Cats are curious creatures who love to sniff around and are sensitive to smells. There are certain smells that cats do not enjoy which can be used to deter them and there are other smells that they love. So do cats like mint or will they avoid it?
Unfortunately, cats like mint plants as well as any mint-scented products.
Cats like the smell of mint because it is close to the smell of catnip. If you have a mint herb in your garden, do not be surprised if it draws in any cat. Catnip comes from the mint family; therefore, it shares similar characteristics with it.
Why are Cats Obsessed with Mint?
If cats like a scent, they become obsessed with it. Since cats like mint, they are obsessed with it and love to sniff it. The scent of mint is closely related to catnip. Catnip is a herb that comes from the mint family and attracts cats.
Cats often confuse the smell of mint with that of catnip.
As cats have a great sense of smell, more powerful than humans, they can easily detect the smell of mint. Humans have 5 million odour sensors, while cats have a whopping 200 million sensors. Cats can smell herbs far more strongly than humans.
So if you want to get rid of cats, one of the first things you can do is ensure you don’t have any mint (or catnip) plants in the garden. You can also use this strong sense of smell to deter cats using smells that they hate such as coffee.
Do Cats Like All Mint Plants?
The catnip from the same genus is a famous plant that cats love. All mint plants have notes of the same fruity and aromatic fragrance that cats love. However, there are some mint plants that cats do not enjoy the smell of.
Most cats dislike the smell of peppermint. This is because peppermint contains a chemical called salicylate which is harmful to cats. However, peppermint in leaves or dry form is not as bad for cats because salicylate is low.
Spearmints and other mixed mints that come in teas and sweets have low salicylate levels. These mints are not as harmful to cats. However, some cats may dislike the smell of spearmint, while some enjoy it. It’s a case of not every cat is equal.
Wintergreen does not belong to the mint family, but people consider it as a mint flavour. This herb has a high level of salicylate. Wintergreen only comes in oil form, which means it is highly concentrated. Cats completely dislike the scent of wintergreen which means it makes the perfect homemade cat repellent spray.
Is Mint Odour Bad for Cats?
If you have mint growing in your garden, you do not need to worry about harming any animals. The smell of mint is not bad for them. Mint will only harm cats if they ingest it if they eat the plant in large quantities, which is unlikely.
Smelling these plants is fine for cats; however, ingesting them in any form can lead to problems. Especially if it is peppermint or spearmint, ingesting it in large quantities can cause digestive issues in cats.
Be aware that oils or any concentrated forms are extremely toxic to cats. This is often the case with any form of essential oils, unfortunately. Regardless of how annoying a cat may be, it’s not a good idea to poison them.
Is Mint Toxic to Cats?
Most mint plants come with essential oils that can be harmful to cats if they ingest them in large quantities. Catnip and catmint are the only mints that are safe for cats. However, consuming large amounts of garden mint can cause digestive issues and lead to vomiting.
Some mint can cause serious issues in cats if it is ingested. For example, a type of mint, pennyroyal, can lead to liver failure in cats. Cats that already face liver problems or bowel disease are at a higher risk of getting harmed after ingesting mint.
You can spot that a cat is suffering from mint poisoning by looking for the following symptoms: Cats with mint poisoning will usually only have a bad stomach. However, there are symptoms if the situation gets worse.
If you spot a weak-looking cat vomiting or having diarrhoea, it is a sign of mint poisoning. Of course, there can be another reason, but mint-poisoning can be one of the reasons.
What Other Herbs Do Cats Like?
Apart from mint, there are other herbs that cats enjoy sniffing.
One popular herb that cats love is catnip. Cats love to roll in catnip, and they feel relaxed after they sniff it. If you have a cat that seems to enjoy visiting your garden and you have catnip planted then you’ve found the problem.
Some cats get hyperactive and energised when they smell catnip. Other cats become relaxed, chilled and can often be found simply lying in the catnip. But it’s rare for a cat to show no interest in catnip.
If you’ve got catnip in your garden and want to stop cats coming in then it might be a case of uprooting it all.
The good news is that there are other plants that provide a similar look and the same benefits to catnip which you can replace it with. Try planting agastache or salvias which have a nice scent and are great for pollinators.
Cats are also fans of valerian root, which stimulates them. Valerian root is given to lazy cats to make them active. In addition to valerian root and catnip, cats also like lemongrass. This herb has a soothing effect on cats like catnip.
Cats are curious creatures that love smelling things. These furry animals have more odour sensors than humans. Cats love the scent of mint and any mint-scented products. Cats are obsessed with the scent of it as it is so similar to catnip.
Catnip comes from the family of mint and shares similar notes in scent, which is why cats get confused between the two.
However, as much as cats like it, they do not like all plants. Cats do not like some plants like peppermint and spearmint. Wintergreen is not from the same family but has a similar scent, and cats hate it.
If cats consume too much of a particular plant or concentrated oils, they can suffer from poisoning. Cats suffering from poisoning suffer from weakness, vomiting, and diarrhoea. However, poisoning is rare in cats.