Why Big Cats Are Obsessed With Every Teenager’s Deodorant Of Choice

Cheetahs and Tigers and Jaguars, Oh My!

A good cologne can do wonders; everyone is aware of those Lynx – branded Axe in the US – commercials and memes concerning spiders named Chad.


Scent is a powerful sense and is critical for all feline species.

Pat Thomas, General Curator, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo: “Big cats engage in cheek rubbing behavior to either deposit scent or pick up scents from other cats, there’s very likely a territorial component to that, enabling them to mark territories, and there’s some evidence that they’re also picking up reproductive cues from members of the opposite sex.”

So, in 2010 National Geographic reported on a study at the Bronx Zoo where scientists tried out Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men on Tigers then a group of Cheetahs. They were quite surprised to find that the super fast cats were in fact, obsessed with it.

“Man-made and natural scents are used as ‘olfactory enrichment’ tools at the zoo. The scents are sprayed inside animals’ enclosures to keep the animals active and engaged, both for their mental and physical well-being and for the viewing public’s benefit.” says Nat Geo.

They then conducted a similar exercise in the wild, bringing along the same Calvin Klein cologne that the captive Cheetahs preferred. It turns out, the Jaguars of Guatemala weren’t very into ‘ole Calvin.

Researchers wouldn’t release the perfumes that the wild cats preferred to protect them from poachers.

Next time you’re at the zoo or on safari, just as a precaution, perhaps avoid this particular scent.

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