Cat Repellent Recipes You Can Make Yourself

  • By: Bob
  • Last updated: February 19, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Using one of these home made cat repellent recipes means you will know exactly what ingredients are in it so you can be sure it is environmentally friendly and safe. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying a commercial cat deterrent and they tend to be friendlier to the human nose!

cat repellent recipes

Why are there so many different cat repellent recipes listed below? All cats are different and what works on one may not work on another. As an example, some of these were given to me by people who swore the recipe worked for them yet they did nothing to repel the cats visiting my garden.

So, if you try one of these and it has little effect simply try another. Even when you find one that does work, you should still consider trying another recipe after a week or so to ensure the cats don’t get used to the odour and start ignoring it.

Before using any type of natural cat repellent you should first clean the area of any cat litter or spray.

It’s worth noting too that using a cat repellent spray – whether home made or commercial – means it will need re-applying after a rain shower. Perhaps not a problem for some of our USA and Aussie readers but for British Isles residents, having to apply twice a day for 10 months a year and once a day for the 2 summer months can become a chore 🙂

Recipe 1

The average cat has 40 times more odour cells than us and they find many essential oils unpleasant. These include lavender, peppermint and orange.

Mix 1 part of any of the above oils to 3 parts water in a spray bottle and give it a good shake. For problem spots you can try soaking cotton wool balls in one of the oils and putting them in and around the area.

Recipe 2

Another natural cat repellent recipe I found that proved reasonably successful but required a bit more work was as follows:

Mix 2 tablespoons of Cinnamon, Rosemary and Lavender into a pint (500ml) of boiling water and leave it overnight.

Next morning you will need to strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and then add half a cup of vinegar and a dozen drops of Tangerine essential oil. Place your cat repellent in a spray bottle and give it a good shake before use.

Recipe 3

Squeeze a lemon into a litre of water, add 2 dozen drops of eucalyptus oil and give it a good shake. Eucalyptus acts as a repellent to several animals including cats and they are supposed to find citrus off putting.

Recipe 4

Certain dried herbs you can buy in the big supermarkets can also be effective as cat repellents. Sprinkle dried Rosemary or Lavender around your bedding plants or other problem areas for a quick and easy way to put the cats off using the area as its litter tray.

Recipe 5

Citronella oil is the home made cat repellent I had most success with. Although best known as a mosquito repellent cats find the Citronella odour very distasteful. Mix 1 part Citronella oil to 4 parts water and spray liberally in the trouble spot.

Recipe 6

Citrus peels contain limonene which cats find unpleasant. Essential oils such as lavender or peppermint can also be used to repel cats.

Mix lemon and lime peels together with a little lavender or peppermint oils, leave overnight then strain into a spray bottle and spread it liberally around your garden or outdoor area. The scent will help keep cats away while not harming them in any way.


Although I have tried to use only natural ingredients you should still try to avoid spraying directly onto your plants.

I have come across several recipes that included boiling Cayenne or black pepper with other ingredients. Pepper can cause injury to a cat or other animals eyes and I would not recommend it. Not only is it cruel but you could well end up with a hefty vet bill or worse, being prosecuted (see cat laws).

Similarly, you will come across plenty of people advising the placement of moth balls in your garden to keep cats away. Moth balls are toxic and not only bad for your soil and plants, can cause all sorts of serious problems to most animals (including us) and can cause death to a cat.

Cat Repellent Recipes Submitted By Our Readers

Brian told us how he uses Listerine mouth wash where a cat leaves its mark as it eliminates the smell and puts the cat off when he returns.

I use it undiluted on the spot where the neighbour’s cat made his mark. It really eliminate the smell, never use vinegar or ammonia on a cats urine, it just make the smell worse.

Joseph from America had great success with his own concoction which he was good enough to share.

I bought the Eucalyptus plus Mint essential oil at Walmart for $3.87 (large bottle). The pharmacy there gave me a free syringe to use to extract the oil from the bottle. It is the plunger type that measures in ml and tsp.

I took 1 whole lemon and ran it through a juicer but a food processor works just as good. I then strained the mixture through cheesecloth and poured it into a 16-ounce spray bottle. I then used the plunger to extract 1/2 tsp of oil from the bottle and put it into the spray bottle.

I filled up the rest of the spray bottle with water from the tap. I shook the bottle vigorously before spraying in the areas where the neighbours cats were continually spraying and defecating on my property.

Thankfully, the mixture worked wonderfully. No more cats whatsoever. I respray every Saturday morning, and it has been working faithfully for more than three months now.

Debbie from here in the UK is finding Citronella seems to work best against her neighbourhood cats.

I have been using Citronella oil mixed with water and it is very successful so far. The cheapest way to do it is to buy the essential oil. There are gel’s on the market specifically for dog and cat repellent however it ends up being pricey as it doesn’t last long. Citronella needs topping up every couple of days. So far so good! I have been told to put lemon slices around the plants too as it will deter fouling.

Submit your home made cat repellent recipes 

If you have any cat repellent recipes that you have had success with please let me know by clicking here and I will add them to the above list.

Also, you can read my reviews of some of the better known commercial cat deterrent options available by clicking below.

Sharing is caring!

Loading comments...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

water bottle cat deterrent

Previous Post

Water Bottle and Cat Myth

Next Post

Cat Spray Repellents – The Pros and Cons of Cat Sprayers