It’s the main component of Britain’s favourite dish and has pride of place in kitchen cupboards up and down the country. We love it unconditionally whether it’s poured over our chip shop chips or served alongside rice and a piece of naan bread. We’re talking of course about curry powder!
Ever since it was first served in the coffee houses of the 1800s we’ve been in love with curry. But as well as being a tasty and aromatic ingredient it can have another benefit: Keeping unwelcome neighbourhood cats out of your garden. So will curry powder keep cats away?
Even if you love all four-legged felines it can be infuriating when they show absolutely no respect to the garden you’ve spent a great deal of time and effort cultivating. At best they leave unwelcome piles of acrid poops on your lawn (always use gloves when tidying that stuff up as it can carry diseases).
At worst they’re shredding your flower bed and reducing your garden furniture to sawdust with their claws. As much as we love our cats in this country (and we do, in fact, 1 in 4 UK adults owns one) they simply cannot be allowed to wreak havoc with our gardens.
Could the nation’s favourite spice also help to keep cats at bay? Will curry powder keep cats away for real?
How Curry Powder Works
Have you ever noticed that smells that are repugnant to us seem to drive cats wild with delight? Open a tin of cat food and it may smell like a belch in the face from the devil himself. But to a cat that’s as aromatic as, well: A freshly made curry.
On the other hand, smells which are pleasant to us can be almost unbearable for cats. They have twice as many scent receptors in their noses as us and their sense of smell is approximately fourteen times more potent. As such, what smells like a delicious meal to us will send cats running in the opposite direction.
Is it Safe for Cats?
Curry’s strong scent is enough to make your garden less than appealing to cats but is it harmful to them? Well, I certainly wouldn’t recommend emptying the leftovers from last night’s chicken bhuna into their food bowl (onions and garlic found in most curries are highly toxic to cats) but there’s no evidence to suggest that the small doses of curry powder you’d use to keep cats at bay could be harmful.
Besides, cats are clever and wary creatures. If something smells wrong to them they’ll more than likely keep a wide berth.
So, Will Curry Powder Keep Cats Away?
There are a number of ways in which people use curry powder to deter cats. Some sprinkle it over their flowerbeds, under trees or anywhere else where cats are known to visit. Some leave pierced sachets of curry powder in each corner of the garden, while others will plant curry in their herb garden.
In our experience, the best way to use curry powder is to combine it with other ingredients to make a homemade cat repellent spray. Curry powder can be mixed with water and a range of other herbs and spices including black pepper, rosemary, lavender or cinnamon. Mix a teaspoon of each in water with a few drops of lemon essential oil and spray in problem areas.
So, there you have it. The nation’s favourite food can be a safe but surprisingly potent way of keeping cats away from your garden.