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10 Best Cat Repellents in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat staying away from plant because of scratch mat

While cats are wonderful pets, there are times when they behave in ways that you simply do not want them to. They can scratch furniture and dig up your freshly planted garden to relieve themselves, for example. Perhaps you may simply want to keep them away from potentially dangerous plants in your yard or keep stray cats or the neighbor’s feline out of your garden. To stop a cat’s behavior, you will need some kind of deterrent.

There are several options available, from sprays to motion sensors and ultrasonic devices. Such repellents are harmless and won’t cause any stress to your feline friend. With all these options available, which one is best, and how do you know it will work? There is a repellent for almost any situation, and we rounded up the best cat repellents that we could find, complete with in-depth reviews, to help you choose the best one for your unique needs. Let’s dive in!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
PetSafe SSSCAT Motion-Activated Dog & Cat Spray PetSafe SSSCAT Motion-Activated Dog & Cat Spray
  • Motion activated
  • Refillable bottles available
  • Odorless, harmless, and stainless spray
  • Best Outdoor
    Second place
    Diaotec Ultrasonic Outdoor Solar Powered Repellent Diaotec Ultrasonic Outdoor Solar Powered Repellent
  • Infrared sensor
  • Built-in solar panel
  • Made from weatherproof plastic
  • Best Indoor
    Third place
    Emmy's Best Pet Products Stop the Scratch Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray Emmy's Best Pet Products Stop the Scratch Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray
  • Versatile
  • Won’t stain
  • Made with safe and natural ingredients
  • Best for Training
    Sentry Stop That! Noise & Pheromone Cat Spray Sentry Stop That! Noise & Pheromone Cat Spray
  • Pleasant smell
  • Mimics a natural, calming pheromone
  • Makes a loud, attention-grabbing noise
  • Best for Furniture
    CLAWGUARD Furniture Scratch Shields CLAWGUARD Furniture Scratch Shields
  • Flexible
  • Easy to install
  • Made with tough marine-grade vinyl
  • The 10 Best Cat Repellents — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. PetSafe SSSCAT Motion-Activated Dog & Cat Spray — Best Cat Repellant Spray

    PetSafe SSSCAT Motion-Activated Dog & Cat Spray

    Material: Plastic, stainless steel
    Features: Battery-powered spray release
    Best for: Indoor or outdoor use

    Our top choice overall of a cat repellent is the PetSafe SSSCAT motion-activated cat spray due to its effectiveness and potential for use in various situations. The spray housing is motion-activated and will detect when your cat comes within 3 feet of the device. It delivers an odorless, harmless, and stainless spray to keep your cat away. Each refillable bottle can deliver 80–100 sprays and is ideal for keeping your cat away from counters or furniture indoors and as trashcans or sensitive areas outdoors, as it is completely wireless, powered by four AAA batteries.

    The only issue we found with this deterrent is that many customers report the sensor only working sporadically, even with new batteries installed.

    Pros
    • Motion activated
    • Odorless, harmless, and stainless spray
    • Refillable bottles available
    • Capable of 80–100 sprays per bottle
    • Battery-powered
    Cons
    • Motion sensor only works sporadically

    2. Diaotec Ultrasonic Outdoor Solar Powered Repellent — Best Outdoor Cat Repellent

    Diaotec Ultrasonic Outdoor Solar Powered Repellent

    Material: High-grade ABS plastic
    Features: Solar powered, USB charging
    Best for: Outdoor use

    If you need a cat repellent for outdoor use, look no further than the Diaotec Ultrasonic solar-powered cat repellent. This device works by emitting ultrasonic waves, high-frequency alarms, and two flashing LED lights that are triggered by the infrared sensor to keep cats away. The built-in solar panel keeps the rechargeable batteries charged, but it can conveniently be charged via USB too. While it may make your cat feel slightly uncomfortable, it is perfectly safe and will work with dogs and small wild animals too. The high-grade ABS plastic is weatherproof. The sensor has an angle of 120 degrees, with a detection range of 20-25 feet, ideal for garden use.

