The Cat's Second Scent Organ

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 19th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

The sense of smell is important for cat survival, it is how they find food, sense a predator is near, find a mate or spray and mark their territory. When the scent they have marked is gone they will go back and spray again.

Sense of smell

Cats depend on that little button of a nose for their very survival. Their nasal cavity is actually bigger than a human's. The cat's nose has ability to pick up and differentiate between odors and is has a 14 times greater capacity than humans to different between various scents. Some might argue that the nose is the cat's most important sensory organ. A cat will use its nose to find food, search a mate, seek out a predator, and stake a territory it has already marked.

Finding a mate

From the moment of birth a tiny kitten will use its nose to find his mother and search for a nipple (teat). From that point forward it will search for food in the same manner. Feral cats will locate food in very strange or hidden places. Sick or elderly cats may have trouble finding food, as they may not be able to smell it. Warming up the food releases the odor so the cat will be able to locate the food easier.

To Find a Mate

The female cat in heat, gives off a distinct mating scent called a pheromone. Sex pheromones are not only important in the baser animal world but are important to all mammals including humans. Even humans give off pheromones that are so vitally important for sexual attraction. Male cats can pick up these cat pheromones from a considerable distance away. A female cat will pick up on the male pheromones to find her mate when he has marked his territory.

Marking their Territory

Marking their Territory

Male cats will spray their territory with their urine or pheromones from their face and feet. This practice is to warn other cats in the area to stay away. They will continually smell their markings and will go back and spray over it when the scent begins to fade away. Other cats will either stay away or come and spray over the markings to show their dominion of the territory as well.

When you let your pet out, you will notice its head is high, his position is alert and the whiskers may be twitching. What your pet is doing is smelling the area for potential danger. Danger comes in all forms such as: another cat, a dog, or wild animal, or the smell of gasoline from a drive by car.

When I first visited my kitten Finnegan, he hissed at me. It was so funny to see because he was just about 10 days old. What he had picked up on was an unfamiliar scent, which could mean danger. He hissed to scare away this potential enemy.

All photos are taken from the public domain
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Cats And Humans, Cats And Sense Organ, Cats As Hunters, Cats As Pets, Cats At Home, Cats Noses, Cats Sense Of Smell, Cats Who Live Inside, How A Cat Smells, How Cats Sence Danger

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar vellur
19th Mar 2015 (#)

An interesting article, cats are cute but they can be mean when provoked.

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author avatar Carol Roach
19th Mar 2015 (#)

why would you provoke a cat in the first place? They will just defend themselves, when they can. Humans hurt cats much more than cats hurt humans

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author avatar Jerry Walch
19th Mar 2015 (#)

Yes, vellur,, cats can be aggressive when provoked, but so can we humans. Actually, vellur, the human animal is the only animal that often kills just for the joy of killing. I said that, not just because I love cats and am a cat advocate, but because it's the simple truth.

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author avatar Retired
19th Mar 2015 (#)

wow... Carol, I honestly had no idea about.

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author avatar Utah Jay
20th Mar 2015 (#)

I think this is a fantastic article Carol...I don't know what I would do without my cat...We have gone through so much together in these last ten years.

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