7 Homemade & Natural Cat Repellents You Need To Use

A cat in a yard being affected by natural repellent

The best natural cat repellents are effective, safe, and easy to use. And with so many options out there, it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are considering them!

This list of natural and homemade cat repellents will help you keep pesky felines away from your property simply and safely.

The Best Homemade Natural Cat Repellents

There’s no shortage of excellent natural cat repellents to try. These homemade solutions utilize ingredients you can find around the house. Best of all, they’re safe and super easy to make.

Here are some of our favorites.

1. Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, & Mustard

Here’s a recipe with items you can find in your spice pantry!

It includes a mix of scents that are downright offensive to cats. Cinnamon is a common spice used in deserts. While not an issue for humans, it can wreak havoc on a cat’s senses due to its overpowering nature.

The same goes for cayenne pepper. The powdered pepper can get into the nostrils and cause some mild discomfort. It’s enough to keep cats away.

Finally, there’s mustard. This ground spice is strong and aromatic, which is something felines hate.

Add about a teaspoon of these three spices to a two-ounce spray bottle of water to make this homemade cat repellent. Give it a good shake until the spices dissolve, and you’re good to go.

2. Onion

Ever seen a cat react to an onion? It’s about the same that you would expect from a human. 

Onions release a compound into the air that creates a form of invisible sulphuric acid. That’s why it burns when you cut into the vegetable. 

For us humans, that burning sensation is pretty normal, and we get over it after the feeling dissipates. For cats, it’s a scary experience they don’t want to repeat!

One good way to keep cats out of your garden is to spread some onion peels throughout the soil. The onions won’t do anything terrible to the soil. In fact, they can improve the dirt as they break down and decompose. Alternatively, let onions soak in water to create a sprayable natural cat repellent.

Expert Tip: Onions are typically a better choice for outdoor applications. The smell might be too much for indoor use.

3. Citrus

Cats and citrus do not mix well. There’s something about the oils in citrus that creates a fantastic natural cat deterrent! It’s not limited to one type of citrus, either. Cats hate everything from tiny key limes to ripe oranges (as well as orange peels).

Use that knowledge to your advantage and use citrus to create the perfect homemade repellent. 

If you’re looking to keep cats out of the garden, you can use the same technique we discussed with onions. Take citrus rinds and toss them around the soil.

For indoor use, you can dilute citrus juice with water and spray it on any surface you don’t want cats to be around (you can pair it with coffee grounds too). Here’s a pro tip: Use lemon juice or essential oils to keep your home smelling nice and fresh!

4. Lavender

Believe it or not, cats hate lavender. The purple flower is an everyday scent in cleaning products, perfumes, and cosmetics. But it’s not something cats enjoy.

There are plenty of ways to use lavender strategically as a natural cat repellent. For outdoor use, you can actually use the entire lavender plant. Have a few lavender plants in movable pots and place them around the garden to create an invisible scent barrier.

Another option is to use lavender essential oil. Add a few drops of the oil to the water, and you have an aromatic spray to use indoors and out.

5. Vinegar

Vinegar is a fantastic homemade cat repellent because it’s effective and many people have it in their homes.. Not only that, but a mild solution can also eliminate any scent trails the cat creates. As a result, there’s a lower chance that the cat will return to the area once they leave.

Standard white vinegar works fine. Mix one part vinegar with one part water. Give the solution a good swirl, and it’s ready for use.

6. Pepper, Lemon, & Garlic

If the typical vinegar spray isn’t working, you can use this homemade cat repellent to ratchet things up. It’s a vile-smelling mixture including lemon juice, pepper, and crushed garlic.

Expert Tip: Be aware that this natural repellent is offensive to humans, too. So, please don’t use it inside your home. This is strictly an outdoor cat repellent for keeping felines off your property and garden.

Start by crushing a fresh garlic clove and tossing it into a sizable glass jar. Then, fill the bottle with lemon juice and add a generous amount of crushed garlic. Let this mixture sit for at least 24 hours to let the smells combine.

After 24 hours, you can strain the liquid and transfer it into a spray bottle for easy application.

7. Rosemary

Our last all-natural cat repellant is rosemary. Rosemary is an aromatic herb that you might frequently use in cooking. But like vinegar, garlic, and citrus, it’s a human-enjoyed item that cats despise.

You can use rosemary in a few different ways. If you need a natural cat deterrent for outside, you can use an entire plant, as we discussed earlier with lavender. Rosemary is a small and easy-to-grow plant, so you can easily have a few potted herbs for strategic placement.

Of course, fresh rosemary and dried herbs work well, too. If that’s all you have, let the seasoning soak in water to create an intense solution. Some homeowners like to mix it with citrus and other natural cat repellents to pack a powerful punch.

The Benefits Of Natural Cat Repellent

It doesn’t matter whether you own a cat or not: It pays to have some cat repellent nearby.

Cats are notorious for getting into places they shouldn’t. Sure, they can be cute and cuddly, but even house cats don’t understand boundaries.

Felines have a penchant for getting on furniture, climbing onto high cabinets, invading pantries, and getting into all kinds of places they shouldn’t be. What’s worse is that no amount of scolding will stop them. Ask any cat owner, and they’ll tell you that screaming and scolding seem only to make felines push their luck!

It’s not just your house cat you have to worry about, either. There are as many as 70 million feral cats in the United States alone. If you live in a large city there’s a decent chance that you have some roaming around your neighborhood.

Unfortunately, these cats can be massive pests. They get into your garbage cans, ruin your landscaping, and turn your backyard garden into their personal litter boxes. All the while, they bring fleas, parasites, and other unwanted pests into your property and put your pets at risk.

Natural cat repellents help keep felines away from places they shouldn’t be. Whether that’s specific furniture pieces in your home or your entire backyard, these remedies do the trick!

Cat repellents typically rely on a feline’s sense of smell. These solutions include aromatic ingredients that are entirely unappealing to these furry creatures. The hope is that the scent is offensive enough to keep them out.

Expert Tip: In most cases, natural cat repellents work surprisingly well! That’s likely due to a cat’s sense of smell being as much as 16 times stronger than humans. So what’s generally pleasant-smelling and benign to us might be unbearable for cats.

Another significant benefit of natural cat repellent is safety. Instead of using potentially dangerous chemicals, you can rest easy knowing that you, your family, your pets, and any cats unlucky enough to come across the repellent are safe.

Natural & DIY Deterrents To Avoid

These natural cat repellents all work well to keep cats away. Use them wisely; they should teach cats to stay out of places you don’t want them to be.

They’re much better for you and your home than the alternatives. You might have heard old wives’ tales and DIY solutions that involve other ingredients you find around the house.

Mothballs and bleach are two big ones you hear about a lot. But those are DIY solutions you need to avoid!

Mothballs produce dangerous chemicals that do more than just keep cats away. If ingested, cats can die from kidney and liver failure! Even breathing in the vapors will cause damage.

Kids and pets are at risk, too.

The same goes for bleach. Bleach is a dangerous substance you shouldn’t spray randomly around your home. It can cause skin irritation and burns, and it’ll likely ruin your floors, furniture, and plants.

If you need to keep cats out, use one of the all-natural cat repellents we listed above. They’re much safer, making it easy to keep cats out without any risks.


These natural cat repellents are all fantastic choices if you have felines causing trouble on your property. Not only are these safe and easy to use, but most of the time you can make them with items you already have at home!

If you have questions about any of the deterrents above, send us a message. We always look forward to talking with our readers!

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