What house plants do cats hate?

I'm looking for a plant that, if I put it in a spot or a corner, the cat will never go to there.


1 Answer 1


It's unclear if you want a plant the cat will not eat, or a plant that keeps the cat from that specific area. But here's some tips that might help:

This is a tricky one. It will really depend on the cat and you'll likely need to do some trial and error. There are numerous plants that are toxic to cats, so be careful about what you try first. If you are not 100% certain your cat will hate a plant, make sure it's non-toxic on the chance it will try to nibble on it.

Always do your research before purchasing a plant to place in a cat-occupied home.

My cats are interested in every new plant I bring into my home, but generally are uninterested and leave the plants alone. The bigger the plant (big stems and leaves), the less likely they are to eat it.

Cats are extremely sensitive to smell, and many gardeners plant specific smelling plants in their gardens to deter cat visitors. You could consider some of these plants, if they work indoors. Things like rosemary and lavender are particularly irritating for cats and they will avoid it. HERE is a link of smells cats hate (please note the toxicity), so you can also consider creating a safe spray to put on a plant (safe for both the cat and the plant). Citrus is a good option because, while it can cause discomfort if ingested, most cats avoid it because of the smell. Something prickly, like a cactus, will also deter cats for obvious reasons.

Another solution would be to put a plant that cats love in an opposite corner or other part of your home. Catnip and Catgrass are easy to grow, and the cat will learn that it can eat/play with that plant instead of other plants. Plus, it's good enrichment for your cat, and entertainment for you!

  • Roses are also a possibility for being thorny and non toxic to cats. I've also seen recommendations for coleus canina.
    – Kai
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 18:28
  • We've tried using rosemary to deter a neighbor's cat from upsetting our indoor cat from outside a window. It didn't seem to help; he sat right next to the plant. So be aware that the effectiveness likely differs from cat to cat, and on how much the cat wants to be there.
    – rhashimoto
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 21:39

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