Cat Repellent Options To Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

If you have a pet cat or strays in your neighborhood, having a safe cat repellent for your garden is a necessity.  Cats love our gardens almost as much as we do. The soft soil gardeners create by tilling and adding amendments is very attractive to felines since it’s easy for them to scratch and mound up. The plants also provide them with a perfect camouflaged area in which they can relieve themselves while keeping an eye on their surroundings.

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Gardeners are not happy to discover their beloved pet cats or neighborhood stray cats have been using the garden as a litter box. Feline excrement harms the growing plants, not to mention the odor the excrement leaves behind.

Another issue is that cats, being natural predators, can chase away helpful insects, toads, and birds. These helpful insects, toads and birds need to feel safe so they can stay in your garden to protect your plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Personally, I love cats, but I know they’re not helpful for your garden, so it’s best to implement some safe and natural cat repellent options to protect your hard work.

Cat Repellent Options To Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

Safe Cat Repellent Options for Your Garden

Try some of these natural ways to keep cats out of the garden so you, the plants and the cats can live together in harmony.  None of these options will harm your cats or your neighborhood cats.

Scented Plants

Certain plants produce scents that cause cats to keep their distance. Marigolds are one such plant, they produce pretty flowers with pungent odors that cats dislike. Plant marigolds (which come in several varieties and colors) around the perimeter of your garden to deter cats, dogs and other small pests from entering the garden. Cats also dislike the smell of lavender, rue and pennyroyal. Include these scent-producing plants around the garden perimeter to keep felines at bay and prevent other pests from infiltrating the garden.
If the garden is large, consider planting the above cat-repelling plants throughout the garden as well as around the perimeter.

Cats also despise the scent of any type of citrus, so save all orange, lemon, etc., peels and scatter throughout the garden. The citrus peels will deter cats now and decompose to improve garden soil later.

Related:  Garden Toads: How to Attract Toads to Your Garden

Natural Rough Mulch

Cats prefer to walk on soft, smooth surfaces; that is one reason they find garden soil so appealing. Use rough mulch to make garden beds less attractive to them and to improve plant health.
Natural rough mulch includes small twigs, nut hulls and pine cones. These organic mulch items will keep cat paws out of garden and will slowly decompose and add nutrients to soil.

Natural Cat-Away Spray

To make an effective and natural cat repellent spray recipe that will send cats running away from garden plants, combine the following ingredients; Place 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, dry mustard and ground cinnamon in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of citrus essential oil, fill spray bottle to the top with water and shake well. Spray on garden plants and soil as needed to repel cats without harm to plants or felines.


Cats can make great house pets, but they’re not great garden companions.  Let us know in the comments below if you’ve used any of these cat repellents and if they’ve worked for you.  If you have other helpful hints, please feel free to share those as well.

Free report will show you how to use essential oils to protect your garden and home from 22 different kinds of pests. Download here.

Want to read more?  Check out other related content from our site:

Organic Pest Control: Dealing with Pests in Your Garden

The Benefits of Organic Gardening

How To Start An Indoor Herb Garden


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  1. I love that all these suggestions are natural. I have a friend that dislikes cats and has them constantly roaming around her garden, I will definitely pass this info on to her to try out. I don’t have an issue with cats, my issue is with racoons. Do you think these natural repellents will also work on other animals?

    • Thanks for your comment and question. Different repellents work on different animals although some methods like motion activated sprinklers work on a variety of animals including raccoon, deer, etc. For raccoons specifically, you could build a good fence and/or sprinkle a mix of garlic and chili powder around your plants. You could plant squash around their favorite foods, like corn, because they don’t like the way the the squash vines feel on their feet. Raccoons also hate the smell of tea tree oil and peppermint essential oils, so you could put a couple drops of those oils in a spray bottle with some water and spray around your garden. You’ve given me a blog post idea, so thanks for that and good luck with your raccoons!

  2. Why would you want to keep cats out of your gardens??? They keep rabbits, and birds, who do damage your garden, from eating your flowers and lettuces. Cats are not herbivores. Since we got a cat I don’t walk out to find flower stems gnawed in half, and my lettuce looks beautiful.

    • Thanks for your comment, Verbena. As mentioned in the blog post, some people want to keep cats out of their gardens because cats will sometimes use the soil as a litter box. Their feces can be harmful to garden plants. By the way, I love cats and have 2 of my own.

  3. I have neighborhood cats who come into my yard and destroy my plants & defecate in my garden beds and grass (burning the grass). To non gardeners, this may seem no big deal, but those of us who are and spend the entire season outdoors tending to their yard/gardens, it is unappreciated when neighbors do not care for their cats allowing them to ruin their neighbors yards. Respect your neighbors please!

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