Are neighborhood cats frequenting your garden and porch more often?
It can often be a cause of great annoyance when these intruding neighborhood cats make their way into your premises and ruin your plants or mess up your area by defecating or urinating everywhere.
It is only natural for you to want to find out a way to keep these intruding felines away.
Bear in mind that these stray cats don’t intend to annoy you – they are just curious and territorial creatures who follow their instincts from the wilderness to explore the nearby areas and mark their territories.
In this process, they may urinate or spray in your garden or porch. Sometimes, out of sheer curiosity, they may even accidentally ruin a plant or two.
Whatever the reason behind their behavior may be, it is only normal for you to want a way to deter cats.
The great news is that you can make your own DIY cat repellents using household items that are often available in your kitchen cabinets and are easily accessible and available in most stores.
Items such as coffee grounds, vinegar, citrus fruit peels, and even used tea bags can be used to keep stray cats away.
Do Cats Really Hate The Smell Of Tea Bags?
In a word, yes. Cats do not like or even tolerate the smell of tea bags. They don’t have any particular dislike toward tea bags – they just generally cannot deal with strong aromas.
Cats are repelled by the most strong aromas such as that of citrus fruits, vinegar, coffee, and yes, even tea.
This dislike of tea bags and the smell of tea actually acts as a defense mechanism for cats, as most teas can be harmful and toxic for cats – as a matter of fact, an excess amount of tea can even kill a cat.
So, being repelled by the smell of tea works in favor of cats with respect to their health.
Some Teas With Aromas That Cats Tend To Hate More Than Others
The market today is filled with enough variety of teas to overwhelm us human beings. So, which tea bag may turn out to be more effective when it comes to making a scent-based DIY cat repellent?
While cats hate the smell of tea in general, there are some aromas that cats find more unbearable than others. Some such tea flavors that cats have an utmost dislike towards are:
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- Mint or Peppermint Tea
- Lemon Tea (and any other citrus flavor of tea)
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Tea?
A Tea Aroma That May Actually Become A Cat’s Favorite
While using tea bags and tea powder or leaves seems like a very easy way to make your own effective cat repellent, remember to not use chamomile tea for this purpose.
A lot of cats may actually start to like the smell of chamomile flowers and tea, as the smell may have similar stress relieving effects on cats as it does on us human beings.
Even if the cats don’t seem to develop a liking for the smell of chamomile tea, they may still mostly be simply indifferent towards that aroma.
So, chamomile may not actually be the right choice for making a scent-based cat repellent using tea bags or tea powder or leaves.
Interesting Read: Cats And Chamomile: Know About Chamomile Before Serving It To Your Cat!
How To Make A Scent-Based Cat Repellent With Used Tea Bags?
There are different ways you can go about when making a scent-based cat repellent using tea or tea bags.
Method 1 – Using Used Tea Bags Directly
In this method, you simply need to dig a thin layer of soil in the periphery of your garden and bury the used tea bags.
Just ensure that you don’t cover it so much that the aroma doesn’t escape – but also don’t leave the tea bags completely open as a stray cat might get curious and accidentally ingest it, which can be fatal.
The aroma of the used tea bag will be infused with the soil and will keep stray cats away from your garden.
Method 2 – Making A Cat Repellent Spray Using Used Tea Bags
In this method, all you need to do is collect multiple used tea bags and boil them in water for about 3 to 5 minutes.
After this, throw away the tea bags and pour the resulting “tea” into a bottle with a spray nozzle.
Simply spray the cat repellent in the periphery of your garden, on your porch, and on your fence. The residual smell of tea will keep stray cats away.
Method 3 – Using Tea Powder Directly
This method is almost the same as the method of using used tea bags directly. The only difference here is that instead of burying the used tea bag directly, you will have to tear open the tea bag, collect the tea powder, and mix it with the layer of soil that you dig.
When using the tea powder directly, it may help to dampen the mixture of soil and tea powder after you’ve combined them.
