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Your Cat’s Reliance on His Sense of Smell Is, Well, Just Plain “Scentsible!”

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Cat's nose close up

Party Marty here! I love Fridays…the day, not the restaurant chain! The weekend is upon us. Spring is definitely in the air and I smell a great day coming on!

And speaking of smell, did you know that a cat’s sense of smell is its primary sense? Yep! We use our noses for identifying individuals and objects in our environment…more than we use our eyes! We have an amazing sense of smell. In fact, if we relied solely upon our sense of vision, we’d be lost. Our visual acuity is, in fact, 10 times less than that of humans!

What makes our noses so special? Well, each one is comprised of 200 million odor-sensitive cells compared to the measly five million that each human has. (And just be grateful that is all you have when that mangy dog Jessie passes gas! Boy, howdy! That is an assault on the senses!)

Cats live in a sensory world that is vastly different than that of humans. Our sense of smell is so important to us and actually plays an integral role in our environment as well is in our relationships with humans. As a result, it may cause us to engage in behaviors that might seem peculiar to you.

According to, the following scenarios might lead you to understand just how sensitive our noses truly are…

**If you have ever placed scented litter in the litter box and your cat refuses to use it, understand that the perfume used to scent the litter is actually a repellent for cats.

**If you visit a friend and spend time petting her cat and then come home only to be greeted by hisses and growls from your cat, then you can begin to understand that she immediately smelled your “disloyalty” to her!

**If you get a new piece of furniture for the house, the unfamiliar scent of it may upset your cat and compel her to mark it with her own signature scent. She may rub herself on it, scratch it, or, Heaven forbid…spray her urine on it!

Yes, we cats are unique creatures, indeed. In fact, I smell a nap coming on soon, so I suggest you get on with your day, as I have a lot of work to do. Catching “Zzzs” takes a lot of work!




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