Does Vinegar Keep Cats Away?

Vinegar is a household staple that has been used for centuries in cooking, cleaning, and even pest control.

It’s made by fermenting alcohol and is known for its strong acidic smell and taste. While vinegar can be used in many ways, one popular use is as a natural cat repellent.

So, does it really work?

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, drawbacks, and tips for using vinegar to keep cats away from your home or garden.

Does Vinegar Keep Cats Away?

While cats do sometimes like to lick up vinegar, it probably won’t keep them away from your garden or house.

Cats also don’t actually like the smell of vinegar. It’s more likely that they don’t like the acidity of the vinegar or its pungent aroma.

Ultimately, cats just like the taste of vinegar, not its smell or acidity.

Benefits of Using Vinegar to Keep Cats Away

Vinegar has several benefits when it comes to keeping cats away from your property.

Vinegar is cheap and can be used in a lot of different ways. It’s sometimes known as a natural flea repellent.

When applied to your cat’s fur and rubbed in, the vinegar will repel fleas and other insects. For cat owners who are tired of spending money on expensive flea collars and pills, vinegar is a great alternative.

Vinegar can also be used to keep cats away from your property. The smell of vinegar repels cats, which can prevent unwanted visits from strays.

Finally, vinegar can also be used to keep cats away from plants. Cats don’t like the smell of vinegar and will stay away from plants sprayed with it.

Overall, vinegar has a lot of benefits when it comes to keeping cats away from your property.

It’s an All-natural Solution

There are no chemicals or toxins involved in using vinegar as a cat repellent.

Vinegar is a cheap and effective cat repellent. Cats dislike the sour taste of vinegar and will quickly move away from it.

However, it’s important to use apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar.

White vinegar, on the other hand, has acetic acid in a much lower concentration. Thus, apple cider vinegar is more effective at repelling cats.

Additionally, it’s best to spray vinegar onto your cat’s fur rather than directly onto the cat or the floor. This will prevent the vinegar from coming into contact with the cat’s skin and eyes.

Finally, it’s important to remember that cats can smell and taste about 10 times better than humans, so always test your mixture on a small area before applying it fully.

It’s Easy to Use

Simply dilute some white vinegar with water and spray it around the area you want cats to stay away from.

It’s Inexpensive

You can find white vinegar at most grocery stores for just a few dollars.

White vinegar is a liquid that’s diluted with water. It’s made from fermented grains that contain acetic acid (a type of acid) and other natural compounds.

White vinegar is commonly used as a household cleaning product and as a salad dressing ingredient. It’s also used in cooking, as a cleaning product, and as an ingredient in cosmetics.

White vinegar is acidic and tart. This makes it useful as a cleaning product and as a salad dressing ingredient.

However, white vinegar is used in many food products, such as pickles, salad dressings, and marinades. The acidity of white vinegar is what’s responsible for its tart flavor.

It’s Safe

Unlike some chemical-based repellents, vinegar won’t harm pets or children if they come into contact with it.

How To Use Vinegar To Repel Cats

Using vinegar as a cat repellent is simple.

  • Mix equal parts white distilled vinegar and water in a spray bottle
  • Then, spray it around the areas where you don’t want cats coming into contact with.
  • The strong smell of the vinegar will deter cats from entering the area, while also masking any smells that may attract them.
  • You may need to reapply the mixture every few days or after heavy rainfalls in order for it to remain effective.

Potential Drawbacks of Using Vinegar

While there are many benefits of using vinegar as a cat repellent, there are also potential drawbacks.

For one thing, while the smell of vinegar may be unpleasant to cats, they may get used to it over time.

Additionally, if your yard or garden contains plants that are sensitive to acidity, then spraying them with diluted vinegar could cause damage.

Lastly, if you have other pets such as dogs or birds that share your property with cats then they could potentially be affected by the smell of the vinegar too.

Therefore, if you decide to use this method then make sure that you only apply it sparingly and only in areas where other animals won’t come into contact with it.

How To Make Your Own Natural Cat Repellent With Vinegar

If you don’t want to buy pre-made cat repellents, then you can make your own at home using white distilled vinegar.

All you need is some white distilled vinegar and water.

Mix equal parts of both ingredients together in a spray bottle and apply liberally around your property wherever you don’t want cats entering.

The strong acidic smell should keep them away without causing any harm.

You may need to reapply every few days or after heavy rainfalls in order for it to remain effective.

Tips For Keeping Cats Away From Your Home Or Garden

In addition to using vinegars as a natural cat repellent there are several other tips that can help keep cats away from your property:

Remove Any Sources of Food

Make sure that any pet food bowls are kept indoors and secure garbage cans so that cats cannot access them.

Plant Certain Plants

Certain plants such as lavender have natural scents which can repel cats.

Make Loud Noises

Clapping your hands loudly when you see a cat on your property can scare them off.

Install Motion Sensors

Motion sensing lights can startle cats when they enter an area.

Install Fencing

Installing fencing around your property can help keep out unwanted visitors such as stray cats.

Use Deterrents

Putting up things like chicken wire or plastic netting can help keep out curious felines.

Alternatives To Vinegar For Keeping Cats Away

Cats and dogs are both common pets that many families own. Unfortunately, they often get a bad reputation for being messy and smelly.

Therefore, some pet owners resort to using vinegar to deter their furry friends.

However, vinegar is not the best product to use because cats can taste it and associate it with their food. Vinegar is also harmful to their health.

These alternatives can be used instead:

  • Spray deodorizer – You can use a spray deodorizer to deter cats from coming near your home. The smell will dissuade them from coming near your home.
  • Plant lavender – Lavender plants are very attractive to cats, but the smell is poisonous to them. You can plant lavender plants around your property to keep cats away.
  • Play music – Cats don’t like loud noises, so playing loud music can deter them from coming near your home.
  • Use a commercial product – Commercial products like the Sonic Defenders repel cats from your property by emitting ultrasonic noises that they can’t hear. The noises are annoying to cats, and they will leave your property to seek relief from the noise.

Also Read: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Repel Cats?


In conclusion, vinegar sometimes repels cats, but it’s an unreliable deterrent.

Cats don’t like the smell, but they still have a strong sense of smell and can smell it even if vinegar is used. Furthermore, cats can smell it even if vinegar is diluted with water.

Moreover, vinegar may not be the right solution for every cat problem. Cats have their own personalities and will react differently to vinegar.

Therefore, vinegar might not be a great solution for every cat issue.