Ask a Cat Lady with Sarah Donner: Why Does My Cat Hate the Smell of Toothpaste?

Aug 30th 2012  |   3 Contributions

Joel asks, “Why does my cat hate the smell of toothpaste like Superman hates kryptonite?”

I am a big biology geek, so when I found out about the bonus organ cats have for smelling, I was very excited.

If you ever see your kitty raise his nose to the wind and open his mouth a bit, he is probably using his Jacobson organ to analyze his surroundings. A cat's nose is far more sensitive than ours, and while we might enjoy the minty smell of toothpaste or whiff of refreshing citrus, it’s not a pleasant experience for a cat. I would liken it to getting a noseful of ammonia or freshly cut onions. Imagine what his dirty litter box does to his nose when you don’t clean it for days and days!  

Animals have different tastes and sensory experiences that allow for survival. I guess the need for fresh minty breath wasn’t one of them.

"Smells Like Toothpaste" by Sarah Donner

Lyrics:

Your cat's nose is very sensitive
So much, in fact, he needs it just to live
When he’s born he can’t walk or see
So he uses his nose to find his mother’s boobie

He has an organ on the roof of his mouth
You wouldn’t know it, but he’s checking things out
Vinegar, citrus, mustard, and chemicals
Are a few examples of smells that can repel

He can just smell fourteen times more than you
He can just smell fourteen times more than you
So give him a break if he doesn’t want to smell what you do

So when you stick toothpaste in his face
He winces his nose and runs away
It’s not that he’s showing poor taste
Contrary to that he’s the superior race

He can just smell fourteen times more than you
He can just smell fourteen times more than you
So give him a break if he doesn’t want to smell what you do

SOURCES: Catster, eHow

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