Cats are curious and investigative creatures, prone to getting themselves into messes and potentially hazardous situations. Some people use eucalyptus oil to prevent cats from getting into trash cans, as the fluffy ones generally find the smell of eucalyptus oil to be unappealing.
For keeping a cat out of a trash can -- or any other restricted area, for that matter -- Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program of Cornell University recommends submerging cottons balls or a small towel in eucalyptus oil, then simply placing it on the garbage bin. The odor of eucalyptus oil, which most cats find offensive, deters them from going near and into things that smell of it. The federal Environmental Protection Agency also advocates eucalyptus oil for repelling cats.
Other Cat Repellents
Eucalyptus oil isn't the only frequently used repellent for cats. Other aromatic oils that serve to drive felines away include mustard oil, citronella oil, lavender oil and lemongrass oil. Apart from essential oils, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper and blood meal are common.
Before using eucalyptus oil to keep cats out of a trash can, speak to a veterinarian regarding its safety. The prior approval of a vet is important. While the smell of eucalyptus oil may encourage cats to stay away, consumption of excessive amounts of the oil is toxic, according to the ASPCA. If an unassuming kitty eats a eucalyptus plant or its oil, she may experience uncomfortable symptoms including feelings of weakness, depression, diarrhea, throwing up and excessive drooling. If you ever notice any of these signs in a cat, it's time to call a vet.
Be cautious when it comes to citronella oils and cats. Certain types of oils with citronella scents are dangerous to felines. For example, torch and lamp oils that possess citronella fragrances are flammable. These are not the same as citronella essential oil. Avoid using these flammable oils around cats no matter what. If you notice anyone in your neighborhood using them to keep animals out of things, kindly alert them of the dangers.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.