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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


In addition to spraying, you can place coleus carnina or rosemary plants near any area you’d like to keep feline free. Cats do not like the smell of these particular plants and will be discouraged from coming near them. Cats are unpredictable by nature; therefore, one type of repellent may work on some cats, but not all. Be prepared to tinker with the formula until you find the right strength and combination of citrus products to deter your particular feline.

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