The Best Cat Repellents (Review) in 2021

Olivia Williams
Published June 1, 2020

Cats may have a reputation for being fastidious with their own cleanliness but when it comes to your garden, yard or even your home, they can cause quite a mess. Unwanted cats can choose to use your garden as their personal toilet stop or a place to leave a mating calling card. And they are not averse to digging up a border or two. Even if you have your own cat, their bad habits can spill over into your home, from clawing furniture to clambering across your kitchen worktop. If this sounds like just some of the feline problems you are encountering, then it’s worth considering a cat repellent.

Cat repellents are intended as a harmless deterrent to keep cats at bay. From sprays and motion sensors to ultrasonic devices, the aim of a cat deterrent is to safely move a feline away and stop any anti-social behavior. But which deterrent do you pick and how do you know it will work? We take the stress out of choosing with our round up of what we think are some of the best cat repellents you can buy.

The Best Cat Repellent


If you have a cat that doesn’t respect boundaries or scratches up your furniture, then this smart indoor spray pet deterrent from PetSafe can help you regain control. Using an odorless spray, you set the SSCAT near to wherever your cat is playing up and the motion sensor will trip when they come within three feet. This harmless spray deterrent – which also senses your pet’s body heat – is intended to move them away so that your cat quickly learns the no-go zones. Ideal for use on kitchen counter tops, by furniture or trash cans, the SSCAT can also be used on the inside of doors into rooms you want to be a no-cat zone. Each canister gives around 100 sprays and there’s nothing in the spray to harm your pet, furniture or surfaces. The SSCAT motion sensor runs on four AAA batteries, which are not included in the initial pack. But for less than $30, SSCAT tops our best cat repellents list.

Harmless spray deters unwanted cat behavior

Motion and body heat activated within 3 feet

Odorless and non-staining

Powered by 4 AAA batteries

  • Brand: PetSafe
  • Model: PDT00-13914
  • Weight: 3.84 Ounces


For safe cat repelling on the go, this all-natural oil spray from Green Gobbler is a handy bottle to have on standby. Containing cold pressed orange peel oil along with D-limonene, the non-toxic, chemical free scent of this spray is going to send those feral cats in your yard or garden running. And as it’s a concentrate, the Green Gobbler Orange Oil spray is excellent value for money. Intended as an all-purpose cleaner, Green Gobbler has been building a reputation as a natural cat repellent and is ideal for spraying around your garden, patio or porch to keep it cat-pee free. You can also use it in your home on surfaces to deter your kit from jumping up. And all the while, keeping your home citrus fresh!

Concentrate plus trigger spray bottle

Cold-pressed orange oil plus limonene

Natural cleaner and cat repellent

No synthetic dyes or fragrances

  • Brand: Green Gobbler
  • Model: CPOO-32oz
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds


Our Premium Pick is this super-impressive looking cat deterrent for outdoor use, offering motion-activated protection of your garden or yard. Ideal for repelling a whole host of animals, the Yard Enforcer uses water to spray in the direction of the unwanted critter. The smart thing about the Yard Enforcer is that it can detect motion in both daylight and at night-time, giving you 24-hour vigilance. The premium price-tag means you get premium extra features too, including an intelligent sensor that can tell the difference between a moving cat and wind in a nearby tree. You also get three detection modes and the infrared sensor can catch cat movement up to 40 feet away. Made from weather durable metal, this cat repellent operates on four AA batteries and is efficient with its water use. Plus, you can also use the Yard Enforcer as a straight up garden sprinkler, thanks to the 30-minute water cycle option.

Offers 24-hour cat deterrent protection

Three detection modes with 40ft range

Intelligent sensor and 120 degree viewing angle

Can also be used as a garden sprinkler

  • Brand: Orbit
  • Model: 62100
  • Weight: 2 pounds


For a simple yet effective way to deter cats and other unwanted animals in your garden, check out this outdoor ‘scat mat’ from Homarden. These large sized mats, which come in a six mat pack, create a floor surface which animals won’t like to walk on, but made from translucent plastic, are not going to cause any harm. The see-through construction means they can be hidden in ‘plain sight’ and are ideal for creating a barrier to your borders, plants or porch. Each mat is also flexible so can be wrapped around objects such as trees or even across the arm of your favorite chair to stop a cat from climbing. Use alone for small spaces or together to cover a larger area, these mats are also reusable and can be rinsed clean.

