Why Does My Cat Hate The Smell Of Oranges?

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Cats are among those pets who exhibit many weird habits that all the owners would often require time to interpret correctly. Many owners complain about the hate of their kitty towards the smell of oranges, but this is not strange. Many pet animals do have hatred towards certain smells. Before knowing why cats hate oranges, you should know how the cats feel about smelling oranges.


Orange belongs to the citrus family. Humans feel refreshed and even get a sense of relief from nausea while smelling citrus fruits like orange, but the cats find this smell to be irritating. Some owners have felt that the cat’s behavior entirely changes when they start smelling these oranges. However, cats do have their reasons for it. In this article, let us discuss in detail why cats hate the smell of oranges.


The physiological reason behind a cat’s hatred towards orange:

  • Cats can smell 14 times faster than humans. So, the smell of oranges can be soothing for us, but it is processed as a strong smell that can make the cats feel agitated.


  • The cat processes the smell stronger than any other pet because of the olfactory system in them, which extended throughout the head. Hence, their smell receptors are more sensitive.


The common behavior of cats on smelling or eating an orange:


  • Your cat becomes very noisy by making louder meows and weird sounded cries.
  • It will be cranky and might even harm you by scratching or biting you.
  • It might sleep more than usual.
  • It might avoid food or might not eat properly due to stomach upset.
  • It will be terrifying to go to that particular place where it found an orange.


What if your cat is exposed to an orange?

Being exposed to orange will have not only a psychological influence on cats but also a physiological influence.




The following table will give a better idea:

Kind of exposure to orange

Effects that would cause

Smelling an orange
It will make your cat instantly agitated and repulsive as the odor would be too strong to take.
It will cause respiratory tract irritation as the smell receptors in cats are much stronger than in humans.
Excessive exposure to the smell of orange will cause depression in cats.
Eating an orange
Eating oranges will increase cats’ toxicity levels as citrus fruits like oranges contain psoralens and essential oils.
Decreased metabolism for some time until the effect of orange goes off.
Since oranges and other citrus fruits require glucosyltransferase to get digested properly, it might cause indigestion.
Other symptoms that can be seen if you feed your cat oranges are upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, photosensitivity.



By now, we know that citrus fruits can cause allergies in cats. Although the cats have a list of fruits, the smell of the following fruits might cause a similar reaction in them.


  1. Limes
  2. Grapefruits
  3. Tangerines
  4. Pomelos


However, if you think they have this notion only for citrus fruits, it is not true. There are certain other smells that cats hate. It’s time to know about them also.


What smell do cats hate?

How does it affect a cat?

What can you do?

The smell of methanol
It has a pungent smell, which is too strong to take for the cats. The cooling property of methanol also hurts cats.
The properties of methanol are toxic to cats, so it is better to prevent your cat from smelling and tasting the methanol to prevent digestive tract problems, which might become severe.
The smell of cinnamon
It is again strongly scented food. This smell can easily get into the nose of your cat, especially when you are cooking spicy dishes.
Make sure to keep your cat away from any spices, especially cinnamon. If you suspect that your cat got exposed to it, immediately consult your vet as it can have psychological and physical effects on your cat.
The smell of rosemary and lavender
Both rosemary and lavender have strong essential oils in them. So, not only these smells are harmful to cats but also make them uncomfortable.
Exposure to rosemary and lavender can cause liver damage in cats. There are even cases where exposure to rosemary and lavender led to a fatality in cats.



Though there are many effects and demerits in cats on being exposed to orange, which is a citrus fruit, animal behavior scientists and vets feel certain advantages.



  • Since all cats have hatred towards oranges and other citrus fruits, you can easily feed them with other fruits and vegetables good for their health.
  • If you want your cat itself to stay away from certain places in your home, you can use these citrus fruits or can spray scents of citrus odor in that particular
  • area to keep your cat out of place. For example, Harbor’s Cat spray comes in various repellent smells for a cat. Starting from lavender, it has all types of flavors that will make your cat stay in place.
  • You can save your garden from the atrocities of your naughty cat by having a few Lemon plants here and there.
  • This potential smelling ability of your cat is a great merit for you because they would help you find certain things they are familiar with and notify you of various hazards prior.



It is common for any creature to have affinity and agitation towards anything. As a good pet parent, it is your responsibility to know about the likes, dislikes, and things that would harm your pet to keep it safe and devoid of many sufferings.


However, exceptions are everywhere. Not every cat hates the smell of oranges and other citrus fruits as your cat do. Some owners report that their cat is fine with it.

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