Check Out These 5 Smells That Cats Hate | You Might Be Shocked!

By Kelsey Apley 2 years ago1 Comment

A cat’s sense of smell is mighty strong. Their adorable little button noses can really lock on fragrant smells. You may not know that some smells really bother cats. I am going to share some smells that cats hate, and you might be shocked at a few of the smells! Cats even have extra scent organs in their mouths, so that means they really can pick up on odors. Things that we need to be near in order to smell, they can smell quite a long way away.

#CrazyCatLady #CatCare #CatFacts smells that cats hate

Humans have around five million receptors for picking up fragrances. Cats, on the other hand, have 45-80 million olfactory receptors. That is a huge difference!  Next time you slice that lemon, your cat might be getting a whiff when they are rooms away. Be aware of the smells that cats hate and remember they have a way better nose than we do!

Smells that Cats Hate that May Surprise You

#CrazyCatLady #CatCare #CatFacts smells that cats hate

Herbal Scents

When you are planting your garden or even using indoor plants consider skipping some of these herbal plants.  Try to stay away from these essential oils as well. Thyme, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, wintergreen, rue,  are some scents that cats can’t tolerate. Try not to diffuse these blends of essential oils or have indoor plants only unless you want your cat to stay away. Some people plant these specific items in gardens outdoors or use essential oils to spray on items in the home to keep your cat away from an area. By placing some essential oil in one of these scents on a couch or in a room you want your cat to stay out, it will keep them away.


Lemon is toxic to cats if they ingest it. Other citrus fruits include limes, oranges, and even grapefruit. They hate the smell of all four of these and are not a fan. Make sure lemons are out of view if you have one cut open, so your cat doesn’t get into it. If you have cat trouble in your flower beds outdoors you can always toss some citrus peels there, to help keep them away.

Cayenne Pepper

This is a natural repellant for cats because they hate the capsaicin in it. It can irritate their nose or mouth if they get it on them.  I don’t recommend using this as it is pretty cruel to make a cat hurt because you don’t want them in that certain area. There are safer repellants out there, but many people use cayenne to sprinkle in flower beds,  on counters, and other areas to keep cats away.


You know those strong fragrant cleaners you might use in your house? Well, I hate to tell you but your cat hates them. As you read above their sense of smell is very strong, and when you use a strong cleaner, not only is it the chemicals that get them but also the fragrance. You can find many natural cleaners with a minimal odor that are a lot less harsh for your cat.

Litter Box

Making sure your cat’s litter box is clean at all times is important. They don’t like to smell their own odors, and if you don’t clean your litter box enough they will find somewhere else to go. Whether it is your favorite area rug or your potted plants, they will find a new bathroom. Cats just need to have things clean and tidy, their noses can’t handle the strong smells.

Did any of these smells that cats hate surprise you?

  Cat Care,
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 Kelsey Apley

  (188 articles)

I am a city girl who has now moved to the country for a more relaxed lifestyle, with my husband and son! We love to be outdoors in nature, doing crafts, and just taking each day as a new adventure. I am a freelance writer and stay at home mom by day!

One Comment

  • Sandra Soloff says:

    I’m surprised that you mention lavender because the brand called “World’s Best Litter” uses lavender in one of their kitty litter options. I’m going to try a light spray of mint or lemon oil because those scents deter the wasps that fly around my front door in the summer.

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