Essential Oils To Keep Cats Off Counters

Essential Oils To Keep Cats Off Counters

You dearly love your pet cat but that does not mean you want to give her full access to any place in your home.  Kitchen counters, for instance, should be a no-cat zone because it is where food is prepared. An effective solution to keep your cat away from your counter is by using some pet deterrent like citronella or eucalyptus essential oils. Cats naturally hate the smell of these essential oils because of their strong smell. 

Why are cats fond of climbing into counters?

Cats are fond of climbing high places like on top of furniture or refrigerators and counters mainly because it’s an instinct that they inherited from their ancestors. Originally, cats are tree-climbing mammals and even the modern-day domesticated cats still possess this particular instinct. Aside from this, cats naturally love to climb into high places because they want to keep an eye on their environment and it’s second nature for them to survey their surroundings also as part of their instinct to hunt for prey. 

Essential oils to keep cats off counters

While cats are fond of climbing on counters it’s a place that they shouldn’t be encouraged to go to because it’s where food is prepared.  You can effectively keep them off your counter by using these essential oils as pet deterrents.

1. Eucalyptus oil 

Major constituents: eucalyptol, limonene, pinene, terpineol, cymene, globulol

Uses: as antiseptic, repellent, flavoring, pharmaceutical, fragrance, and for industrial use 

Eucalyptus oil possesses a camphoraceous, minty, and woody-sweet scent that most humans love and it strongly reminds us of Vicks vapor rub and Tiger balm. However, its distinctive scent proves too strong and offensive for cats that’s why they hate it and avoid places where they detect its scent.

How to keep cats off counters with eucalyptus oil:  Soak a cloth,  small towel, or some cotton balls in eucalyptus oil and place it in the counter area. Also, you can rub the counter surface with a cloth sprinkled or sprayed with eucalyptus oil. 

2. Citronella oil

Major constituents: citronellic oil, borneol, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, citronellal, camphene, limonene, citral, dipentene 

Uses: as an insect repellent, flea remover, deodorizer, cough and flu reliever, and has tonic effect 

Citronella oil which is extracted from lemongrass leaves has a strong citrus-like smell that cats find too strong that’s why they avoid it. Similarly, they’ll avoid areas  that have the aroma of citronella oil. 

How to keep cats off counters with citronella oil:  Mix 20 drops of citronella oil in 200 ml of water and place the solution in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on the counter surface. 

3. Citrus/lemon oil 

Major constituents: linalool, pinene, limonene, a-terpineol, linalyl acetate, nerolidol, acetate neryl, farnesol, acetate geranyl

Uses: pain reliever, for aromatherapy, for weight loss, to ease stress, elevate mood, stimulates the immune system, heals acne and warts 

Citrus or lemon oil is extracted from the peels of the citrus limon plant and it has many uses and benefits. It has a strong scent that cats find offensive as it feels like an assault to their ultra-sensitive noses that’s why they hate and avoid it. 

How to keep cats off counters with citrus/ lemon oil: Simply soak cotton balls in citrus/ lemon oil and place them in your counter. You can also make a solution by mixing equal parts of citrus/ lemon essential oil with three parts of water. Shake it well and spray the solution on the counter surface and you can also rub citrus peels on your counter. 

4. Lavender oil 

Major constituents: camphor, linalool, linalyl acetate, a-pinene, limonene, trans-ocimene, 3-octanone, caryophyllene, lavendulyl acetate 

Uses: for aromatherapy, treats anxiety, for fungal infections, to treat allergies, depression, insomnia,nausea, eczema, and menstrual cramps 

Lavender essential oil has a sweet and floral scent with herbal and balsamic undertones. It’s a popular ingredient for perfumes, soaps, and air fresheners. However, cats hate and avoid it because of its strong smell that they find offensive. 

How to keep cats off surfaces with lavender oil: Immerse cotton balls or a small towel in lavender oil and place it in your counter.  You can also make a lavender oil solution by mixing the essential oil with equal parts of water and spraying it on the counter surface to keep your cats away. 

Other ways to keep your cats off counters 

Here are some other ways to distract or keep your cats away from your counter:

  • confine your cat in another room during your mealtime  
  • place a substitute to give them the illusion of height such as a catio, cat perch or cat condo 
  • reward appropriate activities 
  • play with your cat for a few minutes each day 

Final thoughts 

Cats are natural climbers and instinct dictates them to jump and climb into high places like a refrigerator top or a counter. However, these are places that are major no-no’s like a cat’s lounging area. You can easily deter them from going to your counter by soaking a cloth, small towel, or cotton balls with essential oils like eucalyptus and citronella. Cats hate its strong smell and avoid it at all costs. You can also distract your pet kitties by encouraging them to indulge in playtime and keeping them active by placing scratching posts, a cat perch, or a catio.