Should You Use Rosemary to Deter Cats?

If you’re an avid gardener, or you simply enjoy soaking up those rare moments of sunlight on a summer’s day, there’s nothing more frustrating than spotting a cat strutting nonchalantly across the lawn before depositing a mound of waste material in the middle of your beautifully-pruned bushes or flower beds.

Cats are officially the second most popular pet in the UK, and unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there’s every chance your garden will attract unwanted fur-covered intruders.

The good news is that there are some ways of putting them off and encouraging them to go and do their business in somebody else’s backyard. One option that may appeal to horticulturalists and those who aren’t ready to wheel out heavy-duty deterrents just yet is growing herbs like rosemary.

If you’ve got a phantom pooper, or you feel like you’re hosting a cat convention in your garden without giving your permission, here are some tips to help you use rosemary to deter cats.

Why does Rosemary Deter Cats?

We all know that cats display a lack of common courtesy when it comes to choosing where to go to the toilet and where to make tracks or dig holes. Even if you’re a cat lover, the sight of a feline strolling around your flower beds with wild abandon and not a modicum of respect can be infuriating.

Herbs are a popular component of garden beds, and they have a range of uses. You may have thought about growing herbs like rosemary in the past to spruce up homemade culinary masterpieces or enhance the aesthetic appeal of your garden, but some herbs can also double up as natural, effective cat repellents.

Cats don’t tend to like the scent of rosemary, and they have incredibly sensitive senses, so the presence of a rosemary plant or bush can be sufficient to put a cat off.

Eating rosemary is unlikely to do a cat severe harm, but the smell means that they’re likely to steer well clear anyway, so you don’t need to worry about endangering the health of any visiting felines.

Tips for Growing Rosemary

If you’re planning to de-cat your garden, and you’re interested in adding rosemary to your arsenal of natural weapons, you can choose to grow this fragrant herb in a pot or in a bed or border. This is a versatile herb, which is relatively easy to grow and nurture, and it’s evergreen, so it will give your garden vibrancy throughout the year, as well as keeping cats at bay come rain or shine.

Rosemary grows best in relatively dry ground, and it can thrive even in poor soil. If you manage to succeed in your gardening goals, you could be enjoying jazzy suppers, as well as ensuring your garden is a cat-free zone.

Even if you’re an animal lover, there’s no getting away from the fact that cats can be a pain when it comes to managing your garden and protecting your plants.

Whether you’re a green-fingered god or goddess or you simply want to be able to relax without being surrounded by unexpected, odorous packages in your flower beds, it’s beneficial to use rosemary to deter cats.

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Kishore Gupta

I have big rosemary plant in my garden but it’s near my home. Cats come from the back of garden. How I can grow the cutting of rosemary plant on the back side of my garden. Birds eat food in the middle of lawn. Thanks


Neighborhood cat loves to go to rosemary bushes and spray it. So I don’t see it as an effective deterrent. But my Yard Defender (triggered by motion detrction)sprays water on the cat works much better.


I’ve just seen 2 cats rubbing themselves up and down our rosemary Bush, so I call this b.s.