By Layla Morgan Wilde
Cats have 60 million olfactory cells in their nose, while humans have only 20 million. When a human goes into the garden and smells freshly mown grass, a cat will smell the grass; a scent trail from a mouse; perhaps some juicy snails; bird poop mixed in soil; the cat across the street and who knows what else. A cat’s superior sense of smell developed for survival and is intact from birth while a kitten’s sight and hearing are slower to evolve. A mother cat will lick its nipples so her kittens can follow the saliva scent to her milky teats.
World’s Best Cat Litter™ is proud to partner with the Cat Writer’s Association, Inc. for a special series of guest-written posts on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, and make your life more hassle-free.
Layla Morgan Wilde is a founding director and past president (1996-1998) of The Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists and founder of the registered Canadian charity, Annex Cat Rescue. Layla consults internationally as a life coach and holistic cat behaviorist, blogs daily at her award-winning website Cat Wisdom 101 and is the 2011 CWA Muse Medallion winner for best color photography.
Layla shares an antique farmhouse in Westchester County, N.Y. with her filmmaker husband and four cats.
You can visit Layla at: about.me/catwisdom101
As adults, cats continue to use their nose before consuming any food. Their noses sniff out more than dinner and use scent as a complex form of communication with other cats, animals and humans. Not only do cats have a better sense of smell than us, they have the bonus vomeronasal organ, located at the front of the roof of the mouth, to help them process and identify smells, especially those of a sexual nature. Whenever cats use this organ, they open their mouths in a grimace to “taste” the smell, called Flehmen response.
With a super-sized sense of smell, it’s no wonder cats turn their backs on a dirty litter box or strong, artificially scented cat litter. A cat’s nose knows best. Let them be the judge. While either litter is great on its own, our cats and I enjoy the best of both litter worlds by mixing the World’s Best Cat Litter unscented with their naturally lavender-scented to a blend I call “lavender lite”.