Damp tea powder tends to leave a stronger smell than dry loose powder.
Method 4 – Using Tea Powder To Make A Cat Repellent Spray
This step is again similar to the method of making a spray using used tea bags. You simply need to tear the bag and add the loose powder to the boiling water.
All other steps remain the same.
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Kombucha?
The Pros And Cons Of Using Used Tea Bags For Deterring Cats
Advantages Of Using Used Tea Bags For Cat Repellent
- Easily Accessible and Cost Effective
Tea bags are readily available in most kitchen cabinets and are relatively cheaper in cost when compared to commercially available chemical cat repellents.
- Eco-friendly: Dual Benefits of Repelling Cats and Nourishing Garden Soil
Tea is biodegradable, it decomposes and nourishes the soil with its tannic acid and nitrogen. So, while your used tea bags may act as an excellent cat repellent, they also act as a fertilizer for your garden soil.
- With Proper Precautions, Tea Bags Are Harmless Cat Repellents
Unlike substances like eucalyptus or bleach, which are effective as repellents for cats but also potentially dangerous and toxic, tea bags are potentially harmless.
You just need to ensure that you don’t leave tea bags out in the open without mixing them with a thin layer of soil.
If you plan on using tea bags as a repellent inside the house to keep your pet cats away from dangerous places like the gas stove, ensure that you do so in a closed container.
This is to prevent accidental ingestion by your pet cat, as tea can be fatal for your cat’s health.
Disadvantages Of Using Used Tea Bags For Cat Repellent
- May Not Be Aesthetically Pleasant When Used Directly
If you directly place used tea bags at the periphery of your garden, it may have a slightly negative impact on the aesthetics of your garden.
- Slight But Pertinent Risk Of Accidental Ingestion By Cats May Harm Their Health
While this is one disadvantage that can be prevented very well, if left in the open, accidental ingestion of tea by cats may prove to be fatal to their health.
Also, check out Does Bleach Keep Cats Away?
Alternatives To Used Tea Bags For Making A Cat Repellent
There are quite a few equally safe and effective alternatives to tea bags for making your own DIY cat repellent.
1 – Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds work just as well as tea bags when it comes to repelling cats – in fact, coffee grounds may sometimes prove to be a little more effective. Coffee tends to have a stronger aroma than tea, and thus, it will be more effective in deterring stray cats.
Check out more details: Do Coffee Grounds Keep Cats Away?
2 – Vinegar
Vinegar is another substance with a pungent smell that lingers for quite a substantial time. Cats do not like the smell of vinegar. This makes vinegar another stronger alternative to tea bags for making cat repellent.
Check out more details: Does Vinegar Keep Cats Away?
3 – Citrus Fruit Peels, Essential Oils, And Juices
One smell that cats absolutely hate is that of citrus fruits. It is strong, acidic, and lingers for a substantial time – all the reasons that make it very unlikeable for cats. You may leave citrus fruit peels in your garden, or make a cat repellent spray using juices and essential oils of citrus fruits.
Note that you should never let essential oils be directly applied to any surface – this is because if a cat accidentally licks it, it may be toxic and fatal for its health.
Check out more details: Do Orange Peels Keep Cats Away?
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all teas toxic to cats?
Not all, but most teas are toxic to cats. You may give highly diluted chamomile tea in very small amounts at room temperature to your cat – but tea is often better avoided by cats.
Can I give chamomile or green tea to my cat?
You may give these teas to your cats only after diluting them and only in moderate quantities. Always consult a vet before making any dietary changes such as this in your cat’s lifestyle.
Used tea bags are an excellent ingredient for making a DIY cat repellent that is effective, safe, and has the dual advantage of replenishing the nutrients of your garden soil.
You can either use the tea bags directly, or you can make a spray by boiling them for a little longer to make a stronger “tea” concoction.
Just ensure that you take precautions to prevent accidental ingestion of tea bags by the cats as it can be fatal to their health when ingested.
Also, read Do Moth Balls Keep Cats Away?