Homemade cat scent repellent

Updated July 18, 2017

Cats often cause damage to flowerbeds, urinate on gardens and use the areas around homes for a litter box. Keep stray cats or your own cats away from the exterior areas of a home with a cat repellent. The best cat repellent is scent-based. Cats have a heightened sense of smell, and there are many scents that are off-putting to them that can be used as a repellent. The repellent is a mixture of different scents that is sprayed along the perimeter of the area to keep cats away.

Prepare the garlic. Place the side of a wide knife against the clove of garlic and hit the blade with a fist. This breaks the garlic clove and makes it easier to peel. Peel the garlic and cut it into fine pieces, or use a garlic press to crush it.

Mix the ingredients. In a blender, add the warm water, the cayenne pepper and the crushed garlic. Blend on low until thoroughly mixed.

Pour repellent into a spray bottle. Use a funnel to transfer the mixture from the blender to a spray bottle. Add 1 tsp (6 ml) of washing up liquid and screw on the lid. Shake the bottle to mix the soap with the other ingredients.

Apply the repellent. Spray repellent around the perimeter of any area where you need to repel cats. Spray directly into flower and garden beds, grass, concrete and other surfaces. The area does not need to be saturated --- cats will detect even a small amount of the repellent.

Repeat the process. Spray areas every three to five days or after a heavy rain. After an extended period of use, many animals will steer clear of these areas even when the repellent is not present.


Cats are also sensitive to the smell of citrus. To boost the repellent, sprinkle citrus peels from oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruit along the perimeter as well.


This mixture should not be used indoors, as it will stain carpets and other surfaces.

Keep this mixture away from children. This mixture does not contain harmful chemicals like some shop-bought repellents, but will make a child sick if it is swallowed.

As with any pepper, cayenne will burn if it comes in contact with open wounds or the eyes. Use caution when working with it and always wash hands thoroughly after handling it.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Knife
  • 1 tbsp (5.5 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp (6 ml) washing up liquid
  • 1 litre (around 1 quart) warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Blender
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About the Author

Erin Harty has been writing since 1997. She worked as a reporter and copy editor for "The Argonaut," contributes to a travel blog and has won three Idaho Press Club awards. Erin Harty has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Idaho.