Infographic on herb Rue as a cat repellent

This page is on one topic. Rue as a cat repellent. A rather specialist topic don’t you think? I have never tried it and I suspect that in all honesty it has modest success but that would be a good result as there are few if any really effective cat repellents available to dedicated gardeners wishing to protect the fruits of their labour. Note: never harm a cat that has come onto your garden no matter how much you might dislike cats. It would be a crime.

You probably won’t find anything more successful in keeping a domestic or feral cat away from your garden than an ultrasonic cat repellent. Testing finds that they are around 50% successful.

RELATED: Some people can hear ultrasonic cat deterrents

Another effective cat repellent is a resident cat! A good male will hate an invading cat straying onto his territory. He’ll chase him/her away with commitment and vigor normally.

Crushed Rue as a cat repellent!
Crushed Rue as a cat repellent! Infographic by MikeB
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Picture of Desmond Morris: By Eric Koch for Anefo – Nationaal Archief 922-9399, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Tell me about the evergreen herb rue

Rue (Ruta graveolens) is a fascinating evergreen herb with delightful bluish-green leaves. Let me share some intriguing details about this ancient and versatile plant:

  1. Historical Significance:
    • In ancient times, rue held both culinary and medicinal importance. It’s even mentioned in the Bible by its Greek name, “peganon.”
    • The Romans commonly used rue as a cooking herb, incorporating it into a spicy seasoning paste alongside garlic, hard cheese, coriander, and celery seeds.
    • Rue was a key ingredient in antidotes to poisoning, earning its botanical Latin name, “Ruta,” which translates to “to set free.”
    • As a strewing herb, fresh rue sprigs were scattered on floors to ward off the plague.
    • Folklore associated rue with protection against witches, leading to its use in Catholic blessings, where branches of rue were dipped in Holy water and sprinkled over parishioners’ heads—hence the common name “herb of grace.”
  2. Flavor and Culinary Use:
    • Rue imparts a bitter undertone to dishes, balancing other flavors. However, its use has diminished due to changing taste preferences.
    • Some Old Italian families still incorporate rue into recipes passed down through generations.
    • Interestingly, Ethiopian cuisine features rue—both the leaves and seeds—in traditional coffee preparation. The resulting coffee is outstanding!
  3. Growing Rue:
    • Rue remains virtually unchanged since ancient times.
    • It thrives in full to part sun, requiring at least 6 to 7 hours of sunlight daily.
    • Well-drained soil is essential, and once established, rue can tolerate extremely dry conditions.
    • Hardy from upper Zone 6 and warmer, this heirloom herb is a direct descendant of its Mediterranean and Western Asian ancestors.

So, whether you’re brewing Ethiopian coffee or seeking a touch of ancient grace, rue continues to weave its aromatic and historical threads through our lives. 🌿🍃


RELATED: Are citrus fruits a good cat deterrent?

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