Cat Hair in the Garden; Benefits, How To Use and Location

You likely have a massive excess of cat hair all over your home if you have a cat. It is a considerable nuisance to clean cat hair off the floors, couches, and practically every other surface in your home. The bright side is that all that cleaning may have benefits beyond just fur-free furniture, including outdoor use in the garden!

Putting cat hair in the garden improves soil quality for healthier plants and also aids in deterring pests that would otherwise eat or damage a garden. Gardeners can include cat hair in their compost or place it in the soil around the borders of their garden.

Cat hair is helpful for much more than keeping your little feline friend warm. If you or a neighbour have a garden, you will want to learn all the details about putting your cat hair to work, which I include in this post!

Does putting cat hair in the soil help plants?

Putting cat hair in the soil helps plants grow and thrive! But there are a few details about how and why that will help you become a better gardener.

The easiest way to incorporate cat hair into your garden is by adding it to your compostOpens in a new tab. bin or tumbler. The general rule for compost is only organic matter, which includes hair!

Human, cat, or dog hair are all organic materials that make a great addition to any compost pile. 

Hair in a compost pile functions similarly to greens because it is an excellent nitrogen source.

Plants need plenty of nitrogen to thrive, and cat hair will provide a slow-releasing plentiful source.

When putting cat hair in your compost, make sure to break up any clumps before adding the hair to have plenty of surface area exposure. Spreading out the hair and breaking clumps up will help it break down faster, although it can take up to 2 years for the cat hair to fully break down!

Using compost with high nitrogen content as part of the soil in your garden provides three essential benefits;

1. Nitrogen boosts growth and fruiting

Nitrogen contributes to the structure of the plant as it grows, allowing it to grow stronger and taller, ultimately making the plant capable of producing more fruit.

Nitrogen is considered the most essential element for sustaining plant growth and maturation!

2. Nitrogen increases plant metabolism

Nitrogen is crucial to the plant’s metabolism. Without a sufficient nitrogen supply, the plant cannot convert food into fuel.

3. Nitrogen enables chlorophyll creation

Finally, nitrogen helps create chlorophyll, which gives your plants a green colour, a good indicator of health.

Chlorophyll enables the plant to capture sunlight which is the plant’s lifeline!

Do be careful about adding too much hair to your compost and garden. Too much nitrogen can be damaging to the health of your plants.

Giving the compost plenty of time to process and check for good colour, texture, and smell can help you prevent an overdose of nitrogen.

How much cat hair should you put in the compost?

Cat hair is considered a green component within the compost pile, and green elements should take up 50% of the compost pile, with brown components taking up the other 50%.

You want a 50/50 balance of green and brown components for a balanced compost pile. Moisture, oxygen and microorganisms are crucial to breaking down the green and brown components.

Your measurements do not have to be exact, but you want to avoid putting too much cat hair in the compost, so be mindful of the size of your compost pile in relation to how much cat hair you put into it.

I know that if I used all three of my cat’s fur I brushed out of them, it would overload the compost!

Is cat hair a good fertilizer?

Cat hair is a good component of compost, so it makes sense that it would be a good fertilizer. However, cat hair is not a completer fertilizer by itself. It is only a helpful ingredient.

Phosphorus and potassium are also crucial to the health of your plant. In a homemade fertilizer, make sure you have sources of all three elementsOpens in a new tab. in the mix.

Nitrogen is the most important element in a fertilizer mix because plants absorb more of it than any other ingredient. If you like to be able to customize the perfect fertilizer for your garden, definitely keep plenty of cat hair on hand.

You can also use dog hair! Dogs can shed a lot too, and to learn more about dogs vs cats shedding, I wrote a post linked below that includes top shedding breeds! If you are looking for more hair to add to your compost, you may have some friends and family that own some of these pets and you can ask for their extra pet hair!

Read Now: Do Dogs Shed Less Than Cats? List of Top Shedders Included

Will cat hair keep animals out of the garden?

Cat hair can be very effective at keeping a lot of animals out of your garden. Even after the hair leaves your cat’s body, it still smells like a cat.

The smell of a predator from cat hair can deter traditionally “prey” animals like squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and even deer. If the animal could be killed or seriously wounded by a cat, the hair will be effective at deterring them away from your plants.

Because the hair’s smell is what scares the animals, you will want to replace the hair regularly, so the scent stays strong and effective.

Playing into the pest’s biological instinct can often be a much more effective pest repellent than many of the chemicals on the market. You also will not have to worry about any foreign chemicals on your plant.

Will cat hair deter mice in the garden?

Perhaps the most notorious garden pests are mice. They can cause some pretty extreme damage to an otherwise healthy garden. Cat hair is an excellent repellent for mice. The smell of their natural predator will immediately turn them around to look for somewhere else.

Where to put cat hair in the garden to deter pests

There are a few ways you can incorporate cat hair into your garden for pest management. You want the hair around the garden’s borders so that no pests even want to get close to your herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

If you have a particularly large garden, you may also find it helpful to put cat hair in between the rows of the garden as well.

The simplest way to incorporate cat hair is to just put it right down on the ground. You will want to take a trowel, rake, or another garden tool to work the hair into the soil a little bit to prevent it from blowing away in the wind.

Don’t bury the hair too far, or the scent will not be effective!

If you are in a windy area, want a cleaner look, or want the scent to be more pungent, there is another way.

Take cheap pantyhose and fill them with collected cat hair to make long tubes. Then, place the tubes along the borders of your garden. This way, the smell is not masked by the soil, and if the hair ever shifts out of place, you can easily put it back!

How to collect enough cat hair for garden

A large garden, especially if you use the pantyhose technique, will require quite a bit of cat hair.

Assuming you have a cat of your own, you can use a grooming brush or glove a few times a day to start your stash. Consider cleaning out your vacuum and then use it to vacuum up hair from their cat bed and favourite spots. Then you can collect a massive ball of hair.

If you need more than your pet produces, many humane societies and pet grooming salons will happily let you take pet hair off their hands that would otherwise go in the trash.

If you are stuck and don’t have enough, ask around your neighbourhood or family and friends for their extra cat hair! I’m sure they won’t say no unless they are trying to do the same as you! 🙂

You can always use dog hair as well! If you have a dog, you can collect the most hair from them during their shedding season. I wrote a post outlining the different shedding seasons in the different hemispheres, so you can start collecting early for your compost or garden!

Read Now: Seasonal Shedding; Why Do Dogs Shed More in the Summer?

I hope you find this information about cat hair in compost and in the garden helpful!

Have a great day!

Holly 🙂


Hi! My name is Holly. I am currently the fur mom to my beautiful three ragdoll cats, and I have owned multiple dogs over the years, including Siberian Huskies! To say the least I am experienced with all aspects of pet hair!

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