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5 Best Natural Cat Repellent Ideas – Safe but Efficient

Every cat lover once in a while finds himself in need of a good cat repellent. No matter how much you love your cat, there will always be places you don’t want it to go. And even if you don’t have a cat, there will always be a neighbor’s cat you don’t want around your flower beds.

With dogs – it’s easy. It usually doesn’t take too much time or energy to explain to your dog that you don’t want it to go to certain areas of the home. Just a bit of persistence, and you have a trained, obedient dog.

Cats… not so much.

So, whether you want to deter your cat from ruining your plants and furniture or you want to keep it safe and away from potentially dangerous areas, the best thing you can do is make a cat repellent yourself. Using a homemade cat repellent is a safe but efficient way to tell the cat it should stay away.

You need something that is natural, not toxic for neither you nor the cat. It should also be something that is fairly easy to make and use. Here are the best, easiest and quickest options you have:

5 Best Natural Cat Repellents

1. Cat repellent spray based on spices

spray based on spices

This is one of the most popular cat repellent products. It is inexpensive and easy to make and use. This spray works simply because it has a strong scent, and cats don’t like that.

However, be careful about the amount and concentration you are using. Black pepper and cinnamon are not toxic for cats, but they can irritate the cat’s tongue, eyes and feet quite a bit.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • a few drops of lemon essential oil

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake until everything is well combined. Spray the mixture around all the places you want to keep your cat away from.

Anytime you are using any cat repellent spray around your carpets and furniture, test it on a small area first, to make sure it won’t stain the fabric.

2.  Vinegar spray

Vinegar spray

Another great way to use cats’ advanced scent abilities against them. Like with most of this type of products, the scent of the spray is what actually repels cats. Here’s how to make it:

In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of liquid hand or dish soap. If you want, you can also add a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil, to make it smell even better for humans and even worse for cats.

With some caution, this spray can be used both indoors and outdoors. Spray the solution everywhere where you don’t want your cat to go or use it to wipe the floors and counters.

You can even use this spray around your plants, but you shouldn’t be spaying it directly on the leaves.

3.  Plants that work as cat repellents


Since cats have a sensitive scent of smell, they don’t like to be around the plants that have strong scents. You can use this to your advantage by planting strong scented plants around your garden beds or other areas you don’t want cats around.

The plants that cats particularly don’t like are: lavender, rue, Coleus canina (the “scaredy cat” plant), chives, rosemary, lemon balm, lemon thyme, penny royal and curry plant.

Plant as many of these plants as you can around the areas you want to protect from cats, along the border of your backyard or try to grow them amongst other plants in your garden.

4.  Citrus-scented sprays

Citrus-scented sprays

Another scent that cats will try to avoid is any citrus scent. You can make a simple natural spray that you can use to repel cats both indoors and outdoors. You will need:

  • 1 cup citrus peel (orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, lime – anything you have on hand at the moment)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon scented dish soap
  • 2 cups of water

Bring the water to a boil. Add the citrus peels and let everything simmer on a low heat for around 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle and add the lemon juice and dish soap. Give the bottle a good shake until everything is well combined. Spray around the places you want to deter your cat from.

Even simpler solution would be to simply mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of fresh orange juice. The effect will be pretty much the same as when using the spray above. However, citrus juice can bleach fabrics, so you should be very careful when using it around your furniture.

There’s one more way to use a citrus scent as a natural cat repellent – you can use citrus essential oils. Any citrus essential oil – citronella, orange, lemongrass… will work. Just dilute several drops of oil in water and use as you would the other two citrus sprays.

You can also soak a few cotton balls in citrus essential oils and place them around the areas you want to keep your cat away from.

5.  All-in-one cat repellent

All-in-one spray

This recipe combines all that was said above. It is one of the most successful DIY cat deterring products, because cats, just like humans, have their own preferences about which scents they do and don’t like. And this spray contains all the scents that cats in general are trying to avoid.

You will need:

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lavender
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 10 drops of any citrus essential oil
  • 2 cups of water

Bring the water to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the cinnamon, lavender and rosemary and give it a quick stir. Cover the pot and leave it overnight.

The next morning, strain the mixture and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Add the vinegar and the essential oil. Shake the bottle before every use.

Spray the mixture all around your porch, yard or garden. Repeat every few days, to refresh the scent.

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