    However, this repellent is expensive and can become annoying because it may go off when you walk past it too!

    Pros
    • Ultrasonic wave, high-frequency alarm, and LED lights
    • Infrared sensor
    • Built-in solar panel
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Made from weatherproof plastic
    • Wide sensor detection range
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Noisy

    3. Emmy’s Best Pet Products Stop the Scratch Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray — Best Indoor Cat Repellent

    Emmy's Best Pet Products Stop the Scratch Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray

    Material: Liquid spray
    Features: Natural ingredients
    Best for: Indoor use

    Stop the Scratch from Emmy’s Best Pet Products is made with safe and natural ingredients, including rosemary oil and lemongrass, that will help deter scratching but still smell great. The spray can simply be applied wherever you have an issue with your cat scratching, including drapes, sofas, or wooden furniture. The pungent smell will help keep them away and is a great tool for training. The spray is made in the U.S.A., it does not stain, and the smell can easily be washed out.

    Some customers reported that the spray didn’t work for their cats, though, and the smell can easily become overwhelming after a while.

    Pros
    • Made with safe and natural ingredients
    • Versatile
    • Great for training
    • Won’t stain
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work for some cats
    • Strong smell

    4. Sentry Stop That! Noise & Pheromone Cat Spray — Best Repellent for Training

    Sentry Stop That! Noise & Pheromone Cat Spray

    Material: Liquid spray
    Features: Pheromone mimicking
    Best for: Training

    Training a cat can be challenging at the best of times, and a tool such as the Stop That! Noise and Pheromone cat spray from Sentry can make the process easier. The spray mimics a natural pheromone that immediately calms and refocuses your cat by reducing their excitability. The spray also makes a loud noise that further distracts and deters your feline without causing harm and is excellent in training when used directly after the unwanted behavior. The lavender and chamomile fragrance is great for feline parents too!

    This spray is comparatively expensive, though, and many customers reported that the loud noise scared their cats for some time afterward. Also, the small bottle is only enough for roughly 20 sprays.

    Pros
    • Ideal for training
    • Mimics a natural, calming pheromone
    • Makes a loud, attention-grabbing noise
    • Pleasant smell
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Small bottle

    5. CLAWGUARD Furniture Scratch Shields — Best Deterrent for Furniture

    CLAWGUARD Furniture Scratch Shields

    Material: Vinyl
    Features: Clear vinyl to match furniture
    Best for: Furniture

    If you have a problem with your cat using your furniture as their scratching post, these scratch shields from Clawguard may help stop the behavior and protect your furniture in the process! Made with tough marine-grade vinyl, the shields are flexible to protect corners and are a breeze to install with the included upholstery twist pins. They are also removable and easy to clean with a damp cloth, are tough enough to withstand scratching claws, and can be used on almost any soft furniture item. The shields come in packs of two and are made in the U.S.A.

    These shields will not work on leather sofas or wooden furniture because they need to be fixed in with pins, and while most cats will be deterred, some may view the mats as their new scratching posts!

    Pros
    • Made with tough marine-grade vinyl
    • Flexible
    • Easy to install
    • Easy to clean
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Won’t work on leather or wooden furniture
    • May not deter some cats

    6. PetSafe Indoor Radio Fence Transmitter for Cats & Dogs

    PetSafe Indoor Radio Fence Transmitter for Cats & Dogs

    Material: Plastic
    Features: Wireless, adjustable barrier range
    Best for: Indoor use

    If you have areas where you do not want your cats to venture or simply want to keep them indoors, the PetSafe Radio Fence Transmitter is a great deterrent. The transmitter uses tone and static corrections to remind your cat to stay away and is perfectly safe and harmless. It can protect areas from 2 feet up to 10 feet away and is compatible with any PetSafe In-Ground Fence receiver collar, which is sold separately. You can also add in extra transmitters to increase the protection zone, and you can use it with multiple cats.

    This transmitter needs the compatible collar to work correctly, though, which does not come included, and this can make the setup expensive overall.

