A cat with sticks of cinnamon

Does cinnamon keep cats away?

Let’s be honest, cats are lovely creatures, but there are times when you don’t want them around. For instance, if the neighbor’s cat has been pooping all over your garden and wreaking havoc on your homegrown vegetables, that’s not a fun situation. You might go online to find possible solutions. Some websites state that cinnamon works as a natural repellent. But does it actually work? Will cinnamon keep unwanted feline visitor away?

Cats don’t like the smell

Cats have a very strong nose, which is good because they need their sense of smell for a multitude of things. They use it to recognize other animals, but also to figure out where their territory is, and to sniff out potentially dangerous objects and substances. If you’ve ever sniffed a stick of cinnamon, you know how potent the smell is. This is the reason why cats are not particularly drawn to cinnamon sticks; not necessarily because it’s toxic, but because the scent of cinnamon is extremely overpowering.

Knowing this, you might be tempted to use cinnamon to keep cats away from certain areas. But as we will see in the next paragraph, this is not a very humane solution.

Can cats eat cinnamon?

While cinnamon is not inherently a toxic substance to cats, it can still have plenty of harmful side effects when consumed in larger doses. Cats that eat strong spices will quickly cause a lot of irritation to their bowels. Cinnamon can also trigger allergies in particularly sensitive cats, just from surface contact to the skin or inhalation.

To conclude, laying sticks of cinnamon around your garden is not a very humane approach. You may even upset the owner when they find their cat in pain. There are more effective repellents available, which we will explore now.


There are many other humane and more effective alternatives for keeping cats away. Vets usually recommend sprinkling ground coffee beans around the area, as they work in the same way, but cats are less likely to eat them.

Another interesting option is to install motion detectors that send a high-pitched sound whenever something walks by. These will also work against other animals.

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