Why Do Cats Hate Citrus.

Why Do Cats Hate Citrus. Cats dislike citrus fruits because their highly developed sense of smell can overwhelm them. Humans, however, love these fruits, which leaves the door open for a lot of entertaining and even informative debates between friends and family members.

To keep things in perspective and help others understand why cats detest certain fruits, it’s important to mention just how powerful a feline’s sense of smell actually is compared to that of humans.

Cats have over 200 million sensors in their nose. In contrast, humans only have five million sensors.

Why Do Cats Hate Citrus

However, cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and as citrus fruits are very aromatic, what smells heavenly to us is way too over the top for cats. Fortunately, this natural aversion to strong, citrusy smells means that cats tend to avoid eating it.


Cats hate the smell of lavender, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, and rue. Many gardeners use these plants as deterrents against cats that invade and destroy their plants.

Although these are effective ways to keep away felines from your garden, be aware that some of these can actually be toxic to your cat.

In particular, keep your cat away from lavender, geranium, eucalyptus, and rue. When these are ingested they can cause a host of problems ranging from nausea to dermatitis.

Citrus Repel Cats

Citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, kumquats, and limes taste really bitter for cats. Moreover, the citrus juices are way too strong for them.

Most of the other citrus fruits should be used as cat deterrents because of their aromatic smell. The smell means good for you but will not leave your cat around longer.

It is important to mention that citrus fruit juice contains vitamin C which is necessary for a healthy body but it is harmful to cats.


Cats hate chili powder. While it will keep them away from a certain room, these are toxic to cats and can cause pain and illness in the animal.

The scent of pepper will also keep them at bay but it can be harmful to their health if they inhale too much of the fumes or ingest some.

Because cinnamon is non-toxic to felines, you might want to consider this as a safer alternative when trying to deter your cat from getting into a room or when trying to chase off those pesky rodents that he finds entertaining.


Citrus fruit is mildly toxic to cats. Sensitivity varies from cat to cat, so it can be hard to make a blanket statement about toxicity or what amounts are unsafe for all cats.

While no amount has been proven safe for every cat, we can say that the seed and rinds of lemons and limes account for large portions of the toxins found in these fruits. Always keep citrus fruits well out of reach of your pet.

If a cat Eats Lemon

Lemons are a citrus fruit and are toxic to your cat.

Although you might enjoy the bright yellow color that lemons bring to your lemonade and other food items, be aware that this fruit can actually harm your pet, so take care when placing it anywhere within his reach.

The compounds found in lemons include linalool, limonene, and psoralens. The last compound is phototoxic, meaning it can cause burns on your pet’s skin after being exposed to sunlight.


What Smell Do Cats Hate The Most?

Cats are sensitive to fragrances, but what’s really important to understand is that there are a few smells cats do not like.

Sometimes we might think something smells great for us and it turns out it would smell horrid if a cat got trapped in a room with it, right? So basically, if you have these things in your home regularly, make sure they’re locked up and out of reach.

Citrus fruits are definitely something not all cats love the smell of and presumably neither do humans.

How Much Citrus Is Toxic To Cats?

A modest amount of lemon, in general, can cause gastrointestinal issues in your cat. Because the lemon tree carries toxic poisons, if you have one in your yard, keep your cat away from it.

Citrus scents attract cats intuitively, and they may try to eat them at any time, so keep a watch on them when they’re not in their cage.


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