calvin Klein scents!But, what about our domestic cat breeds? What smells do they like?Let’s take a look at some common smells that many cats respond well to.

Toxic Plants and Foods

Just like the nicest scents for cats will vary, so will the least appealing ones.Some cats may enjoy these smells, or simply tolerate them. Whilst other cats may strive to avoid them altogether.
Here are some common smells that cats do not like:Remember, cats will react differently to these smells. But, be aware of ones that come from potentially toxic sources.

What Smells Do Cats Like? A Summary

So, when you’re introducing these new smells to your cat, how do you know if they like one or hate it?Here are a few signs you can look out for to show your cat enjoys this new smell:If a cat doesn’t like a smell, they will usually try to get away from its source. But, they may also hiss, growl, or their fur may stand on end.If your cat responds negatively to a smell, it’s best to remove it as quickly as possible so your kitty will feel relaxed once more.

What smells do cats like?

A cat’s sense of smell is their dominant source of information about the world.In humans, the surface area inside our nose dedicated to bearing odor receptors covers a mere 0.3 to 0.5 square inches.Inside the comparatively tiny nose of a cat, there are a whopping THREE square inches of receptors dedicated to trapping odor molecules and sending information about them back to the brain!So, they can detects odors at much lower concentrations than we can.Furthermore, they have a special organ in the roof of their mouth called a vomeronasal organ, which detects a whole category of scents that are outside our perception at any concentration. They are the nasal equivalent of being able to see in infrared, or hear ultrasound.With such a rich and detailed sense of smell, which are the scents cats get excited to encounter?Here are the top 10 cat-pleasing aromas, followed some they really dislike.

2. Silver vine

No surprises here!Catnip consists of dried leaves from the catnip plant, also known as catmint, catwort, and by its Latin name,It contains several specific chemical compounds which have a stimulating effect on some cats.Cats who love catnip mayVets and behaviorists often describe the reaction as being akin to euphoria.But weakness for catnip is actually a hereditary trait in cats, so not all felines experience that euphoric response.Around two thirds of cats go completely giddy for it, whilst the remaining third are resolutely unaffected.If your cat is unmoved by the fragrance of catnip, there’s no point trying to coax them into feeling any differently – it’s a genetic trait that can’t be learned or taught.However, they might fall in love with the fragrance of one of the following cat-friendly plants instead.

3. Honeysuckle

Now here’s a beautiful fragrance that humans and cats can agree on!Well, half of cats.One study specifically focussed on the Tatarian variety of honeysuckle found that about 50% of cats have a mild to intense pleasurable reaction to chemical compounds in the wood.However, the berries of some honeysuckle varieties are toxic to plants, so if you grow this plant in your yard for the amusement of your cat, take care that they don’t consume any.

4. Valerian

Valerian is a herb which grows widely throughout Europe and Asia. It has been used by humans as a sedative and a cure for insomnia since ancient times.About half of cats also respond positively to the smell of cut and dried valerian root.Except rather than go to sleep, they have a euphoric response similar to cats enjoying catnip.This is thought to be because it contains chemical compounds which are very similar to those in catnip.

5. Olive

Lots of cat owners report that their pets are drawn to the scent of olive trees, and may scratch their bark to release the aroma, or break twigs off to play with.This is because yet again, olive plants contain similar compounds to catnip.Interestingly, several researchers are now exploring the possibility that extracts of a different compound from olive plants can have powerful antiviral effects, including perhaps the potential to combat feline herpes virus and feline leukemia virus.But for now, your cat’s enjoyment of olive plants is purely for fun, not any medicinal purpose.

6. Lavender

One more plant!Humans have long used lavender to promote feelings of calm.And some cats appear to have a similar response.One small study of cats visiting a veterinary clinic found that exposure to lavender fragrance reduced behaviors associated with stress and anxiety.But this flower seems to have a love-it-or-hate-it effect on felines, and some cats will go out of their way to avoid it.This might be because it’s so pungent, that pleasant levels of lavender fragrance can quickly tip into being an overwhelming stench for their super-sensitive noses.

7. Their Food

Let’s move away from plants, and onto a completely different source of smells that cats like – food smells!Despite how powerful their noses are, cats don’t actually rely very much on their sense of smell for hunting.But this doesn’t stop them twitching their nose at tasty aromas inside your home though.Few things grab a cat’s full attention like the smell of their favorite dinner hitting the bowl!Interestingly though, impregnating toys with the smell of prey animals doesn’t hold their interest for long.Although at least that means there’s no obligation on us to keep a selection of toys impregnated with

8. Your food

You probably don’t need me to tell you that a cat’s interest in food smells is rarely limited to their own meals!Lots of other food smells pique a cat’s curiosity too, even if they don’t belong to something they would ultimately eat.That’s because we serve a lot of our meals warm, which makes them extra-smelly and worthy of further examination.So they’re intriguing for cats, even if they’re not appetizing!