    Pros
    • Uses tone and static corrections as deterrents
    • Safe and harmless
    • Wide transmitting range
    • Can be used for multiple cats
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Receiver collar not included

    7. Pet MasterMind Claw Withdraw Scratch Deterrent Cat Spray — Best Cat Deterrent

    Pet MasterMind Claw Withdraw Scratch Deterrent Cat Spray

    Material: Liquid
    Features: Plant-derived formula
    Best for: Indoor use

    The Claw Withdraw Scratch Deterrent spray from Pet MasterMind is made with a herbal blend of rosemary and astragalus mixed with pure, deionized water and no harsh chemicals or parabens. The spray is easy to use by simply spraying the areas that you want to stop your cat from scratching, and the strong odor will keep them from coming back. While your cat will not enjoy the pungent smell, it’s pleasant for owners and won’t stain, so it is safe to use on any fabric or carpet.

    With cats being cats, many customers report that this spray didn’t work to deter their cats. Also, the smell doesn’t stay for long, so you’ll need to respray every day, which can get expensive with a 4-ounce bottle.

    Pros
    • Free from harsh chemicals or parabens
    • Herbal ingredients
    • Pleasant smell
    • Doesn’t stain
    Cons
    • May not work for some cats
    • The smell is not long-lasting

    8. RIVENNA Animal Chaser with Flashing Light and USB Charging

    RIVENNA Animal Chaser with Flashing Light and USB Charging

    Material: Weatherproof plastic
    Features: LED flashlight, infrared sensor, ultrasonic speaker
    Best for: Outdoor use

    If you have an issue with stray cats or want to keep your feline out of certain areas of your yard, the RIVENNA Animal chaser is a great repellent. It is fully solar-powered, but the rechargeable battery can be charged via USB if needed, and a 4-hour charge will last for up to 5 days. The infrared sensor has a 110-degree angle left to right and 55 degrees top to bottom. It has an adjustable sensitivity setting, so you can set it up exactly where you need it to be. The high-pitched frequency and flashing LED lights will work to deter cats but can be used for dogs and wild animals too, with five selectable settings to choose from. Plus, it is waterproof!

    Some of the parts on this repellent are of poor quality, however, and several customers reported that the solar panel stopped working after only a few months.

    Pros
    • Solar and USB charging
    • Long-lasting battery
    • Wide-range infrared sensor
    • Adjustable sensitivity settings
    • Waterproof
    Cons
    • Poor quality parts

    9. Homarden Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Cat Mat (Set of 10)

    Homarden Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Cat Mat (Set of 10)

    Material: Plastic
    Features: Flexible, non-toxic
    Best for: Indoor and outdoor use

    The Scat Mat from Homarden is a versatile cat repellent that can be used in various applications: wrapped around trees, laid on flower beds, or put around indoor furniture. It can easily be cut to any size. Each mat measures 16 x 13 inches, with 1-inch spikes, and is super flexible yet tough and long-lasting. The spikes will not hurt your cat but will be enough to deter them, making it a humane and convenient way to keep your cats out of sensitive areas.

    For adventurous or persistent cats, these mats may not be enough to deter them, as they can walk between the spikes. Also, while the spikes are soft and not that sharp, they could still potentially injure your cat if they were to fall on them.

    Pros
    • Highly versatile
    • Flexible
    • Tough and long-lasting
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Won’t work with adventurous cats
    • Potential for injury

    You might also be interested in: How to kitten proof a room [Ultimate Guide]


    10. 3-in-1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid Cat Repellent Spray for Indoor and Outdoor Use

    3-in-1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid Cat Repellent Spray for Indoor and Outdoor Use

    Material: Liquid spray
    Features: Long-lasting bitter taste
    Best for: Indoor and outdoor use

    The 3-in-1 Cat and Kitten Training aid has a repellent scent, loud noise, and added bitters to safely yet effectively keep your cat from scratching where you don’t want them to. The spray can be used safely on wood, fabric, plants, and drapes, and the formula won’t stain or mark. The spray is long-lasting and can be used indoors or outdoors and is an ideal training tool for kittens and adults alike. The spray is made in the U.S.A. from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients with eco-friendly recyclable packaging.

