The 25 Best Cat Deterrent Sprays of 2020
As much we love our kitties, sometimes they do things we’re not so fond of, like scratching the furniture or chewing on the rug. Cat deterrent sprays can help you teach your cat not to engage in these activities. Another reason you might need a cat repellent spray is if you have stray cats coming into your yard to use your grass as a litter box or otherwise cause mischief.
We have looked at over a dozen cat deterrent and cat repellent sprays so we could show you some of the best. We looked at safety, effectiveness, and how Amazon customers rated them.
Our top pick goes to SEGMINISMART Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray. This is a safe and natural spray made from plant-based ingredients, and it will prevent your kitty from scratching the furniture. It has a pleasant scent to humans, but cats tend not to like it and will avoid the area.
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Deterrent Sprays
*Ratings are from Amazon and may change over time.
Best Cat Deterrent Spray Overall: SEGMINISMART Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray
The best cat deterrent spray that we found is SEGMINISMART Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray. This is a safe spray that is made from non-toxic ingredients that cats don’t like. Some of the ingredients are rosemary and lemongrass, which have natural scents that most humans like. It is safe to use on most furniture, curtains, houseplants, and other areas where your cat might scratch, but you should test a small area to be sure.
For best results, you will want to start off using this spray four times per day. Apply to the area that you want your cat to avoid; re-application is necessary because the smell will fade over time. As the days go by, your cat will begin to stay away from those areas out of habit and you can reduce the number of times you spray. You can gradually spray less and less, and eventually stop using the spray altogether.
SEGMINISMART Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray Key Features:
- 3 ounces
- Smells like rosemary and lemongrass
- Natural, safe ingredients
- Is safe to use on most fabrics
- Safe for children as well as pets
Best Outdoor Cat Repellent: Safer Brand 5935 Critter Ridder
If you are looking for an outdoor cat repellent, we recommend Safer Brand 5935 Critter Ridder. This is not a spray exclusive to repelling cats; it will also encourage skunks, raccoons, and other critters to stay away from your garbage cans, flower garden, mulch, and more. The ingredients, which include black pepper and capsaicin, are not pleasant to small mammals, but they won’t hurt them.
Spray this where you need to keep cats away, and the smell and taste will persuade them to go elsewhere. The product is odorless to people once it dries. You can use it on your birdfeeders to keep kitties (and squirrels) from bothering the birds; your feathered friends won’t notice it. If the weather is fairly dry, one application will last up to 30 days, but if you get a heavy rainfall, it’s wise to reapply it.
Safer Brand 5935 Critter Ridder Key Features:
- Ready to use spray
- 32 ounce bottle
- Keeps all small mammals out of your yard or garden
- Nontoxic ingredients
- Dries odorless to humans
- Won’t bother birds
- Can last up to 30 days
Best Budget Cat Deterrent Spray: Pet MasterMind Cat Spray
Pet MasterMind Cat Spray made our top spot for budget-friendly cat deterrent sprays. This spray contains natural herbal ingredients that cats don’t like. Simply spray it on your furniture, carpets, or wherever else your cat is scratching, and she will decide not to scratch there anymore.
When you use this spray on your furniture, it helps if you also set up an area where your cat can scratch, such as a scratching post. That way, she will naturally go over to that post rather than find another piece of furniture that she can relieve her urge to scratch on. You can find the right product on our Best Cat Scratching Posts list.
Pet MasterMind Cat Spray Key Features:
- 2.4 ounce bottle
- Made of natural herbs
- Safe and effective
- Can be used on furniture, flooring, and more
- Best if used with a scratching post
Best Natural Cat Marking Spray: NaturVet – Pet Organics No Mark Spray For Cats
If your cat is marking in the house, you will want to check out NaturVet – Pet Organics No Mark Spray For Cats, which made our top spot among natural cat marking sprays. It contains enzymes that will discourage your cat from urinating on the furniture, walls, carpeting, and other household surfaces. Before use, you might consider trying a cat urine odor remover, because that will also help discourage marking. Here’s our list of the best ones.
Since this product also contains herbal scents that cats don’t like, namely rosemary and lemongrass, it can also stop your cat from scratching these surfaces. The spray is safe and won’t harm any surfaces that water doesn’t harm. You should test a small spot first to be sure, however.
NaturVet — Pet Organics No Mark Spray for Cats Key Features:
- 16 ounce bottle
- Contains enzymes to discourage marking
- Contains herbal scents that cats dislike
- Can prevent scratching
- Safe and natural
- Can be used on most surfaces
Best Cat Deterrent Motion Detector Spray: PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Pet Deterrent
PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Pet Deterrent is a product that uses a motion detector to deter your cat from jumping on the counters, scratching the side of the sofa, getting into the garbage, or indulging whatever bad habits she happens to have. You can also use it to make one area of your home off-limits to your cat. This spray is non-toxic, doesn’t smell like anything, and does not deplete the ozone.
It works by detecting motion thanks to infrared technology. When kitty gets within three feet of the deterrent, it will emit a harmless spray. Cats don’t like the startling sound nor the feeling of air blowing at them, and they’ll quickly learn to avoid the area. One caveat: It will go off if you, your child, or another pet gets within three feet of it, too. Nobody will be harmed, but it could be startling.
PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Pet Deterrent Key Features:
- Has a motion detector
- Spray is completely harmless to kitty, pets, people, and the environment
- Spray has no odor
- Works by startling your cat
- Will go off if anyone crosses its path
Who Should Cat Repellent or Cat Deterrent Spray
If you have a cat who has any annoying habits, purchasing a cat repellent or cat deterrent spray might be a good idea. Cats are intelligent, clever animals, and they will often find ways around your rules. A deterrent spray can keep kitty from scratching, marking, jumping on the counter, or engaging in other annoying or destructive habits.
