How to Get Cats to Stop Eating Plants

November 7, 2020

Do you have a pesky (but cute) neighborhood cat that is always snacking on your prized plants?

Maybe it is your own cat who can’t resist a chomp!

Or maybe you just suspect a cat is doing it but you’ve never caught them in the act.

Whatever the issue, cats eating your plants is a huge problem… for your garden and for their health.

This article is going to tackle the ways you can put a stop to this, ensuring your plants never become dinner again!

The good news is, the vast majority of the methods we have found for you are natural. This means that they will not harm your plants, and more importantly, they won’t harm those cute cats either!

So keep on reading if this is a problem in your garden, and find the best cat repellent method for you!


Citrus Peel

The first method we want to discuss is citrus peel! Believe it or not, citrus peel repels cats. They especially hate lemons.

Next time you use lemon in your cooking or homemade lemonade, keep the peel and sprinkle it onto the soil around the plants in question.

Ensure the lemons are unwaxed and washed to ensure they do not harm the delicate soil. This should prevent the cats from coming near your plants, and in turn, the lemon will eventually breakdown into the soil providing extra nutrients for it.

Remember to replace the peel regularly though so it keeps doing its job!

It is worth noting that whilst citrus is a great deterrent, you should never use citrus essential oils, even if they have been watered down as they can be highly poisonous for your cat!

They may also harm your soil. 

Homemade Citrus Spray

Talking of citrus, another option is to use the juice of your favorite citrus fruits.

Grab a clean, empty spray bottle or spritzer and fill it around 3 quarters full of water, then add a juice of your choice -  freshly squeezed lemon, orange, or lime is best.

You can then spray the area around your plants, and even the plants themselves to deter your feline friends.

Ensure that you use the juice and not oil. Citrus essential oils can be extremely harmful to kitties, as well as your plants. 

Cayenne Pepper

Another scent related deterrent is cayenne pepper. Whilst it is a much-loved staple in our kitchens, cats hate the stuff!

Try sprinkling cayenne pepper around your plants. One sniff of that and the cat will stay away for good! It contains capsaicin which repels cats and can also be found in commercial cat repellents because of how effective it is.

It is not harmful to the kitties either, so it’s a win-win!

As if that wasn’t cool enough, the cayenne pepper can also benefit your plants as it is thought to repel other nosy pests such as rabbits and dogs, as well as being a great insect repellent. 

Get Your Cat their Own Plant 

Seriously, you can do this! We don’t recommend a potted cactus or succulent, we don’t mean giving them a new house plant.

What we mean is to plant some cat-friendly plants that are specifically designed for them. Catnip is the most popular one to choose from!

You’ll love watching your furry friends loll around your garden after sniffing some catnip. It is all-natural and makes a lovely addition to any garden.

Trust us, when your cat realizes there’s catnip on your lawn they won’t take a second glance at your prized plants!

Cats are also fond of mint, so you could try growing some mint, but keep in mind that if you do that, the mint will be for them, not you!

You don’t get to be mad if they ruin the mint and catnip, because that’s what it’s there for!

Get Cat Repellent Plants

No this isn’t just something we have made up, we promise!

There are some plants out there that are known to actually repel animals. Plants with thorns such as roses and cacti naturally repel animals because one prick from the spikes and they will scarper, leaving your plants alone for good.

The spikes are not likely to cause them huge amounts of pain but will be enough to just scare them away.

Another option that is even nicer and will even be beneficial to you is to grow rosemary!

Rosemary is a herb that has a very recognizable, fresh scent to us humans. However, for cats, it is a scent that repels them.

Grow some of that in entrance areas to stop them from coming into your garden altogether. Then you can pick some for cooking whenever it takes your fancy! 

Buy a Commercial Spray Specifically Designed for This

Of course, there are products that have been designed specifically with cat deterrence in mind.

Do some research on what products may suit your garden the best. You can spray the leaves directly with the product and deter cats once and for all!

With any commercial over the counter spray like this we would always recommend speaking to a vet first, and only consider it after you have exhausted all the natural options possible we have listed above. 


As you can see, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to trying to stop cats from eating plants.

The majority of them are all-natural and safe for your plants, and more importantly, the kitties!

Whatever method you choose, be sure to monitor how well it is working. If you don’t see results from the first one, move on to the next one, and so on.

We are sure that your chosen method will work like a charm, though, as these are all tried and tested methods that have worked for hundreds of years!

If you do choose to opt for a commercial spray, we cannot stress enough the importance of checking with a reputable vet first about the safety of the product!

Remember, plants can grow back, the health of your feline friend is far more important! 

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