Does Lavender Oil Repel Cats?

Cat lovers may not approve of this discussion, but it becomes important to repel cats from gardens because of the mess they can create. There are various tricks gardeners are always trying to repel cats, one of them is using essential oils. So, does lavender oil repel cats or not?

Yes, lavender oil does repel cats from your garden. Cats hate strong smells and, as it is concentrated, lavender oil is pungent.

Essential oils are concentrated and are therefore quite strong. You can use lavender essential oil to keep cats out as they hate the strong scent tones in it. Some gardeners also like adding lavender plants in their garden to deter cats.

Is Lavender Oil Safe for Cats?

While you look for ways to deter cats from your garden, it is also important to consider their safety. Cats can be a real nuisance. They can poop in your veg boxes and dig up your plants. However, this does not mean we should harm them.

When it comes to using lavender oil to repel cats, you need to consider its toxicity to cats. Since lavender essential oil is concentrated, it becomes quite toxic, and if the cat inhales or absorbs it, it can result in harm.

Cats can suffer from stomach problems, liver damage and nervous system issues.

Unfortunately, if lavender oil gets on a cat’s fur, it will not rest until it licks itself clean. Moreover, if the cat does not lick off the essential oil by some miracle, it can still get absorbed and enter its body through the skin. 

Using concentrated lavender oils may not be a good idea. You must dilute the oil first and use a few drops to eliminate the damage. There are, however, ways you can use it that is safe as it’s impossible for the cat to actually get to it – we explain these a little further down.

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Is Lavender Oil Safe for Plants?

Another important aspect you must consider before using any method to deter cats is whether it is safe for plants. It would make no sense to repel cats if simultaneously you are causing harm to your plants.

You will be glad to know that using lavender oil on your plants is completely safe.

Research has been done that essential oils are good for plants as they act as herbicides. Moreover, lavender essential oils also stimulate root growth in plants.

How Do You Use Lavender Oil to Repel Cats?

While commercial cat repellents are available, making one of your own has its own benefits. For instance, you will be aware of what is in the repellent, ensuring that you are not harming the environment and it is safe to use around cats.

In addition, making your repellent at home will be cheaper than buying ready-made mixes or using ultrasonic cat repellers.

One core ingredient we are focusing on today is lavender oil. There are a few ways you can use lavender oil in your garden to repel cats. Fortunately for you, cats have strong odour senses, and the simple placement of the scent will be enough to keep them away: 

Cotton Balls

The first thing you must not forget to do is dilute the lavender oil. You can use one-part essential oil to three parts water to form your mix.

After shaking the solution, you can soak some cotton balls in the mix. Next, you can place these balls around in the hotspots of your garden to ensure cats do not come back. 

Lavender Spray

Another way you can use lavender essential oil is by making a spray with it. The same mixture we created for cotton balls can be made stronger by adding additional ingredients and giving it a boil.

You can add cinnamon, rosemary, and sage, and leave the mixture for a few hours, preferably overnight, to ensure it matures.

The next morning, you can strain the mixture and add more things to make it effective. For instance, you can add vinegar or cayenne pepper. Next, place your repellent in a spray bottle and use it on your plants, around your garden fences and any place where cats have pooped or peed.


You can make your own diffuser using a plastic bottle and some tea bags. You simply have to make an opening in the body of the bottle and place tea bags dipped in lavender oil inside.

Next, you can leave the bottle out in your garden, and the lavender scent will linger. 


Got more questions? Check these out!

Do Lavender Plants Deter Cats?

Yes, lavender plants have been known to deter some cats because of the strong smell and texture. Unfortunately, it will not work for every cat, unfortunately. You’ll just have to try it and see what happens.

How Do You Use a Lavender Spray to Deter Cats?

The best way to use lavender spray against cats is to douse areas where they often enter your garden with the spray. This could be gaps in fences, on top of walls or on paths and patios.


Cats have a strong sense of smell, and lavender oil is proven to be effective in repelling them. Lavender oil is concentrated and, therefore, quite pungent.

Unfortunately, lavender oil in its essential form can be dangerous for cats if ingested. The oil can cause stomach problems, nervous system issues, and even liver damage. Therefore, you must dilute the oil before using it. 

Instead, you should consider other methods for deterring cats from your garden.


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

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