Which Cat Repellent Plants Work?

You’re struggling with pesky cats pooping all over your garden, right? Well, you are not alone. In fact, this is probably more of a common problem that you would even imagine.

Of course, just because others are having problems it doesn’t make the situation any less troubling. Heck, if you go online and look at the number of people that are having problems and the solutions that they have tried with little to no success, you will probably want to rip out your hair. That’s why we’ve taken a close look at which cat repellent plants work.

There are a number of cat repellent plants that do actually succeed at banning cats from pooping all over the place. Some of these plants will not only deter cats and other animals from entering your garden, but they will enhance the efficiency of your garden while adding to the overall appearance.

Of course, this all really depends on choosing the right plants. Not all cat repellent plants actually work and it pays to know which do and which don’t before you litter your garden with them. Below, you will learn about the different types of cat repellent plants that actually work and how you and your garden can benefit from them.

Remember Plants Take Time To Grow

If you have made your way to this site then there is a good chance that you are currently battling cats or other unwanted animals in your garden and are desperate to learn how to stop cats pooping in your garden, right?

There is no denying that any plant or flower on this list has the potential power to deter cats as well as other animals. However, you do have to keep in mind that plants and flowers take time to grow. Yes, some grow fairly fast and some grow at immense rates, but this doesn’t mean that they will spring up overnight.

In fact, most of the plants on this list will take weeks to months to fully grow – this is the case if you’re growing from seed or trying to establish grown plants from the garden centre (which can become expensive).

So if you’re looking to use cat repellent plants in your garden then it’s a good idea to remember that patience is a virtue and you’re going to need bucket loads of it.

So, Which Cat Repellent Plants Work?

Ultimately, this is what you’re looking for. You want to know plants that keep cats away from your garden and ultimately how to stop cats pooping in your garden. We’ve listed some of the most popular cat repellent plants below. Use the links below to skip to a particular plant:

#1 Coleus Canina

You can look up anything about cat repellent plants and you are always going to find some mention of the Coleus Canina. This is because this is not only an extremely popular plant that looks beautiful, but it actually contains the properties that can help deter cats.

The first thing that you need to know about the plant is that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding it. The first and foremost being the name. The plant neither comes from the Coleus family or has nothing at all to do with canines or dogs. The plant, in fact, comes from the mint family. This is just one of the things that give the plant its powerful aromatic properties.

These plants are extremely easy to grow as they pretty much start growing as soon as their roots hit the soil. If you’ve ever grown mint you’ll know that it can take over your garden if you don’t keep it contained in a pot.

In addition to this, they prefer the shade, not the direct sunlight, so excessive sun exposure really isn’t much of a concern. However, they will need protection from frost if you are going to grow them year-round.

Another thing to consider is that these plants smell pretty bad, which is why they deter cats in the first place. It might not be such a good idea to install these plants directly outside your front or back door or under a window. When brushed past, some people think they give off a smell not too dissimilar to urine!

#2 Ruta Graveolens

Another plant that does an exceptional job at repelling cats is the Ruta Graveolens or the Rue. This plant can grow to be anywhere from 2 to 3 feet tall with about the same width. It is also an extremely powerful plant that produces an odour, unlike anything you have ever smelled before.

In addition to this, the plant is a semi-woody perennial plant that produces greyish-green colours with yellow flowers. There are also other species of the plant that will produce different colours, but there is no denying that whatever combination you choose, you will be adding beauty and elegance to your garden. That is if you can get passed the smell.

This plant is different from the Coleus Canina, as it is extremely hardy and likes full sun. This plant is usually found growing in areas with hot, dry climates. The plant will live and survive in part sun, but don’t be surprised if the foliage comes out different colours when exposed to less than direct sunlight.

The plant alone will repel cats, but some individuals will spread the dried leaves on their flower beds or in their pots to deter cats. This is one thing that you can do if you do not want to go to the full lengths of planting and growing an entire crop of these plants.

#3 Curry Herb And Lemon Balm

The curry herb and lemon balm plants are two other plants that cats don’t like. They are also usually purchased in combination by most gardeners. This is because they not only go well together, but they can take you average garden and make it look like a professional one when paired together in a flower bed.

