Do Geraniums Deter Cats?

Trying to deter cats from your garden can be a real mission. They seem to love everything you plant! Geraniums are a common plant many gardeners love to include amongst their beds. So, do geraniums deter cats or attract them?

Geraniums can deter cats effectively because of their strong smell, which cats dislike. They particularly dislike the texture of cranesbill geraniums. 

Cats dislike most things with a strong smell or rough texture. Some geraniums can meet these criteria. Bedding geraniums tend not to work as they have smooth leaves and aren’t particularly fragrant. It is cranesbill geraniums that you want to use.

Bedding Geraniums

How Do You Use Geraniums to Deter Cats?

If you want to try to use geraniums to deter cats, then the best way to do this is to plant them throughout your flower beds. If you know of a particular area where a cat enters your garden, then make sure you create a barrier of geraniums.

Unfortunately, geraniums will only deter cats from that particular area so, unless you plan on filling your entire garden with them, you need to think about where to plant them fairly strategically.

Why Do Cats Hate Geraniums?

Cats hate many things, and most of these have something in common: Everything a cat hates has either a strong smell or appearance that is foreign to them.

Cats have sensitive noses and paws, so whatever bothers them on their paws or smells pungent, they will avoid it. Cats dislike plants such as geranium because of their smell. 

To us, geraniums might smell very pleasant and soothing, but to a cat, it’s opposite as a geranium’s smell is unbearable to cats to be anywhere around.

Are Geraniums Toxic to Cats?

Geraniums contain essential oils, specifically linalool and gerinaol, which can be toxic if ingested. It is rare for a cat to consume that plant and even rarer for them to consume enough to cause long-term harm.

However, it is worth noting that geranium could cause harm. Unfortunately, many popular garden plants can be toxic so it’s hard to avoid planting everything that could be toxic.

Fed Up With Cats In Your Garden?

We’ve Put Together a Complete and Free Guide on How to STOP Cats From Pooping In Your Garden – Including 9 Deterrents to Try:

Do Cats Hate All Geraniums?

Unfortunately for you, every cat is different. There are a number of plants that deter cats, but not all of them work for every cat. The same can be said for geraniums.

However, if you want to improve the chances of deterring cats with geraniums then stick to cranesbill geraniums. These have rougher leaves, furrier stems and stronger-smelling flowers, all of which can go someway to deterring cats.

Most cats will not avoid bedding, annual geraniums that are common in the summer, unfortunately.

Cranesbill Geranium


Do you still have questions about geraniums and how they deter cats? Then check these out:

Do Cats Like the Smell of Geraniums?

This depends on the variety! Some varieties of geraniums have a subtle lemony scent which will deter cats as most dislike anything citrus-related.

Do Cats Like the Feel of Geraniums?

Cranesbill geraniums can have rough leaves and furry stems, both of which will put cats off. Unfortunately, this will only deter cats from the plant itself.


Some geraniums can be used to deter cats. If you want to use geraniums as part of your plan to deter cats then you should opt for cranesbill geraniums. These have rough leaves, hairy stems and a subtle lemony scent, all of which will deter most cats.


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

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