What smell do cats love?

  • Date: November 8, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Cats are known for having a keen sense of smell, and there are certain odors that cats find especially pleasing. From their natural prey to the smells of their favorite people, cats have a wide range of scents that they love. In this article, we will explore the smells that cats are most attracted to, as well as some of the ways that cats use smell to find their way around and to interact with their environment. With a better understanding of the smells that cats love, you can create a more comfortable environment for them in your home.

What Smells do Cats Love?

Cats have a keen sense of smell and often use it to determine what they like and don’t like. While cats may not have the same appreciation for smells as humans do, they still have an understanding of the world around them through their sense of smell. So, what smells do cats love?

Cats have a much higher sense of smell than humans do, with cats having an estimated 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses compared to humans who have only around five million. They have around sixty times more of these receptors and that gives them the ability to detect smells far more acutely than humans can. Cats use the sense of smell to get information about the world around them, including the smells of other cats, prey, and predators.


One of the smells that cats love is fish. Cats are often fed fish-based foods as part of their diet, and the smell of fish can be incredibly attractive to cats. Fish has a strong scent, and some cats may even be drawn to the smell of fish that is cooking in the kitchen. Cats may also be attracted to the smell of raw fish, so if you ever find your cat sniffing around the fish counter at the grocery store, it may not be an accident.


Catnip is a plant that is known to have an intoxicating effect on cats. The leaves of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone, which is what elicits the response in cats. When cats smell the nepetalactone, it causes a reaction in their brains that produces a feeling of euphoria. Many cats love the smell of catnip, and it is often used as a training tool for cats, as it can be an effective reward for good behavior.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a great way to introduce new smells to cats. Many essential oils have calming effects on cats and can be used to help them relax and reduce stress. Some of the best essential oils for cats include lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood. When introducing essential oils to cats, it is important to use them sparingly and to make sure that they are diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, before being applied to the cat’s fur.

Feathers and Fur

Cats are often attracted to the smell of feathers and fur. This is because they are attracted to the scent of their own species, as well as the scent of other animals. Cats may be drawn to the smell of feathers or fur from a toy or stuffed animal, or they may be drawn to the smell of an animal such as a rabbit or bird.

Human Skin

Cats may also be attracted to the smell of human skin. Humans produce pheromones that cats can detect, and these pheromones may be attractive to cats. Cats may also be drawn to the scent of a particular human, such as their owner or a family member.

In conclusion, cats have a keen sense of smell and are drawn to certain smells, such as fish, catnip, essential oils, feathers and fur, and human skin. Understanding what smells cats are attracted to can help owners better understand their cats and provide them with scents they will find pleasant.

### Common Myths about Cats and Smell

1. Myth: Cats only love the smell of catnip.
Fact: While cats may enjoy the smell of catnip, they are also attracted to other smells, such as the scent of certain plants and foods, as well as certain human scents.

2. Myth: Cats have a poor sense of smell.
Fact: Cats have an excellent sense of smell, in fact, it is far better than a human’s!

3. Myth: All cats like the same smells.
Fact: Just like people, cats have individual preferences when it comes to smell. Some may like certain food smells while others may prefer the scent of flowers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What smell do cats love?

Answer: Cats have a strong sense of smell and are particularly attracted to certain scents. Some of the smells cats love include fish, catnip, lavender, chamomile, citrus, and valerian root.



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