Do Cats Like Lavender?

We often write about using plants to deter cats. They work great as a way to put cats off entering your garden to do their business. The question though is do cats like lavender or could it also be used as a deterrent?

So Do Cats Like Lavender?

Below we’ll look at whether cats like lavender, why they might not like it and how to go about using it to repel cats from invading your garden.

The Smell

As with most strong smelling and pungent odours, lavender is another that can be added to the list of smells that cats hate. We, humans, love the smell of lavender. It’s why we put it in candles to make our homes smell perfumed and floral.

But it’s another strong smell that most cats are put off by.

Cats sense of smell is far more sensitive than humans. They have double the number of receptions in the olfactory epithelium when compared to people which is why they have a stronger sense of smell. Additionally, cats have a further scentĀ organĀ which can be found at the root of their mouth called the Jacobson’s organ. This goes some way to explaining why cats hate strong smells.

The Texture

Depending on the variety, lavender can have quite a coarse and rough texture. When cats brush up against it, it can irritate them. If you can plant the lavender close to where the cat is entering your garden and they brush up against it then they may just avoid the area in future.

The Toxicity

Although unlikely to be lethal, lavender can be toxic to cats. The most toxic form of lavender is essential oil – that’s why we’d advise against the use of lavender oil in the garden as a cat deterrent.

The lavender plant, like many plants in fact, contains linlook and linalyl acetate. Both of these compounds are known to be toxic to a cat when ingested. The chances of a cat ingesting lavender, however, are fairly low as the smell alone will often put them off.

Did Lavender Work For You?

As most of us will have come to learn, every cat is different. Some will hate mint, while others won’t mind it. Some will hate the sound of an ultrasonic cat repeller, while others won’t be fazed. Lavender is the same. You’ll need to experiment to see if your particular nuisance cat is affected by lavender or not.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with using lavender to deter cats from your garden. Did you find it worked? Or were you simply left with a garden smelly and looking pretty with purple lavender?

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Catherine Mo

I’ve planted lavenders in the garden. However, they don’t work as a deterrent. My front garden is still being used as a toilet. I sprinkled down some cinnamon bark this morning fingers crossed this works