Homemade Citrus Spray as a Cat Deterrent


Cats are one of America's most beloved pets, but as a territorial species, they occasionally fall from favor when marking areas that are not technically theirs. Cats stake out their turf by depositing pheromones, rubbing things with their face or scratching with their claws. An even more serious claim to ownership is made with a spray of urine or a deposit of feces. Cat repellent is one way of keeping the felines out of your garden or off of your furniture, and can be easily and inexpensively made at home.

Step 1

Measure two cups of water into a small saucepan. Add one cup of citrus peels. Choose from orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime or any combination that you find pleasing.

Step 2

Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Once the contents have reached room temperature, pour the solution through a coffee filter to remove all of the solid pieces of peel.

Step 4

Add two tbsp. of citrus scented liquid soap and two tbsp. of lemon juice to the water and stir until well blended.

Step 5

Transfer the mixture to a plastic bottle with a spray attachment. Spray any furniture you'd like the cat to stay away from with a liberal coating of the repellent. Additionally, the spray can be used on plants and shrubbery to stop cats from eating them or to establish a chemical perimeter around your garden.

Step 6

Reapply as needed. Outdoor plants will need a new spritz after a rain shower or after routine watering. Indoor surfaces will require an additional application about once every two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups water
  • 1cup citrus peels
  • Saucepan
  • Coffee filter
  • 2 tbsp. citrus scented soap
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Plastic spray bottle


  • Animal Resuce League of Iowa: Aversives for Cats
  • Natural Cat Repellent Products
  • How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden
Keywords: cat repellent, cat deterrent, citrus cat spray

About this Author

Lisa Parris writes on a wide variety of topics, but focuses on health and wellness. First published in Stone Soup at the age of 7, Parris's work has also appeared in the Journal of Comparative Parasitology and The Monterey County Herald. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in biology and attended medical school for one year before admitting she "didn't have the stomach for it".