You might also choose to get a cat repellent spray for outdoors if cats (or other neighborhood mammals) are getting into your garbage can, digging in your garden, or otherwise making a nuisance of themselves. Those sprays have ingredients that mammals find annoying, so they’ll simply steer clear of the areas where you spray it.
Important Features to Consider
There are a few features you should look for when it comes time to choose a cat repellent or cat deterrent spray. Here are some of them:
- Safety. Always choose a product that is safe and nontoxic to your pet or to neighborhood animals. Ingredients might be annoying or unpleasant to the cat, but you don’t want to cause any harm or illness.
- Scent. If you’ll be using the product inside of your home, you will want to be sure that it doesn’t smell bad to you. Most indoor products have no scent or smell like herbs that cats don’t like, such as citronella or lavender. Check the labels.
- Uses. A cat who is marking might need a different type of ingredients than a cat who is simply walking on the kitchen table. Be sure you buy a product that is formulated for the problem that you’re trying to solve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cat deterrent spray and how does it work?
Cat deterrent spray will prevent your cat from scratching or marking in the house. Most work by coating a surface with a thin layer of a substance that your cat will find objectionable and won’t want on her feet. Sprays that are meant for deterring marking might have enzymes that cats won’t want to mark over. Another way that some deterrent sprays work is by creating a startling sound. This depends more on the mechanism of the spray can and less on the ingredients (which are generally just compressed air or something similar).
What smell will repel cats?
Cats usually don’t like lemongrass, rosemary, orange, lavender, peppermint, or citronella. These scents are nontoxic to cats, but they often find them annoying or unpleasant.
Is vinegar a good cat repellent?
You can use vinegar (diluted with water) to repel your cat. The main issue is that the smell will dissipate quickly. Also, many people do not like the smell of vinegar, so be aware that it might annoy you as much as it annoys kitty.
How do you keep cats from peeing on things and scratching things?
Training your cat to eliminate in the litter box (or outside) and to scratch only on a scratching post can be difficult. Most cats will litter box train easily if you get them as kittens, but it can be more of a challenge to teach an adult cat who has never lived indoors. If you are having trouble training your cat to use the litter box, talk to your vet. Also, contact your vet right away if your litter box-trained cat suddenly starts eliminating in other areas; she might have a bladder infection or some other health issue. A cat deterrent spray can help if you use it in areas where your cat is marking.
For scratching, a deterrent spray can help here, as well. You should also set up a scratching post for your cat so she has a place to stretch and scratch her claws. You could rub catnip on the post or leave a few cat treats in the area so she gets the idea that she should be using that and not your sofa.
Other Cat Deterrent Sprays We Reviewed
While the following cat deterrent sprays didn’t make our top 5 list, they’re still the best of the rest. Take a look at the features listed, as they will help you compare them to make your decision.
Cat Deterrent Sprays for Indoors
Prevent kitty (as well as doggie, if you have one) from chewing on furniture, houseplants, or bandages after surgery with this safe, effective spray.
- Tastes bitter
- Gentle deterrent
- Won’t harm furniture
Choose one of four scents that will discourage your cat from scratching on furniture. Available in Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, and Original.
- Natural, vegan
- Harmless to cats
- Safe around children
You can use this spray on your furniture, houseplants, and even on your cat itself if she’s chewing at a bandage or stitches.
- Contains natural ingredients
- Use indoors or outdoors
- Safe and nontoxic
This is a travel-sized spray that you can take with you when you travel to calm your cat and prevent stress behaviors like scratching and marking.
- Uses pheromone technology
- Safe on fabrics
- Calms your cat
Rosemary oil and lemongrass combine to create a scent that people tend to like but cats tend to hate. Use it to discourage scratching.
- Use in any area of your home
- Rosemary scented
A citrus scent that cats dislike will make your house smell nice but will keep kitty from hanging out on and scratching your furniture or curtains.
- Has a citrus smell
- Safe and nontoxic
- Vegan formula
Discourage scratching with this safe and effective spray. It is safe to use on most fabrics, but check a corner or hidden spot first.
- Spray is safe and effective
- Fabric safe
- Made in the USA
Spray this nontoxic, safe spray on your personal belongings to stop kitty from scratching. You can use this with kittens as well as adult cats.
- Use on furniture, curtains, and more
- Safe and natural
- 100% guaranteed
This is the refill for the motion detector spray listed above in the top 5 list. The spray is unscented and works by startling your cat.
- Works with SSSCAT Motion Detector Unit
- Environmentally friendly
- Easy to replace
This spray makes a hissing sound that cats don’t like. Simply spray it in the air when kitty is misbehaving and redirect her to something else.
- Unscented spray
- Safe and nontoxic
- Works by startling kitty
Cat Repellent Sprays for Outdoors
This is a container of granules that work the same as a spray to keep cats and other critters out of your lawn or garden.
- Sprinkle granules on grass or dirt
- Contains pepper, cinnamon, and thyme
- For cats, dogs, and wild animals
Garlic, pepper, and peppermint oil combine with vinegar and water to create a spray that repels not only cats, but other small critters as well.
- Safe for kids and pets
- Can be used indoors as well (attics, crawl spaces, basements)
- Lasts 2-4 weeks
Cats and other small mammals don’t like peppermint, which is one of the key ingredients in this repellent spray. It can last up to 90 days.
- Safe, nontoxic spray
- Environmentally friendly
- Covers up to 1,000 square feet