13 Smells That Cats Hate: What You Need to Know

The Discerning Cat

Understanding which smells cats don’t like can help you in guiding your cat’s behaviour.

The Discerning Cat

For example, if your cat loves sections of your garden too much sometimes planting certain herbs can help deter your cat from visiting.

The Discerning Cat

Additionally, understanding which smells cats don’t like can help you to understand their behaviours and preferences.

13 Smells that Cats Don’t Like

These include Rue, lavender, rosemary, mint, geranium, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, coleus and lemon thyme. The toxic herbs for cats include mint and lavender in oil form.

Certain Herbs

If your cat loves jumping onto your kitchen cabinets (as mine does) the strategic location of citrus fruits could be enough to put him off.

Strong Citrus scents

Experts believe it is most likely the potassium in bananas that cats can smell and which then puts them off bananas.


They associate them with potential toxicity. So if you order a takeaway Indian meal don’t be surprised if you see very little of your cat in the kitchen for a while!

Pepper, Curry, Mustard and Cinnamon

I tend to associate all of these scents with cleaning products that I personally like but my cat very much doesn’t. A small hit of their scent will usually send a cat running.

Pine, Cedar, Wintergreen and Menthol

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