9 Plants That Repel Cats: How To Keep Cats Away From Your Precious Garden

You’re finally fulfilling your dream of caring for your own garden – your safe space from this evil world.

And then, one night, you hear strange sounds outside.

You’re a bit of a coward, so you hide under the sheets and — Wait… was that a meow?

Oh no, there’s a cat in your garden! It’s definitely going to destroy the plants!

Now you have to ask yourself: what would Monty Don do to keep cats away from his garden?

He would probably plant these plants to repel cats in his garden, and never have to deal with feral or even household cats in there again!

Will this really work, though? Is it Worth the Time?

Yes, you’re probably wondering if this is going to actually work. Look, there are some tricks most blogs don’t teach you that we’ll share here.

And we did the research, and at least a few of these plants that repel cats should work for your garden in your area. But plants aren’t the only way to repel cats from your garden.

There are different ways to repel cats from your garden.

You can pair these awesome tips below with some of these plants and it should be enough to keep felines away from your garden for a long time.

We haven’t done any research about keeping bears away, though.

You’re on your own for that.

Tips on Keeping Cats Away from Your Garden:

Make the soil uncomfortable to walk on

Cats enjoy walking on grass because it’s soft and also delicious.

Anything soft to walk on will be very comfortable for the cat’s paws. So, make the soil and the floor more uncomfortable by using twigs, pine cones, wood, produce bags and such.

Remember not to use anything that could harm the cats, though.

Water spray

If you were ever a cat mom or dad, you probably know they hate being sprayed water.

You can use sprinklers to keep the cats away from your garden, since they will associate the garden with being sprayed with water.

Uncomfortable smells 

There are some smells that can repel cats.

Some of them are:

  • lavender,
  • lemon thyme,
  • lavender,
  • citrus scent (you can use lemon or orange peels),
  • brewed coffee grounds
  • and commercial cat repellents.

Make it comfortable OUTSIDE of your garden 

If you can and want to, you can be a sweetheart and create something for your cat visitors (or residents) outside of the garden.

Some ideas are an outdoor litter box so they can mark they territory there, bowls with water and food, an outdoor “catio” for them to climb, toys, and cat grass available for them to munch.

This way, most of them might lose interest in your garden. 

But if you need to deter, keep away and even repel cats from your garden, we have an arsenal of plants that can help.

Plants To Deter Cats

Ok, you need to DETER cats from entering your area. How to do it with the power of plants?

There are a few plants that can deter cats from entering your garden.

WARNING: Most of these plants need you to crush leaves, shake or even burn them for the full cat repellent effect! 

Lavender Can Deter Cats

Humans usually love the smell of lavender. Cats, not at all!

Lavender is an excellent choice to deter cats from entering your garden, not only because of the smell, but also because if you plant a lavender barrier around your garden, cats might find the plants too tall to jump over.

Double cat detention and extra beauty for your garden!

Lemon Plants and other Citrus Plants can Deter Cats

Cats really hate citrus smell. You might have seen proof of that in some cat videos showing cats literally running away after smelling a slice of lemon.

So, you can choose any citrus plant, such as lemongrass, lemon thyme, mint, citronella, peppermint and so on.

Coleus Canina can Deter Cats and Other Animals

This awesome cat repellent plant emits a skunk smell! Need I say more? The smell of this plant is uncomfortable not only to cats, but also dogs and other animals. You might be thinking, well… but what about me?

You might not enjoy the smell of this plant very much either. But you can plant the coleus canina around the area of your garden and after cats give up trying to enter the area, you can remove them.

Plants To Keep Cats Away

But how do you KEEP cats AWAY from your garden?

Of course, having a dog could solve this problem.

But the dog could 1) also eat your plants, or 2) be too good of a boy to care about chasing the cat away.

So, these plants can probably do the job of keeping cats away from the garden:

The Scaredy Cat Plant (Coleus canina) that Keeps Cats Away

As the name implies, this plant can scare cats away, surprisingly, with its smell similar to pee.

Your garden will be a territory already claimed by the scaredy cat plant!

Geraniums (Pelargonium varieties) Can Keep Cats Away

These flowers are beautiful and perennial. And cats don’t like their smell. As a bonus, these flowers are also known to help realtors sell homes faster.

Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) can Keep Cats Away

This plant has a distinct smell that cats don’t enjoy, and besides that, it has a bitter flavor.

So, if any cat tries to come close and taste it, they’ll run away and associate the area with the bad smell and flavor.


Plants That Repel Cats AND Mosquitoes

Do you want to go a step further and actually REPEL cats AND those annoying mosquitoes from your Garden?

These plants might do the trick:

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

These plants belong to the mint family, and for that reason, they repel not only cats, but also insects, including mosquitoes. They have a strong mint smell.

Citronella (Pelargonium graveolens citrosa)

This plant keeps cats and pests such as mosquitoes away, they HATE it.

But for the strong smell to work at full capacity, they need to be shaken once in a while.

Curry (Helichrysum augustfolium)

This plant is not the same as the curry you use in the kitchen, it just smells like it.

And cats hate the spicy smell, as well as mosquitoes.

Photo by Nils Jakobi