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Four Plants to Deter Cats

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Do feral cats made a habit out of wreaking your garden? If stray cats have been causing a problem in your garden, then consider getting plants that repel unwanted visitors. Cats are very devious (not to mention nimble) creatures. No matter how high you try to fence your garden, cats will always find a way to sneak back in.

That said—much like how most cats are drawn to catnip—certain types of plants are hated by cats. Rather than trying to fence your garden in, why not fill your outdoor space with plants that are known to repel cats such as:

1. The Scaredy Cat Plant

As the name implies, the scaredy cat plant, also known as plectranthus caninus, helps deter cats simply because it smells a lot like dog urine. This plant doesn’t just repel cats but dogs too. However, you will need to plant a lot of the scaredy cat plant for it to be effective in discouraging cats from coming in. When cats come across something it doesn’t like, it will just walk around it and hang out in other parts of the garden.

2. Curry Plant

The curry plant, scientific name Helichrysum augustfolium, is originally from the Mediterranean and it strongly smells of curry. However, it’s does not serve any culinary purpose at all. What it does is it deters cats, partly because of its pungent smell. Do note that this plant should only be planted in your garden if you have a severe problem with cats. Curry plants are similar to weed; removing them is difficult and they are bound to grow back again and again.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary is a popular herb that grows perennially. It has a sweet, warm fragrance that makes it one of the most popular herbs for cooking. The fragrance put off cats for some reason. Unfortunately, rosemary is a very delicate plant. It’s hard to grow in the garden because it dislikes acid soil; it needs a warm and dry climate and will not grow on wet ground. The conditions have to be right in order to successfully grow rosemary in your garden. Ideally, potting compost with a neutral pH of 7 is best to start off.

4. Lavender

Lavender is prized for its fragrance. It’s a popular treatment among insomniacs because it could help induce deeper sleep. However, cats seem to hate the smell of lavender with a passion. Lavender comes in many varieties and most of them grow very tall, further discouraging cats from coming in. If you’re planning on planting lavender to keep cats away, we recommend lining up the plants near pathways. The fragrance is released more efficiently in high-traffic areas of the premises.

Do note that determined cats are very hard to keep away. If these strays are hard to keep from entering your garden, consider planting prickly bushes like wild rose, holly, or Hawthorn. You can also try planting citrus plants in strategic places of the garden. Cats hate any kind of citrusy smell that’s why most spray-on-cat deterrents contain citrus fruit essences.


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