What Smells Will Cats Stay Away From?

We all know how much we adore our furry friends, but let’s face it – they can be a handful at times. Whether it’s scratching up your furniture or pouncing on your toes in the middle of the night, sometimes you just need a break. But fear not, because there’s a solution that doesn’t involve locking your cat in a closet (please don’t do that).

Enter the power of smells. As it turns out, cats have an incredibly strong sense of smell and there are certain scents they simply can’t stand. In this blog post, we’ll be delving into what smells will keep cats away from certain areas of your home.

First up on the list is citrus. Cats absolutely despise the scent of oranges, lemons, and limes – who knew? These fruity aromas are a natural repellent for cats and can be used to keep them off your bed or sofa.

Next up is vinegar. While its strong odor may not be particularly pleasant for us humans either, it’s even worse for cats. Spraying vinegar around areas where your cat tends to scratch can help deter them from causing any further damage.

Last but not least is eucalyptus oil. This powerful scent is perfect for outdoor areas as most cats can’t stand it. Plus, it doubles as a natural flea repellent so you won’t have to worry about any unwanted pests bothering your kitty.

So there you have it – these simple smells could be just what you need to keep your feline friend at bay. The next time you catch them wreaking havoc in your home, consider using these natural repellents instead of banishing them to the closet (seriously though, don’t do that).

Citrus: Lemons, Oranges, and Grapefruits

As a cat owner, you know how curious and adventurous your furry friends can be. However, there are times when you need to keep them away from certain areas or objects in your home, and it’s not always easy to find a safe and effective solution. Luckily, there is a natural option that cats hate – citrus.

Cats have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, and some scents can be overwhelming or unpleasant for them. One of the most common smells that cats dislike is citrus. The strong scent of lemons, oranges, and grapefruits contains a compound called limonene, which can be irritating and overwhelming for cats.

The good news is that you can use citrus as a natural deterrent for cats. You can place slices of lemon or orange around your home in areas where you don’t want your cat to go, such as on countertops or near plants. You can also use citrus-scented sprays or diffusers to keep cats away from certain areas.

However, it’s essential to note that while citrus is generally safe for cats, some cats may have an adverse reaction to the scent. If you notice any signs of discomfort or agitation in your cat after using citrus as a deterrent, discontinue use immediately. Additionally, make sure that any citrus fruit or product you use is out of reach of your cat and not ingested since citrus can be toxic in large amounts.

Apart from citrus smells, other natural remedies can deter cats from certain areas or objects. Peppermint oil or sprays and vinegar are also commonly used as natural cat repellents. Cats are also known to avoid certain herbal scents such as lavender, eucalyptus, and rue.

Peppermint Oil or Sprays

Cats can be playful and curious, but sometimes their curiosity can lead them to areas or objects that they shouldn’t be around. When it comes to deterring them from these areas, peppermint oil or sprays are often recommended as a natural and safe solution.

Peppermint oil is known for its strong scent that many cats find unpleasant. Applying peppermint oil can be done in various ways, such as diffusing it throughout the home or directly spraying it on surfaces. However, it’s important to note that not all cats may find the scent unpleasant, and caution should be taken when using peppermint oil as it should always be diluted before use and never applied directly to a cat’s skin or ingested by them due to toxicity risks.

If peppermint oil doesn’t work for your cat, there are sprays available with scents like citrus, eucalyptus, or lavender. These sprays can be purchased commercially or made at home using essential oils and water. When using sprays, it’s crucial to make sure they are safe for pets and do not cause harm or discomfort to the cat.

While peppermint oil and sprays can be effective solutions for some cats, it’s important to note that they may not work for all. Therefore, it’s essential to consider alternative methods such as providing appropriate scratching posts or toys and creating positive associations with preferred areas for your cat. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist may also be necessary if your cat’s behavior becomes problematic.

Vinegar: A Common Household Cleaner

Look no further than vinegar, a versatile household cleaner that can also double as a cat repellent.

Cats have a keen sense of smell and can be deterred by certain scents, including the strong odor of vinegar. Diluting vinegar with water and spraying it in areas where cats are not welcome, such as on furniture or plants, can discourage them from approaching the area and prevent them from scratching or marking their territory.

However, it’s important to use vinegar in moderation and test it on a small area first. Too much vinegar can be harmful to plants and surfaces, and direct contact with vinegar can irritate cats’ skin. So, use it wisely and keep your furry friends away from sprayed areas.

But wait, there’s more. Vinegar has additional benefits for pet owners. It can be used to clean pet stains and odors from carpets and upholstery, providing a natural alternative to harsh chemicals. And for those pesky fleas and ticks, try using vinegar as a rinse after bathing pets to help deter them from returning.

Herbal Scents: Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Rue

However, sometimes our attempts at natural remedies can actually be harmful to our pets. This is particularly true when it comes to herbal scents like lavender, eucalyptus, and rue.

Lavender, with its calming and relaxing properties, is a popular herbal scent. However, it can actually be toxic to cats. Ingesting lavender can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. Furthermore, the essential oils in lavender can irritate a cat’s sensitive nose and cause respiratory issues. So while it might be beneficial for humans, it’s best to keep lavender away from our feline friends.

Eucalyptus is another scent that should be avoided around cats. The strong odor of eucalyptus oil can cause respiratory distress in cats and even lead to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Applying eucalyptus oil directly to a cat’s skin or fur can also be absorbed into their bloodstream and cause toxicity. This makes it important to keep all eucalyptus products away from cats.

Rue is an herb commonly used for medicinal purposes but should not be used around cats. Rue contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upset, seizures, and even death if ingested in large enough quantities. This means that any products containing rue should be kept far away from cats, including essential oils and herbal supplements.

