What Smells Deter Cats from Peeing in Inappropriate Places?

If you've ever been faced with the unpleasant task of cleaning up cat pee from around your home, you’ve probably thought of ways to stop cats from relieving themselves in unwanted spots. In this post, we'll explore some of the most common smells that deter cats from peeing in inappropriate places.
What Smells Deter Cats from Peeing in Inappropriate Places?

It is an indisputable fact that cats are among the most popular pets in the world. They’re adorable, cuddly, and can be a lot of fun to play with. But when it comes to their litter box habits, they can often be a bit of a challenge.

Believe it or not, your house will start to smell if your cat starts peeing everywhere but in their litter box. And one of the best ways to deter your cat from peeing is by using smells they don’t like to your advantage. But what smells deter cats from peeing?

One of the most popular smells that deters cats from peeing is citrus. This includes smell of lemons, oranges, lime, and other citrus fruits. Cats associate these smells with danger, specifically to predators. In addition to these, the smell of lavender, coffee, vinegar, peppermint, and eucalyptus also deter the cats and can be effective against cats peeing in unwanted areas.

Why Do Cats Pee in Inappropriate Places?

There can be several reasons why your cat is peeing in inappropriate places, and it is important to figure out the root of the problem. Once you do, you can start to use the smells listed below that will deter cats from peeing there and keep your house smelling fresh.

Here are some reasons you should consider.

  • They don’t like their litter box: It is the most common reason. This can be due to the type of litter, the location of the litter box, or the cleanliness of the litter box.
  • Your cat is stressed, anxious or bored: This could be because there is another cat in the house that is dominating the litter box, or your cat simply doesn’t like sharing. You failing to spend time with your cat can lead them to boredom.
  • Medical issues: If your cat has been recently diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or another illness, it may be why they are peeing in inappropriate places.
  • Incontinence: This is more common in older cats.
  • Change in environment: If you’ve ruled out all the above reasons, it might be a sign that they’re not happy with their environment. Consider if you have recently moved, added a new pet to the family, or changed the way you feed your cat?

6 Smells That Deter Cats from Peeing

Now that you know why your cat might be peeing in inappropriate places, let’s find out what smells deter cats from peeing.

Note: For this to work more effectively, start from the location where your cat is most likely to pee. Here’s how you can find cat pee.

Ground Coffee

One way to deter cats from peeing is by sprinkling some ground coffee around the areas they tend to pee. Cats don’t like the smell of coffee and will avoid it.

Ground Coffee

You can also use coffee beans for this. Just put some in a burlap sack like this, and place it where you don’t want your cat to go.


Another smell that deters cats from peeing is vinegar. Vinegar has a strong smell that cats don’t like (and you won’t either!) and will help keep them away from the areas they’ve been peeing.

Try a mixture of vinegar and water to avoid getting overwhelmed by the smell of vinegar yourself. You can use spray bottles, like the ones listed below, to make and spray the solution.

Just make sure to test it in an inconspicuous area before using it on the actual surface.


As we mentioned before, the smell of citrus fruits deters cats from peeing. This is because they associate the smell with danger, specifically predators.


Place a few slices of lemon or orange, or orange peels near the areas your cat has been peeing to keep them away. You can either use the burlap bags listed above for this or use an old sock instead.

You also have the option of placing a citrus plant (if you have one) at that place.


The smell of lavender is a pleasant one for humans but can have the opposite effect on cats. Cats do not like it and are therefore deterred from peeing.


You can place a few sprigs of lavender near the areas your cat has been going or purchase a lavender-scented spray to keep them away.


Although peppermint smell refreshes most people, it is a smell that cats don’t like and will keep them from peeing in unwanted areas.


You can either place peppermint leaves around the house or purchase a peppermint-scented spray to keep them at bay.


The smell of eucalyptus is another one that deters cats from peeing. This scent is often used in products to keep pets away from areas they shouldn’t go, so it’s likely to work on your cats too.

Most of the smells above can be found in essential oils. You can either purchase an essential oil diffuser or make your own spray with the oils of your choice.

Just mix water and a few drops of oil in a spray bottle and you’re good to go.

Now that you know what smells deter cats from peeing, it’s time to put this information to use!


While using smells to deter cats from peeing is a great way to keep your house smelling fresh, it is also equally important to make sure your litter box is clean and that your cat has plenty of fresh water to drink.

A dirty litter box can cause your cat to start peeing elsewhere in your house. So, make sure to keep it clean or you will end up with a bigger mess on your hands!


Here are other questions people ask on this topic.

Will using these smells stop my cat from peeing altogether?

No, using these smells will only deter cats from peeing in certain areas. You will still need to keep your litter box clean or else they will just start peeing somewhere else.

What if I can’t find the source of the cat pee?

If you can’t find the source of the cat pee, then it’s likely that your cat is peeing elsewhere because they don’t like their litter box. You’ll need to try different methods to keep them from going in other places in your house.

Can I use these smells if my cat has a urinary tract infection?

No, you should not use these smells if your cat has a urinary tract infection. You should consult with your veterinarian to find out what the best course of action is for your cat.

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      The Dutiful Cat