You love your cat, but you don’t want it to scratch up the furniture or wreck your garden.
Choosing a cat repellent is confusing. There are so many types of sprays, gels, and powders out there that it is hard to know which one is best for your situation.
I have done the research for you and narrowed down the 4 best cat repellents to cover a variety of indoor or outdoor situations.
The goal of this article is not only to provide information about each product but also how they work as well as their pros and cons.
By reading this article, you should feel confident in choosing the right product for yourself and your cat.
My name is Derrick and I am a writer for Simply Cat Care. This website provides easy-to-read helpful guides for your cat. I wrote this article to help you get ideas for cat repellents.
I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before using a cat repellent.
Check out our best cat repellent choices below:
Product Review: The Best Cat Repellent in 2021
Best Cat Repellent Overall: PetSafe SSSCat Spray Cat Deterrent
Let’s look at the PetSafe SSSCat Spray Cat Deterrent.
It is a motion and heat-detecting can that sets up a barrier between a cat and whatever you want to protect (e.g. expensive carpet). When it works – it works great. Some cats hate the sound and the unpleasant spirit of air on their face.
For example, my cat runs and slinks away if I even pick up a deodorant can. He hates the sound. This is a strong deterrent for cats that are averse to the sound of the spray.
Others will simply want to play with the can and it won’t faze them. What works best for each cat is going to vary from cat to cat.
This solution is straightforward and harmless. However, the product is pricey if it’s going to be doing heavy-duty work keeping cats at bay. The cost might be worth it to protect expensive items around the house, but others may prefer a cheaper alternative.
Product size: 7.3 x 2.6 x 10.6 inches
Product weight: 3.89 Ounces
Batteries: 4 AAA batteries (not included)
Sensor distance: 3 feet (motion and heat activated)
Uses: 80-100 sprays per can
Best Cat Repellent Physical Barrier: Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Mat
Let’s look at the Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Mat. The Scat Mat is a great physical barrier for cats.
The mats are a set of 6 plastic spike square mats that fasten around indoor and/or outdoor areas. If your cat loves to search around nooks and crannies, you can line one of these square mats around to keep the kitty away.
Not all cats are deterred by everything and this is no exception. Some cats won’t mind putting their feet on the plastic spikes whilst others will get the message firmly. If you have dogs in the house, they might damage the linings or crush them with their weight.
There’s some common sense here, and not every situation will work.
If you have a specific area to prevent a cat from accessing or scratching then these mats or other related products are worth a go. For the price, you get a bundle of 6 which is good value to get effective coverage of one or more areas.
If sprays aren’t up your alley then scat mats might be the next best thing.
Product size: 16.5 x 13.25 x 1 inches
Product weight: 1.17 pounds
Pieces: 6 pieces total
Best Cat Repellent Spray Affordable: Cat Guard Pro Pet Safe Furniture Cat Repellent (Lemon)
Let’s look at Cat Guard Pro Pet Safe Furniture Cat Repellent.
If you are after a simple product, then this is for you. It is based on a simple lemon formula that tends to work well with most cats.
Cats are not fans of citrus, so the lemon will deter many cats and the formula is able to be sprayed on furniture. If you are after a simple spray and forget option, this is for you. At an affordable price point, this product won’t hurt the wallet.
The downsides are the expensive refills. Moreover, you could make your own citrus spray at home that works as well.
Product size: 6 x 1.88 x 1.88 inches
Product weight: 4 Ounces
Sensor distance: nil
Best Cat Repellent Ultrasound: Thanos Solar Powered Cat Repellent
Let’s look at the Thanos Solar Powered Cat Repellent.
If you want to improve your chances at preventing wild cats enter your yard, an ultrasound repellent is a good choice.
The deterrents work by emitting an ultrasonic frequency that is not detected by humans. This keeps cats and other animals off your property.
This product has a motion detection system that emits warning lights when trouble animals are on your lawn. This is great since it adds another barrier to protect your house.
The product is versatile, being able to charge in sunlight with solar power. It is also waterproof and with wall or ground mounting options. Regardless of what your situation is, this product can be set up in the best location giving you maximum coverage.
