What’s the best natural cat repellent?

The problem with using many commercially manufactured cat repellents is that they may contain chemicals that could harm cats over time. Cats are curious creatures and it’s in their nature to explore and it’s not fair to punish them for it. Natural cat repellents will deter cats without causing any long-term damage.

cat under cover

Outdoor Repellents

Netting or fencing off garden plants will prevent cats from accessing them; however, they can be an eyesore and are certainly not for everybody. If you don’t want to take this approach try placing gravel or pine cones around your plants. Cats hate the texture of these substances and won’t dare to go near your plants if they cover the pathway.

Plant coleus canina, lavender or rue if you’d like to take a more earthly approach. These plants are known for repelling cats due to their strong scents. In addition, citrus based fruit peels such as orange and lemon will also help; however, they will biodegrade quickly.

Indoor Repellents

Place aluminum foil or double-sided sticky tape on restricted areas of your carpet or furniture. Cats hate the texture and the way it feels on their paws. While you probably won’t want to foil or tape there permanently, over time your cat will get used to not using that particular area and you should be able to remove them.

If you have kittens, baby or pet gates could stop them from wondering upstairs or accessing certain rooms. However, cats are pretty good jumpers, so this probably won’t work when they get a little older.

Scent Repellents

Cats have 40 times the odor sensitivity of humans and are able to smell scents for days or even weeks after the scent producing chemical has disappeared. Luckily, cats hate many smells that are pleasant for humans.

Place natural oils – citronella, lavender, peppermint, and lemongrass – in restricted areas. Make a homemade solution by mixing one part oil with three parts water, and spray it around your home. The scents will disappear after a few hours, but cats will be able to smell them for a long time afterwards.


Water is one of the best natural repellents around. Cats dislike water, so if you catch your cat approaching an area that’s restricted, give him a little spray. Do this a few times and he’ll stop returning to that particular area

For outdoor areas, you can purchase sprinklers which are attached to a motion sensor. These machines will spray cats that enter your garden with a gentle blast, which will discourage them from coming back.


Don’t be cruel. While there are more effective ways to discourage cats away from off-limit areas, many of them could cause physical or psychological problems. Never hurt a cat under any circumstances. In addition, if you choose to use these natural methods be careful of your cat’s eyes. While oils and water are safe to use, spraying them directly into cat’s eyes could result in serious infections and possibly lead to blindness.