What Do Cats Smell Like?

When looking at a cat, you are often going to wonder about certain things. This can include their genetics, disposition, and even other skills they may have. However, do you ever wonder about their smell? This is something to think about when understanding what cats are all about. Start by asking, what do cats smell like?

Cats smell like clean cat litter but their scent can vary depending upon their activity. If a cat spends time outdoors, its fur might smell of dirt, grass, and/or other outdoor odors.

In general, the average cat will smell good and this has a lot to do with their self-grooming tendencies. Cats will often spend time grooming themselves with their tongue and/or spending time close to a water source.

Key factors:

  • Living Arrangements
  • Amount of Fur
  • Recent Activity

Assuming everything is equal and you are asking “What do cats smell like?” you should expect it to smell like cat litter. It will be a clean, crisp scent that isn’t going to bother you when the cat walks by.

For indoor cats, this is a common scent because they don’t spend a lot of time outdoors dealing with inclement weather and/or other contaminants.

If you are asking “What do cats smell like?” then this article will help shed light on potential ways a cat can smell whether it is domesticated or not.

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Top Ways a Cat Can Smell

1. Clean Cat Litter

The most common way a cat smells is noted as cat litter.

Clean cat litter is a great way to describe the scent as it is not off-putting and works well indoors. Most cat owners won’t mind the scent even if the cat is on top of them.

This has a lot to do with the cat spending time near the cat litter and/or generally grooming itself.

For those asking “What do cats smell like?”, this is likely going to be the most convenient description of the cat’s smell especially indoors.

If you have a domesticated cat, this is the type of scent you should expect.

Most cats will retain this scent as long as they are not spending a lot of time outdoors.

Cats are clean animals when it comes to self-grooming and this can impact how well they retain the clean cat litter smell throughout the day.

what do cats smell like

2. Grass

Let’s assume your cat is spending time outdoors running after mice and/or just exploring the yard.

This is going to cause the cat to pick up additional scents that are not natural to its body. For example, the fur might end up interacting with the grass and similar smells that are nearby.

This will play a role in how the cat’s fur smells too.

Cats that spend a lot of time outdoors commonly roll in the grass and this can cause their fur to pick up grass-related scents.

The more time a cat spends outdoors, the more likely it is to smell like grass.

Cats enjoy being near grass and that is a place they are going to feel comfortable. Due to this, they tend to smell quite a bit like grass and/or other similar scents that are noticeable outdoors.

what do cats smell like

3. Dirt

If you are wondering “What do cats smell like?” you might also notice a dirt-like scent.

This has to do with the cat rolling around in the dirt and/or sitting on the dirt. This causes the dirt’s natural scent to spread across the cat’s fur.

Plus, dirt has a distinct scent trail that lingers on the cat’s fur. The only way to get rid of it is by washing the cat’s fur later on.

Cats that are walking around in dirt-ridden areas will pick up that scent due to how they interact with the environment (i.e. rolling in the dirt).

This is a scent that is environmental.

It is very similar to a human walking around and rubbing dirt on their body. When this happens, the body will smell like dirt and the same applies to a cat’s fur.

Related Questions

1. Do Cats Have Body Odor?

Cats do not have body odor and are quite meticulous when it comes to self-grooming.

2. What Do The Cats Like The Smell Of?

Cats enjoy the smell of catnip and/or silver vine. These distinct scents have a euphoric impact on the average cat and they will often linger around the area that has these smells.

Final Thoughts

“What do cats smell like?”

Cats are known for being odor-free especially when spending a majority of their time indoors. This can play a role in how a cat smells as their environmental conditions will always impact their scent.

Some cats start smelling like grass/dirt if they are spending a lot of time outdoors.

Here is more on cats – cats that can sense evil, cats that refuse to go after lasers, using mouthwash to keep cats away from certain areas, and finding the right amount of cat food for cats.