Tricks to Keep Cats Away from Plants

Cats have an excellent sense of smell that easily detects odors. For this reason, they hate strong scents and this can be used to repel them easily.
Tricks to Keep Cats Away from Plants

Last update: 18 December, 2021

It’s a well-known fact that cats and plants aren’t the best combination in the world. Cats enjoy digging in the dirt and sleeping in cool places (like the damp soil of your plants), not to mention how much they enjoy eating them. So pay attention to the following tricks to keep cats away from plants.

The best thing you can do to keep cats away from your plants is to look for some kind of smell that scares them away. Cats have a very keen sense of smell (not better than a dog’s, but certainly more powerful than ours), so you can look for substances that they don’t like (making sure they’re not toxic) and spray them on your plants. Here are some ideas.

Tips to keep cats away from plants

A cat eating grass.



Cats dislike citrus smells, so this is a good way to repel them. You can shred lemon or orange peels and put them on top of the soil of your plants. This will also act as a fertilizer and can look very nice if you use pale tones in contrast to the strong greens of the plants or the dark color of the soil.

If you don’t want the peels to be seen on the plants, then you can use citrus-scented oils, soak a cotton ball in it and place it behind the plant or in a nearby place where it won’t be seen.

Repellent plants

If you have an outdoor garden and want to protect it, either from your cats or the neighbors’, you can plant some plants that cats don’t like. For example, use citronella or chives. These plants give pretty flowers, are easy to maintain, and will keep cats away from your garden.

Coffee or tea

Something which is so appealing to most humans, but will make your cat run away, is the smell of coffee. Neither do cats like the smell of tea leaves. Therefore, you can use these elements (either together or separately) and make a mixture with mustard seeds and place them in the soil.


Another option for balcony plants or outdoor plants is to mix water with tobacco and let it sit for a few days. Then pour this liquid over the soil of the plants. An extra benefit of this method is that it will serve as a natural insecticide.


Pepper is characterized by having a very strong and penetrating aroma, so it’s a good option to keep your cat away from plants. To use it, just dilute it in a little water and apply it with a spray around the area.

Garlic cloves

Now, if you want to prevent your cat from devouring the plants, crush some garlic cloves and mix them with water and let them stand for a day or two. Pour the liquid into a spray container and cover the leaves of your plants with the mixture. Cats are very picky with flavors and garlic doesn’t appeal to them at all.

Pet repellents

You can buy commercial repellents that help you to keep pets away from certain areas. It is a liquid that’s used for training, so it doesn’t harm your cat in any way. Just spray it in conflict areas to keep them away.

Other methods

Keep cats away from plants.

Aluminum foil

Cover the containers with aluminum foil. The sound and texture of foil is unpleasant for cats, which is why they prefer to stay away from foil-covered surfaces, and they’ll never use it as a scratching post.

Water in a spray bottle

The simple, old and familiar method of spraying water on your cat is still an effective trick to teach your cat to stay away from plants. However, it’s a strategy that requires patience, and while you’re waiting for it to bear fruit, your plants will suffer the consequences. However, out of all the suggestions we’ve given, this is the most effective when thinking long-term.

Give them fresh spaces and plants to eat

Cats like to eat grass, especially when they want to have a bit of a detox, and this is what makes them want to consume your plants. Bring some for them to eat from time to time, so they won’t have the urge to eat the ones they find in the house. Also, a cool place to sleep can discourage them from sleeping on your ferns.

Stones on top of the soil

Putting small stones on top of the soil that’s exposed on your plants (either in the garden or in the pots) is a good way to keep cats from digging it up. The texture of the stones won’t hurt their pads, as they just don’t like the way it feels on their paws.

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