    Several customers reported that this spray did not deter their cats in the least, though, and some cats even enjoyed the taste! The sprayer is also of poor quality and breaks easily, sometimes after only a few uses, and it is comparatively expensive.

    Pros
    • Three-in-one repellent
    • Added bitters
    • Ideal for training
    • Made from locally sourced ingredients
    Cons
    • Some cats may enjoy the taste
    • Poor quality spray head
    • Expensive

    hepper cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    With all the different types of cat repellents and deterrents available today, it can easily become confusing to decide which is the best and which will work for you. The answer is not as straightforward as one might hope, though, because one type may work for some cats and not for others. It depends on your individual cat. Spray repellents work great for certain cats, while noises will work for others, and some may need a combination of various repellents.

    Here are the most common types of cat repellents available today.

    cat with electronic repellent

    Sprays

    Cat repellent sprays have long been the top choice for cat owners because they are generally inexpensive and easy to use. Some of these sprays are pungent to your cat but odorless to humans, while others have strong smells that are pleasant for humans but horrible for cats. Sprays are great because you simply spray the area that you want them to stay away from, and they’ll soon learn to keep clear. These often make a loud sound that can help with training too.

    Of course, some cats may not be bothered at all by the smell! Also, these sprays need to be regularly applied in order to be effective. This can become tiresome and expensive, and your cat may go right back to scratching once you stop spraying.

    Electronic repellents

    Electronic repellents are great because they offer a more permanent solution and can be used indoors or outside. These repellents work on infrared sensors that detect when your cat is close by, and then transmit a high-pitched noise and flashing LED lights to help deter your cat. The sound is usually inaudible to humans and can work for other animals too.

    Mat repellents

    Mats are among the simplest and most affordable solutions to stop cats from scratching or digging. Some mats simply protect your furniture and make it uncomfortable for cats to scratch it, while others have sharp spikes or uncomfortable textures that stop cats from walking on them and can be used in the garden or around trees.

    What to Look For in a Cat Repellent

    When choosing the right cat repellent for your needs, there are a few important points to consider:
    • The last thing that you want from a repellent is to cause any harm or stress to your cat, so whether you choose a spray or mat, you want it to be safe as possible. Sprays should be free from any harmful ingredients, mats should be soft and not have any sharp edges, and electronic devices should not cause your cat too much stress.
    • It’s important to consider where you’ll be using your cat repellent and then choose appropriately. Some repellents will work both indoors and outdoors, while others are suitable only for one area. If your cat is only scratching your sofa, for example, you could consider either a spray deterrent or mats and see which works. Electronic deterrents can work indoors, depending on the type, but are best for outdoor use.
    • Most of these repellents are expensive, so you’ll want them to be as durable as possible. Sprays should have a long-lasting effect on the area that they’re applied to, mats should be as durable and scratch-proof as possible, and electronic repellents should be weatherproof and well-built.

    You might also be interested in: 5 Reasons That Cats Hiss at Each Other (and How to Stop It)

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    Our top choice of cat repellent overall is the PetSafe SSSCAT motion-activated cat spray. The spray is super versatile, can be used in various applications, is motion-activated, and delivers an odorless, harmless, and stainless spray to keep your cat away. The sprayer is refillable, and each bottle can deliver 80–100 sprays. It is completely wireless, powered by four AAA batteries.

    Our favorite cat repellent for outdoor use is the Diaotec Ultrasonic solar-powered cat repellent. It works with ultrasonic waves, high-frequency alarms, and two flashing LED lights, all triggered by an adjustable infrared sensor. It is made with high-grade, weatherproof ABS plastic. For indoor use, we love the Stop the Scratch from Emmy’s Best Pet Products because it’s made with safe and natural ingredients and can simply be applied wherever you have an issue with your cat scratching. It will not stain fabrics or wood.

    There are a ton of different cat repellents available nowadays, all of which have various applications, so it can be confusing to pick the right one. We hope that our in-depth reviews have narrowed down the options and helped you choose the best cat repellent for your needs.

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