Do Coffee Grounds Deter Cats?

Neighbouring cats can be a problem in your garden and gardeners have tried many different natural ways to keep cats off their property. So do coffee grounds deter cats effectively? Here we’re going to look at the use of coffee grounds for repelling cats.

The Quick Answer

Coffee grounds do deter cats. As always, each cat is different so it may work well for one cat but not work at all for another cat.

Do Cats Like the Smell of Coffee?

Cats highly dislike the smell of coffee grounds and will avoid areas that smell like coffee. They do not like the strong concentrated smell, although some may be used to it if they come from a house or garden that frequently smells like coffee. 

Are Coffee Grounds Safe for Deterring Cats?

Whilst coffee grounds are effective at deterring cats, they can actually be quite dangerous for them.

Coffee contains a toxin that is very harmful to cats and dogs, and ingestion of a moderate amount of coffee grounds can be severely life-threatening for them.

This means that if you do plan to deter cats from using the smell of coffee grounds, make sure that they cannot actually get to the coffee itself. For example, cover it in netting so that they cannot ingest it accidentally but still be deterred by the smell. 

How to Use Coffee Grounds to Deter Cats

As we have mentioned, coffee grounds can be dangerous for cats, so you need to make sure to keep them covered and inaccessible.

The most effective way of deterring cats with coffee grounds is to use used coffee grounds, not fresh ones. Used grounds smell stronger so they work better. Put the used grounds around your garden in the soil of your plants. You should also pour some water on them every couple of days to keep the scent strong.

Using coffee grounds can be very good as they are natural and biodegradable. As well as this, when they do start to break down in the soil, they provide some very good nutrients to help the plants grow. 

Do Coffee Grounds Deter Cats

What Other Smells Deter Cats?

Cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans so it makes sense that they would also be put off by a number of other strong smells. Here are a few examples of other smells that can also work to prevent cats from coming into your garden.

  • Lavender
    Whilst it is commonly like amongst humans, cats do not like the sweet smell of lavender. Lavender is easy to grow and works great at repelling cats, especially if you intersperse it with plants that attract cats, such as catnip. 
  • Citrus Fruits
    Cats are also said to dislike the smell of citrus fruits. Using citrus sprays or placing citrus peels, such as orange peels, at the base of plants is said to be effective for keeping areas of your garden free of cats.
  • Peppermint Oil
    Whilst there is a bit of debate as to if this deters cats, the use of this oil is said to be very effective at preventing cats from peeing in certain areas.

Does Lavender Repel Cats


Cats do not like coffee and can be deterred through the use of coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds can be placed in soil to repel cats, but if ingested they can be harmful so make them inaccessible for cats.

Coffee also deters other pests such as ants, slugs and squirrels. There are other smells that are supposed to repel cats which include lavender and citrus. 

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05/15/2021 02:03 pm GMT

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