Saturday, March 22, 2014

DIY Cat Repellent

I have a cat named Batman. He's less than a year old and when we got him as a young kitten, he developed a habit of biting cords. And then he progressed to biting cabinet doors. And window latches. And really anything he can get his little toofers on. I tried the water bottle, that didn't work. I had heard of covers you can put over cords... but they stink up your apartment. Then, I came across this post from LouisesCountryCloset for a DIY cat repellent using orange peels and it seemed too easy not to try. And holy crap, it works! I was 100% shocked because I was 100% sure it wouldn't work. Even if you don't own a cat, I bet you have a flower bed neighborhood cats like to use as a litter box.... you might want to give this a try and save your petunias!

It's easy, all you need are:

1. Orange peels
2. A spray bottle
3. (optional) Cheese cloths or nylon hose to wring out as much as you can from the orange peels. I tried using a cheese cloth and it didn't work, but you don't really need them anyway.

I used 5 oranges and a medium pot and was able to make 12 oz (in a 14oz. bottle).

First, peel your oranges. I found it helped to score the oranges into quarters.

Next, put the peels in a medium pot and add just enough water for the peels to float at the top. Let the water get to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes, to release the oil.

After 10 minutes, drain out the water and if you want, use a cheesecloth or nylon hose to wring out the peels for anymore liquid.

Once cooled, pour into a water bottle and spray wherever you like!

I immediately started on these open cords Batman seems to be fond of. His reaction?

He sniffed....

And then walked away with his mouth open, aghast I would ruin his fun.

Of course, every cat is different so yours might not react the same way but hey, it's cheap and worth a shot, isn't it? And there's enough to last a long time!

P.S. - Your house will smell ah-may-zing.

TOTAL COSTS: About $5 to make 24 oz. (price from Vons)
$4.99 to buy 10 oranges
Water bottle on hand

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: About 30 minutes
5 minutes to peel oranges
6 minutes to get water up to a boil
10 minutes to boil water
10 minutes to let cool

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
This isn't hard at all (unless you have a problem peeling oranges). Give it a shot and save your cords, door stoppers, or flower beds!


  1. Wow - I did a quick look around and found that the SF Herb Co. sells dried orange peels for anyone who wants to make a big batch of this. I had heard that orange oil worked for this, but I'm going to do up a DIY batch of this and hope it keeps the cats out of the garden... until it rains or gets too foggy... you'll have to let us know how long it keeps Batman from chewing everything.

    1. Unfortunately it only lasted about 24 hours and he was back to chewing on the cords, so it'll just take repeated spraying until the cat learns. Wish it lasted longer...