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Smells That Your Cats Hate! What You Need to Know

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Cats are some of the cleanest animals on the earth and also the most choosy ones, unlike our dogs who would even wag their tails in happiness with the least!

It’s a popular opinion, that cats can smell 14 times better than you! They are going to be skeptical about it! Let’s find out what are the most surprising and hard-to-believe smells that cats hate.

Smells That Your Cats Hate

What Smells Do Cats Hate?

What Smells Do Cats Hate

In general, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells. There are certain scents which are liked by us but cats hate them.

If you want to be a good cat parent, you must understand what smells cats hate and jot down the points we are about to tell you!

Because it matters with taking care of what cats love, you also need to take good care of what they don’t!

We have also mentioned some DIY cat repellent spray too which you can make at home easily. Now, you can easily find and make the best cat deterrent from smells that cats hate, and use them to deter your cats from places or objects where you don’t want them to go.

In this have researched and covered many options for you. Don’t skip any of these!

1. Cat’s Don’t Like Stinky Fish Smell

Smells that people might also be surprised to discover cats dislike; there may be a few that we can all agree smells awful. And, that’s the smell of fish!

Cat’s Don’t Like Stinky Fish Smell

The smell of spoiled fish does not attract a cat. Also, it is important that should feed your cat any spoiled food. Even though she may consume it easily, but later she can get sick severely.

Well, we can agree on one point that humans and cats both don’t like the foul ocean smell of fish.

2. Essential Oils Keep Cats Away

The smell of natural essential oil may soothe and reduce your anxiety, but it can discourage your cat’s mood. Many essential herbs oil fragrances as rosemary, peppermint oil, coleus canina, and lemon thyme are sensitive to your cat’s nose.

If she is exposed to an essential oil diffuser by mistake, it is better to keep her out of the room first and take her for a walk because this can be toxic for cats. But interestingly, you can use essential oil to make a cat deterrent.

3. Vitamin C, Citrus Fruits

Cats hate the citrus smell!

Vitamin C, Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes are not liked by cat breeds. Citrus scents in these are too strong, smells that are strong to use are too heavy for a cat’s nose.

Well, why don’t you take advantage of this and use this to keep your cat away from your kitchen?

4. No Love for Floral Smell

Smelly cats don’t like flowery perfume!

Now, the next point in the list of what smells do cats hate is the floral fragrance of lavender, eucalyptus, and geranium.

These plants cats don’t like.

If you plan to plant these flowers in your backyard, make sure your cat doesn’t ingest that because it is toxic for them. It can give vomiting issues, skin problems, and excess nausea and salivation.

5. Mint & Menthol

You must be wondering catnip also belongs to the mint family, but why do cats hate the smell of mint and menthol, right?

 Mint & Menthol

This is because the smell of these can be irritating to her nose, especially in oil form. Also, if she eats the mint leaves, it can be poisonous for her. It can make her weak but, hold on! For that, she must eat many mint leaves.

6. Cat Hates Peppers, Chili, and Mustard

Cat Hates Peppers, Chili, and Mustard

The scents that cats hate are pepper and chili. A portion of spicy food and smell triggers the cat’s nose. Chilli, black pepper, mustard all heavily smell spicy, and they can irritate cats’ noses.

Although cats can eat sweet bell pepper, but make sure it is not spicy.

Another common ingredient, of which smell is not liked by cats, is mustard. You won’t find your cat alone who dislikes the smell of mustard, many humans would join them too! This most traditional kitchen element has many haters when it comes to its smell.

7. Smell of Coffee

Coffee odors cats hate the most.

Smell of Coffee

If you are a coffee person and a cat owner, then there is a piece of bad news for you! The bitter aroma of freshly roasted ground coffee is repulsive for cats.

Coffee is not harmful to cats; however, the effect of caffeine is!

Few people use ground coffee to keep cats away from their favorite area. But, if she eats beans, the effect of caffeine may cause harm to her. So, it would be better to use a less brutal way to keep cats away from things.

8. Cats and Cinnamon Don’t Go Well

Next, in the list of what scent do cats hate is cinnamon!

Yes, the spicy warmth of cinnamons is discouraged by many cats.

Cats and Cinnamon Don’t Go Well

For your information, cinnamons are not noxious for cats. Therefore, you can use their scents to prevent your cat from traveling all-around your house. And, this is a healthy and safe cat repellent option too!

You can DIY cinnamon spray, just add some water, some cinnamon sticks, and a few drops of rosemary oil. Boil it well and transfer it into a spray bottle when it cools down. Now, it is ready to use. Just splash this DIY cinnamon spray on your bed, furniture to prevent cats scratches.

9. The Scent of Household Cleaners

Your house cleaning range smells may dislike by cats.

