This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission from a sale used through a link in my blog. Please visit my Privacy Policy and Disclosure page to find out more.

Do you have a problem area where cats tend to go to the bathroom and need some kind of cat deterrent? Whether in your garden or in your home, cats can sometimes be pests. We adopted an adult cat from the shelter who chose to pee outside of her litter box until we finally figured out that all she wanted was the top off the litter box!

In the meantime, she deliberately went to the bathroom on our carpets and floors (ick!) We were almost at our breaking point until we figured out why she wasn’t using the box. Aside from getting rid of the urine and the smell, I also wanted to deter her from peeing again in those same locations; as I have found, cats tend to continue peeing in the same place. If you need a carpet cleaning recipe that gets rid of cat urine and its smell, check out my homemade carpet cleaner

About the Recipe

There is a super simple recipe for homemade cat deterrent. It uses peppermint essential oil. I have done A LOT of research on the subject and I am quite aware that large amounts of pure peppermint oil can be toxic to cats. Cats are very sensitive to smells (much more than we are) and they don’t have an enzyme in their liver to properly process certain essential oils. Because of this, my homemade deterrent is very diluted and is also only recommended in the areas you don’t want your cat to frequent. Make sure your cat has a place to escape and if you live in a small apartment or home, it’s probably not the best idea to use this recipe.

That being said, below are the ingredients you will need:

  1. small glass bottle (you can find that on Amazon for a reasonable price)
  2. Rubbing alcohol (or odorless vodka)
  3. Distilled water
  4. 10 drops of pure peppermint essential oil


Fill the glass spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol. Add the 10 drops of essential oil and mix. Then add the distilled water to fill the bottle.

Spray this in all the areas the cat has previously peed. My cats avoid these areas like the plague and even after the smell of peppermint has gone, I no longer have problems with my cats peeing there. On occasion (maybe every few months) I’ll spray the areas again.

Other Options

You can also add a drop or two to a cotton ball and place it in your garden if you want to rid neighborhood cats from peeing or pooping there. I have done it in my garden to prevent cats from peeing in my vegetables and it has worked. Because the oil is outside, it deters cats and they are able to easily escape the smell.

It’s really that simple. As always with essential oils, make sure to be careful using them. Peppermint is considered a hot oil and can irritate skin if it comes into direct contact. And just remember, cat pee is yucky, but your cat’s health is important. Use essential oils carefully and sparingly around them.

*From everything I have read, certain oils are toxic to cats in large amounts and for long periods of time. A lot of the information I have found on occasional usage is anecdotal but should be used at your own discretion. I have had no problems with my cats, but they do have the opportunity to go outside and have rooms to escape the smell if they become bothered by it.