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Your Cat Despises Certain Smells | Discover What Scents your Kitty Absolutely Hates

Close your eyes and imagine a steamy hot dish being served to you; mostly, a known scent might have come to your mind, followed by the visuals and the location where you had it. Humans have many memories of a particular scent similar to specific locations and people. The same goes for our pets, who have fourteen more ear and nose receptors. Olfactory senses play a key role in their survival; they use these senses daily and are highly dependent on them. Many smells you like might annoy your pet, and sometimes the smell you like to stay away from or ick you do not irritate your cat anymore. Read on further to know what smells do cats hate.

What Smells do Cats Hate?

what scents do cats hate? Cats behave awry when they sense particular smells; however, we humans like some of these smells. Some smells cats hate include:


Cats can’t stand the citrusy smells released from lemons, oranges, pomelo, grapefruit, and lime, and they’re alike. They are toxic to cats. These smells are often used as fragrances and are widely used in the perfume industry. Many cat sprays that act as repellent have a citrusy odor to them.


This mineral and vitamin-enriched superfood is a gift for humans, but our cats don’t vouch for it. It is a myth that banana peels are toxic for your cat; biting them will not kill your cat. The ethene produced from the peel as the fruit ripens alerts and poses a threat to the animal, which wards them off once they come near it. Ethene is a plant hormone that helps in the ripening process of fruits. Other fruits include mangoes, apples, apricots, figs, avocados, etc. That produces ethene while they ripen. It might not sound like much of a big deal, but to a cat’s nose, the ripening smell of these fruits feels similar to the stench of rotting fruit.

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Cat Litter Box

Cats are very particular about hygiene and keeping their surroundings clean. If they sniff out an unclean litter box, they will use other unlikely means to answer nature’s call. Taking out litter and keeping the cat litter box tidy from time to time is a pronounced mandate to ensure your house does not reek of poop. Taking out the cat waste also helps determine a lot about their health and habits.


Like ethene, cats also avoid capsaicin, a compound found in chilies and peppers, which gives them their spiciness. Capsaicin pepper is also used as an effective cat repellent.

Herbs and Essential Oils

Herbs and essential oils, derived from plants like eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint are too strong for cats to smell. These plants for cats can be strategically placed if you want your fur buddy to stay in a particular place while making the place smell dreamy.


Vinegar has a very strong pungent smell detectable to the human nose. Then think how it would be for your cat. It is used very often as a cleaning agent. Keep a note of how your cat behaves when used as a cleaning agent around your house for items like kitchen tops, cat ball toy, and even litter boxes. There are chances that if it is used over any of the personal stuff of your cat, they might urinate on it to mask the strong odor emanating from their belongings.

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Freshly Grounded Coffee

As relaxing and appeasing as it might seem to humans; cats hate freshly grounded coffee smell. Caffeine in coffee, which makes our day go, could make your pet hospitalized. Like other things cats detest, this is also used as a cat repellent. The striking similarity grounded coffee or tea leaves have to dirt may lead to accident ingestion if it sticks to their paw. Cats and dogs should refrain from coffee, tea, or chocolate-related sugary things, as they are toxic to your pet. Apart from being dangerous, these could increase their sugar intake, leading to cat obesity.

Raisins and Grapes

The list doesn’t end with caffeine and chocolates; it also includes raisins, currants, and grapes. It seems harmless to humans, but a few of these pretty-looking black beauties could lead to renal failure and similar issues. The reason for what component causes this is not yet known. If signs of lethargy are seen, rush to the vet as soon as possible.

Soap and Detergents

it is said that cleanliness is next to godliness, and cats were gods in some civilizations; these gods do like crystal-clean bowls that do not have a soapy detergent taste to them. Sometimes cleaning their bowls does have some soapy residue left on them which might not catch the naked eye but is caught by their snoopy nose.

Bad Fish

Just like you, your cat dislikes rotten food and might come to know that it is soon to get spoiled. But if your cat goes ahead with bad fish, vomiting, diarrhea, and diarrhea-like symptoms are sure to follow.

Coleus Canina

This plant called as coleus caninas, is often called scaredy cat plant and is used as a cat repellent. It comes from the mint family, which can tell a lot about why it can effectively keep cats at bay.

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New Cat Smell

Both dogs and cats don’t like the scent of another fellow dog or cat on their human parents. If they suddenly get the smell of a new cat, I don’t think they would like it much. Unless it is a known cat, it is best to introduce a pet to another slowly and gradually.


Cucumbers are not toxic. Peeled cucumbers can be fed in moderation as peels might contain harmful pesticides. These are healthy for humans and make a great salad option, but your cat might see them as a green slug or snake roaming your kitchen counter. This vegetable is not toxic but it is important to know that cats scared of cucumbers.


These floating light things might pique your cat’s interest, but not until their little sharp claws dig into these balloons and produce a loud noise. Your cat will likely run at the sight of a floating balloon if it has experienced this before. The sudden loud noise and the unanticipated burst might frighten cats. Cats are very particular about their surroundings; any change in them catches their eye quickly. It takes them some time to get accustomed to it.


Some cats might like to drink water straight out of the sink, and some are well-off away from it. Getting wet won’t be much of an issue for many cats, and they might not throw a tantrum. But many would throw a fit as if their lives stood hanging on this. Drenching their mane will not be liked by many cats as they dislike having the feeling of a wet mane. Cats are attentive to their grooming and might lick them until their mane feels like before. Thus, it is good to get the best cat water fountain for them.


Many kittens might find this idea very intriguing at first; it may seem that they saw a new kitten or another rival pet. But as time passes, they learn that it is their reflection, just as human kids learn it. They are surprised when they sometimes see this phenomenon in lesser-known spaces like dark-colored cars or vehicle doors, puddles of water, etc.

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This is a man-made sweetener frequently found in various products like toothpaste and chewing gums. It is proven that xylitol is not as fatal for cats. Symptoms take time to develop if your cat consumes, which requires immediate medical assistance.


A very common and obvious on this list is alcohol. Direct consumption like cat drinking wine may not seem possible unless they can pour it themselves. In most cases, indirect chances of consumption through other food are possible. It is used as a flavor-enhancing or leavening agent in many foods. Consumption of alcohol is extremely dangerous and, if not attended to properly, may lead to ataxia, lethargy, coma, seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Why is it Important for Owners to Know Smells that Cats Hate?

To maintain a calm environment for your pet and yourself, learning about your pet’s personality, likes, and dislikes is extremely important. Like humans, they won’t be able to vocalize their needs, but they talk in the language of love. Take notice of any slight aversions they might show to things they dislike. These cues can help tailor and cater to their needs resulting in a tranquil, carefree environment. Thus, it is important to know all kinds of smells that cats hate.


For humans, a certain smell can make or break our mood swiftly. As pet parents, one must be vigilant about odors that felines hate. We use products like perfumes, air and room fresheners, fruits, and vegetables that our pets might be sensitive to dairy. We should be attentive to what floor cleaners and room fresheners we use as what catches our nose would immensely block their olfactory senses, which they are heavily dependent on for their basic needs and survival.