The price is competitive, but at a range where it is a slight gamble whether it works for your situation. Although the reviews on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive, the product lacks independent testing. The true effectiveness of the product in properly deterring cats and other animals is therefore not completely elucidated.
If you aren’t confident this is the best solution, you might be better served with cheaper chemical alternatives. Also, whilst the ultrasound may deter other cats, it might not be ideal for cat owners since it will be unpleasant to them as well.
Product size: 5.35 x 5.28 x 4.25 inches
Product weight: 15.8 ounces
Batteries: 3 AA batteries (included in the package)
Sensor Distance: 40ft
Guide to Choosing the Best Cat Repellent
Are you looking for a cat repellent?
There are many different types of cat repellents on the market today. You can find them in sprays, granules, and even electronic devices that emit ultrasonic sound waves to keep cats away from certain areas.
But which one is right for your situation?
We’ve done all the research to help you:
In this buying guide, I will cover everything you need to know about how to choose the best cat repellent. I will help you understand what you need in your product to keep your own (or other) cats off your furniture or garden.
By the end of this buying guide, you should be able to confidently select a product that is perfect for your needs.
If you haven’t already, check out our top cat repellent picks:
Why Do I Need a Cat Repellent?
A lot of homeowners will agree that they don’t want nuisance cats invading their property.
Cats are territorial and this often extends to a range outside their immediate location. They can view other neighboring properties as hubs to hang out and solidify their stronghold.
Your yard may have attractive features such as a fish pond or birds which may attract further unwanted attention from nuisance cats.
You might not want your cat exposed to unfamiliar feral cats. Exposure to other cats is hazardous due to fights and potential infections. Cat behavior is also escalated by a lack of desexing, which increases the desire to roam around and be promiscuous.
My article on cat lifespan explored how cats are prone to exploring and entering other yards, which you can check out here.
Keeping the cats out of your gardens is something we want to do safely, humanely, and cost-effectively.
In this guide, we will explore the range of options at your disposal from sprays, odor, granules, sounds, and physical guards (e.g. fences). I will go over the utility of each option to help you figure out what is best for your needs.
Ultrasonic Cat Repellents
Cats have highly tuned senses. They are able to hear in a wider range of frequencies than humans, including the ultrasonic wavelength range .
An ultrasonic repellent emits a sound that is not heard by humans but triggers an alarm in cats.
In randomized trials, ultrasonic repellents have shown a reduction in the amount of nuisance cat entrances (e.g. opposing cats entering your yard) . They represent a humane cat deterrent that is environmentally friendly.
Not all marketed products have independent testing.
Crawford et al. (2018) tested the CatStop and On-Guard Mega-Sonic Cat Repeller products. The products reduced foreign cats entering yards by 48% and the duration of stay by 78%.
Changing the location of the ultrasonic repellent frequently may improve results by not allowing feral cats and other neighboring cats to adjust.
Drawbacks of Ultrasonic Cat Repellents
The density of cats in an area and desirable resources (e.g. fish ponds) may reduce the effectiveness of an ultrasonic repellent .
Without other additional preventative measures, cats can still frequent the locations to mark their scent and maintain territory.
The quality of the ultrasonic product is also a consideration. If the product isn’t durable and waterproof it might damage and emit unpleasant sounds audible to humans . The product will need to withstand all environmental conditions if exposed outdoors.
Ultrasonic repellents are generally a more expensive option, and many products have not been independently tested.
This means your results may vary, and a reliance on anecdotal evidence from reviews (which is not strong compared to a randomized trial).
Getting a poor-quality product that doesn’t help is a costly mistake.
Motion Activated Sprinklers
Water deters cats, so having a motion-activated sprinkler helps keep cats off your garden and plants.
The problem is motion activation will sometimes cause the sprinklers to go off constantly based on small movements (e.g. insects and birds). That could lead to a lot of water loss and a hefty bill (as well as a drenched garden).
I haven’t reviewed or recommended any device in this category.
Cat Spray Repellents
Motion sensing cat sprays are for indoor cats.
They help you to repel a cat to stay away from things you want guarding (e.g. windows and furniture). Generally, the efficacy of motion sensing sprays is variable due to lighting.
A lot of sprays break down and leak over time. With this option, it’s best to look for a quality product to test on your cat first.
Some cat repellents aren’t as effective as others.
Another cat repellent alternative is a scat mat.
The purpose of a scat mat is to create a physical barrier for indoor or outdoor settings.
The mats have plastic spikes that don’t hurt cats but are enough to deter them from the protected area.
The best cat repellent option will vary from cat to cat, but scat mats represent another alternative that can work.
What smell will repel cats?
The following things repel cats:
- Cedar oil
The effectiveness of these for use as a cat repellent is difficult to specify. Some of these compounds are directly toxic to cats, and you do not want to spray the liquid on them undiluted.
However, a small amount of diluted liquid containing those ingredients in trouble areas may be effective for deterring a cat.
What repels cats from your yard?
There is no way to stop cats from entering your yard unless you improve your fencing.
The majority of good fencing revolves around being higher and extending the fence without using hazardous materials (e.g. spikes).
Creating your own cat-proof fencing is an extensive task and might require further assistance.
Here is a website which details ideas for DIY cat fencing.
If you have neighbors with cats you will have to negotiate with them regarding ideas to prevent a cat from entering your yard. Sometimes trees can provide an effective access point for a cat to leap into another yard.
If a cat does happen to enter your yard, then you can use options such as a motion-activated sprinkler for outdoor cat purposes or ultrasonic devices.
Cats aren’t prone to digging holes so it is probably not necessary to cover this area. However, if you do have narrow gaps or passages around fences, a cat can squeeze itself out.
How do motion-activated cat repellents work?
There are a few types of motion-activated sensors.
An ultrasonic motion detector works by emitting a high-frequency sound wave.
This refracts from an object and if something passes through it disturbs the response.
These types of sensors are sensitive to pick up small changes and things like cats.
An infrared sensor detects changes in heat from living objects. These are less sensitive, but that can be a good thing in some cases (it doesn’t go off too often).
Motion-activated sensors can transfer the information to a light, sound, or even cat repellent (e.g. spray).
Can you make your own homemade cat repellent?
There are a lot of natural ingredients that repel cats.
This is best suited to people that are willing to get into the kitchen and experiment with a few things. It might get messy and take some trial and error.
However, if you find something that works it could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.
Still, many people will simply prefer to go down the route of convenience and get something they can pick up and use. Also, you might not have the advantage of setting up a motion sensor with your homemade spray.
The other downside of making your homemade product is it could be dangerous to your cat.
Cats can experience health issues when exposes to essential oils for instance, which you can read about over here.
Dilute anything you want to try in water and don’t spray it directly on the cat. Try a small amount on a trouble spot (e.g. sofa) to see if it has any benefit.
Here are some possible options:
Seek advice from a vet regarding alternative options for cat repellents.
Are cat repellents animal cruelty?
The options recommended in this article are not directly harmful to cats or other animals.
Some people suggest electric fence options, spikes, or other devices designed to cause harm.
These are not what you want to use and local laws will apply.
The goal of a repellent is to prevent access to areas you don’t want a cat accessing.
Conclusion: Best Cat Repellents in 2021 (Final Thoughts)
So you’ve read all about the different types of cat repellents and their pros and cons.
The best decision for your home will depend on what’s most important to you, but these tips should help narrow down the options and make it easier than ever before to find a solution that works well for both your furry friends and yourself.
We hope this buying guide helps:
Here is a summary of what I covered in this article:
- There are a range of cat repellents for indoor and/or outdoor use
- These include scat mats, deterrent sprays, and motion activated sensors
- What works for every situation and cat will range for each situation
- There is no product that works 100% of the time. Try something first before comitting to a product
- Think about other proactive measures to repel cats. For example, cover any holes around fences or consider raising the sides to prevent access
- If you have an indoor cat, consider adding a cat tree and scratching post to help reduce boredom and furniture destruction
- Affordable options include sprays and scat mats. Motion activated sensors are best for urgent situations (e.g. trouble cats intruding yard)
Our Verdict: Best Cat Repellent Overall
After more cat-related content?
Check out more guides below.