Do Cats Like Lavender?

As someone who’s had my fair share of feline foes messing up my precious garden, I’m always questioning which plants they like and dislike. So, what about one of the most popular bee-loving plants there is: Do cats like lavender or not?

Some cats, although a small number, like the smell of lavender. However, most cats do not like lavender and will avoid it where possible. 

Humans might find lavender’s scent calming and soothing, but for cats, it’s a whole different story. Cats have a sense of smell that’s around 14 times stronger than ours, so imagine how potent that lavender aroma must be for them!

However, as with many plants that can be used as a deterrent. There are many factors that will influence the efficacy of it. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Lavender Species
    Not all lavender is created equal. Some species have a more potent aroma than others. For instance, Lavandula angustifolia, often called English lavender, has a strong scent that cats might find particularly off-putting.
  2. Plant Health
    The healthier your lavender plant, the stronger its scent will be. So, if you’re looking to use lavender as a cat deterrent, you’ll want to ensure your plants are well-tended and thriving.
  3. Weather Conditions
    Believe it or not, the weather can impact the efficacy of lavender. On hot, dry days, the scent of lavender becomes more intense, potentially making it a better cat deterrent.
  4. Placement in Garden
    Where you plant your lavender can make a difference. If it’s tucked away in a corner, its deterrent effect may be minimal. However, strategically placed near the areas cats frequent, it could be more effective.

Does Lavender Attract Cats?

I’d love to tell you that lavender is the magic plant that sends all cats packing. But in truth, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Some cats might be deterred by the strong aroma of lavender. Yet, others could be oddly attracted to it. This usually has more to do with the plant’s intriguing texture and less with its scent.

Cats are curious, after all. They love to investigate new things in their environment, especially if those things are fun to paw at or roll in. And lavender, with its enticing, bushy form and delicate flowers, might just tickle their fancy.

So, while lavender might send most cats running, for others, it could be an unexpected source of amusement. Annoying, I know, but that’s cats for you!

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How to Use Lavender to Deter Cats?

Want to give lavender a shot as a cat deterrent? Here are a few strategies that could help keep those furry nuisances at bay:

Strategic Planting of Lavender

Simply plant lavender in the cat’s favourite spots in your garden. The potent aroma should make these areas less attractive to them.

The benefit, of course, is that this method is natural, safe, and adds a beautiful touch to your garden. But, not all cats dislike lavender, and some may even enjoy rolling in it.

Pick a Pungeant Variety

Choose a variety of lavender with a particularly strong scent, like most English lavender varieties, to enhance this method’s potential success.

Sprinkle Dried Lavender

Sprinkle dried lavender around your garden to keep cats away. When anything is dried, the fragrance becomes more intensified and that’s precisely why I’ve found dried lavender to work so well.

The good news is that this is a relatively low-effort, low-price strategy that doesn’t require growing anything. Of course, the drawback is that you’ll need to replenish the dried lavender regularly, especially after rain.

Combine With Other Scents

Mix dried lavender with other scents cats dislike, like citrus peels or coffee grounds, to create a super-powered deterrent mixture.

Make Lavender Sachets

Instead of sprinkling dried lavender, you can pop them into sachets that can then be spread around the garden.

Like sprinkling dried lavender, this strategy is also low-effort, and sachets can be moved and adjusted as needed. However, cats might play with the sachets, risking ingesting the lavender inside.

Try hanging sachets from tree branches or other high points to keep them out of reach but still allow the scent to circulate.

Remember, no strategy is foolproof for cats, but with patience and some luck, you might find the method that works for your garden!

How Long Does Lavender’s Deterrent Effect Last?

The effectiveness of lavender as a cat deterrent can vary. Some cats may be deterred by the scent for a longer period, while others may become accustomed to it over time. Regularly refreshing the lavender or using a combination of scents can help maintain its effectiveness.

Is Lavender Poisonous to Cats?

While we’re all focused on protecting our gardens from these pesky feline invaders, we must also consider their safety – no matter how much you despise their presence.

Lavender plants in the garden are generally safe for cats. They might not love the smell, but touching or brushing against the plant won’t harm them.

However, considering lavender essential oils or products containing concentrated lavender is a different story. These can be toxic to cats if ingested or applied to their skin.

So, while your garden’s lavender plants shouldn’t pose a problem, keep those lavender-scented products out of cat’s reach – this applies when making cat deterrent sprays, for example. Let’s keep our gardens safe for everyone – even those we wish would explore elsewhere.

How Much Lavender Is Toxic to Cats?

Ingesting even small amounts of lavender essential oil can be toxic to cats, causing gastrointestinal distress, difficulty breathing, and neurological depression. It’s crucial to keep all forms of concentrated lavender, including essential oils, out of a cat’s reach.


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