9 Plants That Repel Cats

Plants That Repel Cats
Photo by Dietmar Ludmann on Unsplash

If you are a cat owner, you know the struggles of keeping your feline friend away from your lovely garden.

They have an affinity for playing in the dirt and digging around your plants, leaving your garden in shambles.

But what if we told you that there are plants that repel cats? Yes, you read that right. Certain plants can keep cats away from your garden without harming them.

In this blog post, we will discuss ten such plants that can help you have a beautiful garden and a happy cat at the same time.

1. Lavender

by HeatherHeatherHeather is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most beloved plants for gardeners and homeowners alike, lavender is one of the plants that repel cats.

While the fragrant scent of lavender is pleasant to humans, it is known to be unappealing to felines.

This is because cats have an acute sense of smell and find the scent of lavender overwhelming.

Lavender can be planted around the perimeter of your garden or in pots placed strategically throughout your yard to keep cats away.

Plus, you’ll enjoy the beautiful flowers and soothing aroma of lavender in the process.

2. Coleus Canina

Coleus Canina
by pépiniériste 85 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Another great option for plants that repel cats is Coleus Canina, also known as the “scaredy cat plant.”

This plant emits an odor that cats find unpleasant, making them want to avoid it. Not only does this plant keep cats away, but it also adds a pop of color to your garden with its purple and green leaves.

Plant it in pots or directly in the ground for maximum effectiveness. Remember that while this plant is effective at repelling cats, it can also harm dogs if ingested, so use caution if you have canine companions.

If you’re looking for more options for plants that repel cats, consider adding garlic to your garden. 

This versatile plant not only adds flavor to your cooking but also has a strong odor that cats don’t like.

Plant garlic bulbs in the ground or pots and let them grow. The smell will keep cats away from the surrounding area.

3. Pennyroyal

by CaliforniaDFW is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you are looking for a plant to help keep your cats out of your garden, pennyroyal might be just what you need.

This herb has a strong and pungent odor that most cats find unpleasant and is a natural deterrent for these animals.

Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family and is known for its strong minty scent. It is also known for its ability to repel insects, making it a great plant in your garden.

However, if you want to use it to keep cats away, you should plant it in areas where your pets tend to frequent.

One thing to remember is that pennyroyal can be toxic if ingested in large quantities, so it’s best to keep it away from animals trying to eat it.

If you have pets that like to chew on plants, you should consider using a different type of deterrent or keeping a close eye on your animals in the garden.

Overall, pennyroyal is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a natural and effective way to keep cats out of their park.

Its strong scent is enough to repel most cats and has the bonus of being an effective insect repellent.

Just be sure to keep it away from any animals that might try to eat it, and you’ll be able to enjoy a cat-free garden in no time.

4. Rue

Rue is another plant that cats tend to avoid due to its intense aroma. This herbaceous perennial plant has small, bluish-green leaves that give off a strong odor that cats don’t like.

However, it’s important to note that Rue is toxic to cats and humans when ingested in large amounts. 

Therefore, it’s important to plant it in an inaccessible area to your feline friends.

Rue is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, such as headaches, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.

Additionally, Rue is said to repel other unwanted pests in the garden, such as mosquitoes and flies. 

When planting Rue, ensure it receives plenty of sunlight and is well-draining. This plant can grow up to two feet tall and produces small, yellow flowers in the summer.

Overall, Rue is a great addition to any garden looking to repel cats while adding variety and texture.

5. Rosemary

by ndrwfgg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rosemary is not just a culinary herb; it also repels cats. This herb has a strong scent that cats don’t like, making it an effective deterrent.

In addition to being a natural repellent, rosemary adds beauty to your garden.

Its blue-green foliage and delicate flowers will add a touch of elegance to any garden. Rosemary prefers full sun and well-drained soil, so plant it in a spot with plenty of sunlight and good drainage.

You can use rosemary to line garden beds, plant it in pots, or as a border plant.

