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How to Make Homemade Cat Repellent

Four Methods:Cinnamon, Rosemary, and LavenderLemon and EucalyptusBlack PepperOlbas Oil and Witch Hazel

Even the most ardent cat lovers don't appreciate the smell of cat urine on the carpet or furniture or outdoors in the garden. Cats who use flower beds as a litter box present an even more serious problem. While it's difficult to convince cats to do anything they don't want to do, you can make homemade cat repellent that may convince cats to take their business elsewhere. Homemade cat spray is safe and environmentally friendly.

Method 1
Cinnamon, Rosemary, and Lavender

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    Place 3 cups of boiling water in a heatproof container. Add 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of rosemary and 3 tablespoons of dried lavender.
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    Cover the container and allow the mixture to steep for several hours, or overnight.
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    Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with clean cheesecloth. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
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    Add 3/4 cup of vinegar to the mixture, along with 15 drops of tangerine or orange essential oil. Shake the spray bottle to blend the ingredients.
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    Spray the homemade cat repellent spray wherever you want to repel cats. Avoid spraying the mixture directly on plant foliage.

Method 2
Lemon and Eucalyptus

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    Use eucalyptus and lemon to your advantage. Lemon may be the very essence of freshness to humans, but to animals, especially cats, it's off-putting. Eucalyptus oil is used as a repellent for any number of animals, among them fleas, mosquitoes, and — you guessed it — cats. Use both of these natural repellents to your advantage.
    • Into a spray bottle, mix:
      • 1 quart (~1 liter) water
      • 10 drops lemon oil, or the zest of one lemon
      • 20 drops eucalyptus oil
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    Spray this repellent anywhere you please. Take care, however, not to apply too much of it directly to foliage. Eucalyptus oil can be detrimental to the health of other plants and herbs, but probably not in the concentration described above.
    • Keep this repellent away from children. Eucalyptus oil is toxic in high doses (4 mL to 5 mL of eucalyptus oil) for children. While this amount is far more than the amount described in the recipe, it's probably best to avoid the stuff just like the cats will do!
    • Do not spray on cats either or enable ingestion. Cats are not able to process essential oils and this spray will prove toxic if sprayed onto the cat or ingested by it.

Method 3
Black Pepper

Felines don't like the smell of black pepper, so this mixture is especially noxious to them.

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    Bring a cup of water to boil in a saucepan. Wait until the water comes to a boil, and then remove it from the heat. Wait 2 to 5 minutes.
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    Into the water, mix 2 tablespoons fresh black pepper. Stir to dissolve.
    • Note: be careful when adding the pepper into the water. Take care not to get any steam from the solution in your eyes, as it could act as a mace and temporarily debilitate you.
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    Wait for solution to cool. When cool, place into a spray bottle and spray any outdoor area you want cats to stay away from.

Method 4
Olbas Oil and Witch Hazel

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    Find an empty washing up liquid bottle.
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    Add about 20 drops of Olbas Oil (or more if you like a strong mixture).
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    Add a generous splash of witch hazel.
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    Add a few drops of washing up liquid.
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    Fill the bottle with water. Shake well to combine.
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    Generously sprinkle around the area the cats are attracted to.


  • Save the peels from fresh limes and lemons. Chop the peels into coarse chunks, then scatter the peels around problem spots in your garden. The citrus will repel cats without damaging your plants or your garden soil. Citrus rinds can also be placed around indoor or outdoor potted plants.
  • Try mixing 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 20 drops of citrus essential oil in a quart of water. The smell of the citrus and eucalyptus is often enough to keep stray cats away.
  • Coffee grounds may discourage animals from visiting your flower beds, and coffee grounds are beneficial for plants and soil.
  • Any homemade cat repellent should be tested for colorfastness on a hidden area before using the spray on carpets and upholstery. To test the area, spray a small amount of homemade cat repellent on a soft white cloth, then dab the damp cloth on the fabric. If the color of the fabric bleeds onto the white cloth, don't use the spray.
  • A simple spray made of a few drops of rosemary essential oil and water is often enough to keep cats away. The spray can be used outdoors, and is safe enough to use on carpet or upholstery


  • Never use moth balls to repel any unwanted animals, as moth balls are highly toxic to humans and to animals. In addition, moth balls are environmentally harmful, as they add toxins to the soil, and the toxins eventually end up in the ground water.
  • Never use homemade sprays containing cayenne pepper, chili pepper or capsicum, as pepper can be very painful to cat's eyes, and can potentially cause permanent damage.
  • Citrus essential oils are toxic to cats. Do not use any spray containing citrus on cats or where they could get it on themselves.

Article Info

Categories: Managing Cat Behavior