Filed Under: Cats

Does Chilli Powder Deter Cats?


by Ryan Finch

While cats make adorable companions for some, most of us do not enjoy them loitering around in our gardens. There are many home remedies that people have used to prevent cats from entering their space. One such remedy that we hear of is chilli powder. But does chilli powder deter cats effectively?

Yes, chilli powder does deter cats. If you are looking to deter cats from your garden, you can sprinkle chilli powder around your garden.

By sprinkling chilli powder in your garden, you can deter any cats that come there. Chilli powder is hot and irritates the cat if it walks on it. Once the cat licks the powder, it will irritate it. However, the scent of the chilli powder should be enough to keep any cats away.

Will Chilli Powder Hurt Cats?

If you love cats, you may not like the idea of using chilli powder on cats. However, chilli powder is an excellent way to prevent cats from spoiling your garden. There is a notion that chilli powder will harm cats. But is this really the case?

Well, it depends. You can actually put extra hot chilli powder down in the garden. Since cats have strong odour senses, they will smell the chilli powder and avoid the area and not actually come into contact with the chilli powder.

Even if a cat comes into your garden, the chilli powder should only get into its paws and irritate it but is unlikely to cause serious harm to it. Harm can be caused, however, if a cat were to ingest large quantities of chilli powder so do use it with caution.

Is Chilli Powder Toxic to Cats?

Yes, chilli powder can make cats sick if they ingest it which is why it’s not the best idea to use it in the garden.

How to Use Chilli Powder to Deter Cats

So, if you are tired of cats messing up your garden, an easy way to deter them is to use chilli powder. If used correctly, chilli powder will keep cats away. You can use chilli powder in various ways to deter cats:

Sprinkle Chilli Powder

The first way you can use chilli powder is the easiest method. You will take some chilli powder and sprinkle it around your garden, where cats usually come and poop. Although this method is easy and simple, there is the risk of rain washing away your hard work.

The other drawback to this method is that you need to use quite a lot of chilli powder for this to be effective. It can also become more and more expensive if you have a large garden that attracts multiple cats.

Make a Cat Repellent Spray

Another way to use chilli powder to deter cats is to mix it with vinegar or water to make a spray. By mixing the chilli powder with vinegar, you will create a bad-smelling spray that cats will hate. You can spray the mixture in your garden where cats come the most often.

Consider where cats both poop and where they enter your garden and douse those areas in your newly created spray.

Cats will smell the strong-smelling mixture from afar and avoid trespassing into your garden. Unfortunately, spraying a mixture with chilli powder can harm cats if they lick it.

Soak Teabags

Another method you can use is to soak tea bags in the same vinegar-chilli mixture and keep them in a bottle with holes. Simply take a 2l Coca-Cola bottle, punch holes in the side of it using a fork and then fill it with your soaked tea bags.

By doing so, the scent will linger through the garden and keep all cats away but will also make the teabags inaccessible to cats ensuring no harm is done to them.

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:

What Other Spices Will Deter Cats?

If cats come into your garden and irritate you, you will be looking for ways to stop them. Chilli powder is one method but many people turn towards using other home remedies to deter cats because it is cheap and easy.

Below is a list of common spices that can be used to deter cats from your garden, besides chilli powder:

Cayenne Pepper

One common spice that we all have in our kitchen cupboard is cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is hot and spicy and the strong odour can be used to deter cats, much like chilli powder.

The purpose of using cayenne pepper is for its scent. This spice gives off a strong scent that cats do not like. Using cayenne pepper in spray or powder form will help keep cats off your garden. You could even try mixing it with chilli powder for double the impact.

Mustard Powder

Mustard powder is a spice that even we as humans find to be strong. Cats have way more odour sensors than humans, so imagine how strong the scent of mustard powder is for them. You’ll want to find English mustard powder which packs a particularly powerful punch.


While cinnamon is a smell that humans enjoy, cats do not like it. You can place cinnamon sticks in your garden or sprinkle cinnamon powder. The advantage of using cinnamon sticks is that it is hard for cats to ingest and they can be hung in bushes or pushed into the soil.

The drawback of cinnamon is that cinnamon sticks can be quite a pricey spice to use.

Cinnamon Deters Cats

Black Pepper

You can use black pepper to deter cats that come into your garden. Black pepper has a strong scent, and even a whiff of it can make us sneeze. Remember, black pepper’s scent comes off stronger to cats.

The great thing is that black pepper is particularly cheap compared to other spices. We would avoid using whole peppercorns as they tend not to give off as much of a smell. Instead, make sure you grind the peppercorns up a little to release their peppery scent.


Chilli powder, chilli flakes and cayenne pepper are already notoriously hot spices that work great against cats. In addition to these, paprika is also an effective spice that works against cats. Make sure you opt for hot paprika and not sweet paprika.


If you have been to the Middle East or are familiar with the cuisine, you will know about asafoetida. Asafoetida is a strong spice that has notes of garlic and onion. The scent of this spice deters cats, and using it will help prevent cats in your garden.

Lemon Thyme

Lastly, you can use lemon thyme to keep cats away. Cats do not like the strong scent of lemon in this spice as they do not like citrus scents. Therefore, you can choose to plant lemon thyme in your garden to prevent any cats from entering and use it simultaneously.

On the other hand, you can also sprinkle the herb in your garden where cats intrude the most.

Lemon Thyme Deters Cats

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