Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

The sense of smell

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The lining of cats’ noses has a large surface area for trapping smells. It’s 5 times as big as ours. They also have large olfactory bulbs, which are the part of the brain where smells are initially analysed. Cats are very sensitive to scent and can discriminate more scents than they are likely to meet in a lifetime. As a result we have to minimise the number of strong scents we present to our cats as they are easily overwhelmed by them.

Mice leave scent marks to let other mice know they are about. Cats locate the mice using these scent marks, especially at night when vision is less reliable. When the cat finds the mark the marking mouse is long gone so the cat waits patiently for the next mouse to come along and sniff the mark - then he pounces on the poor mouse

Cats use scent to mark their own territories, too. An anxious cat will urinate around the house to warn other cats off. Less threatened cats rub their faces onto objects leaving a pheromone behind. This makes them feel more comfortable and lets other cats know they are there. Feliway is an analogue of this pheromone and we recommend it for cats who are anxious or taking a while to settle in to a new environment.

Cats also have a sense that we lack. While we are not quite sure what they are sensing, we think that odours from other cats are dissolved in saliva and moved up two tubes in the roof of the mouth to the vomeronasal organ. When you see a cat pulling up its top lip in a funny way while apparently sniffing an object she’s probably sensing another cat has been there.


Search Blog

Recent Posts


brown snake hypertrophic cardiomyopathy fat sun sense of smell hyperactive anaemia adipokines rough play advantage blood pressure antiviral runny eyes crytococcosus weight control indoor cats renal disease stiff cat friendly birthday overweight gifts aerokat vomit panadeine introduce paracetamol aggression pet insurance breeder obese massage panleukopenia wool urine spraying check-up cortisone client night Canberra face rub conflict return home tapeworm abscess,cat fight obesity photo competition urinating outside litter chlamydia sick vision urine odour pica panadol mince cat flu toxic tumour aspirin worming high blood pressure decision to euthanase dental treatment vocal stare into space hunting examination train wobbles comfortis tick blood test liver rub salivation pain killer ribbon jumping sucking wool fabric off food restless attack body language tradesmen diabetes hearing holes cage nails sore snake bite abscess cat containment scratch castration feline AIDS new year scratching when to go to vet pain drinking a lot head feliway urination sick cat ACT permethrin furball urinating cancer fireworks FIV information night skin cancer carrier tartar pet bad breath diuretics snakes blockage mental health of cats hospital hiding sore ears ulcers enteritis dental check plaque pheromone fight pain relief plants biopsy AIDS holidays desexing open day blindness pill fluid pills polish kitten deaths snuffles paralysis tick furballs dymadon sensitive annual check cat history cystitis pet meat introductions hunched over competition signs of pain kidney marking bump introducing twitching corneal ulcer revolution dental African wild cat change scale diet meows a lot cryptococcosis diarrhoea lame enclosure blood in urine spraying ulcer spray activity cranky bite rigid head anxiety open night hole lymphoma senses cta fight kittens bladder stones on heat tablet cough physical activity bed hypertension skin eye infection tooth award paralysis thirsty itchy antibiotics house call unwell lick panamax rash worms best vet fear strange behaviour cat worms visit best cat clinic computer dementia petting cat fever constipation cat vet cat enclosure collapse poisonous plants virus in season whiskers prednisolone slow litter box thyroid rolls blocked cat home visit joints old cat hunter catoberfest blue poisonous appetite lump kibble kitten unsociable paralysed thiamine deficiency cat enclosures allergy, dilated pupils moving weight herpesvirus cat behaviour change cognitive dysfunction best veterinarian hyperthyroidism introduction FORLS home allergy new cat grooming depomedrol snuffle IBD New Year's Eve weight loss flea prevention hunters not eating changed christmas foreign body hairball Canberra Cat Vet food puzzles string wet litter runny nose learning radioactive iodine fits desex poisons eye ulcer echocardiography hungry pancreatitis poison xylitol sneeze love yowling blood euthanasia aggressive goodbye poisoning vaccination best clinic mass socialisation kitten play mycoplasma nose scabs eyes behaviour kidney disease intestine gasping insulin roundworm lily holes in teeth new kitten scratching post fleas sudden blindness bladder vet visit painful sore eyes feline herpesvirus breathing difficult training ulcerated nose seizures toxins snakebite heaing flu snake noisy breathing skinny mouth breathing grass appointment health check blind headache Hill's Metabolic vaccine flea treatment dry food cat fight enemies straining senior teeth free litter pred stress old eye panleukopaenia arthritis cat behaviour groom lilies urinating on curtains or carpet spey hard faeces lilly drinking more holiday inflammatory bowel disease outdoor cat sensitive stomach opening hours microchip touch asthma prey vomiting kidneys exercise calicivirus heavy breathing heart disease checkup snot feline enteritis


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions