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Home > Cats > Will Irish Spring Soap Keep Cats Away? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Will Irish Spring Soap Keep Cats Away? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Keeping cats out of your garden can seem impossible, especially if you’re trying to grow or maintain a yard. Cats can make themselves a nuisance by using the garden as a litter box or trying to catch other creatures visiting the garden. The good news is that Irish Spring deodorant soap, with its intense aroma, can keep cats away.

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How Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Cats Away?

Cats don’t like Irish Spring because of its strong scent. Cats really don’t like citrus smells, and the iconic fragrance of Irish Spring is primarily made up of bergamot.

Irish Spring smells especially strong if ground or cut and is also non-toxic, which makes it ideal to use. Cats have a sense of smell 14 times as powerful as ours (they have 200 million scent receptors in their noses), so pungent aromas can be offensive to them.

cat lying on the floor hiding behind the curtain
Image By: Mantikorra, Shutterstock

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How Do I Use Irish Spring To Deter Cats?

Irish Spring soap can be used in a few ways to stop cats from coming into your garden, all of which are easy and cheap:

1. Use a Spray Bottle

To create an Irish Spring spray bottle, shave some Irish Spring soap and place it into the bottle. Then, fill it with water, attach the sprayer nozzle, and shake it to mix. This will create a scented spray bottle that can be sprayed around the garden or on fence panels.

Safety Disclaimer: Don’t spray the mixture directly onto any cats; this is cruel and can make them sick.


2. Shred It and Place in a Bowl or Around the Garden

Shred the bar and collect the shavings in a bowl using a knife, fork, or razor. The bowls can be placed around the garden strategically, or you can sprinkle the shavings around the garden. Shredding the bar will release more of the scent, which can help to deter cats more effectively.


3. Place Bars Around the Garden

Placing whole bars of Irish Spring around the garden, into plant pots, or onto flower beds can also help to deter cats but may not be as effective as the shavings. Whole bars can also be placed on decks or patios to stop cats from visiting.

divider-cat Is Irish Spring Toxic to Cats?

Irish Spring is not toxic. Cats will probably stay away from the strong-smelling soap, and it is unlikely they’ll ingest any. However, Irish Spring can be harmful if used directly on the cat.

If they are washed in or sprayed with it, apart from being unnecessary, the fragrance will cling to the cat’s fur, causing them stress and maybe even making them sick when they try to wash it off.

Bar of Irish Spring deodorant soap
Bar of Irish Spring deodorant soap (Image Credit: Dwight Burdette, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0)

Does Irish Spring Repel Other Animals?

Irish Spring has a reputation for repelling other animals in your garden, as well as cats. Deer are reported to hate the scent of Irish Spring, and gardeners sharing tips have explained how placing the soap in bags and hanging them on your plants can be an effective deterrent.

Mice, rats, and rabbits are also repelled by Irish Spring, making it a cost-effective way to deter all kinds of invaders from entering your lawn.

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Final Thoughts

Irish Spring soap is a classic product with a potent aroma. Because of the soap’s citrus ingredients, most cats detest the smell and avoid garden areas containing Irish Spring. You can use the soap as a deterrent by making a spray bottle solution or by spreading the shavings around your yard. It is an affordable and safe alternative to purchasing expensive commercial products.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: christiancmccorbeti, Pixabay

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