What Smells Do Cats Hate?

Cats have extremely sensitive noses, and even a somewhat offensive odor/smell might cause them to flee in disgust. Also, cats don’t appreciate the same scents as people, so while you may adore that costly perfume, your cat’s nose may not be able to take it.

While investigating their surroundings, kitties frequently depend on their sense of smell more than what they can see or touch. Cats can smell when humans can’t. Because kitties are more acute and developed to smell than humans, they feel odors more deeply. But which smell your cat hates is mainly dependent upon the individual cat, her breed, age, and health condition.

what smells do cats hate

Let’s look at smells cats hate, so you may eradicate them from your house or use them as a repellant for furnishings or your yard.

Why Does It Matters What Cats Hate?

You may be interested in what odors your cat hates, but knowing can be useful. If you have a cat that has bad manners and destroys your furniture, climbs your shelves, or urinates on your carpet as a hobby, you may want to research the kind of smells that kitties find offensive so that you might use them as a deterrent.

You may use these smells to keep them out of rooms or your favorite bookshelves. Even if you’re not a cat owner, you may wish to keep stray cats or neighbors’ pets from your garden, so they don’t trample your vegetables, defecate on your lawn, or harm songbirds and wildlife.

As a cat owner, you may want to know what odors kitties despise to establish a pleasant, stress-free living environment. You will have a better-behaved and more pleased cat if you maintain your home free of odors that cause cats anxiety.

Also, cats innately detect certain odours that might irritate or damage them, so keep these scents out of your home, or they could harm your cat.

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Why do Cats have a Strong Sense of Smell?

Cats’ great smell helps them become excellent hunters since they can scent prey from far away. However, they can also smell cat food and goodies from far away.

Urine or pheromones secreted by glands in the face and paws of male cats are used to mark their territory. They sniff new territories to detect other cats’ marks, which tells them if a region has been marked.

cat shocked by a smell

The smell is another way in which cats communicate with one another. Since a newborn kitten cannot open its eyes, it relies on its sense of smell to locate and bond with its mother.

Sense of Smell in Cats

A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than an average person’s. This is because their nasal organ is far larger than ours. Because a cat’s olfactory system is dispersed across its head, felines have an extraordinary capacity for scent. 

 However, there are some smells they hate that humans might appreciate.

Citrus Scents

The initial smell is any citrus fruit, including oranges, lemons, etc. These products are utilized as natural cat repellents in a garden. Citrus fruits have a fragrance that cats find offensive, and kitties also find the taste of citrus fruits repulsive.

Lavender and Eucalyptus

Growing lavender in your garden may deter your cat from interfering with your plants, particularly if the lavender is combined with other strong fragrances, such as eucalyptus.

However, kittens can be moderately poisoned by these plants; thus, you should keep them fenced in and not bring them inside the home. Additionally, avoiding utilizing these essential oils in situations where your cat may consume them is advisable.

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Pepper and Curry

Pepper and curry aren’t enjoyable for cats; therefore, many people add cayenne and pepper flakes as a deterrent. Capsaicin, found in peppers, can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be harmful. So, although it may keep your kitty away from a restricted location, a curious or persistent cat may become pretty ill.


Vinegar may be used to repel cats almost anyplace. Vinegar has a pungent odor to humans; however, this odor often diminishes as the vinegar dries out. However, kitties can still detect its scent, contributing to the product’s effectiveness as a repellent.

It’s essential to remember that some cats will pee on vinegar, so it’s essential to pay attention to how your kitty reacts to vinegar. Vinegar should not be used to wipe up any accidents since it may induce repetitive urination and cause the smell to become overwhelming.


Certain types of mint are harmful to cats, so they resist it for good purposes. Cats find the scent very overpowering; thus, they will ignore it. Keeping a mint plant out of your cat’s reach is better. 


Coffee also has a highly fragrant and bitter fragrance, which may be unpleasant for cats, and as a result, the smell of coffee is another thing that cats find offensive.

Many people have leftover coffee grinds from their morning cup, so keep them to prevent cats from your house or yard. You may also get free bags at most local coffee shops if you collect them there. Again, coffee works better outside, especially on flowerbed soil.


Cinnamon makes cats run away, even freshly made cookies or mulled wine. This is another powerful and fragrant fragrance that cats find unpleasant.  Cinnamon, which is harmless to cats, is an excellent choice for use as a repellent since it keeps cats away without inflicting any harm on them.

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Cinnamon, water, ground black pepper, and lemon essential oil may be combined to create a DIY spray for deterring cats. All you need is one lemon essential oil bottle.

Cleaning Chemicals

You may be tempted to clean your house more thoroughly if you just got a cat. Caution is advised, however, because many felines find these aromas excessively intense and repulsive.

Old Fish

This is another characteristic that cats and people share in common. There is a significant difference between enjoying the flavor of fish and enjoying its odor after it has gone bad. Similar to humans, kitties dislike anything that is out of date. We strongly advise that you never feed your cat fish that has gone bad.

You should also cover your trash, so it doesn’t smell and annoy your cat, whose sense of smell is heightened.

Dirty Litterbox

Cats prefer a spotless litter box, just like you don’t appreciate using a filthy, foul-smelling restroom. If the cat box isn’t clean, a cat may refuse to use it, causing messes or kidney infections in your cat. To keep everyone happy, you should clean their litter box regularly.

Do Cats Hate Kerosine?

Kerosene, for instance, can emit a strong odor long after a water filter has removed it. Most cats find it really distressing when pesticides or other chemicals are sprayed on them.