What smells do cats like and dislike?

  • Date: December 24, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Cats have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, and it plays an important role in their behavior and communication. While cats may seem to enjoy certain smells, some smells can be quite off-putting to them. Knowing what smells cats like and dislike can help you create a more comfortable environment for your pet and avoid any unpleasant experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the types of smells cats like and dislike, and how to use these smells to your advantage.

What Do Cats Like and Dislike About Smells?

Cats use their sense of smell for a variety of purposes, including finding food, marking territory, and avoiding danger. It’s no surprise, then, that cats like and dislike certain smells. But what do cats like and dislike? Let’s take a look.

Smells Cats Like

Cats tend to like smells that are strong, sweet, and musky. They may be drawn to smells that remind them of food, such as tuna or salmon. They may also be attracted to scents like cinnamon, citrus, or lavender. Some cats may even be attracted to the smell of their own fur, as it contains pheromones that cats find comforting.

Smells Cats Dislike

Cats tend to have a more discriminating nose than humans. They are especially sensitive to smells they find unpleasant or overwhelming. Some smells cats are known to dislike include vinegar, ammonia, bleach, and citrus. They may also be repelled by strong perfumes, smoke, and the scent of their own urine.

How Cats React to Different Smells

Cats will usually react differently to smells they like and dislike. When cats are exposed to a smell they like, they may rub their face and body against the source of the scent. This behavior is known as “bunting” and is a way for cats to mark their territory with a pleasant smell. If cats are exposed to a scent they dislike, they may try to get away from it as quickly as possible.

Using Smells to Train Cats

Cats’ reactions to different smells can be used to help train them. For example, owners can use pleasant smells to encourage cats to go to certain areas or to discourage them from entering unwanted spaces. On the other hand, unpleasant smells can be used to teach cats to stay away from certain areas.


Cats use their sense of smell for a variety of purposes, and they have unique likes and dislikes when it comes to smells. Pleasant scents like tuna, cinnamon, and lavender may attract cats, while unpleasant smells like vinegar, ammonia, and bleach may repel them. Understanding cats’ reactions to different smells can be useful in training and helping cats to feel more comfortable in their environment.

### Common Myths about Cat’s Sense of Smell

1. Myth: Cats can’t smell as well as humans.
Fact: Cats actually have a much better sense of smell than humans. They can smell up to 100 times better than humans!

2. Myth: Cats only like the smell of fish.
Fact: Cats have preferences for certain smells, but they also like the smell of certain herbs, spices, and even citrus fruits.

3. Myth: Cats don’t like the smell of citrus.
Fact: Cats actually tend to enjoy the smell of citrus fruits, particularly oranges and lemons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What smells do cats like?

Cats have a strong sense of smell and many cats like smells that are sweet or spicy, such as vanilla, lavender, and cinnamon. Some cats also enjoy the smell of citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange.

What smells do cats dislike?

Cats tend to dislike pungent smells, such as garlic, onion, and vinegar. Strong perfumes and fragrances may also be off-putting to cats.



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