Do cat repellent plants actually work?

Cats can be difficult to deal with. They will often unearth garden plants when they need the toilet. This can cause problems not only for sprouting seedlings, but also for nearby plants. This is because cat poo isn’t fertile and could ruin your soil.

cat repellent plant

If they are causing problems in your garden there are certain cat repellent plants that can help to deter them. These plants contain scents that most breeds dislike. The main benefit of using them is that they won’t scare or harm the cats, unlike many other forms of repellent.

Scaredy cat plant – plectranthus caninus (coleus canina)

scaredy cat plant

Don’t take the name as gospel. The name was created for marketing purposes. This plant smells of dog urine and is supposed to deter both cats and dogs. The scaredy cat plant only works on roughly 70% of cats, so it’s a bit of a risk.

The main problem with using the scaredy cat plant is that felines will often walk around them and go to another point in your garden. This obviously isn’t ideal as it could cause more damage in the long-run. In addition, the smell of dog urine is so strong that even humans can smell it! This pretty much defies the point of planting nice fragrant flowers.

Curry Plant – helichrysum augustfolium or italicum

urry plantThe curry plant grows wild in Mediterranean areas. While it has a very strong scent, bear in mind that it doesn’t have any culinary uses. While cats hate the smell of curry, and this plant will almost certainly prevent them from trespassing onto your garden, it does have its downside.

Curry plants are very difficult weeds to remove from your garden and will often harm other nearby plants; therefore, they are only worth using if you have a severe problem and are planning on renovating your garden.


closeup lavenderTo humans the scent of lavender is wonderful, but to cats, it smells like death. The best thing about lavender is that it can grow quite shrubby and in difficult places. Planting a bit of lavender between your other plants is an ideal way of stopping cats from wondering into your garden.

There are many varieties of lavender on the market. The most effective cat repellent is tall growing varieties; however, what works best for you really depends on the size of your garden and the affected area.

Rosemary – rosmarinus officinalis

rosemaryRosemary grows wild in the Mediterranean. It’s an excellent herb to have in your garden, not just because it deters cats, but also because you can use it in your cooking. Rosemary releases a sweet fragrance which is very pleasant for humans.

The only issue with growing rosemary is that it requires a warm and dry climate to thrive; therefore, if you’re not an experienced gardener you may have some difficulties growing it if you live in a cold, wet area.

While these four plants are the most commonly used natural cat repellents, there are many others that are equally beneficial. It’s difficult to say which one is the best because their effectiveness can vary depending on the size of the affected area, soil quality and whether or not cats respond to them. However, if you’re looking for a natural deterrent, they’re certainly worth trying out before taking more extreme measures.