Do Cats Like Cedar – What You Should Know!


If you’ve ever been around a cedar tree with your cat, you might have noticed that your cat tries to avoid it at all costs. Your cat doesn’t have the same draw as other kinds of trees that your cat may try to climb to chase a bird. So, you start to wonder, do cats like cedar? 

Cats do not like cedar because of the smell of the wood. Cedar trees often have needle-like spines that can be painful, which can deter cats. Cats also do not like cedar oils which can be toxic to their health. 

While most trees don’t bother cats, cats usually don’t like cedar trees. The smell of the tree itself is enough to send them running in the other direction. Sounds weird, right? Please keep reading to understand why no cat is going to choose cedar trees as their favorite tree. 

5 Reasons Cats Don’t Like Cedar

There isn’t only one reason why cats don’t like cedar. While there is little scientific evidence to explain why cats don’t like cedar trees, we can make assumptions based on how cats act around the trees. 

The Smell Of Cedar Annoys Cats 

As we’re going to talk about, the smell is the main reason why cats don’t like cedar trees. Cats hate the smell so much that some people use the chips to keep stray cats away. 

The Branches Are Weak

The branches on cedar trees aren’t as strong as other kinds of trees, so cedar trees aren’t great for climbing. If your cat has fallen out of a cedar tree in the past, then they may not like them in the future either. Something thicker like oak wood is more preferable for cats. 

The Tree Needles Are Painful

Cedar trees have spiny needs, which aren’t fun. Your cat may get them stuck in their fur or step in the ones that fell. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of injuries you’ll have to treat if cedar trees are in your neighborhood.

They’re Often Christmas Trees

Who hates Christmas trees?! Some types of cedar trees are used as Christmas trees. If your cat tries to climb the Christmas tree every year, then you may scold your cat, meaning that your cat hates the tree. They relate getting yelled at to cedar trees. 

Your Cat Can’t See The Birds

Birds often use cedar trees for nesting sites, but since cedar trees have thick green needles, cats may not see the birds in the tree. Therefore, cats might not be tempted to go toward the trees for birds.

Is Cedar Toxic To Cats

Cedar is not toxic to cats, but your cat will probably not like the smell. In oil form it may be toxic (more on this later), however as a normal branch or set of litter chips, it’s not harmful to your cat at all. 

Many people think that cedar or types of trees in the cedar family are toxic to cats, but that’s not the case. Despite a common belief, cedarwood is usually not toxic to cats. If your cats eat or smell it, there is nothing bad that will happen to your cat. They may actually end up avoiding the area alltogether, so it works well as a deterrent. 

Even though cedarwood isn’t toxic, most cats are turned off by the smell of cedarwood. This might make you worry about adverse effects on your cat, but there’s nothing to worry about here.

Are Cedar Chips Bad For Cats

Cedar chips are not bad for cats.

Since cedar trees are not bad for or toxic to cats, cedar chips are also not bad for cats. Chipped cedar might have even more of a smell than cedar trees. Therefore, the smell of cedar chips may deter your cat from coming near them.

The biggest concern about your cat being around cedar chips is that your cat may ingest them. The cedar chips aren’t toxic to your cat, but the small pieces could cause your cat to choke. Your cat may also get splinters from the wood in its mouth or scratch its gums if your cat attempts to eat them. 

Do Cats Like Cedar Chips

If the smell of cedar bothers your cat, then it is likely that your cat will not like cedar chips. 

Just because cedar chips aren’t bad for cats doesn’t mean that cats will automatically like them. The smell of the cedar chips by itself might be enough to make your cat hate them. 

Think of the smell of cedar chips to that of evergreen trees as a comparison. You might not like the smell of evergreen trees because the smell is overpowering and overwhelming at times. Your cat may feel the same way when it comes to cedar chips. 

Some cats hate the smell of cedar chips so much that people use cedar chips in places like gardens to keep stray cats away. Who would have thought cedar chips could be a natural deterrent? 

Can You Use Cedar Chips as Cat Litter

Cedar chips can be used as cat litter, however, it is not the most comfortable material for your cat to use. 

Cedar chips can be used as an alternative when it makes sense. It feels much different than traditional cat litter, so don’t expect your feline friend to be ecstatic about the change. Surprisingly, cedar chips can absorb the smell of cat urine just as well as many expensive cat litter brands can. Plus, cedar can smell like fresh wood, which is a smell you might enjoy. 

Your cat, however, might not prefer cedar chips to cat litter. Your cat can even be picky when it comes to different cat litter brands that you’re used to seeing in the store. If you notice that your cat begins to urinate outside the litter box or around the house, you’ll want to go back to the litter that your cat is used to. 

Will Cedar Oil Hurt Cats

All essential oils could be potentially toxic to cats, so cedar oil may hurt cats.

Like many other oils, Cedar oils can be harmful to cats, which is why I like to prefer them at all costs. I think the jury is still out on whether or not essential oils and other oils are bad for cats, but I prefer to play it safe when it comes to that.

Essential oils, which are different from the cedar itself, can be toxic for different reasons that vary with essential oil. Since I have never found that oils are essential (even though it is in the name!), I prefer to avoid them as a cat owner. 

Can Cats Eat Cedar

Cats can eat cedar, though it is not recommended that cats do so.

As we have already covered, cedar is not toxic or harmful to cats. Eating cedar will not poison your cat.

Even so, it would be best if you kept in mind that cedar is, in fact, wood. Toxic or not, your cat should not be eating or chewing on wood of any kind. The wood can splinter into small pieces, which can be a problem if your cat ingests them. Whether they are cedar or otherwise, Eating splinters is not healthy and can lead to a trip to the emergency vet. 

Do Cats Hate Cedarwood

Yes, most cats hate cedarwood. 

It is safe to say that cats hate cedarwood. Generally speaking, cats dislike the smell of cedarwood, which probably would lead anyone to hate it. 

If your cat is not an outdoor cat, you probably don’t have to worry about your cat ever coming in contact with cedarwood. Thus, you probably don’t have to be concerned about your cat’s feelings toward cedarwood. 

Things to Consider

Do you know what types of trees are considered cedar? I sure didn’t! 

We spent this whole article talking about how cats felt about cedar, but we didn’t discuss how to identify what cedar is. 

Cedar trees are coniferous evergreen trees. Coniferous trees have those spikey, needle-shaped leaves that could even be sharp and pokey when you touch them. Surprisingly, even your real Christmas tree could be a cedar tree. Did you know that? 

Since cedar trees have the potential to grow so large, you don’t need to worry about spotting them in you or your neighbor’s garden. Usually, you’ll find cedar trees in the woods or city parks as part of the landscaping. 

When thinking about cedar trees and cats, you probably don’t have to worry about your cat climbing these trees outside. Your cat may try to climb your Christmas tree every year during the holidays, but your cat probably won’t try climbing these trees outside. The needles can be sharp, which may make your cat avoid them.

Plus, the branches of these trees are often thinner and weaker, meaning that your cat won’t be able to climb them easily. Plus, as we’ve already covered, your cat probably hates the smell – so hopefully, that will be enough to keep them away!

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