Make Cat Repellent

Coleus Canina flowerSome people want to know how to make cat repellent but there are better alternatives i.e. buy it! Although I am very fond of cats and all animals I can understand why some people want to prevent other peoples' cats coming onto their property. This really is one of modern life's big problems. Cats don't know boundaries. We live closely together sometimes. Some people allow their cats outside unsupervised. Problems of trespass by the cat occur (note: you can't sue for a cat owner for trespass1). We also might need a cat repellent to stop our cats going in a certain direction or place on our property and this might even include towards furniture. Please note, however, that I do not personally endorse cat repellents. I prefer to live with the full range of a cat's behavioral traits whether I like them all or not.

  1. Make cat repellent to deter other cats? No. talk to the cat owner instead
  2. Deterring other cats – repellent smells
  3. Deterring other cats – repellent plants
  4. For our cats and other cats – commercial repellents
  5. Make cat repellent — Feral cats
  6. Make cat repellant – Conclusion

Make cat repellent to deter other cats? No. talk to the cat owner instead

As the root cause is ultimately the cat owner, the best form of cat repellent is to encourage your neighbor to build a cat enclosure. That probably won't work as people don't like to go that far, which I find disappointing actually as it must be the ultimate solution for all parties including the cat. In the alternative a polite discussion with a firm and workable conclusion may resolve it, or am I being too optimistic? Probably. Both parties can contribute by building barriers. Well, at least, potentially, but I accept it is hard to obtain neighbours cooperation these days. Barriers (e.g. electronic fences or physical fences), in contrast to enclosures (which are 100% effective) can only work for a limited number of scenarios as under many situations it is impossible to confine an outdoor/indoor cat. Clearly it would need to be carefully constructed as cats are good at getting around and over man made obstacles

Deterring other cats – repellent smells

People searching for how to make cat repellent want some sort of easy fix as a barrier to cats. I don't think one wonderfully perfect of even good method exists, frankly. One thing that must never happen is the putting down of cat poison or doing anything that would harm the cat. It is a crime in the USA and UK to do that. However, one idea is to put down substances that contain smells that cats hate (this link has includes a full list). If these are put down at the entry point to the area that needs to be protected there may be some success.

Deterring other cats – repellent plants

There are plants that are meant to deter cats, to name two: coleus canina or rue2. Coleus Canina has the name "Scardy Cat" plant as it has the ability to deter cats and dogs. It also provides foliage cover and produces light blue flowers. The plant's scent is not unpleasant to us, however. It is a perennial plant3(a plant that lives for more than two years4). Rue (ruta graveolens) is a a hardy, evergreen; a shrubby type of plant5. Rue was used for medicinal purposes6. Once again I would have thought that these should be planted at access points (or all over the flower bed!)

cat enclosure
For me the best way to make cat repellent

For our cats and other cats – commercial repellents

There are commercially available cat repellents. One is a device that emits a sound that we can't hear but cats can (see cat ears for an insight into their sense of hearing). I actually used this to try and prevent my cat from travelling in a certain direction without any success whatsoever. Businesses tend to be over optimistic about the success rate of their products. My feeling is that these will work at about 10-50% of the level you might expect them to.

Here are some commercial cat repellents if you don't want to make cat repellent:

Make cat repellent? No buy it! Products
How works7 
Where available – remember things change8 
SSSCAT (4.6 oz.) An adjustable electronic motion sensor detects when a cat approaches the protected area. A harmless, scentless spray is released, which surprises the cat. This spray is scentless and ozone friendly. It is neither toxic to animals nor children. I believe that there is an auxiliary high pitched alarm too. USA (regular price $45.99)
UK (Amazon sell it at £41.91)
If it is available in the UK it is probably also available throughout most of Europe. This applies to the other products listed below.
Tattle Tale Sonic Pet Training Alarm This is a pet training device that helps to keep cats off furniture and counters. It uses "structural vibration technology" for pet training. It detects movement vibrations when a loud tone sounds to startle the pet or the human (not sure I like that).Iit is claimed to reduce or prevent scratching, clawing and climbing. I am not sure how effect these are. Big claims but cats don't react as predictably as we like. USA (Amazon at $23.65 at 21-3-2010)
UK (Amazon at £18.39)
Sticky Paws On a Roll This is to prevent your cat scratching your furniture so if it stops you declawing (USA) so much the better. You stick it on the item to be protected. The cat dislikes the feel of it and stops. You can make cat repellent like this with double sided sticky tape. USA
There will be similar products in the UK and Europe
Bitter Apple Spray Cat Repellent
These products create a bitter tasting substance that cats dislike. As it is taste based it must be used to prevent things being chewed. USA – this seems to be an exclusively USA product. Not available at Amazon (21 Mar 2010)
Contech Catstop Automatic Outdoor Cat Repellent This is the type of device that I refer to in the introduction. It emits an ultrasonic sound (2-second ultrasonic alarm when motion detector senses motion).  Essentially an outdoor device and can be battery driven. 147 Amazon customer ratings gave three stars (out of 5). Contech have a range of similar products (see one more below) USA (Amazon $39.90 21 Mar 2010).
Can't see it for sale on UK Amazon. There will be European equivalents.
Jumpo Trainer A device that is fired off when a cat walks on it. This frightens the cat and trains the cat to avoid the area. I presume it is safe but you can make your own assessment. USA only. Currently, this products seem to be manufactured by a smalll company in Sonora, CA 95370.
ScareCrow Outdoor Cat Repellent Works in a similar way to the ultrasonic sound device above. Motion detectors pick up the cat's movement and the machine sprinkles (chucks) water over the cat! Simple. USA (Amazon $73.99 21 Mar 2010)
SHAKE-AWAY DOMESTIC CAT REPELLENT This works (as I understand it) by laying down on the ground granules that smell of coyote (a dog like animal) and fox urine. These are predators to the cat and deters the cat it is claimed. I am not sure. Foxes can, when very hungry, prey on domestic cats, however. Coyotes are bigger. USA product (Amazon $99.99 at 21 Mar 2010)

Make cat repellent — Feral cats

If the cat is assessed as being feral (and this probably requires careful assessment), it should be rehomed. Joyce Sammons (see her Furby stories), a regular visitor to this site finds homes for feral cats on occasions. It takes more effort but it is the most humane way. In the UK the RSPCA could be involved. Although rescue cats are not infrequently euthanised. In the USA it is Animal Control that should be called, as I understand it.

Make cat repellant – Conclusion

I don't think it is viable to make cat repellent that works well. The alternatives are listed above. In my honest opinion cat repellents are not that effective and our expectations are raised too high by manufacturers. You might get lucky, though. If you want to make cat repellent, make an enclosure instead if you have the space and facilities as they are the only truly 100% effective method of protecting your cat, giving your cat a more enjoyable life and keeping other cats and predators out.

Make cat repellent – Picture credits:


1 Michael Broad






7 Information taken from Amazon website (not verbatim) and other manufacturer's websites

8 A Google search will verify and expand this section


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