Plants come in all shapes, sizes, and scents. While many plants have sweet, floral, or spicy aromas, some have unique and distinct odors that can be described as anything but pleasant.
One such thing is the smell of cat urine; believe it or not, several plants emit this stink. In this article, we’ll explore a list of plants that smell like cat pee, their characteristics, and their uses.
Some Plants That Smell Like Cat Pee – Why?
Certain plants, unlike others that have a nice bouquet, might have a unique or strong odor due to the substances they contain.
These flowers/trees have a remarkable and occasionally disgusting stench similar to the smell of kitten pee.
Some trees have thiol-containing chemicals with a (-SH group), which give a bad smell comparable to cat urine.
Despite their modest concentration, these compounds have a considerable influence on the overall scent of the herb and provide that characteristic odor.
Thiols are also responsible for the peculiar flavor of certain wines, which some describe as having a kitten urine-like flavor.
The oxidation process in wines with alcohols such as ethanol or ethyl alcohol can produce these distinct aromas.
While these trees’ smell might not be enjoyable to humans, they can attract pollinators such as bees, flies, and beetles.
For some plants, the strong odor is also a defense mechanism that deters herbivores and other animals from feeding on them.
Although plants that smell like cat urine might not be desirable to everyone, it’s just one example of the diverse and fascinating world of flora.
List Of Plants That Smell Of Cat Pee
What tree smells like cat pee? Those with the unpleasant odors of cat pee include valerian, viburnum tinus, blackcurrants, boxwood, lantana, lilies, elderberry, and candytuft.
Valerian is a meadow herb that is frequently utilized in alternative medicine. Because of its eye-catching look, it may also be used as a garden landscaping plant.
While the blooms have a pleasant scent, the remainder of the plant (stem, green leaves, and roots) has an unpleasant odor to our noses and may smell like cat urine.
Despite its distinct aroma, this plant that smells like cat pee is well-known for its soothing effects, which can help with insomnia and anxiety.
Viburnum tinus, commonly known as Laurustinus viburnum, is a tree that smells like cat pee that may reach heights of 6 to 12 feet and widths of 6 to 10 feet.
Viburnum is a straightforward plant to cultivate in alkaline and acidic soils in a sunny setting. Yet, viburnum exudes a pungent stench on rainy days that some associate with kitten pee.
This evergreen shrub tolerates a broad range of growing conditions and adds a gorgeous eternal color to the landscape, despite its ammonia-like stink.
What plant smells like cat urine? Blackcurrant is a type of berry that is native to Europe and Asia.
It is a shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall and produces small blackcurrants packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
While they have a sweet and tangy flavor, they also contain compounds called thiols, which can give off a bad odor resembling a cat urine smell.
However, they are a healthy fruit for many culinary delights and herbal remedies.
Do boxwoods smell like pee? Boxwood is a landscaping plant commonly due to its evergreen foliage and tolerance to pruning. It is native to Asia and Europe and can grow up to 20 feet tall.
The tree’s smell can be reminiscent of kitten urine, particularly when the leaves are crushed or the plant is stressed.
Although it has an unusual odor, boxwood is popular for its versatility in landscaping, as it can be shaped into hedges, topiaries, and other decorative forms.
If you happen to have a Florida dogwood in your backyard, congrat! Get ready to enjoy the unbeatable charm of the white-flowering tree in springtime.
It’s also deployed in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
Lantana produces small, round berries that are toxic to dogs and humans, but its blooms are known for their vibrant colors and sweet, fruity fragrance. Some people describe them as flowers that smell like pee.
Notwithstanding its distinct stench, Lantana is a common garden and aesthetic plant due to its gorgeous leaves, hardiness, and capacity to attract butterflies and other pollinators.
Lilies are blooming plants lauded for their spectacular flowers. They are endemic to the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate zones and may grow up to 6 feet tall.
Lilies sprout blossoms of varied colors and forms, with certain varieties emitting an aroma that some liken it to cat urine.
Yet, this flowery plant is still attractive for backyards and landscapes because of their beauty and meaning.
What plant smells like cat pee? Elderberry is a deciduous shrub native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia that is now widely grown worldwide.
It may reach a height of 10 feet and bears clusters of tiny, dark purple berries often used in jams, syrups, and other gourmet specialties.
Elderberry also has a peculiar aroma that some people compare to cat urine.
Besides its peculiar odor, elderberry is widely appreciated for its medicinal properties.
The berries are high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and flavonoids, all of which have been found to promote immunity and decrease inflammation.
Candytuft is a Mediterranean-native perennial plant with a modest growth rate.
Its lovely white, pink, or lavender blooms that grow in the spring and summer make it a popular option for garden borders, rock gardens, and containers.
However, some individuals may detect an ammonia-like odor.
Although its aroma is quite uncomfortable, Candytuft is a simple plant to cultivate and care for, requiring full light and well-drained soil. It’s also beneficial to pollinators like bees and butterflies.
What To Do If A Bush Smells Like Cat Pee?
If a bush in your garden or landscaping smells like cat pee, there are several steps you can take to address the issue:
- Identify the plant: To identify the plant that smells like cat pee, you may need to use your sense of smell and observe the plant closely, just like when classifying fruit trees by leaves.
You can also try touching and crushing the leaves to see if they release a strong odor.
Additionally, researching the bushes native to your area and consulting with a local horticulturist or landscaper may help you identify the plant.
- Determine the cause: Find the reason once you’ve identified the shrubs. In some cases, the scents may be a natural part of the tree’s profile, while in other cases, it may be due to stress, disease, or pests.
- Trim or remove: If the odor is due to a natural part of the plant’s scent profile, there may not be much you can do to change it.
However, you may need to trim or remove the plant due to stress, disease, or pests. Sometimes, a simple pruning or fertilizer treatment may alleviate the problem.
- Consider replacement: If the odor is persistent and you find it uncomfortable, consider finding an alternative with a different variety that doesn’t have a similar fragrance.
While the smell of cat urine might not be appealing, some native plants have evolved to produce this unique aroma.
From the viburnum tinus to the boxwood, these trees offer special features and benefits to gardeners, naturalists, and herbalists.
Whether you’re looking to add some unusual scents to your garden or learn more about the diverse world of trees, exploring the list of plants that smell like cat pee is a fascinating journey.