Does cayenne pepper keep cats out of the garden?

I recently moved to Skokie, and I’m trying to grow a veggie garden in my new backyard. I have a problem, though: the kitties of my neighborhood keep nibbling on all my goods! While I love stray cats any other time, I’m currently researching how to keep them away. Does cayenne pepper keep cats out of the garden?

Shannon Fitzgerald · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Congratulations on your new home in
! How very…well, cat…of those neighborhood cats to welcome you in by eating all your fresh garden vegetables. Certainly, stray cats are great to have around the yard for pest control, but not when they become a pest themselves! That said, cayenne pepper does keep cats out of the garden, and is actually an extremely effective tool for repelling feline visitors.
Here’s why:
  • Cats hate the smell of capsaicin, which is contained in cayenne pepper—it’s harmless to them, though!
  • Cayenne pepper won’t hurt your plants—it’s nontoxic.
  • Cayenne pepper can also repel dogs, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and even insect pests like spider mites and lace bugs
Another option is to use orange or lemon peels, or pinecone mulch to deter pests if you’re worried about cats getting irritated eyes or paws. If you do stick with the cayenne pepper method, just be sure to wash your veggies well before consuming them (unless you like your garden vegetables spicy!).
Protecting your vegetable garden from hungry kitties can take some sweat and (spice-induced) tears. But protecting other property, like your car and home, can be quite simple with
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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