It is essential to remember that just because something is natural does not mean it is safe for our pets. If you are unsure about the safety of a particular scent or product, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before using it around your cat. This includes any new scents or products that you may want to introduce into your home.

Essential Oils for Keeping Cats Out of Certain Areas

Enter essential oils.

Essential oils have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits, but did you know that they can also be used to keep cats out of unwanted areas? Here are some ways to use essential oils to deter your kitty from accessing restricted zones:

  • Dilute and spray: Blend a few drops of essential oil with water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spritz the solution in areas where you want to discourage your cat’s presence, such as furniture or plants. Remember to shake the bottle before every use, as the oil and water will separate.
  • Soak cotton balls: Soak cotton balls in the essential oil and place them strategically around the area you want your cat to avoid. You can also place them inside a small container with holes punched in the lid for longer-lasting effect.
  • Add to cleaning products: Combine a few drops of essential oil with your cleaning products, such as floor cleaners or countertop sprays. This will leave a scent that cats find unpleasant and discourage them from coming near those surfaces.

However, it’s crucial to understand that not all essential oils are safe for cats. Some oils, such as lavender and tea tree, can be toxic if ingested or applied directly to the skin. Always dilute essential oils and consult with your veterinarian before using them around your furry friend, particularly if they have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant.

The Benefits of Natural Deterrents for Cat Owners

We all know how much we adore our feline friends, but let’s face it – they can be a handful sometimes. From scratching up the furniture to digging in the garden, it can be a struggle to keep them from causing damage around the house. However, there is a simple and effective solution to this problem: natural deterrents.

Using natural deterrents is not only a practical way to keep your cats away from certain areas, but it’s also humane. These deterrents use scents that cats find unpleasant or overwhelming, such as citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. You can use these scents in various forms – essential oils, sprays, or even by strategically placing plants around your home or garden.

The benefits of natural deterrents are numerous. Unlike chemical repellents which can be harmful to both cats and humans, natural options are safe and won’t cause any harm. Additionally, they are often more affordable and easier to find than chemical alternatives.

What Smells Will Cats Stay Away From-2

Another advantage of using natural deterrents is that they help prevent unwanted behavior from cats that can cause damage to your property. If your cat loves to dig in your garden, planting some eucalyptus or lavender around the perimeter will keep them away. Similarly, if your cat loves to scratch up your furniture, try spraying some citrus-scented spray on the areas they like to scratch.

How to Use Natural Deterrents Effectively

Natural deterrents can be a great solution to this problem, but it’s important to use them effectively. Here are some tips on how to use natural deterrents to keep cats away from certain areas:

Identify the Problem Areas

The first step in using natural deterrents is identifying the areas where you want to keep cats away from. This may include your garden or certain rooms in your home. By pinpointing these areas, you can create a more targeted approach.

Choose the Right Deterrent

There are several smells that cats dislike, including citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint. You can use essential oils or fresh herbs to create sachets or sprays that can be placed in the areas you want to keep cats away from. However, it’s important to note that some essential oils can be toxic to cats, so do your research and choose safe options.

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a great natural deterrent as cats dislike its strong smell. You can dilute vinegar with water and spray it on furniture or other surfaces that cats may try to scratch or climb on.

Regularly Clean the Area

Cats are attracted to areas where they can smell their own scent, so regularly cleaning any areas where they have been can help deter them from returning. A strong-smelling cleaner can help get rid of their scent and discourage them from revisiting the area.

Provide Appropriate Alternatives

Finally, it’s important to provide cats with appropriate scratching posts and toys to keep them occupied and away from areas they shouldn’t be in. This can help prevent them from being tempted to scratch or climb on furniture or other off-limit areas.

Common Mistakes When Using Natural Deterrents

Natural deterrents, like essential oils and vinegar, can be a great solution. However, there are some common mistakes to avoid when using them.

Firstly, don’t assume that all natural scents will repel cats. While some cats may not like certain smells like citrus, lavender or eucalyptus, others may be completely unfazed or even attracted to these scents. It’s important to test different scents and find what works for your specific cat.

Another mistake is not using enough of the deterrent. Simply placing a few drops of essential oil around an area may not create a strong enough barrier to keep cats away. Make sure to use enough of the scent without overdoing it.

Additionally, avoid using deterrents in areas where your cat already feels comfortable or safe. Placing a deterrent where they’ve already established a favorite spot may cause them stress or anxiety. Instead, focus on areas where they’re prone to misbehave.

Lastly, it’s important to choose natural deterrents that are safe for your cat. Some essential oils can be harmful if ingested or absorbed through their skin. Do your research before trying any new scent and always err on the side of caution. In some cases, physical barriers like fences or covers may be a safer option.


To sum it up, natural deterrents are a humane and effective solution to keep cats away from restricted areas. With their strong sense of smell, cats can be repelled by certain scents that they find unpleasant. From citrus and vinegar to eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil, there are various smells that you can use to discourage your furry friend from entering specific spaces.

However, it’s crucial to use natural deterrents with caution. You must test different scents to determine what works best for your cat, use the right amount of scent without overwhelming them, and avoid using deterrents in areas where your cat feels safe or comfortable. Furthermore, it’s important to choose natural deterrents that are safe for your cat since some essential oils like lavender and tea tree can be toxic if ingested or applied directly on the skin. Therefore, always dilute essential oils and seek advice from your veterinarian before using them around your pet.

By following these simple tips and using natural deterrents correctly, you can prevent unwanted behavior from cats while keeping them happy and secure.