|How To Live With Cats||
With cats, the nose knows. Cats recognize their friends, familiar territory and food they consider safe to eat by scent as much as by sight. There are smells most cats love (catnip) and scents most cats hate (some herbs). Your cat's nose knows when he comes across a stranger, starts to eat something he shouldn't or ventures into territory where he's not welcome.
Scents cats hate can be used as a training tool to keep cats away from your garden or even off the furniture and kitchen counters. But what repels one cat may go completely unnoticed by another. My beautiful orange PK hated the smell of lavender. But the rest of his cat family didn't even notice it and would wander through the neighbor's flowerbed undeterred. If you're going to use scents cats hate as a training tool, you'll need to be patient and willing to experiment.
The Yuck Factor - Smells That Are Disgusting To Cats
What smells make a cat wrinkle its nose in disgust? It depends on the cat, of course, but these are scents most cats hate.
Warning: Mothballs and mothball flakes are toxic to cats and other animals and, when used outside, contaminate the soil and groundwater. Never use mothballs to repel cats or other animals.
Toxic Smells - Some Scents Can Cause Severe Illness In Cats
Mothballs and mothball flakes are sometimes used to repel cats. But the fumes from mothballs are toxic to cats and other animals. Cayenne pepper is another popular cat repellant that can burn the cat’s mouth and eyes if he gets it on his paws and then washes his face.
Scented candles and carpet and air fresheners all smell wonderful to humans but can be annoying to cats, whose sense of smell is much more acute than ours. The scents from these products can trigger asthma attacks and even seizures in cats, and the essential oils in some can irritate your cat’s mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract if ingested while grooming. Some essential oils can be lethal to cats.
How To Use Scents Cats Hate Outside
Try these tips for keeping cats out of your garden and flowerbeds.
Coleus canina: The National Gardening Association suggests making a hedge of coleus canina plants spaced about three feet apart around flowerbeds, sandboxes and other areas where cats are unwelcome.
Plants And herbs: Intersperse lavender, geranium, absinthe, lemon-thyme, citronella, rosemary or garlic chives among the other plants in your garden or use them as a border around flowerbeds.
Citrus and banana peel and used coffee grounds: Scatter citrus or banana peel or used coffee grounds in the areas where you want to repel cats. They'll need to be refreshed almost every day.
Tip: Instead of repelling your cats, make them feel welcome by giving them their own garden. Choose a sunny spot and plant catnip, cat mint and valerian. Leave some bare soil for them to roll around in, and add a bench for napping. They'll be happy cats and leave your garden alone.
Using Scent Training Indoors - The Nose Knows Places That Are Off Limits
Try these scents cats hate to keep them off counters and furniture.
Tip: If your cat is eliminating inappropriately, sprinkle catnip in the places where he's using the floor or furniture. Catnip is a "friendly" scent and discourages urine marking.
Electronic Deterrents - Safe, Effective Ways To Train Your Cat
While using scents cats hate can be an effective way of training your cat, I find electronic deterrents are a lot more efficient and much less labor intensive.
For outside, pet supply stores sell electronic deterrents that emit a high-pitched sound that only cats can hear or spray a stream of water on four-legged trespassers. Inside, ScatMats create a slight tingling sensation when stepped on. Cats don't like the feeling and stay away. All are designed for pets and won't harm your cat.
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