Planting herbs is one of the most effective ways to deter cats without hurting them. You’ve probably seen cats being disgusted by the smell of many herbs with strong smells… So, do curry plants deter cats too?
Curry plants, like other herbs with strong odours, can effectively deter cats as they despise intense smells, and the smell of curry is off-putting to them.
Cats have strong senses that are 14 times stronger than our senses. They can see clearly, hear even the subtlest sounds and have extremely sensitive noses.
A smell with a slightly bitter or pungent odour will be significantly stronger for a cat. Herbs, such as rosemary and curry plants, effectively deter cats due to their strong smells.
If there is an area of your garden that you want to protect from cats then planting a curry plant is an effective option.
Cats can often use the soft soil in your garden as their personal litter box. If you find that your neighbour’s cat is visiting the same spot repeatedly, then try filling it with curry plants (or other strong-smelling herbs or plants).
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Are Curry Plants Toxic to Cats?
There is no clear proof that curry plants (or curry powder) are harmful to cats, so it’ll be fine to plant them in a garden.
Cats also can sense things that may harm them, so a cat will normally stay away from curry plants because of how pungent their smell is to cats.
The other benefit of curry plants is that their leaves are rigid, rough and coarse. When a cat comes into contact with it, they dislike the texture and will, therefore, avoid going near it. This reduces the chance of a cat wanting to consume it.
We would advise against allowing cats to eat curry plant leaves. Although there are no reports to confirm their toxicity level, we would always err on the side of caution.
How Do You Use Curry Plants to Deter Cats?
Planting curry plants to deter cats isn’t complicated and is a straightforward task. Simply, plant a row of them in any area where a cat likes to visit often.
Place the curry plant where the cat will most likely enter the garden. You can surround the garden with curry plants or plant them at entry points. Yo
u can also plant them in places you want to protect from cats such as raised veg planters or herb gardens.
Ensure you plant plenty, so cats don’t have time to stay or explore the garden. You can also try combining curry plants with other strong-smelling plants to create the ultimate undesirable flower bed. Rosemary, curry plants, lemon balm, mint and Coleus Canina can all be planted in one bed.
Should You Use Curry Plants to Deter Cats?
Before you plant curry plants all over your garden, it’s best to know if curry plants are going to hurt cats or harm other plants in the garden.
Curry plants deter cats with the strong smell that cats hate. Their strong smell is offputting and uncomfortable to a cat’s sensitive nose so they’ll immediately avoid an area with curry plants.
This makes it an effective deterrent, but if it were harmful, a cat likely wouldn’t approach it because of its smell, making it a safe way to deter a cat.
Curry plants have rough leaves, so even if a cat wanted to chew on their leaves, it wouldn’t be able to as they’re coarse and chewing them would be discomforting.
They won’t harm or hurt the cat, but if a cat brushed past them, it would feel uncomfortable on their skin, so cats avoid curry plants because of their uncomfortable texture and strong smell.
Can Curry Plants Impact Other Plants?
If you’re worried curry plants will harm other plants, then yes, they can.
Curry plants are sometimes invasive as they spread quickly wherever you plant them – much like mint – sucking nutrients from the soil as they do.
This can affect the other plants you have in your garden, so it’s advised to plant curry plants sparingly or place curry plants in a pot so you can move them wherever you want.
The other option is that the strong odour can transfer to other nearby plants, especially tender herbs or vegetables. If you’re going to plant curry plants, then try to keep them away from delicate vegetables which you will end up consuming.
There are various plants which work well to deter cats from your garden. If it has a strong smell or a rough texture then, chances are, it will deter cats. This includes lemon thyme, rue, Coleus Canina and lavender.
Cats can sometimes be annoying, even if you’re the most cat-loving person. To deter cats from your garden, you need something with a strong smell or a texture uncomfortable to a cat.
Curry plants have both. They have a smell that cats find offputting and a texture that feels discomforting to them, making curry plants an effective deterrent.
Unlike curry, which is toxic to cats, curry plants are harmless and are easy to use as deterrents; you simply need to plant them in areas that you want cat-free.
It’s worth knowing that curry plants can be quite invasive if planted in the ground and can also transfer odours to other edibles in the garden. Planting curry plants in pots is the best approach to take.
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Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden