Homemade Cat Repellent Recipes

Let me preface this post by saying I love all of our neighbors’ cats (basically all of our neighbors have cats…).  I grew up with two cats, and really have nothing against cats.  I am pro-cat.  However, I am not a lover of cats when they use my garden as a litter box.  There’s nothing worse than digging up a fresh one while weeding, or realizing that damp spot in the soil isn’t actually from your drip irrigation system.  Previously I have purchased cat repellent from Home Depot, but that can add up (especially since the rain in Seattle washes everything away so I’d fly through the bottles of the stuff).  Enter: cinnamon, lemon essential oil, oranges, pepper, rosemary, and boiling water.  Here are three recipes I tried, and a technique that didn’t work.  So far, so good – I will update this article if anything starts not working, for now…no cats in sight.  The frustrating thing is that every cat is different, so in general these are scent recipes that they don’t like.  Hope you find luck in this and it makes your cats skidaddle:

Some scents that cats don't enjoy - let's mix them together and see what happens!

Some scents that cats don’t enjoy – let’s mix them together and see what happens!

Recipe One | The Pepper Spray

{I should note with this recipe that when making it, don’t stick your face in the fumes – you might mace yourself accidentally – and we don’t want that}

1. Boil 1 cup of water
2. Add 2 tablespoons of ground pepper
3. Stir until dissolved
4. Filter (with a cheese cloth, or nylon) into a spray bottle.  I clogged my spray bottle because I didn’t filter it (ummm, whoops), so this step is important.
5. Spray desired areas where no feline friends are welcome!


Recipe Two | The Rosemary-Citrus Spray

1. Boil 1 cup of water, and while boiling add the following ingredients:
2. 1 tablespoon rosemary
3. Add peels of one orange (I cut up the orange into slices and put them in to also get some juices as well in the liquid)
4. 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
5. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Filter into a spray bottle and spray away!


Recipe Three | The Cinnamon Dusting

{After making a homemade mace, and then following it up with some sort of concoction that seemed like something I’d marinate a chicken with, I decided I needed something easier.  Enter: cinnamon.  Good ol’ cinnamon.  I had bought a Costco-sized container of it a few years back that I still had yet to use up, so I was good to go.}

Essentially all you do is just sprinkle the cinnamon wherever you don’t want the cats to be.  And when I say sprinkle, I dumped it.  I’m sure sprinkling works just fine, but let’s be honest, I’m dealing with multiple cats here, and I really would like to successfully grow a tomato plant this year.  

And as a positive: it apparently doubles as an ant deterrent – excellent!

Lots of cinnamon!  PS Those forks will be explained if you keep reading...

Lots of cinnamon! PS Those forks will be explained if you keep reading…


And just as an FYI…

Something That Doesn’t Work | Forking Your Garden

Yes, I’m serious.  I saw this on Pinterest, people forking their garden beds with plastic forks to deter cats.  Made sense in my head – I usually don’t like to dig or poop close to spiky things either – so I decided to give it a go.  So I went out and forked our garden where the cats were…

…and it was a good conversation starter at a graduation party we threw “Oh I see you are growing forks, that’s great how long before harvest? Did you plant any spoons?”

…but unfortunately the cats proceeded to give me the proverbial middle finger, and go on using it as their litter box…moving the forks aside with their furry little paws…


This lone fork got pushed aside from his other fork friends to make way for a litter box

This lone fork got pushed aside from his other fork friends to make way for a litter box


Now since I’m feeling slightly guilty for writing an entire blog post with various ways to get rid of our feline friends, and to further demonstrate that I do love cats very much, here is a picture of me snuggling with one of my favorites.

me & cat

Hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July