The Scent of Household Cleaners

Household cleaner smells cats hate because it contains harsh chemicals. The cat’s nose is sensitive, and she may avoid going to all those areas where you have used harsh chemical house cleanser. It is not limited to clean household items but also to air fresheners and soaps that you use.

Therefore, it is vital that you choose organic cleaning products or go for sensitive household cleaners as the hard chemicals can trigger your cat’s health.

It’s not over yet, read more on what smells do cats hate the most!

10. Filthy Litter Box and Tray Smell

 Filthy Litter Box and Tray Smell

Unsurprising smells that cats hates are of the dirty litter box and litter tray. You must have also witnessed that when your cat’s litter tray stinks, she stops using it and starts eliminating outside the litter box. It is common and normal cat’s behavior.

Cats love cleanliness; they keep themselves and their surroundings clean. That is why it is important that you must clean the cat’s litter box regularly.

If you can’t manage to clean daily, then try to scoop out used litter at least every other day.

11. Cat Hates Banana

The next list in the smells cat hate is of banana!

Cat Hates Banana

Potassium in bananas makes cats hate bananas the most. Cats avoid this fruit because ripens banana peels emit ethene. Feline dislike the smell of this chemical, and that’s why they are unimpressed with bananas.

You may enjoy your morning breakfast with some banana, diet milk smoothies, and oats but keep the banana away from your cats. The chemical emitted by bananas can be toxic for cats.

12. The Smell of Garlic, Tomatoes and Onions

The smelling sense of cats is strong. And, the strong scent of garlic is not liked by most cats. Garlic can be unsafe for cats; even the smallest bite can harm her. In severe cases, the toxicity of garlic can be hazardous and fatal for cats.

 The Smell of Garlic, Tomatoes and Onions

Onions are toxic to cats. Thiosulphate present in the onions can cause cats serious health problems. You should avoid using onion nearby your cat and make sure she doesn’t ingest it.

Well, we may want extra tomatoes’ sauce in our pasta, but the solanine in it is harmful to your cats. Therefore, you should not feed your cat a tomato—cats dislike the scent of tomatoes and many vegetables.

13. Vinegar Is Unpleasant to Cats

Cats’ survival depends a lot on their sensitive noses. Cat breeds use the nose to sniff out their family, enemies, territory, and food.

Vinegar Is Unpleasant to Cats

The smell of vinegar is unpleasant to all the cats. They have a strong sense of smell which is roughly 14 times way too stronger than us. Well, very powerful, isn’t it?

A whiff of vinegar smell will be many times stronger for your cat. And, this weakness of hers can be used to make cat deterrent spray. You can dilute some white vinegar in water and spray nearby your garden, kitchen area, and to your bed.

14. Felines Don’t Like Wintergreen Oil

Another name in the list of smells cats hate is wintergreen oil!

Felines Don’t Like Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen oil has adverse use. It can soothe your stress, headache, menstrual pain, and even nerve pain, but cats don’t like its odor. You already know the fact that wintergreen oil has a strong fragrance. And, cats have an even way stronger sense of smell.

As a result, the strong scent of wintergreen is not appreciated by most cats. But, interestingly, you can use this as cat repellent, right!

15. The Odor of Coleus Canina Deter Your Cat

As coleus canina is a hefty cat repellent, people have given it a Scaredy-Cat Plant nickname.

 The Odor of Coleus Canina Deter Your Cat

Not, just cats but humans also dislike the fragrance of coleus canina. It stinks like urine; its odor is like skunk.

You can plant it in your garden to keep your neighborhood cats away from your backyard. But, if you are a cat owner, then don’t go for the plantation of coleus canina. Not just for you cats, it also got good for humans too.

16. Other Cat’s Smell

Cat’s don’t like the fragrance of other cat smell. That’s the reason why they don’t like sharing their things with other cats. In particular, cats dislike the aroma of cats coming from another territory.

If the kitty belongs to an unknown place, cats won’t accept it easily.

17. Pine and Cedar Are Great Cat Deterrent

Cats don’t prefer the smell of pine and cedar plants. Most of the brand’s cat litter offers pine and cedar variety. A few cats may like it, but if your cat doesn’t use her litter box, that means you should switch to other types of litter.

I hope by now all your curiosity is finished! You know which smells cats hate the most!

Summing It All Up!

To keep cats away from your favorite corner of your house and kitchen, you can research what smells do cats hate the most.

Well, we have done the whole research and made a list of things to let you know smells cats hate the most. You can use essential oil to repel cats, citrus smell, spicy fragrance, floral perfumes, and the list will go on and on.

If you want to know more about smells cats hate the most, then go read our blog now.


  1. The cat’s olfaction — University of Illinois
  2. How to keep cats out of the garden – David Suzuki Foundation
  3. Pet-offensive odors: What their nose knows, and yours doesn’t – Veterinary Center

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