Does garlic stop cats from pooping in garden?

You wake up before sunrise, cook your favorite toast, brew your magic elixir to wake your senses up, and then you realize that it’s such a beautiful day to only be wasted indoors. So you glance outside, see the beautiful garden and decide that it would be a good day to have breakfast in your garden. You walk outside lo and behold, the beauty is marred by a pungent smelling poop from your neighbor’s cat. Now your appetite and day is ruined.  

Will garlic keep cats away?

Garlic can be very effective to stop the cat from pooping in the garden. Cats hate the smell of garlic. If you are looking for plants and herbs to plants to deter cats garlic, citronella, chives, rue, and geraniums are the ones. You can also make an efficient Garlic Spray Deterrent.

So how do you do you use it? Keep reading and find out!

Cats are certainly not at fault, but isn’t life more beautiful when you are not greeted by a pungent odor so early in the morning? Cats use poop and pee to mark their territory, and your garden is indefinitely marked as long as you don’t do something about it. 

Well, there are a lot of things that you can do about that. Cats’ sensitivity to smell is fifteen times stronger compared to humans, they have an organ called Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ that they can taste the things that they smell. Surprisingly, one of those that they are repulsed by is a kitchen staple called garlic. Since cats have a very sensitive olfactory sense, felines abhor garlic.  

Effects of cat poop 

Deterring cats from entering your garden is understandable, cat poops are health hazards for humans and garden. Cat feces holds millions of bacteria and parasites, it can cause diseases to humans and pose very dangerous health problems for infants and pregnant women. 

According to a website called Mayo Clinic, “toxoplasmosis (tok-so-plaz-MOE-sis) is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world’s most common parasites. Infection usually occurs by eating undercooked contaminated meat, exposure from infected cat feces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.” Additionally, it may cause flu-like symptoms and can weaken a child’s immune system. It can cause seizure, confusion and lung problems to people with underlying health conditions.  

Cat feces are also carriers of parasites including tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms. Cat poop may contain the same fertilizing properties as cow manures, but cat feces cannot end up in a vegetable garden. This is one of the reasons why parasites and diseases coming from cat feces infect humans.  

The many uses of garlic 

Garlic is certainly very effective to stop cats from pooping in your garden. It may be appetizing and gratifying for humans but they absolutely hate garlic to the core. Although garlic can actually be toxic to cats, one clove of garlic is enough to give them an upset stomach. Cats cannot digest garlic and vegetables like humans. So to avoid accidentally hurting cats while still having the goal of keeping them out of the garden, a garlic spray deterrent is the most humane way to go.  

Garlic Spray Deterrent 

Materials to prepare: 

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper  
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard  
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon  
  • 1 crushed garlic clove  
  • 3 to 4 drops of lemon concentrate/juice 
  • Water 
  • Spray  


  1. Boil the water  
  1. Put the garlic clove in the boiling water for approximately 3 minutes  
  1. Wait for the water to cool down 
  1. Mix in the black pepper, dry mustard, cinnamon and drops of lemon concentrate/juice. Stir well and then transfer to a spray bottle  
  1. Spray the mixture on desired locations or areas where cats would often poop and pee. You may also spray the mixture to the flower beds or areas surrounding the vegetables to protect it against cats. This will also prevent raccoons from stealing your hard earned  

Vegetable crops

  1. You may spray the mixture in your garden at least twice a day to ensure that the smell stays there.  

Reminders for a more humane way of deterring cats using garlic 

A pet insurance called Pet Health Zone created an article that explains the dangers of garlic to cats, according to them “garlic, like other members of the Allium family, contain compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates which can be toxic cats and dogs if ingested. The ingestion of garlic causes conditions called hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia, and methemoglobinemia which are all manifestations of damage to red blood cells. Essentially, the compounds in garlic can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet’s body to become very fragile and burst.” It is important to note that you should not sprinkle garlic cloves to your garden to discourage cats from pooping there. Some cats can tolerate the smell of garlic and can possibly ingest garlic cloves sprinkled around the garden. It is highly encouraged to use a spray containing garlic and other cat deterring odors for it to be more effective and humane. 

Common Questions 

Is garlic also effective for keeping away dogs too? 

Dogs do not like garlic or the smell of it since they too have a very sensitive nose and garlic is also toxic to dogs. Garlic has thiosulfate that dogs and cats cannot process in their system. If your dog or the neighbors dog would often wander in your yard to poop, the garlic spray is also effective in keeping them away.  

What are other household items that keep cats away? 

The most effective way to discourage cats from doing their business in your yard is through targeting their olfactory sense, or using scents they don’t like to keep them out. Here are some of the household items that you have at home that you can use as cat repellents: 

  • Coffee grounds  
  • Cinnamon  
  • Thyme  
  • Rosemary  
  • Citrus peels  
  • Apple cider vinegar  

How much garlic can be toxic to cats? 

According to a veterinary toxicologist named Dr.Ahna Brutlag, garlic is five times more concentrated than onions. She said that one clove of garlic is enough to make cats and dogs sick if ingested. The body weight of the cat should also be considered, the smaller the breed the higher the toxicity level of garlic is.  

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