What Herbs Deter Cats?

Some herbs are beneficial for treating feline health conditions, such as infections and allergies.

Cat owners need to know some basic facts about herbs for cats, both natural and synthetic. So, what herbs deter cats?

Although cats have amazing hunting skills, they can be deterred by certain plants and herbs. For example, lavender has a horrible smell that cats find incredibly unappealing.

Other herbs that work to deter cats are chives, sage, rosemary, catnip, and peppermint. In addition to deterring cats, these herbs also have other health benefits for humans.

Many herbs have medicinal properties, and many people use them to make herbal teas. Some herbs are also good to eat on salads or as garnishes on desserts.

What Herbs Deter Cats?


Rosemary is one of the herbs that, because of its powerful smell, works to deter cats from areas of your yard where you don’t want them.

Rosemary has a lot of a chemical called rosmarinic acid in it, which keeps some animals away but not others.

Some animals can tolerate the scent of rosemary, but others can’t.

A powerful antioxidant in rosemary leaves can help prevent certain types of cancer and keep cats away.

Although it will not harm them, it may make your cat sick if he eats too much of this herb.

Thyme Lemon

Lemon thyme is another wonderful alternative since it has a lemon scent that is unappealing to cats.

Lemon thyme is extremely easy to grow and can be added to a myriad of different dishes in your cooking.

It is one of the oldest herbs in the world since it has hundreds of different varieties with distinct scents.

Lemon thyme has a fresh lemon scent that cats find unpleasant.

The scent of lemon thyme is so intolerable to cats that they won’t eat it even if the food is completely hidden in the garden.

Curry Plants

We find the aroma of curry plants to be really enticing, so we use them for cooking all the time. However, certain animals, including cats, seem to find this scent very offensive.

One benefit of growing curry plants in your garden is that they attract different kinds of butterflies.

The scent of curry plants resembles the smell of the chemical that is found in cat urine.

Curry plants have a strong fragrance that deters cats and other animals from your garden.


Lavender not only lends a lovely purple color to your garden, but the scent also gives it a pleasing aroma.

The scent of lavender is so strong and repulsive that cats and other animals won’t go near it.

The smell is so strong that French lavender is used as South Carolina’s official state fragrance.

The spicy oil found in lavender blocks certain smells that cats use to navigate their surroundings.

Cats have sensitive noses, and the strong smell of lavender makes them sick to their stomachs.

Do Dried Herbs Deter Cats?

Dried herbs are actually simpler to employ as a deterrent than fresh herbs.

To do this, you can simply sprinkle the dried herbs on the soil near the garden where they are planted. The scent from these dried herbs is strong and unpleasant to cats.

How Do You Use Herbs to Keep Cats Away?

Using herbs to repel cats is simple; just plant them in strategic places in your garden.

Planting herbs as a cat repellent is also a great way to use some areas.

Planting herbs will be useful for repelling rabbits, deer, squirrels, and other small animals too.

Unfortunately, every cat is different, so some might still venture into the garden no matter what you do to deter them.

This means that although one herb may work for some cats, others may still venture in despite your efforts to keep them out.

This is why you’ll need more than one method to deter the cats from your garden, especially the stubborn ones.

Plant a mix of different herbs to give your cats a variety of smells they won’t be able to stand.

Herbs that you grow at home are safe for cats to eat in small amounts because they are only mildly toxic to them.

Sorrel, lavender, calendula, yarrow, oregano, and sage can kill cats if they eat too much of them.

They are only hazardous to pets when eaten raw or when made into tea or ingested in other ways.

A cat licking or eating a herb is harmful only if they’ve been ingesting it in large amounts or if they ingest too much at a time.

What Herbs Attract Cats?

Unfortunately, not all herbs are effective at keeping cats away from your garden.

Some plants, on the other hand, can actually attract them and make them curious about what’s growing in your garden.

Some cats are said to go to gardens looking for catnip, which is an herb with a strong smell that attracts them.

Of course, every cat is attracted to different plants, and some may prefer catnip, while others might not find it appealing at all.

Are Herbs Toxic to Cats?

Some plants are harmful to cats when eaten or chewed on in large amounts.

If your cat ingests an herb in large quantities, they will experience symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Another symptom to look out for in cats who ingest an herb is depression.

Cats are also susceptible to ingesting large amounts of herbs when their owners eat them, thinking that they’re safe for them to eat because they’re available at their local grocer.

Herbs that are harmful to cats are sorrel, rhubarb leaves, chrysanthemums, garlic, and onions.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Thyme?

Final Words

Herbs are the best way to keep cats out of your garden since they naturally deter them from staying in the area.

Herbs may be used in cooking; they smell good and can enhance the flavor of your dishes.

Cats are readily deterred by rosemary, lemon balm, lavender, thyme, mint, sage, marigolds, fennel seeds, ginger root, peppermint oil, and water peppercorns.

If fresh herbs are unavailable, dried herbs are also effective in keeping cats and other animals away from your garden.

Cats hate the strong odors of many of these herbs, and they won’t venture into a garden where they’ve detected their scent.