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


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


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