The unique thing about these plants is that it is not just their odour alone that deters the cats. It is also their coarse texture that cats don’t like. In fact, if you grow the plants in tight bushes and place them around the perimeter of your garden it is likely that they won’t even enter the garden in the first place. This is because the coarse texture is so irritating to their skin.

Another great tactic is to grow both of these plants in movable containers. This will give you the ability to move the plants around to trouble spots. For instance, if cats that were popping in the garden start pooping on the pathway, you can simply move some of the plants to the pathway to deter cats from that area as well. This is a common tactic that many seasoned gardeners will apply and it has proven effective time and time again.

Both of these plants are probably preferable to the two previously mentioned deterrent plants because they are also not only easy to grow, but the smell isn’t as repugnant.

However, do not let this fool you because these plants are just as effective. You have to remember that cat’s senses are hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than that of the humans, so what you barely smell, a cat will smell tenfold.

#4 Rosemary

Which Cat Repellent Plants Work - Rosemary

Another perennial that can do wonders when it comes to repelling cats is the rosemary plant.

In fact, I would go as far as to say you should 100% be trying rosemary as a cat repellent plant as it comes with such a plethora of benefits:

a) It deters cats – That’s a good start. With a strong aroma and sharp sprigs, cats hate both the smell and texture of rosemary meaning it attacks them from two angles.

b) It’s delicious – Not only does it deter cats but it’s also incredibly versatile. Take a sprig and add to your roast potatoes, chop it up and rub onto a chicken breast or even use them as skewers for vegetables.

c) It’s easy to grow – One planted, rosemary seems to grow for years to come. It can become a little woody but the leaves are still delicious. If you’re currently buying rosemary for cooking then it really is a no-brainer growing it whilst also deterring cats from pooping in your garden.

#5 Lavender

You don’t have to be a gardener to have heard of lavender. At the very least, you probably know what the plant smells like. After all, there are a number of aromatic products that use lavender like smelling oils and car fresheners. And, this is not to even mention the fact that these plants look amazing and smell even better.

At least they smell better to humans.

Cats will not like the smell of these plants at all. The tall varieties seem to work best because cats can’t jump over them and see where they are going to land. You have to remember that cats can jump pretty high.

#6 Hawthorn And Prickly Bushes

Cat Repellent Plants Work

How many times have you bumped into a prickly bush and felt the consequences? Probably more times than you would like to mention. And, this is probably something that you don’t want to happen in your garden, but if you want to keep out cats and other unwanted animals, you might not have another option.

Hawthorns and other prickly bushes are excellent deterrents for the same reasons that most humans don’t like them. They hurt when you rub up against them. Not only this, but their prickly nature makes them hard to tend for.

If you are going to go down this road your best option amongst the prickly family might be Hawthorns, Holly, Berberis, Blackthorn, and Blackberry. Blackberry plants are a great option because they are not only extra prickly, but they obviously produce edible fruit – bring on the blackberry crumble!

#7 Citronella or Lemon Verbena

If you have ever had a yapping dog that just won’t shut up or a dog that barks at everything he or she sees then there is a good chance that you have heard of citronella. This plant basically produces that same scent they put in those bark resistant collars.

The flowers and leaves are the parts of the plant that actually produce the citronella smell. It is this smell that will drive off those unwanted cats. This plant is actually a member of the mint family as well and it can grow to be as tall as six feet, which might be a problem for some individuals with restricted room.

However, if you do have the room then you cannot go wrong with this plant. In the early summer to late fall it will produce yellow flowers that grow on spikes located right above the leaves. The leaves can also be sued to make tea if you want to take this extra step.

The problem with citronella plants is that they can be hard to obtain and hard to manage. If you want to try a different cat repellent plant that is similar then try lemon verbena.

Summary of Which Cat Repellent Plants Work

Ultimately, we hope that you’ve discovered which cat repellent plants work well and which to avoid. However, it all really comes down to the types of cats that you are dealing with and the methods in which you are growing and caring for the plants.

Plants that aren’t thriving might not produce the smell and properties that you need to drive away these animals. Make sure you are providing each plant with its required environmental properties to get the most out of them. Websites like RHS can help here to ensure you’re planting each of these plants in optimum conditions.

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1 thought on “Which Cat Repellent Plants Work?”

  1. Do these take care of cat urine smell as well. That’s my main problem. Went to transplant some strawberries and where I was going to plant them was a highly smelling cat urine area. Neighborhood cat I guess.


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