Cats have an overdeveloped sense of smell compared to us poor humans. They are therefore particularly sensitive to odors, not approaching a place that exhales an unpleasant odor. Conversely, some scents make them totally crazy and delusional. What are the plants in the garden whose scents will attract or repel your cats? … or those of the neighbor for that matter!
Smells cats love
Catnip or grass cat
This plant has an explosive effect on cats, making them completely euphoric and hyperactive. It is the nepetalactone in catnip that produces this reaction, it stimulates their minds and energy, causing cats to do unusual things like jumping. It indeed causes visual and auditory hallucinations. They will also lick, eat, and rub frantically against the catnip, thereby intensifying its effects. The action of the plant lasts about fifteen minutes, after which the cat will walk away on its own and wash it off. Mint and basil are part of the same botanical family as catnip and can have this same effect on cats as well.
Valerian has a terribly attractive effect on cats, its active ingredients stimulate the nervous system, inducing feelings of well-being, and euphoria. It has roughly the same effects as catnip, but with less intensity.
The olive tree
Cats love to rub shoulders with olive trees, and if you bring your tomcat an olive branch, you can be sure that he’ll go crazy for it and rub itself against it. A scratching post in this matter is a particularly wise choice! A substance contained in the olive tree, oleuropein, indeed produces narcotic effects on these little felines, just like olives and olive oil for that matter.
Note: not all cats are attracted in the same way to the olive tree, some react more to oil, others to leaves.
Smells cats don’t like
Most cats don’t like fragrant geranium, so no risk of them scratching your flowerpots!
The lemon verbena
Its delicate lemon scent greatly displeases cats who pass away from this aromatic plant.
This scent is an effective repellant for cats, and they are rightly so because eucalyptus is toxic to them.
This pretty plant also called a “burning bush”, has a fairly potent lemon-vanilla scent that keeps cats away.
The keen sense of smell of cats sometimes causes them to behave very markedly, stubbornly refusing to approach those they abhor while those they adore drive them mad. And it’s pretty funny how the smells cats love and hate can be the opposite of what we love or hate!