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What does cat spray smell like

It might make you think of the dreaded pheromone, but the smell is actually caused by different chemicals. "Cat spray is a mixture of metabolic products, secreted as an excretion, which are derived from numerous glands, including the anal gland, sebaceous gland, meow organ and skin glands," said Dr. Andrew L. Schally, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist at the University of California, Davis. "It is not a pheromone and is not the same as cat odo, the scent that the cat gives off."

Cat spray is a mixture of metabolic products, secreted as an excretion, which are derived from numerous glands, including the anal gland, sebaceous gland, meow organ and skin glands.

One of the most obvious of these chemicals is a chemical called 3-methylcholest-3-enoic acid (3M3C-E) or 2-methyl-3-butene-1-methanol (MBM). "It falls in the same chemical family as cat odor," said Schally. "It is present as a breakdown product of all the other secretions, and it is an important component of the odor."

3M3C-E is also found in human body odor and can be used to identify individuals. "This is a component of human odor that is also present in cat spray," said Schally. "This is a component of cat spray, but it is not a pheromone, it is not the same component that the cat gives off. Just as you have a component of human odor that is cat spray, if you have a component of human odor that is cat spray, that component is not a pheromone and is not the same component that the cat gives off."

The chemical that causes the pheromone-like effect in humans is 2-iso-octyl-3-methyl-4-isobutyrate (DOM). "The pheromone component of cat spray is a component of cat spray and is not a component of cat odor," said Schally. "It is named for the species of feline to which it is most similar."

Dr. Feline also reported that, although 2-iso-octyl-3-methyl-4-isobutyrate (DOM) has been shown to be a component of cat spray, he hasn't seen any evidence for its role in cat behavior. "As far as I know, it is not a component of cat odor," said Schally. "It is an important component of cat spray, but it is not a component of cat odor. It is named for the species of feline to which it is most similar and it is present in cat spray, but it is not a component of cat odor.

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