Cats are wonderful animals to have as pets but, as a gardener, you may not want to have your pet or other cats tearing up your garden. Deter cats from using your garden as a litter box or chewing on your plants through the natural remedy of planting repellent flowers.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a repelling scent that thrives in containers or in the ground. This plant needs full sun and well-drained soil. Plant lavender in a medium-sized container. A large container will retain too much moisture and rot the plant. Put lavender near rosemary and oregano for companion plants. However, make sure that you give lavender plenty of room to grow because it does not compete well with other plants.
Cats dislike citrus scents. Lemon thyme is a variety of perennial and evergreen shrub with pink flowers that needs full sun to thrive in your garden. Thyme repels cats and garden pests like cabbageworms and whiteflies. Lemon thyme is a companion plant in the garden to eggplants, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes. Lemon thyme is a useful culinary herb in soups, casseroles and breads. The dried herbs go well on pizza or in pizza sauce. Use lemon thyme also with fish and chicken.
Cats do not like the smell of marigolds (Asteraceae/Compositae) so plant these in your garden. This annual has orange and gold flowers with a pungent scent that will keep felines at bay. Marigolds will also repel nematodes, aphids and carrot root flies. However, do not plant marigolds near Ground-elder, Couch grass, Lesser celandine, and Ground ivy.
Absinthe (Artemisia absinthium) is, like marigolds, part of the Compositae plant family. The plant goes by the alternative name of wormwood and is a perennial with yellow flowers. Absinthe is a moth, flea and general insect repellent. This plant will also repel mice. Do not ingest absinthe because it is poisonous. Be careful where you plant absinthe because some municipalities ban this plant as an invasive weed.
Rue (Ruta graveolens) is an evergreen shrub that is a woody perennial with blue or yellow flowers and silver-green leaves. The plant is easy to care for, even where the soil is of poor condition. Rue repels cats, dogs, Japanese beetles and many other insects with its strong and bitter scent. You can cut and scatter the leaves along your lawn to keep cats away from the chosen areas. However, be careful to wear gloves when you handle freshly cut leaves because the sap from rue leaves can cause skin blistering. Do not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbages, basil or sage because rue will stunt the growth of these plants. You can plant rue near raspberry and rose bushes.
One of the best ways to repel your cat is to give the cat its own garden by planting something that the cat enjoys such as catmint or catnip (Nepeta). Plant the catmint away from the rest of your plants and let your cat delight in a green paradise outdoors.