Here are popular plants that repel cats successfully.

Cats are pets people love to keep at home. However, when it comes to garden and landscape areas of the house, some people will rather have cats kept out of such areas.

The best way to do this is by cultivating cat repelling plants around areas you want to keep these pets out of.

Here, you’ll find information about the different types of plants to add or grow in your garden to keep cats at bay. There are several of these.

In this article, we’ll be listing some of them as well as providing a brief introduction, how such plants work to repel, how to use and the side effects (if any) posed by their usage.

For pet owners who need taste deterrents for cats, bitter apple spray is a good choice.

8 Common Cat-Repellent Plants That Work

Having cat repelling plants planted in selected areas of your home isn’t due to having a dislike for these animals.

On the contrary, you only want such cats to be in certain areas of the home rather than others. This could be due to several reasons.

Plants with cat repelling capabilities include Citronella, Scaredy Cat Plant or Coleus Canina, Common Rue, Catnip, and Curry Plant.

Others are Geraniums, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Pennyroyal. Without delay, let’s proceed straight to provide summaries of each plant.

  • Citronella

Apart from being a popular food spice, the citronella plant is used in a variety of products that range from soaps, insect repellents, and candles among other things. But more importantly, its scent or aroma is disliked by cats.

These pets tend to keep their distance from wherever citronella plants are.

How it Works

Cats have a sharp sense of smell and can pick up a variety of scents and odors. Citronella gives off a scent that is pleasing to humans but disturbing to cats.

Both pet lovers and people who aren’t too keen on keeping cats can protect their gardens or yards by simply growing this plant in such areas.

How to Use the Plant

Using a citronella plant to repel cats is easy. All you need to do is simply place the plants in areas where cats are likely to brush their bodies against them.

When this happens, the scent is activated and released. When this happens, cats will like to keep their distance as it’s considered unfavorable territory.

Side Effects

Ordinarily, citronella plants will pose no risks or side effects. However, some people might be allergic to their use.

Such a problem isn’t common though. When noticed, it’s best to get rid of such plants and seek an alternative (there are several).

  • Coleus Canina

This plant goes by various names some of which include the Piss-off plant and Scaredy Cat Plant. Coleus Canina belongs to the mint family and serves as a natural cat repellent.

Not only does it help to keep cats at bay, but dogs are also included among animals it repels.

How it Works

The Coleus Canina plant is effective in repelling cats due to one characteristic it has; the smell (similar to urine) it gives off.

Cats would rather keep their distance than going close to such a plant.

How to Use

Knowledge of the effective use of the Coleus Canina plant depends on knowing how it irritates cats. This has been explained above.

Now, all you need to do is have these plants planted around areas you want cats to stay out of. Such places could include the garden or yard areas.

Side Effects

When too many of these plants are planted around your home, it could end up creating an inhabitable area for cats.

As a result, cats will need to stay permanently indoors which is impossible. For persons who aren’t too keen on keeping cats as pets, this won’t be a problem.

  • Common Rue

This is an evergreen shrub that can be planted around the home, garden, or wherever you’d want to keep cats out of.

Common rue gives off a strong smell which is also offensive. What more? It tastes bitter. This gives you the much-needed cat relief you seek as these animals keep their distance.

How it Works

Common rue has a simple working principle; the offensive odor it releases. This is disliked by cats and serves to keep surrounding areas free.

How to Use Common Rue

The best and most effective way to repel cats from your garden or wherever is to have common rue planted around.

Cats are sensitive to smell and will keep away once they perceive the foul or irritating odor.

Side Effects

Little is known about the side effects of using common rue plants as a cat repellent.

In most cases, its use boils down to choice. Some homeowners will rather grow other cat repelling plants than common rue.

  • Catnip

The use of catnip plants as cat repellents is can seem quite contradictory. This is because cats get attracted by its scent.

However, it can be used as a repellent in the sense that it is planted in areas where cats are unable to ruin it entirely. An alternative is to sprinkle crushed catnip leaves in areas you want free of cats.

How it Works

The catnip plant belongs to the mint family. As such, it gives off a scent that attracts cats and at the same time drives them nuts.

How to Use

Using a catnip plant to repel cats isn’t rocket science at all. All you need to do is to have them planted away from areas you’d have cats stay away from.

Catnip serves to distract cats from the usual locations they target. Having succeeded in luring them away, you’re able to solve the problem.

Side Effects

Catnip plants don’t have negative side effects. Such plants help you achieve your objective without causing harm to you or your pet.

  • Curry Plant

There’s a likelihood of mistaking this plant for the actual curry used as a food spice. It isn’t and should never be used.

Curry plants serve as cat repellents and can be planted wherever you want cats to stay away from.

How Curry Plants Work

With their zero culinary use, curry plants are still useful in keeping cats at bay. It has a very strong scent that dissuades cats from hanging around.

In other words, its strong scent does the magic in preventing cat presence.

How to Use

Using a curry plant to repel cats is easy. You only need to have them planted around areas you want cats out of.

Now, care must be taken when using this plant because it is quite harmful to other plants and can be difficult to get rid of.

Side Effects

The difficulty of weeding out curry plants and the dangers posed to other plants make it even more challenging to use.

  • Geraniums

Geraniums not only serve as effective cat repellents but also a realtor’s delight as they help beautify homes or properties thus making them sell faster.

What more? These plants give off a pleasant smell and are a delight to have around.

How Geraniums Repel Cats

It’s all in the scent! While geraniums give off a scent that is pleasing to humans, it has the opposite effect on cats.

Cats find this scent offensive and would rather stay away from areas having geraniums.

How to Use Geraniums

It’s quite easy! All you need to do is have them planted around your yard or other areas you don’t want cats frequenting.

Side Effects

Without a doubt, geraniums are great plants to have due to their beauty and scent given off. Nevertheless, pets such as cats and dogs not only get repelled by it but can also be poisoned by the same plant.

You’ll have to find effective ways to avoid poisoning.

  • Lavender

Lavender serves as an effective deterrent or repellent to cats, deer, and insects.

One of the great things about using lavender is the pleasant and relaxing scent it gives off. While such scents are pleasing to humans, it is detested by cats.

How Lavender Works

Lavender works in much the same way as most cat repellent plants. In other words, the scent given off by these plants isn’t pleasing to cats, thus driving them off.

Using Lavender

The use of lavender plants as a cat repellent has been proven to be effective with significant results seen in most cases. These should be planted around areas of your home or surroundings where cats seem to frequent.

Side Effects

Having lavender plants around can result in poisoning your cats. Having chewed on or ingested this plant, cats are likely to display symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, and nausea.

You’ll need to seek the help of a vet doctor to ensure the condition gets better and doesn’t worsen.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary plants are used as effective cat repellents. This plant is quite versatile and used in cooking. It gives off a sweet scent which is part of the reason it’s found in a lot of homes.

FACT CHECK: Are Roses Dangerous To Cats?

How Lavender Works

Rosemary works to repel cats through the scent it gives off. Although such scents are pleasing to humans, they aren’t to cats. Cats are irritated by it and will keep away from wherever these plants are found.

Using Lavender

To deal with cat presence, you only need to have Rosemary planted at points around your home where you don’t need cats around. The scent given off by the plant helps keep them at bay.

Side Effects

Rosemary plant will only repel cats but isn’t toxic to either pets or humans. This makes it one of the safest repellants to use for cat control.


These are some of the several plants that repel cats. Homeowners can pick any or a combination of these and have them planted around areas they want to keep free of cats.

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