Its versatile nature makes it an excellent choice for gardeners looking to repel cats while beautifying their gardens.

6. Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme
by insatiablemunch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for plants that repel cats, lemon thyme is an excellent choice. Not only does it produce a fresh, lemony scent that many people love, but cats don’t seem to like it at all.

It’s believed that the oil in lemon thyme leaves may irritate a cat’s nose and cause them to avoid the plant altogether.

Growing lemon thyme in your garden is easy. It’s a low-growing herb that spreads quickly and prefers full sun to partial shade.

Like many herbs, it likes well-drained soil and doesn’t need much water once established.

Letting the soil dry out a bit before watering again is better. If you plan to use lemon thyme for cooking, it’s essential to ensure you’re using a suitable variety.

There are many types of thyme, and not all have a lemony flavor. 

Look for “Thymus citriodorus” or “lemon thyme” specifically to enjoy its culinary benefits. Aside from its potential to repel cats, lemon thyme has many other benefits. 

It’s a good source of vitamin C and can help with digestion. Some people even use it as a natural insect repellent.

So if you’re looking for plants that repel cats, try lemon thyme – and enjoy all its other benefits too!

7. Geraniums

by Swami Stream is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Geraniums are not just a popular garden flower but can also repel cats. Cats do not appreciate their scent, so they avoid coming near geraniums.

Moreover, geraniums come in a wide range of colors and varieties, making them an excellent choice for adding color to your garden.

Geraniums prefer sunny areas, but they can also tolerate partial shade. They require well-draining soil, and watering once or twice a week is enough.

Geraniums can be grown in pots or garden beds, and they can also be propagated easily.

When using geraniums to repel cats, it’s best to plant them in areas cats are known to frequent, such as around your garden beds or near your front door.

You can also plant them along your fence line or around the perimeter of your garden to create a natural barrier that cats won’t cross.

One thing to remember is that some geranium varieties may attract bees, so if you have allergies, it’s best to choose a different plant. But for most people, geraniums are a great choice for repelling cats while adding beauty to your garden.

8. Garlic

by richard_north is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Garlic is a natural repellent for cats. While it’s primarily known for its culinary uses, garlic is also a potent herb with solid-repellent properties.

Its strong smell keeps cats at bay, making it a great addition to any garden overrun with pesky felines.

Garlic is easy to grow and can be planted in pots or directly into the ground. The bulbs can be harvested for cooking, and the leaves can be used in salads or seasoning.

But beyond its culinary uses, garlic is an effective cat repellent that can be used in various ways.

One way to use garlic to repel cats is to crush a few cloves and spread them around the garden. This will release the strong scent of garlic, which will deter cats from entering the area.

Another way to use garlic is to mix it with water and spray the mixture around the garden. 

This will create a barrier that cats will be reluctant to cross. It’s important to note that while garlic is an effective cat repellent, it can also be harmful to cats if ingested in large quantities.

For this reason, it’s important to use garlic in moderation and keep it away from areas where cats are likely to eat it.

9. Curry Plant

Curry Plant
by clurross is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Curry Plant is an aromatic herb that adds a unique flavor to your dishes, but it’s also one of the plants that repel cats.

This plant has a strong scent that cats dislike and tend to stay away from it. If you want to keep your furry friends out of your garden, consider planting Curry Plant in your landscape.

It’s easy to grow and can tolerate hot and dry conditions, making it a great addition to any garden. Its feathery leaves and yellow flowers also make it a visually appealing choice.

So, next time you plan your garden, add the Curry Plant to your list of plants that repel cats.  


As cat lovers, our furry friends can be both a blessing and a challenge in the garden.

Luckily, there are plenty of plants that repel cats, helping to keep our gardens free of unwanted feline visitors.

There are many options, from lavender to curry plants, each with unique benefits.

Whether looking for a natural way to keep cats away from your prized flowers or enjoy a peaceful, cat-free garden, incorporating some of these plants into your outdoor space can make all the difference.

Happy gardening!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like