Does Bleach Repel Cats?

Does Bleach Repel Cats

There are a lot of different methods for discouraging cats from gardens and homes and repelling them from certain areas. Much of this advice is fantastic and has helped many people with their feline problems. But what about bleach? Does bleach repel cats?

Yes, bleach may repel cats from your garden but it is not guaranteed to work. Using bleach to keep cats away is also inhumane and there are moral questions to ask of its use in the garden. 

Will Bleach Keep Cats Away?

In occasional cases, it may work. There seem to be a few people who swear by it as a solution and choose to spray their wheelie bins with water and bleach solutions to discourage cats from urinating there.

But there are also plenty of people who have said this doesn’t work!

You would think it would work. Bleach is toxic and smells absolutely awful to humans. If you get the lemon-scented bleach then it has the double whammy of being citrus-scented and bleach scented! A mixture that a cat should absolutely hate.

However, there’s no conclusive evidence that bleach will keep cats away from pooping in your garden, unfortunately.

The general consensus is that instead of repelling cats, bleach can actually encourage them! Nobody seems to know why, but many cats seem to like the smell of bleach and will be attracted to it, choosing to roll around in it.

They look like they are having the time of their life which is the opposite reaction those looking to repel cats are looking for.

Do Cats Like Bleach?

Yes, cats for some reason seem to like bleach. There’s no definitive reason why cats like bleach but one suggestion is that the smell of bleach gives off the same scent as pheromones.

Cats have highly sensitive noses and they pick up a particular chemical compound in the bleach which they attribute to pheromones.

Does Bleach Keep Cats Away?

There are many issues with bleach as a cat repellent and it does not make a good solution to your unwanted visitor issue and cats being attracted to the scent is only the start of it.

Will the Smell of Bleach Keep Cats Away?

No, the smell of bleach is unlikely to deter cats. For some reason, cats actually like the smell of bleach so you may find the smell attracts them instead.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bleach

The main issue with bleach is that it is toxic. It is toxic to humans. It is toxic to dogs. In fact, it is toxic to most animals, insects and wildlife. And yes, it is also toxic to cats.

Any animal who comes into contact with bleach can suffer from skin rashes, burns and if absorbed into the skin or worse is ingested then it can cause serious illness and even death.

There are plenty of other cat repellent solutions that are not harmful that you can consider.

Another consideration with using bleach as a cat repellent is that the place most people want to deter cats from is their back gardens. Adding bleach to a garden can only result in one thing – an unhealthy garden where things struggle to grow!

Plants, grass and all kinds of wildlife will also be killed by bleach being sprayed onto them. On top of that, you end up with a garden that smells like a bleached bathroom instead of a wonderfully floral oasis.

What You Should Never Do With Bleach Outdoors

Bleach does not make a good cat repellent. It can cause serious harm to the cat and no one wants to feel responsible for hurting an animal.

Bleach has very little use outdoors in general but here are a few specific things that bleach should definitely not be used for and how it can damage the environment:

  • Never spray directly onto an animal, even an unwanted cat. Bleach can be absorbed through the skin causing skin irritation, rashes, poisoning and will even kill a cat.
  • Don’t use bleach in a way a cat or any animal might end up ingesting it. It is toxic and can kill them.
  • Don’t spray bleach around areas where animals and wildlife scratch, eat, drink or sleep. It isn’t good for them and is likely to hurt them.
  • Never use bleach on plants, your lawn or anywhere else you hope to grow plants. It kills the plants and will destroy the soil and make it too toxic for things to grow.
  • Never use undiluted bleach anywhere in your garden. Gardeners do state there are some very occasional uses for bleach in a garden but these are rare and specific and should always be done very carefully.

What Alternatives to Bleach are there?

It is clear that bleach is not a great option for a cat repellent. It doesn’t work and it is dangerous to wildlife. That doesn’t mean there are no other options out there that are much safer for you, your garden and for the cats.

You can use the many cat deterrent options that include cat proof fencing and plants that cats avoid or even make your own natural cat deterrent sprays using natural ingredients.

It’s frustrating. But using toxic repellents is not the right approach to take.


Although bleach might repel cats, it is not guaranteed to work nor is it something we would endorse. It could cause long term damage to the cat and also impact other animals and plants in the garden. Instead, we would recommend using a natural cat deterrent. 

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