Do Cats Like The Smell Of Marigolds?

As a devoted cat parent, you’re always on the lookout for new ways to spoil your furry companion. And let’s face it, felines are mysterious creatures who keep us guessing with their likes and dislikes. So, have you ever wondered if your cat has a soft spot for the scent of marigolds?

Marigolds are a common sight in gardens and homes around the globe, thanks to their vibrant hues of orange and yellow. But did you know that these flowers are also believed to possess healing properties? Some people swear by marigolds as natural pest repellents and skincare remedies.

But where do cats fit into this picture? Some pet owners claim that their cats love the fragrance of marigolds, while others say that their kitties couldn’t care less about it. So what’s the truth? Do cats actually enjoy the smell of marigolds?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of feline preferences and investigate what science has to say about cats and marigolds. We’ll explore how cats’ sense of smell works, as well as the potential upsides and downsides of exposing your kitty to this sweet and spicy aroma. Whether you’re an experienced cat parent or simply curious about our feline friends, join us on this adventure into the fascinating realm of cats and marigolds.

What Are Marigolds?

Marigolds are not only beautiful, but they’re also incredibly versatile. These flowers originated in Mexico and Central America, but are now cultivated all around the world. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, and red, and are known for their distinct pungent and earthy scent.

For centuries, marigolds have been used for their medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, marigolds have been used to treat stomach issues, skin conditions, and infections. Additionally, their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make them a popular ingredient in skincare products.

But that’s not all. Marigolds are also a favorite among gardeners. They’re easy to grow and maintain, making them a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Marigolds are often used as companion plants for vegetables since they can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects.

However, if you have cats at home, you may want to proceed with caution. While marigolds may be harmless to humans, cats are very sensitive to smells. The strong scent of marigolds can be overwhelming for them and may cause respiratory problems if they’re exposed to it for extended periods of time.

Do Cats Like the Smell of Marigolds?

If so, you may be curious about whether your feline friend enjoys the smell of marigolds. While the answer isn’t straightforward, there are various factors to consider.

Cats have individual preferences, and some may enjoy the scent of marigolds while others won’t show any interest. It all depends on their experiences with the flower. If your cat has had positive experiences with marigolds, such as playing near them during playtime or finding insects attracted to them, they may be drawn to the flower’s scent. However, if your cat has had negative experiences with marigolds, such as being sprayed with water while playing near them, they may avoid the flower’s scent altogether.

It’s worth noting that marigolds are not toxic to cats. However, if ingested in large amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s behavior around marigolds and limit their access if necessary.

How Cats React to the Scent of Marigolds

Cats are known for their incredible sense of smell, which they use to communicate, navigate their environment, and detect potential threats. As a cat expert, I’m often asked about how cats react to the scent of marigolds. The answer is not straightforward, as cats have individual preferences based on their experiences.

While some cats may find the scent of marigolds enticing, others may ignore it altogether. According to studies, cats seem to have a mixed reaction to the scent. Some are attracted to it, while others are repelled by it. The reason for this difference in reaction is not entirely clear, but it may have to do with the individual cat’s personality and past experiences.

For some cats, marigolds may trigger positive associations. If a cat has been exposed to marigolds while playing or receiving treats, they may associate the scent with positive experiences and be drawn to it. On the other hand, if a cat has had negative experiences with marigolds, such as being sprayed with a marigold-based repellent, they may avoid the scent altogether.

It’s also important to note that not all cats react the same way to the scent of marigolds. Some breeds or individual cats may be more sensitive to certain scents than others, which can influence their reaction. Additionally, factors such as age, health, and hormonal changes can affect how a cat perceives and responds to smells.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s best to introduce your feline friend gradually to new scents and monitor their reactions closely. If you notice any signs of discomfort or distress, it’s best to avoid exposing your cat to the scent of marigolds altogether.

But don’t fret – marigolds are not poisonous to cats. However, consuming large amounts can lead to an upset stomach. So keep an eye on your furry friend around these flowers and limit access if needed.

Potential Health Issues for Cats Exposed to Marigold Scent

Marigolds are a popular flower with a sweet scent that can add a touch of beauty to your home. However, it’s essential to understand the potential health issues that could arise for your cat if they are exposed to the marigold scent.

One concern is if your cat ingests any part of the plant. While marigolds are not toxic to cats, ingestion can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Additionally, some cats may have an allergic reaction to marigolds, which can cause skin irritation or respiratory problems. So, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your beloved pet and make sure they do not get their paws on any marigold plants.

Another issue to consider is the use of essential oils derived from marigolds. These oils are often used in aromatherapy and other holistic treatments for cats, but they can be harmful if used improperly. Cats have sensitive respiratory systems and can be easily overwhelmed by strong scents. Using too much marigold essential oil or diffusing it in a poorly ventilated area can lead to respiratory issues for your cat.

If you plan on using any products containing marigold scent around your cat, it’s essential to monitor them closely for any signs of discomfort or illness. Keep in mind that even small amounts of essential oils can cause adverse reactions in cats. If you notice any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, or difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe Around Marigolds

Marigolds are a popular flower that can add a touch of color and fragrance to your garden. However, it’s important to be aware that certain varieties of marigolds can be toxic to cats. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure that your feline friend remains safe around these flowers. Here are some tips for keeping your cat safe around marigolds:

Keep marigolds out of reach

Cats are naturally curious creatures and may try to nibble on the flowers if they are within easy reach. To prevent this behavior, consider planting marigolds in an area that is inaccessible to your cat. You can also use barriers such as fences or netting to keep your cat away from the flowers.

Use alternative cat-safe plants

Instead of planting marigolds, why not consider using other cat-safe plants? Catnip, cat grass, and spider plants are all great options that offer health benefits for your furry friend while providing a safe environment.

Monitor your cat’s behavior

It’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior around marigolds. If you notice that your cat is showing a particular interest in the flowers, it’s essential to discourage this behavior immediately.

Use natural deterrents

Cats tend to avoid certain smells, such as citrus or vinegar. You can mix these scents with water and spray them on the marigolds to discourage your cat from approaching them. There are also commercial pet deterrents available that use natural ingredients such as citronella and cinnamon.

Educate yourself

It’s crucial to research the specific type of marigold you have before planting it in your garden. French marigolds, for example, are considered non-toxic to cats, while Mexican marigolds contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested.


In conclusion, the relationship between cats and marigold scent is not a straightforward one. While some felines may be intrigued by the sweet and spicy aroma of these flowers, others may steer clear. It all boils down to their unique preferences and past experiences with the plant.

As responsible cat owners, we must understand that exposing our furry friends to marigold essential oils or ingestion can lead to potential health issues. Cats have sensitive respiratory systems, and exposure to strong scents such as marigold can result in respiratory problems. Furthermore, consuming large amounts of marigolds can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

To keep our cats safe around marigolds, we need to take necessary precautions. We can opt for alternative cat-safe plants, keep marigolds out of reach, monitor our cats’ behavior closely, use natural deterrents like citrus or lavender sprays, and educate ourselves about the specific type of marigold in our garden.

In summary, while humans may find marigolds therapeutic and harmless, it’s crucial to remember that our furry companions have different needs. By being mindful of their individual preferences and health requirements, we can continue indulging them without compromising their well-being.