7 Ways To Stop Cats From Spraying in Your Garden & Outside

By   | Last Updated :   August 25, 2021 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Do your neighbourhood cats think your outdoor furniture makes the perfect toilet?

It can be very frustrating sitting down on your patio with a nice cup of coffee but all you can smell is cat urine. Fortunately, there are ways to stop cats from spraying on garden furniture. Here is what you need to know…

stop cats from spraying on garden furniture

Nobody wants the smell of cat urine accompanying their morning coffee… Credit: Shutterstock

How to stop cats spraying outside your home

There are lots of ways to stop cats marking their territory in your garden. The most simple method is to get your male cat neutered. Spraying is a behaviour that marks the territory of the male cat to keep other males away. Once your cat is fixed, you should see a change in behaviour as the cat no longer sees the need to mark everything.

If it’s not your cat or if sterilisation isn’t an option, There are a few other things you can try to repel cats. Let’s take a look.

How to repel cats

Cats have an excellent sense of smell so you can make use of this to keep neighbours’ cats out of your garden. There are quite a few scents out there that cats despise. Here are a few options:

1. Vinegar

Cats absolutely hate the smell of vinegar which makes it an excellent natural cat repellent. Simply mix one part white vinegar with one part water to make your own cat repellent at home. It is safe to spray this solution on your furniture as well as cushions as long as you don’t make everything constantly wet.

vinegar spray

Vinegar is an effective kitty repellant.  Credit: Shutterstock

Constant wetness creates the perfect environment for mould to grow, especially inside your cushions, nobody wants that. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar either, try one of our other homemade cat repellent options.

Vinegar has another benefit. It can remove the smell of cat urine completely since it breaks down ammonia. This way you can prevent a cat from coming back to mark again due to being attracted by the smell of feline urine.

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2. Essential oils

Due to cats being so sensitive to smells, there are quite a few essential oils that are just too much for a cat to handle. Some of the essential oils to stop cats from spraying include:

Fortunately, all of these smell great to us. You will need to mix around 6 to 8 drops of oil for every cup of water. Make sure you shake the solution well and then spray it on and around your furniture. You will need to do this at least once a week but daily has the best results.

citronella oil

Try essential oils to ward cats away.  Credit: Shutterstock

It is best to combine the use of essential oils with vinegar. Wash all marked areas with vinegar, soap and water solution to remove any urine smells. After the area dried, spray your essential oil cat repellent all around and on your furniture to keep the cat from coming back.

3. Potpourri

This might sound like a very strange solution, but there are some plant and fruit scents that cats just can’t stand. As an example, the dried peels of citrus fruits are an excellent choice for a cat repellent potpourri. You can use a combination of lemon, orange, tangerine and lime peels to create a great smelling potpourri with some lemongrass mixed in if you please.

lemon and orange potpourri

Credit: Shutterstock

Simply leave your citrus potpourri out near your outdoor furniture and watch the cats go out of their way to avoid the area. This also works if you want to keep them off your furniture as well. Just keep in mind that wind, rain and the size of the area will play a role in how effective your potpourri is.

You can also create small potpourri satchels to stick into the covers of your outdoor cushions. This way the cats won’t jump on your furniture either.

4. Plants

Another strange way to keep cats away from your outdoor furniture is to create a cat barrier. Now you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to create a barrier that such an athletic jumper won’t be getting over. Well, it’s quite simple really.

All you have to do is plant quite a few cat repellent plants. A few options you can consider are pennyroyal (smallest of the mint family), scaredy-cat plant (Coleus canina), lavender, rosemary, curry herb (Helichrysum italicum), lemon balm, thyme, and anything thorny.

a bumblebee enjoying lavender flowers

Lavender is great for attracting pollinators and repelling intruders such as mosquitos and cats.

These plants can be used alone or in a combination. Some of them are even useful to you in the kitchen. They also look great and will benefit your garden by deterring some other garden pests as well.

5. Commercial spray

There are of course also quite a few commercial cat repellent sprays available. Simply go to any pet store or check the pet and garden section of your favourite supermarket. If you can’t find any in your area, you can also order them from an online pet store or platform like Amazon.

These sprays, like everything else on this list, won’t always work. They do however at least allow you to try until you find the option that works best for you.

6. Protect your furniture

If all else fails, you might want to consider bringing your outdoor cushions indoors or get furniture with storage for cushions when you’re not around. This way you can simply hose down the remaining frames to wash away any nasty cat smells.

You can also create covers for your furniture to protect it from getting sprayed in the first place.

furniture covers

Covering your furniture will protect it from cats and the weather. Credit: Sunvilla

This way you can simply hose down the covers while your furniture stays pristine. Covers will also protect your furniture against weather damage so it’s a win-win situation.

Final thoughts

Repelling cats and stopping them from spraying on your outdoor furniture can be quite tricky. Not all methods and repellents will work on all cats.  All you can do is keep trying until you find something that does work. Sometimes this takes a lot of time, however, so be prepared.


How do I keep the neighbourhood cats out of my garden?

The best way to keep the neighbour’s cat out of your garden is to create a cat barrier. You can do this by planting cat repellent plants like pennyroyal (Smallest of the mint family), scaredy-cat plant (Coleus canina), lavender, rosemary, curry herb (Helichrysum italicum), lemon balm, thyme, and anything thorny.

cat walking on old wooden fence

Credit: Shutterstock

How do I keep cats off my garden furniture?

To keep cats off your outdoor furniture you can either create a cat repellent solution with vinegar or essential oils or you can use potpourri with dried citrus peels. You can even use a combination of all three options if you like. Just make sure that you don’t leave your furniture constantly wet.

Does cat detergent spray work?

Cat detergent sprays work differently on different cats. Some cats couldn’t care less about the spray and still mark while others will stay far far away. The only way to find something that works for you is to keep trying.  Let us know in the comments below which deterrents work best for you.


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