Smells that cats hate

We know that cats are very special and that they get irritated by many things. But do you know what smells cats hate? Felines are very clean animals, which is why they not only apply their own personal hygiene, but also want to stay in a clean and tidy environment.

Their olfactory system is highly developed, they use it to smell their enemies and as a defense mechanism against possible external dangers. Cats’ sense of smell is fourteen times more intense than that of humans, since the nasal organ of all felines is considerably larger than that of humans.

The evolutionary process of cats has allowed them to have their olfactory preferences. Felines may love certain smells, but they may also hate others. Whether it is strong natural fragrances, foods they cannot digest or chemicals, cats will avoid and run away from these odors. Here is a fairly complete list of what odors cats hate.

What smells do cats hate?


Although it is a very popular fruit because of its high potassium content and rich flavor, cats are banana haters. If you want to avoid seeing your cat lying on the couch, rub the peel of a banana or leave it on the couch for a while: you will see how the poor feline will not stand it.

Dirty sandbox

Being such clean animals, cats can’t stand having their litter box dirty, so if it is, they simply won’t go near it. Also, a dirty litter tray can be a reason for your feline to get mad at you and teach you a lesson, making his own litter box in some carpet, clothes or potted plant in the house.

Fish in bad condition

Stale fish is a smell that even humans detest, and it is also one of the smells that cats hate. Although we love to eat fish, we can’t stand the smell of spoiled fish, and the same thing happens to felines. Cats are animals that hate anything that is in bad condition. Never think of giving an expired fish to your cat because he won’t eat it and, if he does, he might get sick from food poisoning.

Citrus odors

Felines detest smells such as oranges, limes, lemons, etc. In fact, we can find in the market cat repellents with this kind of fragrances. If you want to prevent your cat from entering your garden and spoiling the flowers, you can scatter some citrus fruit peels or put some orange oil: he won’t even come close.


Even the litter in the litter tray can be one of the smells that cats hate. Although we can find natural litters that are made from pine, we can not abuse its fragrance, as it can lead our cat to reject and hate the litter. What you should do is to rotate the scents of the litters and make them more neutral. In this way, you will ensure that your feline does not get tired of them.

Deodorants and soaps

All strong chemical odors are rejected by cats. So be careful with the fragrances of soaps and cleaning products, both for home or litter box grooming and for your personal hygiene.


Mustard, pepper and curry are other odors that cats hate. These animals flatly reject the smells of spicy or highly seasoned foods. To their sense of smell, these are toxic odors.


Most cats reject the aromas of certain plants that are toxic to their sense of smell. A very particular case is the hatred they feel towards eucalyptus, since the essential oils of this plant can be harmful to the animal’s health. It is simply a natural instinct and a survival instinct.

Some plants

Generally, cats love the smell of plants and flowers. However, there are some that are not to their liking. Thyme, lavender, lemon or geranium are some of the plant fragrances that are on the black list of smells that cats hate.

If you have problems with your cat in the garden, you can try to place a couple of thyme or lavender plants to avoid cat disasters. In addition, there are many plantas tóxicas para los gatosIt is very important to avoid them, even though most of them instinctively avoid them.

Other cats

This is one of the most interesting rejections in cats. Generally, felines do not feel rejection towards other cats that are already companions and with whom there is a kind of regular chemistry. However, the smell of a new feline member in the household can trigger their discomfort and anger, as cats are very territorial animals. It will take some time for your cat to adapt to the new feline companion and there is no longer this rejection of his scent.

Why do detes cats so certain scents?

You already know some of the smells that cats hate, but… why? There are several reasons why cats reject certain scents. One of the main causes, as in the case of plants, is survival instinct, since there are some plants that are toxic to felines.

Another of the main causes of cats’ rejection of certain odors is their obsession with cleanliness. It will never be right for a cat to live in a dirty environment where it can perceive unpleasant odors. We can also mention the case of strong odors that cats do not like because of their developed olfactory system. Let’s remember that a strong odor for us humans is fourteen times more intense for them, due to the characteristics of their nasal organ.

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