Why Do Some Trees & Bushes Smell Like Cat Urine?


One of the problems homeowners face is how to protect their landscaping from marauding neighborhood animals looking for a restroom. However, this is not necessarily the reason that some trees and bushes produce an odor reminiscent of cat urine. Whatever the reason may be that your yard gives off an unpleasant smell, you can take certain steps to reduce or eliminate the odor.


  • Black pepper and/or pine cones are excellent deterrents to feline prowlers. Use vinegar to remove any lingering odor.


  • If you have recently placed mulch in your landscaping or garden, this could be the culprit. The moisture in the mulch can begin to rot, giving off an ammonia-like odor. Try raking it to promote drying.


  • Certain trees, such as white spruce and locust trees, are known to produce a cat urine type of odor.

Other Plants

  • Box elder, the herb Valerian, and certain types of viburnum and penstemon, are additional stinky vegetation culprits for which cats are erroneously blamed.

Advance planning

  • If you're thinking of adding a few plants to your landscaping, you may want to ask someone at the plant nursery what to expect before you invest in what may turn out to be an obnoxiously noxious plant.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Amanda Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Alessandro Valli Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Diana House Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Christian Guthier Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of chelseagirl
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