What smells do cats love: comforting scents for pets

Alina MilsentLife
What smells do cats love

Cats can detect odors 14 times better than humans because they have a separate olfactory department - the vomeronasal or Jacobson's organ. It is used in cases where a particularly delicate scent needs to be captured.

Of course, cats react to odors depending on their individual preferences, but there is a list of scents that cats hate or, on the contrary, love. Read OBOZREVATEL's article to find out which smells have a calming effect on cats and which can cause severe allergies.

Olive tree

The leaves, as well as the trunk of the tree, contain oleuropein, which acts on four-legged animals in the same way as catnip. When a cat smells an olive tree, it may lick the trunk of the tree and start rubbing against it. However, there is an important caveat: the effects of oleuropein on animals are not yet well understood.

The smell of honeysuckle

Honeysuckle has a well-known calming effect. Its leaves are often used as herbal medicine to combat anxiety, insomnia, and stress in animals. However, honeysuckle berries are highly toxic to cats and can lead to severe poisoning.

Lavender scent

Cats react to lavender in different ways: they can either love it or be indifferent to it. Lavender belongs to the same plant family as catnip.


Thyme infusion has a pronounced therapeutic effect: it calms, has an anti-inflammatory effect, and is used to treat inflamed eyes in animals. Thyme tea can help if your cat has conjunctivitis or allergies.

Synthetic pheromones

Some experts recommend using pheromone-based scents to calm an overly active or aggressive cat. The smell of these chemical compounds cannot be picked up by the human sense of smell.

Synthetic pheromones were invented to mimic the scents your cat is familiar with, which make them feel safe and calm. They are often made from organic fatty acids and valerian essential oils.

Smells that scare cats away

Pungent synthetic perfumes

Don't use strongly scented perfumes if you have a cat sitting next to you, as their nose is much more sensitive to odors.

The smell of citrus

Citrus fruits are a very strong and dangerous allergen for cats. Do not try to let your cat smell lemons or oranges.

Paint, varnish, glue

If you plan to make repairs, take care of your pet's safety in advance. Cats do not like the smell of paint, glue, or varnish.


Cats hate the smell of alcohol and all alcoholic beverages without exception. Exposure to alcohol is also on this list, so don't be surprised if your cat avoids you after a night out and refuses to sleep with you.

Essential oils

Essential oils like rosemary, lemon (and all citrus fruits), and lavender may not be pleasant to cats, but they can be used to discourage them from marking territory. Spray the surface with essential oil and the cat will stop doing its "business" there.

Onions, garlic, spices

All spices, as well as onions and garlic, have too pungent an aroma for cats. Vanilla should be singled out separately - there is no certainty here: some cats like this smell, and some may be disgusted.

Vinegar and household chemicals

If you often use folk life hacks with vinegar as a key component when cleaning, or simply wash surfaces with chemicals, try to keep your cat away from these odors. The fact is that fumes can lead to an allergic reaction and mucosal irritation.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you how to determine a cat's mood by its tail.

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