Will cat litter get rid of moles?

Moles are underground mammals that create tunnels and piles of dirt on lawns and gardens as they search for food like grubs and earthworms. While moles play an important role in aerating soil, their tunnels and dirt mounds can damage lawns, gardens, and flowerbeds. Many homeowners search for humane ways to deter moles and get rid of the unsightly mole hills in their yards. One popular home remedy is using cat litter to get rid of moles. But does cat litter actually work to get rid of moles? Here’s a look at the facts.

What Causes Moles?

Moles create tunnels and damage lawns as they search for food. Their main food sources are earthworms and grubs that live underground. Moles excavate surface tunnels to search for these insects to eat. As they create these tunnels, they push up dirt to the surface, forming mole hills or mole mounds. Moles are active year-round, but are most active during the spring and fall when they are breeding and preparing for winter. While unsightly mole hills are the most obvious sign of moles, they can also damage plant roots and lawns by disrupting soil and burrowing. Controlling grubs, worms, and other mole food sources can help reduce their activity. But moles can be persistent, so many homeowners also use repellents or traps to control active mole populations.

Will Cat Litter Get Rid of Moles?

Many natural mole repellents rely on strong scents, textures, or tastes to deter moles from burrowing in an area. The theory behind using cat litter as a mole repellent is that the strong scent of the cat urine or absorbent texture of the litter will repel moles. However, there is little scientific evidence that cat litter actually works to effectively repel moles for these reasons:

Cat Urine Scent

The strong scent of cat urine in used cat litter is unlikely to repel moles. Moles have a poor sense of smell compared to many mammals, so the urine odor may not register or deter them. There is no evidence that cat urine scent specifically repels moles.


Some claim the sandy, gritty texture of cat litter will annoy moles burrowing through it or damage their sensitive snouts and paws. However, moles are adapted to burrowing and tunneling through all types of soil and grit. Cat litter texture is unlikely to deter them.


Some cat litters contain absorbent materials like bentonite clay to absorb moisture. However, moles tunnel through all types of soil, including clay soils, wet soils, and mulch with no issues. Cat litter absorption is unlikely to deter moles or impact their ability to burrow.

No Concrete Evidence

There are no scientific studies that provide concrete evidence that used cat litter or its specific properties actually repel moles effectively. Anecdotal reports of success are limited and often conflicting. Using cat litter to repel moles is not backed by strong evidence.

Potential Risks of Using Cat Litter for Moles

While using cat litter as a mole repellent likely does not help effectively deter moles, there are some potential risks associated with the practice:

Digging Hazard

Spreading cat litter across your lawn could pose a risk for pets or children who may dig in the area and accidentally ingest the litter. Ingesting clumping cat litter can cause intestinal blockages.

Soil Contamination

The chemicals, perfumes, or other additives in some cat litters could potentially contaminate garden soil, especially if repeatedly applied. This could negatively impact plants.

Waste Buildup

Over time, applying used cat litter can cause a buildup of waste and odors as it starts to decay. This can negatively impact soil and attract pests. Proper disposal is recommended.

Disease Transmission

Used cat litter may transmit diseases or parasites like toxoplasmosis that can infect humans and wildlife. Only use fresh, clean litter as repellent.

Effective Methods to Get Rid of Moles

While cat litter is unlikely to be effective, proven methods to get rid of moles include:


Trapping is the most effective DIY method to get rid of moles. Traps like scissor or harpoon style mole traps physically capture and kill moles when placed properly in active tunnels. Practice caution when setting traps.

Mole Repellents

Repellents containing castor oil, capsaicin, or predator urine use scents or tastes to deter moles. Apply these regularly per product instructions. Avoid using mothballs or pesticides.

Soil Fumigants

Fumigants like aluminum phosphide pellets release gas to kill moles in their tunnels when placed properly. They require special certification to apply.

Mole Barriers

Barriers like wire mesh or mole spikes placed underground can prevent moles from burrowing into specific areas. Effective for protecting gardens and flower beds.

Grub Control

Controlling grubs and worms through insecticides or natural predators removes a key mole food source to reduce their activity long-term.

Method Pros Cons
Trapping Very effective removal method, affordable traps available Some skill required, can be time consuming
Repellents Natural formula options available, ease of use Repeated applications required, variable success
Fumigants Rapidly eliminates moles in tunnels Risk of misapplication, restricted-use only
Barriers Effective prevention for gardens/beds Can be labor intensive to install properly
Grub Control Targets food source for long-term solution Does not remove existing moles quickly

Using Cat Litter Correctly

If you do wish to try using cat litter to repel moles despite limited evidence that it works, some tips include:

– Only use fresh, unused clumping litter – avoid health risks of used litter.

– Spread litter along tunnels, around mounds, and near active areas.

– Reapply litter after rain or watering washes it away.

– Combine with other deterrents like mole spikes or repellents.

– Monitor for continued mole activity and do not rely solely on cat litter.

– Properly dispose of old litter to avoid buildup.

Key Takeaways on Cat Litter and Moles

The key facts to understand when considering using cat litter to get rid of moles include:

– There is no concrete scientific evidence cat litter effectively repels moles.

– The scent, texture, and absorption of cat litter are unlikely to deter tunneling moles.

– Improper use of cat litter can pose some health and environmental risks.

– Trapping, barriers, and grub control are proven effective mole removal methods.

– Cat litter should only be used with caution and in combination with other deterrents.

– Expect to use other control methods as cat litter alone is not a mole solution.


While using cat litter to get rid of moles is a popular DIY method, there is little reliable evidence that it is an effective mole repellent on its own. Cat litter is unlikely to deter moles through scent, texture, or absorption. Trapping, barriers, and grub control are more reliable solutions backed by research. Cat litter should only be used minimally and in combination with other mole deterrents for the best results. Expect to employ additional mole control methods if relying solely on cat litter. But avoid health and environmental risks by using fresh litter properly if you wish to try it along with proven mole removal techniques.

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