I am wanting to concoct a solution containing rue to spray on my furniture to deter my cats from clawing. Does anyone have knowledge/experience of this? (I have fresh rue in the garden and quite a bit of dried rue as well)
Rue is supposed to deter cats and dogs, but to be honest I think it's a load of hooey! Some animals don't like it, but others absolutely love it! Same with other 'animal repellent' herbs like Dogbane.
You might be better using a citrus-based concoction. Cats hate citrus, and THAT I'm sure of! You could try rubbing your furniture with handfuls of lemon balm leaves - it's an excellent furniture 'polish', and has a citrus smell to it.
You could try rubbing on the rue leaves and see if that works. I wonder how the human animals in your house will like it, though!
I'd be very careful about using any herbal tea on wooden furniture - water and wood don't go well together.
Citronella oil WORKS! We had a problem cat who kept "spraying" everything apart from lying on it. Just put about 5 or 6 drops into a spray nozzle bottle (+_500ml) and spray away. You can also pour the citronella oil into a base of jojoba or coconut and use it as furniture polish - it works nicely.
Thx for the comments/suggestions!
I happen to have quite a bit of lemon balm in the garden as well as several volunteer patches thru out the yard!Rather ironic how the treasure is often hidden in plain sight!
Re: the citronella oil...is that essential oil or something else, such as a petroleum distillate that one burns in oil lamps?
I intend to conduct an experiment to determine which is the best deterrent for my cats. I have 4, and will not buy a new sofa for them to turn into a clawing post!
Citronella, by rights, comes from a very close relative of lemongrass, namely Citronella Grass, Cymbopogon nardus.
There are probably a few fakes out there. In fact, there is one pelargonium, the lemon-scented geranium, which sometimes passes under the name of Citronella Plant. I do wish nurseries wouldn't do things like that!! To me, it's false advertising.
SUCCESS AT LAST!!! I bought some citronella essential oil and added 10 drops to 32 oz. of water in a spray bottle. I shook the spray bottle and then sprayed the upholstered furniture. The cats have not clawed there since! And the scent is definitely more pleasing than rue. This was a very valuable suggestion, THANK-YOU,THANK-YOU THANK-YOU!!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, anyone using Rue, Ruta graveolens, please be very careful! The leaves have oil on them that greatly intensify the sun. A number of years ago I was weeding among a number of large Rue plants. I was wearing shorts. The oil brushed off on my legs and unbeknownst to me, as I continued to work in the summer sun, the oil was adding to the intensity of the sun on my skin. Later that night I noticed what looked like a rash on my legs. In the middle of the night I woke with unbelieveable pain. When I turned on the light I discovered that my legs were sunburned to the point where each of my legs had only one blister - from the point of the hem of my shorts all the way down to the top of my foot where my shoes began. The pain was so intense that I had to sleep in the recliner with my feet up because any time my legs were below my heart the burn throbbed unbearably. The next day I went to the Dr., a pompous ass who insisted that it was poison ivy and would only prescribe cortisone cream. I tried to tell the Dr that this was a burn not a rash but he would not hear of it. After all HE WAS THE DOCTOR. After three days of abysmal pain the likes of which I hope I never have to endure again, I went to the emergency room. Fortunately the doctor here was more receptive to my suggestion. He had the nurse apply a burn cream called sulfadine. The instant - INSTANT - the cream touched my skin the pain went away. This is definately a miracle drug. The stuff was unbelieveably expensive but worth every penny. My point here is that Rue can cause a viscious sunburn. Beware of children around Rue, and protect yourself too. Later I found out that Rue is used in Italy as a way to KEEP (?) from getting sun burned. They take it internally to condition the skin for time in the sun. Personally, I would never use or grow Rue again. To those of you who do, please be careful!