What I do is use the mesh bags that onions come in and spread them on the top of the soil in your plants. The cats don't like it because the mesh gets caught in their claws.
This remedy isn't exactly homemade however most house holds would have this readily on hand. Pledge furniture polish or equivalent is a possible option. its large concentration of lemon oil is really unappealing to cats, of course its application would be limited to mulch areas as it could be detrimental if it got on any near by plants, just exercise caution when applying. over the course of a few days cats will begin to recognize the area as unappealing and avoid it all together, allowing you to discontinue applying it.
I have purchased landscape stones and put them in the plants to stop to cat from digging.
Cats do not like any citrus smells, so orange, lemon, grapefruit peel should all work.
It is interesting that banana peels work for the previous poster. They are also a good source of phosphorus, and are supposed to be very beneficial for roses.
I have not used any repellent that I leave in a plant, but with all the cats I have lived with (20+), a few squirts of water form a spray bottle set on "stream" work wonders if you can catch them in the act. It is far more effective if they don't know it's coming from you. If they think it "comes out of nowhere" when they step foot in a plant, they will soon stay away from all plants.
Make a "Cayenne Pepper Tinture". This will keep most animals off of any plants. (indoor OR outdoor):
Take cayenne pepper or hot pepper flakes & soak then in rubbing alcohol or 100 proof vodka for about a week then strain it through pantyhose or any strainer & put this liquid into a well marked spray bottle. Spray this hot-pepper liquid on to your plants & the animals will stay away because they don't like the smell. The only bad effect for them might be a sneeze!
My mother and I have been using banana peels pieces in our flower beds outside to repel cats. I suppose if you put some in your house plant it will work also. Cats don't like the smell of bananas. We even tried it in the yard to repel skunks and we have not seen nor smelled one since. Worth a try. Banana peels usually go in the compost anyway. This way they are useful and will compost in the soil.
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