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26 October 2011 @ 02:43 pm
DIY cat repellent?  
Has anyone here had success creating their own "no scratch" spray for cats? I have some I purchased but I don't care for the scent, and it contains sodium lauryl sulfate which might be a problem once my baby gets old enough to start attempting to chew on the furniture. Google tells me you can steep "herbs" in water and spray that, but the stuff I found was pretty general about which herbs would work. What worked for you?
Non sono stato iocheez_ball on October 26th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I have seen garlic oil on the labels of some of the commercially available all natural cat repellents. I can't tolerate garlic, though.

The one I currently use has rosemary oil in it as well as the SLS. I tried using fresh rosemary, but as soon as it dried out the cats were at it again. In my case they were peeing inappropriately. Grody. :-P

My next attempt will be to use fresh sweet basil. The cats get yuck face whenever I prune the plants so it might work.
Lady Crimson Tide: Batzclynne on October 27th, 2011 06:07 am (UTC)
I had an ant spray that had rosemary in it. It was so strong I used to end up coughing and choking in the house. I used it outside the other day and could smell it 50' away, but at least it didn't make me cough to death.

If I were a kitty, I wouldn't scratch that stuff either!
felizlahdedahguaparella on October 26th, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
Cats don't (usually) like citrus or cilantro. The spray I've used in the past smells strongly of cilantro, so maybe orange peels and cilantro?
I'm interested in anything you find that works!
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Citrus and cilantro, I feel like I'd want to eat my furniture! Heh.
Annamk_tortie on October 26th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
My cat had a major aversion to lemon - if we dropped lemon juice on the floor, she would avoid the spot for about a week afterwards. So maybe diluted lemon juice might work, if that's a smell you can stand?
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the smell of lemon or citrus generally, and it's pretty benign, so that seems like something to try. Thanks!
juliecurieuse on October 26th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
Lemon juice can bleach things -- I'd go with lemon oil.
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
Good point, thanks! Searching around a bit I've found some evidence that essential oils are bad for cats but it looks like hydrosols are safe. Hopefully that won't have the same bleaching effect.
Krisquiet000001 on October 26th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
I'd be careful with online recipes - research the properties of the herb or essential oils or whatever yourself before using, because I know there's some stuff that cats are actually really sensitive to, and not all online recipes are good about that sort of thing.

You'll probably have to sort of try this and that yourself, too. With dogs and pet rats I've definitely found that what one critter thinks is the most vile thing ever to vile, another might think is a lovely tasty seasoning. (One of my dogs LIKED hot peppers. Weirdo.)

Anyway, I unfortunately have no suggestions because my only cat was content to claw the extremely horrible wood paneling in one room only, and it was due to be replaced anyway because it was so awful, so I never worried about it. But I would definitely double-check ingredients online just to be on the safe side.
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, unfortunately the really attractive target is the very nice new chair and a half I just bought, so I'm really hoping to talk them out of their obsession.
Karmen: cats are complicatedkarmen on October 27th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
I second the being a little leery of online recipes, we had a cat in our clinic once with suspected lavender toxicity though we could not totally prove it. Have you tried the cardboard scratchers that lay on the floor? Like this one

Its really helped a lot of the cats that I have known not scratch on chairs, like our clinic cat - just put it next to the chair. it does not mean that you need to keep it there forever, just until they get used to it them move it a few inches , then a days later move it another few inches until its where you want it to be.

Or put a sheet over the chair, looks a bit like a college dorm room but it keeps the fur off and changes the texture so they don't scratch it.
ipsafictura on October 27th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
We have one of those cardboard scratchers, and a scratching post, and a cat tower that has scratching pads. They scratch those things too, they just also fancy the chair. In terms of toxicity, I figure I'll call my vet and run anything I plan to use by them first, they're very helpful about that kind of thing.

Putting a sheet over the chair would work, but would pretty much negate my goal, which is to keep my furniture looking nice. :)
I'm tangled up in our embracewholuvsya on October 26th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
I've heard that tinfoil and sticky tape will help repel cats-not that you want those on your new chair BUT it might help to deter them long enough that they don't want anything to do with it.
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've tried those in the past with not much success unfortunately.
I'm tangled up in our embracewholuvsya on October 26th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
well boo :( hope you find something that works. Side note-have you tried softpaws for them? I clip my cats claws but apparently people have good success with them? Neither of my boys would sit still long enough to have me put them on
ipsafictura on October 26th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried them, it might be worth a shot though. My male cat will let me trim his claws, but I've got a new baby so it's just a task that's fallen by the wayside, and the female came to me as an adult and never had them trimmed so I have yet to succeed in teaching her that it's not a horrible punishment.
I'm tangled up in our embracewholuvsya on October 27th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Congrats on the new baby :) like I've said, I've heard really good things about them-our cats use the corner of our couch as a scratcher (the kitten does anyway) and because it's a piece of crap, I don't really care lol however my husband wants a new couch and I'm afraid he'll be quite upset if the cat scratches the hell out of it-I may try the softpaws for the kitten when we buy the new set
Linda: Angry ducklindapendant on October 27th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
I have a friend who used softpaws and they're way expensive. Of course, if the expense doesn't concern you it's a moot point. I do believe she said they work, but they often fell off and she had to learn how to replace them, otherwise, it was another trip to the salon.

I feel your pain, I just took in a stray kitten and she's mauling a vintage chair that I paid $500 to recover. I have covered it with a quilt hoping it will be temporary but her new favourite thing to do is to work her way under the blanket and climb the arms and back of the chair.

If you are able to catch the cat in the act, I'd suggest you keep a spray bottle of water handy and squirt the little bugger. This has worked for me to keep all my cats off the kitchen counters. They just have to see the bottle in my hand now, and they hightail it.

Kaleidoscope Eyeskaleidoscopeeye on October 27th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Foil has helped me in the past, but I have learned that I can't buy certain types of materials for our furniture because if I do, I am doomed to my cats destroying it. I stick with microfiber or leather and they don't touch it.
Lanolin of the Flocksheepi83 on October 27th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
One of my good friends has a can of compressed air with a motion sensor on it. That might be the best invention ever. It's not going to blow your cat across the room, but the gentle puff of air will certainly get their attention.
ipsafictura on October 27th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I've seen things like that. My step-sister has a motion sensor thing that mists citronella into the air, but just compressed air would be even better. I'm not sure how you'd set it up so that it would catch the cat no matter what direction they approached from though.