A cat’s sense of smell is as remarkable as a cat’s nose itself. While you may already know that a cat’s nose-print is as unique as our fingerprints, it’s what’s inside that nose that’s really mind blowing.
Cats have more than 200 million scent sensors. Compare that with us humans – with about 6 million scent sensors. It helps us cat lovers understand why scent is so important for our feline friends. Scent introductions and scent swapping swapping are two practices that can literally change and improve the lives of cats – and their humans.
Scent is such a huge part of a cat’s comfort. New scents can cause a cat to feel afraid – and even mark (pee in) areas of our home. Many times this is because a cat’s own scent brings them comfort. It helps them feel secure – and that they ‘belong’. So often we humans overlook the importance of a cat’s sense if smell – and this can cause our kitties undue stress. A simple consideration of their powerful noses can help alleviate any number of behavioral issues and give them a better life.
So – let’s take this topic to the home front.
We humans love good smellin’ stuff. Detergents, room plug-ins, perfumes, candles, even potpourri and diffusers. They all smell so good, right? And all these smells are so smellable to us – just with our 6 million scent sensors.
Take a moment (really, do it) and image how strong these scents are to our cats with their 200 MILLION scent sensors! Have you ever walked down a perfume aisle at some mall, unable to breathe, and left with a migraine headache?
Right. It’s a lot. This is why our household fragrances are some of the biggest triggers of respiratory distress for a cat with allergies, asthma, or chronic respiratory issues. This also goes for scented litters too (please, never use them – that dusty scent is for us, not our cats).
Anytime we want to introduce something with a smellable scent to our homes, let’s take a moment to be considerate of the beautiful beings with whom we share our home. They are not given a choice. They rely on us to make the home we make for them a place they can enjoy. A home that is happy and healthy for them. Let’s always take the time to take a sniff of house fragrances from their perspective.