Creates a surface cats won’t walk on

Made from durable, transparent plastic

Each mat measures 16in by 13in

Good value six-mat pack

  • Brand: Homarden
  • Weight: 14 ounces


If organic ingredients are important to you, then Colton’s Naturals cat repellent spray will hit the spot. Available in a handy 32-ounce spray bottle, you only get natural peppermint and citronella oil, both known to smell yucky to cats but won’t do them, you or your garden any harm. Spray on those spots in your garden where felines like to frequent, and the cat-repelling benefits can last up to 2-4 weeks. You may need to do a few sprays when you first start to build up the scent or if there is some heavy rain, but we like how long-lasting this cat repellent spray quickly becomes. All the ingredients are 100% natural and organic and is garden furniture safe, so can be used indoors or in your garage too.

Made from 100% organic ingredients

Natural peppermint and citronella oil

Lasts up to two to four weeks

Ideal for decks, trash cans and garden furniture

  • Brand: Colton’s Naturals
  • Weight: 2.16 pounds


This large roll of scat mat may look scary, but this great value prickle mat is an excellent deterrent without causing any harm to trespassing cats, as well as other garden animals.  The mat is made from flexible, durable plastic designed for outdoor use that features one-inch spikes to create an uncomfortable surface when stepped without hurting their feet. Each roll is 78 inches long and can be cut into smaller pieces for tailored cat repelling protection. Add to the edge of your porch or garden borders, this prickle mat can even be wrapped so a good option to keep your cats off your garden or household furniture. It may not quite work on tiny cats or small paws but for fully grown and inquisitive kits, this is an affordable, effective way to keep them away.

Outdoor plastic prickle mat

Large roll which can be cut to size

Cat-safe plastic spikes to deter

For gardens, porches and patio furniture

  • Brand: One Sight
  • Model: HY050-HM
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces


With peppermint oil, lemongrass and citronella, this ‘mace’ spray is a quick and easy way to deter felines without any harmful chemicals. 100% organic, this all-natural cat mace builds up to create a ‘sensory barrier’ that will deter those feline garden visitors. Weather-resistant, this is a spray to keep handy on your porch to tackle cat visits as they happen, but with repeated spraying over several weeks, you can also build up a decent level of protection and quickly train those strays to stay away. It’s the smell and taste of this natural spray that cats cannot tolerate but the ingredients are non-toxic so not harmful to pets, you or your garden. Cat Mace is also safe to use on indoor areas such as basements and storage areas. Although you do have to keep repeating, Cat Mace is quick, effective and for around $20, good value as it’s pretty long-lasting too.

All-natural and organic spray

Peppermint, lemongrass and citronella

Weather-resistant to build a repellent barrier

Ideal for gardens, porches and indoor areas

  • Brand: Nature’s Mace
  • Model: CATGRN991003
  • Weight: 2.94 pounds

Best Cat Repellent Buying Guide & FAQ

Why You Need a Cat Repellent

As much as we may love cats, they do have some behaviors that can be less than desirable, particularly when it comes to your backyard. Digging holes, using the flowerbed as their toilet, chasing birds, marking their territory…these are natural actions of felines, but they can leave your outdoor space a little worse for wear. You may also be allergic to cats or are concerned about the health implications of picking up something unpleasant from cat parasites or even a cat’s feces. And, especially if the kit it not yours, then you want a deterrent to keep those feral cats away. An outdoor cat repellent is a safe way to keep the neighborhood cats at bay. You can also use an indoor cat repellent to help protect your furniture or carpet from the claws of your own pet cat and even to help with your kitten training for a happy, calm home.

Grey cat in the grass

What to Look for in a Cat Deterrent

Location – before buying a cat repellent, consider where it is you need it and whether you need an indoor or outdoor product. Also, consider whether it needs to be plugged into a power source or whether it is battery or solar power operated so that you pick the most suitable product for the intended location.

  • The cat’s behavior: Are you wanting to generally shoo a cat or gang of feral cats away from your property or is there a specific feline behavior – such as scratching furniture or digging up plants – you want to discourage. Knowing what it is you want the repellent to do, means you can get a device that is both effective and suited to a specific cat-repelling job.
  • Durability: Repellents for outdoor use need to be tough and made from durable materials as well as being weatherproof and can function if wet. The power source, especially if it’s battery-operated, needs to have a decent usage life and should be rechargeable if at all possible.
  • Coverage required: As well as the location, you need to know how far you want the repellent to reach. Some devices, such as sprays or powders, can be used to target small areas while others can be used to cover a much wider area.
  • Pet-safe ingredients: Any spray or powder you use must only contain non-toxic and pet-safe ingredients. The intention of an outdoor repellent spray is not for your cat to ingest it, but rather be discouraged by the spray action and its odor but it needs to be safe enough should any of the mist catch their eyes or mouth or settle on their coat. Some indoor sprays are designed to taste foul if licked or chewed so read the label to ensure the ingredients are safe and as natural as possible.

