Do Curry Plants Deter Cats?

They certainly can. If you’ve browsed already then you’ll know that a lot of deterrents don’t come with a binary yes or no answer. And that’s because it’s not that straight forward when it comes to deterring cats. Unfortunately, what might work for one cat, will not work for another.

That’s why you’ll need to experiment. Having said that, we hear a lot of positive feedback when people try curry plants as a cat deterrent so it’s definitely one worth trying out. Curry plants, like rosemary, have a two-pronged attack on cats.

First, the smell is incredibly strong and offputting to a cat’s senses so that immediately puts them off.

Second, the leaves are quite coarse and can be quite discomforting to a cat. No, they won’t harm or cut the cat but they can be a little rough on their skin which gives them a reason to avoid contact with your curry plants in future.

The aim of any deterrent is to cause harmless discomfort to a cat. They’ll remember this discomfort and avoid the area in future – or that’s the plan at least. Curry plants are great at achieving this because of this two-pronged approach.

How to Use Curry Plants to Deter Cats

There isn’t really a secret to using curry plants to deter cats. It’s as simple as plant a clump of them where the cat is prone to entering your garden. You want the cat to be greeted with your new curry plants from the get-go. You don’t want to give them time to explore your garden before they stumble upon your newly planted curry plants.

You probably already know how and where cats are entering your garden – that’s the prime spot for planting.

Should You Use Curry Plants to Deter Cats?

Before you flood with curry plants thinking it’s the ultimate deterrent to cats, there are two aspects you need to think about. Will it harm cats and could it damage your other plants:

Will Curry Plants Harm Cats?

It’s a fairly well-known fact that curry is harmful to cats but this is due to the high concentration of both onion and garlic which are toxic to cats. However, there is no evidence that curry powder or curry plants are harmful to cats so you should be fine to plant curry plants around cats.

Will Curry Plants Impact Other Plants?

Yes! Curry plants are sometimes referred to as weeds as they will dominate the space you plant it, sucking nutrients from the soil. This can have an impact on other plants so we would advise using it sparingly to avoid damaging your other plants. The other option, of course, is to place your curry plants in a pot that you can move around.


Curry plants can work quite well as a cat repellent. Like all plants that deter cats, it’s all about trial-and-error. Remember to be cautious when planting curry plants, however, as they can become quite invasive in your garden.

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