What Essential Oils Deter Cats?

What Essential Oils Deter Cats

Deterring cats is important because they mess up gardens, but they also leave their poop behind, which has harmful parasites. There are a few ways you can deter cats, and one of them is essential oils. But what essential oils deter cats effectively?

Different essential oils deter cats which include peppermint, lavender, citronella, and garlic. 

Essential oils have a strong scent which cats hate. This is because cats have a strong sense of smell, much stronger than humans, which is why strong scents like essential oils keep cats away.

Nevertheless, using essential oils is a good idea, especially for people with an organic garden. This method is effective and simultaneously safe to use in gardens without harming plants. 

What Scent Will Keep Cats Away?

When picking out essential oils to deter cats, it is important to choose those that will work. Unfortunately, it can be easy to pick out a scent that will attract cats instead of keeping them at bay.

Here are a few scents you can look for in essential oils to keep cats away. 


Cats do not like the scent of lavender because of its powerful tones. In some cases, people also use lavender plants in their garden to deter cats and protect their plants. Lavender essential oils have a stronger scent than plants because they are concentrated. 


Cats do not like citrus scents, including lemons, limes, oranges, and in some cases, lemongrass. Of course, all cats are different, and some can be attracted to lemongrass.

However, when it comes to citronella, cats do not like its scent. Citronella is an essential oil made from the leaves of lemongrass. 

There is always a risk of putting a cat’s life in danger with essential oils, which we do not endorse so please ensure you use any essential oils in moderation.  


Another strong scent that cats do not like is peppermint. Cats are sensitive to the smell of peppermint, and it bothers them when they encounter it.

However, it is important to use peppermint essential oil in a manner that will not harm any cats. Ingesting peppermint oil can be harmful to cats. 


Garlic belongs to the Allium family and is great at deterring cats. Gardeners have used garlic in different forms in their gardens over the years to deter cats.

You can also get your hands on some garlic oil to use in your garden like you would use any other essential oil. 


While humans may enjoy the delicious and cozy cinnamon smell, it is not the same for cats. Cinnamon has a strong scent that can put some cats off. You can get cinnamon oil to use in your garden, which is a natural way to deter cats.

What Essential Oils Attract Cats?

With knowing which essential oils deter cats, you must also know what attracts them. Purchasing just any essential oil is not enough. It can be not very pleasant to purchase an essential oil only to find that instead of deterring, it is attracting cats.

You will only be making your situation worse instead of remedying it. Here are a few essential oils that you should avoid: 


People love using chamomile essential oil to relax. Chamomile is great for humans and felines alike. This essential oil relaxes cats and attracts them. 


It can come as a surprise when you learn that olive oil attracts cats. Olives contain oleuropein which is also found in catnip and helps to relax cats. Therefore, olives and olive oil attract cats, and you must avoid using them in your garden. 


Cats can also be attracted to rose plants in gardens. Therefore, it is likely that cats will also be attracted to rose essential oils. So, if you use this essential oil in your garden or your home, it can be the reason why it has the cat’s attention. 


Fruits come packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and all the good things. Therefore, many cats are attracted to fruit smells. You can find essential oils which are based on fruits. It can be easy to get confused and mistake an essential oil for something else.

Not many people know that cats can be attracted to fruits. So, it is best to check the label before making the purchase. 

What is the Most Effective Essential Oil?

Being a gardener, you will want what is best for your garden. However, with so many essential oils to choose from, it is not easy to put a finger on one and figure out which is the best. Something you must keep in mind when using scents is that all cats are different.

There can be some cats, for example, which can be attracted to scents like peppermint. 

However, the most effective oil you can use is cinnamon and citronella. Both these scents have shown promising results when it comes to deterring cats.


Cats can be annoying as they loiter in gardens causing a mess and pooping in the soil. A way to effectively deal with this problem is to use essential oils. Different essential oils can help deter cats, including peppermint, lavender, garlic, and cinnamon.

Unfortunately, among the many scents that cats hate, they also hate citrus. 

1 comment
  1. How can I replace Essential oils with my homegrown fresh herbs ? Like Citronella, peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary Ect . Do I need to dry them ? Bake them ,boil them in the mixture ?

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