How Scent Affects Your Cat’s World

Mar_2014_2

Scent is an important form of communication for your cat. Read on for interesting facts on how scent affects her world.

Eau de Kitty Diva: Your cat uses scent glands on her paws, cheeks, her head and near her behind to mark her territory and leave “messages” (and pheromones) for other cats.

You’re a part of the family scent: Did you know cats can have a group scent? You may have seen the cats in your home rubbing or grooming each other. This provides comfort and creates a communal scent.  You’re marked with the group scent as well.

Pungent ID: She marks not only cats and humans, but also objects with her scent. This is why new furniture may get a lot of attention. (Tip: To “pre-scent” new furniture, cover it with a sheet or towel you’ve used or rub her cheeks with a sock to collect her scent and rub it over the item. Don’t rub more than one cat with a sock.)

Scents have a taste: Your cat has an organ in the roof of her mouth (the Vomeronasal or Jacobson’s organ) that lets her “taste” scent and analyze pheromones.

Spraying and stress: Cats also spray their scent with urine, and stress is a major cause of this. There are many reasons for kitty stress, including new people, pets, items or any changes at home. Visit a vet to rule out any medical issues. Otherwise, try to help her relieve any anxiety.

Your kitty is very sensitive to scents. Respect her nose and try to avoid highly scented litters, cleaners, air fresheners and perfumes.