Cat repellent plants – Pests and diseases – Plants against cats

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Odourful verbena

Verbena odorosa The fragrant verbena, scientific name Aloysia citriodora or Lippia citriodora, is a plant native to South America (especially Chile) that emanates a citrus aroma, very pleasant for the human sense of smell. On the contrary, it is hated by all felines for the intensity of the perfume and some notes that we completely escape.

It is a perennial plant, but very sensitive to low temperatures: it should be grown as an annual plant, sowing every year in February in a hot greenhouse, or be withdrawn to a sheltered place when the first cold arrives.

This essence is also appreciated for its other qualities: it can be used for the realization of relaxing herbal teas (for example combining it with lemon balm, mint or lime). It is also extremely decorative, thanks to the spiky flowers of a beautiful purple-blue.

Coleus Canine

ColeusThe coleus (scientific name Plectranthus caninus) is another easily found plant that can be very useful to defend us from cats. When rubbing the leaves, you will immediately feel a strong and very particular smell, similar to that produced by skunks. For us it is not particularly annoying, but cats are very sensitive to these aromatic notes and tend instinctively to avoid the areas that are impregnated with them.

We can get the seedlings from the nurseries in the spring or sow them ourselves: the growth is fast. Also the coleus is aesthetically appreciable thanks to the light green colour of its leaves and the flowers in the delicate shades of purple and lilac. Let’s use it in pots or as an excellent wallpaper for semi-shaded and slightly moist areas.

Ruta graveolens

Ruta graveolens This perennial herb is very easy to grow: it prefers well-drained soils exposed to direct sunlight for at least 5 hours a day. The cold rarely causes damage, but in the northern regions and on the hills it is good to prepare a thick mulch made of leaves and straw. It has a fairly good ornamental value, especially if inserted in the natural garden, in the mixed border or in the marginal zones of a garden.

Cats can’t stand the aroma produced by leaves and flowers, so they will avoid the areas where it grows, but we can also cut branches and distribute them regularly everywhere. The apical leaves and seeds, with a bitter taste, can also be used in cooking in omelettes or for the preparation of herbal teas. Let’s be careful, however, because in large doses it is poisonous.

Aromatic herbs

erba cipollina There are also many other medicinal plants that cats can’t stand because of the strong smell of leaves and stems. Among these we can safely report the mint, sage, lemon balm, wild fennel, chives, thyme, savory, lavender and rosemary. By preparing a garden of the simple near or all around our garden and distributing everywhere small pots containing these plants we will greatly reduce the negative impact of our feline friends.

For decorative flowerbeds we recommend instead to create a beautiful collection of multicolored allium: we prefer preferably those of small size. Their smell is really intense and, varying the types, we can have them in bloom from spring to late autumn.

Aromatic herbs

erba cipollina There are also many other medicinal plants that cats can’t stand because of the strong smell of leaves and stems. Among these we can safely report the mint, sage, lemon balm, wild fennel, chives, thyme, savory, lavender and rosemary. By preparing a garden of the simple near or all around our garden and distributing everywhere small pots containing these plants we will greatly reduce the negative impact of our feline friends.

For decorative flowerbeds we recommend instead to create a beautiful collection of multicolored allium: we prefer preferably those of small size. Their smell is really intense and, varying the types, we can have them in bloom from spring to late autumn.

Cat repellent plants: Company

Dittamo Dictamus albus is an endemic plant belonging to the Rutaceae family, with a woody base and herbaceous stems. The large leaves, similar to those of the ash tree, have the particularity of being covered by glands that secrete an aromatic substance with notes of citrus and vanilla. We find it pleasant, but it is so intense that it becomes repellent for dogs and cats.

It grows well in full sun or in mid-shade, even in poor soils; it also has an ornamental value thanks to the large ears of pinkish-white flowers produced in the middle of summer. It can be used as a medicinal or aromatic plant (in small doses), but we avoid placing it in the garden if we have children: rubbing the leaves on the skin can cause more or less serious irritation.

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