Does Curry Powder Deter Cats?

There are a number of spices and herbs which are known to deter cats effectively. Curry powder is a mixture of different spices but can this work? Does curry powder deter cats effectively or will they ignore it?

Yes, curry powder can deter cats. Cats have an amazing sense of smell, and they dislike the pungent smell of curry powder, so they avoid going near it. 

No matter how much you love animals, they can get on your nerves if they start messing up your garden – cats, as you will be well aware are one of the most frustrating!

Areas of your garden where you’ve spent time and effort making it look pretty with plants and flowers can get ruined if a cat starts digging or chewing plants. Cats also use soft soil as their own personal litter boxes.

Curry powder, apart from being a great ingredient in cooking, can also be used as an effective deterrent. Cats have a heightened sense of smell, and curry powder’s smell which is pleasant to us will be unbearable and repulsive to cats. Due to the strong smell of curry powder, a cat will avoid the area the smell is coming from. 

Is Curry Powder Toxic to Cats?

Curry powder’s strong smell is unbearable to cats but can it also be harmful? Because curry powder has garlic and onion powders in it most of the time and these are toxic to cats, this makes curry powder toxic to cats if ingested.

However, it is not 100% certain if the small doses of curry powder you spread around the garden to keep cats away would be toxic to them or not, as there’s no proven evidence. 

Also, cats are very smart and clever animals, and if something is toxic or harmful to them, they will most likely stay away and avoid going near it. Their strong sense of smell notifies them of anything that is a possible danger. 

Fed Up With Cats In Your Garden?

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How Do You Use Curry Powder to Deter Cats?

A cat’s sense of smell is very different to ours. The smells that we may find pleasant are sometimes horrid to a cat.

Due to a sense of smell that is 14 times more powerful than an average person’s sense of smell, a cat will find the strong smell of curry powder repulsive and unbearable to be even near it.

A cat’s nose has double the receptors as our noses. With such a powerful nose, something we find appealing and delicious may be the opposite for a cat. Similarly, something that we may find repulsive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the same with your cat. 

You can use curry powder in several ways to deter cats.

Some people sprinkle curry powder in their garden and flower beds to protect them from being used as litter boxes by a pesky cats. If you want to deter cats from entering your garden, you can sprinkle curry powder under the trees where cats most often like to roam around. 

Another way you can use curry powder to deter cats is by using pierced sachets and putting them in every corner of the garden.

For most effective results, you can mix curry powder with other ingredients that cats despise to create a spray. Mix the ingredients, and put them in the spray bottle to make a homemade cat repellent spray.

Ingredients you can use to make an effective repellent is water and several spices and herbs that cats hate the smell of. Some effective herbs and spices are rosemary, cinnamon, lavender, citrus peels, and vinegar. 

Mix a teaspoon of each of them with water with a couple of drops of lemon essential oils and spray it on any area you want to deter cats from.

Do Cats Hate the Smell of Curry Powder?

Yes, the reason that curry powder can be used to deter cats is that they hate the smell of it so much. It has a strong, pungent odour that cats, with their strong sense of smell, find unpleasant.

Should You Use Curry Powder to Deter Cats?

Curry powder is an effective deterrent to shoo away cats from ruining your garden. Cats cannot stand the unbearable smell of curry powder and will run away from an area that smells like it. 

No matter how effective curry powder is for deterring cats, there’s no clear evidence if it’s harmful to cats or not. The uncertainty of it being toxic to cats or a dangerous way to deter cats makes it concerning to use curry powder as a deterrent. 

Though cats are intelligent and can sense if anything is harmful to them or not, and if it is, they will most likely stay away. As curry powder has such a pungent smell, cats will most definitely stay away from it, so you don’t have to worry if your cat ingests it or if you should use it as a deterrent for cats. 

Can Curry Powder Harm Plants?

When using curry powder in the garden, it’s unlikely to harm your plants but we would still err on the side of caution. Use it sparingly and try to not place it directly onto your plants. Instead, use it on the soil around plants.


Cats can be amazing and loving pets, but their curiosity sometimes can get annoying. A curious cat may wander into places you don’t want them roaming around in.

To deter cats from areas such as a garden, you can use curry powder, as cats hate its smell, or mix it with other ingredients such as spices and herbs that cats dislike to make a cat repellent. 

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