Natural Oils That Repel Cats

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Cats are known for their curiosity and can get into some tight spaces. Natural oils, such as citronella, eucalyptus, and citrus, can be helpful in preventing your cat from going into certain places in your home or garden. These natural oils may also prevent inappropriate elimination in your home. These natural oils, derived from plant sources, smell pleasant to people but not to cats. Spray these oils directly onto furniture, walls, solid surfaces, and garden plants to deter cats from occupying these areas.

Cats don't like the smell of citronella.
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Citronella repels cats and insects

Citronella essential oil, made from the leaves of the lemongrass plant, has a strong citrus-like aroma. Because cats have a strong sense of smell, they do not like strong scents and will avoid areas with potent aromas. This oil has no toxic properties and will also repel insects.

To repel cats, make a solution of 20 drops citronella oil mixed with 200 milliliters of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Shake it well, and spray it on surfaces in your home or directly on plants in your garden. In addition, place citronella-scented candles around your garden as a long-lasting cat deterrent.


Eucalyptus's menthol smell repels cats

Derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia, eucalyptus essential oil has a strong, menthol-like scent. Cats dislike pungent, minty scents and will avoid them.

To repel cats, soak a cloth in eucalyptus oil, and place it in an area you want a cat to stay away from. Rub cloths sprinkled with eucalyptus oil on solid surfaces to coat them with the oil. You can also tie the eucalyptus-scented cloths around plants to repel cats.


Citrus oils that repel cats

Cats dislike citrus.
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Use citrus oils, including lemon, orange and lime essential oils to repel cats. These oils are extracted from the peels of citrus fruits and have a strong, slightly bitter scent. Cats dislike these oils.


Soak cotton balls in these oils, and place them in the locations you want your cat to avoid. You can make a solution of equal parts lemon and orange oils and mix it with three parts water. Shake the mixture, and spray the solution on plants, fabrics, walls, or other surfaces. You can also rub citrus peels directly onto these surfaces to distribute their natural oils or grind them up and sprinkle them around plants to deter cats.

Use essential oils with caution

You should never spray an essential oil of any kind directly onto a cat to repel it. These oils can cause poisoning if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Spray these oils safely around your home, which will naturally neutralize pet odors while keeping cats off counter tops, plants, or other areas.


Look for these ingredients in commercially-made pet repellents or make your own. Use these natural oils alone or in combination with each other to make a custom scent to repel cats.

What to do if your cat comes into contact with essential oils

Essential oils contain chemicals that are quickly absorbed through the skin or orally. The liver neutralizes many chemicals. Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils because their livers lack the necessary enzymes to effectively metabolize the oils. Thus, just a small amount of ingested oil or oil absorbed through the skin can harm a cat, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.


If you use essential oils, be aware of the essential oil poisoning signs.
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Breathing difficulties, unsteady gait or difficulty walking, pawing at the face or mouth, lethargy or weakness, muscle tremors, vomiting, drooling, seizures or collapse, and redness or burns on the skin, lips, tongue, or gums are all signs of essential oil poisoning in cats, according to PDSA. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with or ingested an essential oil, take him or her to your veterinarian right away. Take the product or essential oil you believe your cat has come into contact with or ingested to the vet with you.