What Smells do Cats Like?

What smells do cats like? Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and certain scents can have a powerful effect on them. Exploring the scents that cats find appealing and how they react to different smells can provide insight into their preferences and behaviors.

One scent that many cats are drawn to is catnip. Catnip has a strong aroma that can attract and stimulate cats, often leading to playful and energetic behavior. It is believed that the active compound in catnip, nepetalactone, triggers a response in cats’ brains, resulting in a range of reactions.

In addition to catnip, mint is another scent that may appeal to cats. The refreshing aroma of mint has a calming effect on cats and can help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Peppermint, in particular, has the added benefit of repelling insects, making it a useful scent to have around the house.

Another type of mint, spearmint, has a sweet and mild scent that may be enjoyable for cats. While not as commonly used as catnip or peppermint, spearmint can be a pleasant scent option for cats.

Lavender is another scent that cats may find appealing. The soothing fragrance of lavender has been known to have calming effects on cats, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Some cat owners even use lavender oil as a natural remedy for their feline companions.

Additionally, the presence of lavender plants can attract cats, who may enjoy rubbing against them and taking in their scent. This interaction with the scent of lavender can provide cats with a sense of comfort and relaxation.


Catnip is a fascinating herb that has a profound effect on our feline friends. The strong scent of catnip is known to be highly attractive to cats, drawing them in with its irresistible aroma. When cats come into contact with catnip, they often exhibit a range of behaviors that can be both entertaining and amusing to observe.

One of the most common reactions to catnip is a state of euphoria. Cats may roll around in the catnip, rub against it, or even chew on it. This behavior is often accompanied by purring and a sense of contentment. It’s as if they are in a state of pure bliss, completely captivated by the scent of catnip.

Not all cats are affected by catnip, as the response is genetic. Around 50-75% of cats are sensitive to its allure, while others show little to no interest. For those cats that do respond, the effects of catnip can be quite stimulating. It can awaken their natural hunting instincts, encouraging them to play and engage in energetic behavior.

So, if you want to provide your feline companion with a bit of excitement and entertainment, introducing them to catnip is certainly worth a try. Just be sure to use it in moderation and observe their reactions to ensure their safety and well-being.


Mint, with its refreshing aroma, has the potential to appeal to cats. The scent of mint can catch their attention and pique their curiosity. Cats may be intrigued by the invigorating fragrance and may even enjoy rubbing against mint leaves or toys infused with mint.

In addition to its appeal, mint also possesses calming properties. The soothing scent of mint can have a relaxing effect on cats, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. It can create a tranquil environment for them, promoting a sense of calmness and well-being.

To introduce mint to your cat, you can consider using mint-scented toys or incorporating fresh mint leaves into their environment. However, it’s important to note that not all cats may have the same reaction to mint. Some cats may show more interest and enjoyment, while others may not respond as strongly. As with any new scent or plant, it’s always advisable to observe your cat’s reaction and ensure their safety.


Peppermint, with its invigorating scent, has the potential to offer several benefits for cats, including repelling insects. The strong aroma of peppermint can act as a natural deterrent for pests such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, keeping them at bay and protecting your feline friend from potential bites and irritation.

Not only does peppermint have a refreshing fragrance that humans enjoy, but it can also be appealing to cats. Some cats may find the scent of peppermint intriguing and may even be drawn to objects or areas where peppermint is present. However, it’s important to note that not all cats have the same preferences, and some may be indifferent to peppermint.

If you’re considering using peppermint as a natural insect repellent for your cat, it’s essential to do so in a safe and controlled manner. Avoid applying pure peppermint oil directly to your cat’s skin, as it can be too strong and potentially cause irritation. Instead, consider using diluted peppermint oil or placing peppermint-infused cotton balls in areas where your cat spends time.

Remember, each cat is unique, and it’s always a good idea to observe your cat’s reaction to different scents, including peppermint, to ensure their safety and well-being.


Spearmint, with its sweet and mild scent, can be quite enjoyable for cats. Just like humans, cats have a sense of smell that plays a significant role in their daily lives. While they may not be able to appreciate the full range of scents that we can, they still have preferences when it comes to certain smells.

When cats encounter the scent of spearmint, they may show interest by sniffing or rubbing against it. The refreshing aroma of spearmint can be stimulating and pleasant for them. It is believed that the scent of spearmint can help to create a calming and soothing environment for cats, which can be especially beneficial for those who are stressed or anxious.

Incorporating spearmint into your cat’s environment can be as simple as having a few sprigs of fresh spearmint in your home or using spearmint-scented products designed for cats. However, it is important to remember that not all cats may have the same reaction to spearmint, and some may not show any interest in it at all. As with any new scent or product, it’s always a good idea to observe your cat’s behavior and make sure they are comfortable.


Lavender is well-known for its soothing fragrance and has been used for centuries for its potential calming effects. This aromatic herb has a distinct scent that many people find pleasant, and it turns out that cats may also be attracted to the smell of lavender.

The calming properties of lavender can be beneficial for cats, especially when they are experiencing stress or anxiety. The scent of lavender can help create a relaxing environment for cats, promoting a sense of calmness and tranquility. It can be particularly useful in situations such as vet visits, car rides, or during thunderstorms when cats may feel anxious or scared.

Some cat owners choose to use lavender oil to create a calming atmosphere for their feline companions. However, it is important to note that essential oils should always be used with caution around cats. Cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell, and certain essential oils can be toxic to them. Before using lavender oil or any other essential oil around your cat, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian to ensure its safety.

In addition to using lavender oil, having lavender plants in your home or garden can also provide a pleasant scent for cats. Cats may be attracted to the aroma of the lavender plants and may enjoy rubbing against them or rolling in their leaves. However, it is important to ensure that the plants are safe for cats and have not been treated with any harmful chemicals.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a popular essential oil known for its calming and soothing properties. When it comes to cats, lavender oil can have a similar effect. The use of lavender oil around cats can help create a peaceful and relaxing environment for them. The scent of lavender oil has been found to have a calming effect on cats, reducing stress and anxiety.

However, it is important to use lavender oil with caution when it comes to cats. While it can be beneficial, some cats may have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to the oil. It is always recommended to dilute the lavender oil before using it around cats and to observe their behavior for any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions.

If you are considering using lavender oil for your cat, it is best to consult with a veterinarian first. They can provide guidance on the appropriate use and dosage of lavender oil for your cat’s specific needs. Additionally, it is important to store lavender oil and any other essential oils safely, out of reach of curious cats to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure.

Lavender Plants

Lavender plants have a distinct and captivating scent that can be quite appealing to cats. The presence of these plants in a garden or even indoors can attract feline attention and curiosity. Cats are known for their keen sense of smell, and the aroma of lavender can be particularly enticing to them. The sweet and floral fragrance of lavender is believed to have a calming effect on cats, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

When cats encounter lavender plants, they may exhibit behaviors such as sniffing, rubbing, or rolling against the foliage. This is often seen as a form of self-soothing or marking their territory. Cats have scent glands located on various parts of their body, including their face, chin, and paws. By rubbing against the lavender plants, they leave their scent behind, which can provide them with a sense of comfort and security.

It’s important to note that while many cats enjoy the scent of lavender, some may be indifferent or even dislike it. Just like humans, cats have individual preferences when it comes to smells. If you have lavender plants at home, observe your cat’s reaction to determine if they find it appealing. As with any plant, ensure that it is safe for your cat to be around and avoid any potential ingestion of the plant or its oils.

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