Different Types of Cat Repellents

There are several pet-safe repellents you can use to keep those felines out of your garden or to protect a problem area in your home:

  • Sprays: Formulated to be pet safe, a cat repellent spray is designed to deter a cat, through odor, taster or both. Outdoor sprays tend to be stronger than sprays for indoor use and will also be safe for use near plants. Sprayed over an area or a piece of furniture, a cat repellent spray should last for around three days before you need to re-apply, although you will probably have to repeat more frequently outdoors if it is raining or you water your plants. Wherever possible, look for a spray that uses natural or organic ingredients such as citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint.
  • Granules or powder: For a longer-lasting deterrent effect in your garden, granules or powder repellents are a good choice. These products come in a more concentrated formula than a spray and need to be applied directly to the soil. However, they tend to be more weather and water-resistant and can be effective on both domestic and feral cats for around 20 days.
  • Sound devices: One of the safest ways to repel unwanted feline attention in your garden is to use a sound or ultrasonic cat repellent, that projects a high-pitched sound that only those pesky cats will hear. These battery-operated ultrasonic devices often use infra-red sensors to detect movement and trigger the noise.
  • Motion activated: If there’s a lot of feral cat activity in your yard or garden, then a motion-activated device could be just the ticket. These devices act like a water sprinkler when the sensor is tripped, delivering a sudden burst of harmless water to shoo the feline intruder away.
  • Cat mats: Cats don’t like sudden or unusual noises and sensations and with a cat repellent mat, once they step on it, it makes a sound to scare them away. Harmless and versatile, you can buy these cat mats in strips to put in all the places you think cats are frequenting, such as along lawn borders and garden beds, and they can also be used inside. Alternatives to sound mats include scat or prickle mats which create a safe spiky surface most cats simply don’t like to walk on.

Ways to Use Cat Repellents

A cat repellent is going to help you keep unwanted cats away from your garden as well as control the behavior of your cat when they are inside your home. Using a cat repellent in the flower borders or at the edge of your lawn is going to help prevent feral cats using your garden as a toilet or digging up your plants. And adding a motion-sensor repellent or even a cat mat by the walls, fences, or entry gates is more likely to scare them away before they even come on to your property. Inside your home, an indoor cat repellent spray can be used on your soft furnishings, beddings, and carpet to deter your pet from scratching and clawing at your furniture. And, if you want to create a few cat-free spaces in your home, using a cat repellent such as a spray or mat can ensure your kit will stay on the other side of the door.

Whichever type of device you opt for, always fully read the instructions before using your new cat repellent to ensure it is effective and safe – for both humans and cats.

Best Cat Repellent FAQ:

Q: Are cat repellents safe around my pets?

A: As long as the cat repellent doesn’t use harmful ingredients or materials and you follow the instructions carefully, your pets will be safe around them. But you do need to take sensible precautions, for example, not using a cat repellent spray anywhere near a fish tank where the spray could enter the water and not using repellents near any very young pets. To be safe, always ensure any repellent spray states pet-safe and non-toxic on the packaging and opt for natural ingredients if you can. Always monitor your pet’s response to the cat repellent to ensure they are not being put under excessive stress, especially if they are of the more anxious sort. Cat repellents should be safe for all animals and shouldn’t have any element of cruelty to them – in short, they should safely discourage and do no harm.

Q: What smell will repel cats?

A: Cats can be sensitive creatures in many ways, and their heightened sense of smell can mean certain scents will trigger a ‘I’ve got to get out of here’ reaction. Smells your feline has a distinct dislike of include citrus aromas, especially orange, lemon and grapefruit, all of which are particularly repellent to cats. Other smells your cat really doesn’t like include lavender and geranium, as well as pepper, rosemary, mint, eucalyptus, and pine. But be careful and do your research as some natural ingredients – including lavender and mint – can actually be toxic to cats.

Cat looking behind a wall

Our Top Pick

Intended for indoor use, the clever SSSCAT uses motion sensors plus your cat’s body heat to know when they are coming too close and reminds them with a harmless and odorless spray. Ideal for keeping kits out of rooms or away from your kitchen top or favorite furniture, the SSCAT is fully adjustable and good value, with around 100 sprays per can. We think the SSSCAT is one of the most effective cat deterrents, without any complications or difficult setup and won’t harm your cat or home.

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