8. Friends and family

From the moment they are born, kittens can recognize the smell of their mom and their nest.Even before they can see, a kitten removed a short distance from the nest will be able to use their sense of smell to orientate towards the nest and call for help.The smell of the nest also gives them comfort and reduces distress.As they grow up, they also learn to recognize and appreciate the smell of other cats from their social group.They do this by producing and detecting special scents from glands in their cheeks, called pheromones.We can’t smell them, but cats can, using their vomeronasal organ.Every cat has their own unique, individual pheromone signature.Colonies of feral cats and families of pet cats also groom each other and rub cheeks to mingle their smells and create a distinctive group odor which they recognize each other by.And it turns out that cats also respond positively to feline facial pheromones even when they aren’t being produced by another cat.Synthetic facial pheromones in products like Feliway reduce anxiety, and promote behaviors associated with well-being, such as playing, eating well, and engaging with other people and animals.

9. Themselves

Have you ever noticed your cat rubbing their cheeks on the walls of your house, or scratching the door frames?When they do this, they leave traces of their own unique pheromone signature behind.In future, when they revisit the area, they like to find their scent already there.It’s a way of asserting their ownership of a territory, and it makes them feel confident, secure, and relaxed in their environment.

10. You!

Just like cats, we humans all have our own unique body odor, and it’s something your cat uses to identify you by.It’s also why they’ll reject a brand new cat bed in favor of curling up on your favorite sweater again.That sweater you love to wear so much absolutely stinks of you, and your cat loves that.Your scent triggers all the positive emotions and associations that your cat has of you, and makes them feel safe, secure, and happy.

What smells do cats dislike?

We’ve seen some smells that cats love. What about some they’re not so keen on?

1. Strong smells

Cats’ noses are very sensitive, so anything too potent is likely to be overwhelming for them.This includes essential oils, which are so potent they can even cause respiratory problems.

2. Citrus

Cats are famously averse to citrus smells.It’s a smart preference, because limonene, a key compound in the rind of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits, is toxic to cats.Exposure to too much causes excessive salivation, loss of coordination, shivering and dermatitis.

3. Spices

Cats tend to dislike spicy smells, so you may notice they retreat to a bedroom or out into the yard when you cook with them.

4. Unfamiliar cats and people

Many cats feel threatened by the scent of unfamiliar cats and people.They might even react negatively to a familiar cat, if they have been taken to the vet or groomer and returned smelling “wrong”.

What smells does your cat like?

Understanding what smells your cat enjoys and dislikes is really useful for creating an enriching home environment for them.You can:

Why Enrichment Matters

An outdoor cat can chase butterflies, climb and claw trees, munch grass and mark territory, stalk critters, and relax in the sun. And if Kitty prefers to be alone, she can chase off or run away from interlopers. Of course, outdoor cats also risk injury and exposure to disease, so most cat lovers in the United States keep pet cats indoors only.But a restricted indoor lifestyle has negative consequences. Indoor cats must share territory and can’t get away from each other. They exercise less and tend to put on unhealthy weight. Resource sharing strains the relationship even between friendly pets. Dr. Tony Buffington, an expert on cat enrichment, and a principal in the Indoor Pet Initiative, says stressed cats react with sickness behaviors that include hiding, vomiting, refusing to eat, and missing the litter box.Enriching your cat’s environment gets couch potato cats up and moving, relieves boredom, and helps prevent potential health issues. But let’s look beyond the standard indoor cat tree and window-view bird feeder. Here are some great ways to engage your cat’s nose and increase the fun.

Catnip Isn’t King

Interestingly, catnip is not the only plant that some of our feline companions find attractive. Some domestic cats are also attracted to silver vine, Tatarian honeysuckle, valerian root and Indian nettle. This is fortunate, because about one out of three of domestic cats do not respond to catnip. While the allure of catnip is well-documented, a recent study investigated cats’ responses to some of these other lesser-known plants to provide support to anecdotal reports. Of the 100 cats studied, almost all (94 percent) showed a “catnip response” to at least one of the four plants in the study. The largest percentage of cats, 79 percent, responded to silver vine, whereas 68 percent of the cats responded to catnip, 53 percent to honeysuckle and 47 percent to valerian. What‘s more, 24 percent of cats responded to all four plant materials; 21 percent responded to only one of them. Silver vine was the best alternative to catnip. Interestingly, despite the popular reputation of catnip, more cats in this study responded to silver vine. Responses were similar among both females and males, shy or friendly cats and across age groups (although the response to catnip, but not the other plants, was milder among older cats). Cats (especially the older ones) that responded to silver vine also responded to it more intensely than to catnip.