Do Cats Hate Tea Tree Oil?

If you have been dealing with cats in your garden, you will look for various ways to get rid of them. It is effective when it comes to cats if you use their sense of smell against them. So, do cats hate tea tree oil or not?

Yes, one of the smells cats hate is tea tree oil. This means you can use it to deter cats from your garden.

Essential oils like tea tree oil are concentrated essences of certain plants and flowers. Hence, this makes these oils very strong. Cats hate tea tree oil, and many people use it to keep them out of their gardens.

Is Tea Tree Oil Toxic to Cats?

Tea tree oil is toxic to cats if it is highly concentrated and has not been diluted. Tea tree oil is harmful to cats as it contains terpenes. Unfortunately, the same properties which make tea tree oil beneficial for humans make it toxic for cats. 

If tea tree oil in its purest form gets absorbed by cats, it will have poisonous effects. Cats are known to be groomers who continuously lick themselves. There is a high chance that cats will get poisoned if exposed to tea tree oil.

Even if cats do not lick the oil off, it can still get absorbed into their skin. 

Should You Use Tea Tree Oil to Deter Cats?

Many people resort to using tea tree oil to deter cats. While it seems effective against cats, tea tree oil can cause serious problems if ingested.

And as aforementioned, there is a high chance that a cat would ingest tea tree oil, and it tends to lick itself clean.

Even the smell of tea tree oil can harm cats if they catch a whiff of it. 

You should only use tea tree oil to deter cats if you dilute it well. Otherwise, this oil is extremely harmful to cats.

You can tell that a cat is suffering from tea tree toxicity if it exhibits certain symptoms. For instance, cats that have ingested tea tree oil in any way will suffer from tremors, become hypothermic, become weak, and have no coordination. 

Cats that have been poisoned will be walking funny as if they are drunk, will lack appetite, and appear lethargic.

Sometimes, tea tree oil poisoning symptoms will not be evident and take time to show. However, cats usually begin displaying symptoms when they quickly ingest the oil.

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How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Deter Cats

One of the most effective ways of dealing with cats in your garden is to use tea tree oil against them. There are various ways you can use this oil against cats. Felines are sensitive to smells and hence find the smell of tea tree oil repulsive.

If you decide to use this oil, it is important to dilute it as the concentrated version is harmful to a cat’s health. Even a few drops of undiluted tea tree oil can cause serious problems in cats. 

Here are a few ways to safely use tea tree oil in the garden:

Make a Spray

The first way to use tea tree oil is by creating a mixture using water. As aforementioned, dilution is important so you can mix a few drops in water.

Before spraying, you must shake it well, so everything gets mixed. You can add additional ingredients to the spray, such as cayenne pepper, which cats do not like to make it stronger. 

One of the major concerns of gardeners is when cats poop or pee in the soil. This is a big problem because cat poop has parasites in it that can harm human health.

You can spray the mixture in areas where cats have been pooping or peeing recently. To see effective results, you need to be consistent with this method. 

Homemade Cat Repellent Spray

Soak Cotton Balls

If you do not wish to make a spray, you can use tea tree essential oil in another way. Again, we recommend diluting the essential oil before using it.

You can dip some cotton balls in the tea tree oil mixture and place them around between the plants and in your garden. 

Make Air Fresheners

Lastly, you can also use essential oils to create your own air fresheners. You do not need to dilute the tea tree oil for this method.

The first thing you should get your hands on is a plastic bottle which you can hand around your garden.

Next, you should cut a hole in the bottle and place cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil inside. The scent will travel, and any passing cat will be sure to avoid your garden. 


You may now know that cats hate the smell of tea tree oil but here are a few more FAQs:

What Essential Oils Deter Cats?

Various essential oils work well to deter cats, but many are toxic so they should be used with caution. The list includes citronella, lavender, rosemary and oregano oils.

Do Cats Like the Smell of Tea Tree Oil?

Some cats will like the smell of tea tree oil. All cats are different so will have different likes and dislikes. Most cats seem to dislike the smell, however.

Is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Cats?

Unfortunately, tea tree oil is not safe for cats. It can be toxic to them and cause serious harm were it to be ingested. It can also cause skin irritation and rashes.


Cats have a strong sense of smell that you can use against them. So you need to ask: Do cats hate tea tree oil? Yes! One of the ways to deter cats is to use tea tree oil.

Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and hate anything powerful, which is why tea tree oil works well. 


Below are some of the sources of information we used to put this article together:

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