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DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellent Spray

Last year, our cat Lucy started scratching our headboard in the bedroom. Usually, it was in the middle of the night while we were sleeping. It was so annoying. So I did a TON of research to figure out How to Stop a Cat from Scratching the Furniture and then I made my own Lemon & Rosemary DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellant Furniture Spray for the headboard in order to discourage Lucy from scratching it. It definitely helped! 

DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellent Spray

It’s thanks to the lemon and rosemary scents to which cats have a natural aversion. They apparently HATE both the smell of citrus and rosemary.

However, PLEASE NOTE my homemade spray uses essential oils which can be toxic to cats who don’t have the liver enzymes necessary to break down the essential oils. So, if you make and use my Homemade Cat Repellant Furniture Spray, NEVER EVER spray it directly on your cat and don’t even spray it if your cat is in the same room. If you know your cat licks that spot, do NOT use the spray.

Also, please make sure the essentials oils bottles are properly stored – you know how curious cats can be!

The nice thing about this spray is that it smells SO good! A little woodsy because of the rosemary, but also light, fresh, and clean because of the citrus. Whenever I spray it, my husband remarks on how nice it smells in the room. He loves it! 

The full printable recipe for this DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellent Spray is below, but you’ll need a few ingredients and supplies. I simply grabbed all the ingredients including the lemon essential oil, rosemary essential oil, spray bottle, and vegetable glycerin on Amazon and then picked up some distilled water from the grocery store.

Here are the links: 

And I know my photos show actual lemon and rosemary inside the spray bottle, but you really don’t need it. I just added it to the bottle because I knew I was going to write this post if the spray worked and I wanted the photos to look pretty. 

If you don’t want to use the lemon and rosemary essential oils around your cat, you can make your own lemon vinegar and rosemary vinegar by soaking real lemons and real rosemary in vinegar for 2-3 weeks. Then simply mix the two and dilute with some distilled water and you’ll have a natural spray. Just be sure to patch test the spray on an inconspicuous piece of your furniture first. 

Now, I’m not hippy-dippy, I don’t use essential oils to cure any ailments or ward off spirits, but I really do think this DIY cat scratch repellent spray helped. It didn’t stop the scratching altogether, I had to do other things (which I discuss in my post on How to Stop a Cat From Scratching the Furniture), but it definitely did keep Lucy away from our headboard. 

Here’s a photo of the cute culprit:

DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellent Spray

DIY Homemade Cat Scratch Repellent Spray

Yield: 1 bottle


  • 20 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp Vegetable Glycerin
  • Distilled Water


  1. Add 20 drops of lemon essential oil, 20 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin to a spray bottle.
  2. Fill up the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  3. Shake bottle.
  4. Test spray on an inconspicuous part of your furniture.
  5. Smell the test spray, add more lemon essential oil or rosemary essential oil if you want a stronger scent.
  6. Once you determine the test spray didn't damage your furniture, spray where the cat tends to scratch.
  7. Do NOT spray your cat directly. Do not spray near your cat. Essential oils can be toxic to cats, so use caution when spraying.
I hope this helps if you’re trying to get your cat to stop scratching the furniture! Let me know if you have any questions in a comment!

And if you’re having other issues with your cat, be sure to check out my other kitty related blog posts: 

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Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Be careful and read up on this. Many lemon essential oil and some other essential oils may be highly toxic to cats due to their inability to metabolize phenols and benzyl alcohol.


Friday 9th of September 2022

How much water do you use. I saw one post suggesting 10 drops to 3/4 water. How many ounces or amount of water is 3/4 water???? Where are the brains?

You yourself, suggested the following: Add 20 drops of lemon essential oil, 20 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin to a spray bottle. Fill up the rest of the bottle with distilled water. You forgot to tell us how big the bottle iiishould be or how much liquid it holds.

How much water are you telling us to use in ounces or cups (or some kind of measurement?) and please don't suggest any ingredient like glycerin without telling why it is needed.

Russell Bukowski

Saturday 16th of July 2022

How often do you spray?


Saturday 15th of January 2022

Do you need to use the vegetable glycerin? What is it for?


Thursday 6th of January 2022

Hi, thanks for the recipe. I will give it a try. Is the glycerin an essential ingredient? What is it for? Also, I don’t quite understand the proportions: 20 drops of each eo with how much water? Thanks again.

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