Cat liking the smell of a rose - photo by Rickydavid (Flickr)
It is not that difficult to list the smells that cats hate. I am guessing that people who search for this phrase are doing so to repel their cat from entering certain areas of their home or as a training aid. Also some neighbours might be thinking of these products to stop neighbouring cats entering their property.
My personal preference is not to use smells that repulse but all sorts of things including smells that attract, as these are better training aids (positive reinforcement). I don't train at all - I just accept the cat as a cat. Things I don't like that much are accepted along with the much longer list of things that I like a lot.
Well, my research indicates that the smells that cats hate are as follows (these are not to be used in squirt bottles - I would not use squirt bottles at all in fact - see don't punish your cat):
- citrus (orange, lemon smells etc. Perhaps this translates into putting down skins of these fruits
- cayenne pepper
- coffee grounds
- pipe tobacco
- eucalyptus oil
- peppermint oil
- lavender oil
- lemon grass oil
- citronella oil
- mustard oil
- capsaicin pepper and oil of mustard are the ingredients in Havahart's Cat Repellent. It has a lemon smell.
- lemon scented air freshener
- Cedar chips
My assessment is that some of these might work but some will not. It depends on the cat. Sometimes the scent of another cat will deter a cat but it depends on the cat again.
Smells that cats like are our smells if we are close to our cat and good cat caretakers. Also cat food contains chemicals that improve its smell. Smell is important to a cat. A cat's sense of smell is 20 times better than the sense of smell of humans (see the cat's nose).