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Will Cayenne Pepper Hurt Car Paint?

Will Cayenne Pepper Hurt Car Paint?

Have you had a problem with a bunch of cats that won’t leave your car alone? That’s a lot more common than you’d think if you’ve only heard about it online. 

Cats tend to enjoy how warm an engine feels after you’ve parked the car. They’ll hang out on top of the hood, leaving little footprints. 

Not everyone likes having a bunch of cats on top of their car. So, they’ll start trying to get them off it by scaring them away. 

Most cats don’t scare easily, though. That’s why it’s so hard to get them to stay off the car for good. 

You can use a little cayenne pepper to discourage them from sitting there.

But could this spicy cabinet staple hurt your car’s paint?

Putting cayenne pepper won’t damage your car’s paint. You can actually use it as a deterrent if you’ve had issues with animals getting on your car. Just sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top of the car, and nothing should bother it anymore. 

It’s not going to do anything to your car’s paint. But, it should still stop the cats from spending too much time around it. 

Why Does Cayenne Pepper Deter Animals From My Car?

There’s a chemical inside it called capsaicin that’s irritating to most animals. They’ll feel like their skin is burning if they’ve touched any of it. 

Fortunately, it doesn’t actually harm them at all. You don’t have to worry about the cats getting hurt if you’ve put cayenne pepper on the car. 

Most of the time, they’ll leave the car alone once you’ve covered it with pepper. 

Most cats would rather find somewhere else to spend their time if you’ve put any on the hood. Capsaicin might be something we enjoy eating. But, very few cats want anything to do with it at all. 

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’ve applied it to the car properly. Otherwise, it’s not going to make much of a difference in the long run.

Putting it on top of your car for a night is only going to stop the cats once. 

After they’ve discovered the car doesn’t have any on it, they’ll get back on it. 

That’s why it’s so important to put pepper on the car often. The more often you’re able to cover the hood, the fewer cats will get on top of it. 

Why Would Someone Put Cayenne Pepper on a Car?

There’s only one reason most people would put it on their car. That’s to stop cats from sitting on top of it all night. 

A lot of places seem to have a ton of strays living in the area. They’ll start looking for somewhere warm to spend the night once the sun starts setting. 

By the time it sinks below the horizon, they’ll find a warm spot. It’s not uncommon to see them huddled on top of car hoods and manhole covers. 

Both places tend to stay a little warmer than the rest of the area. So, they’ll try to spend as much time there as possible. 

All those cat claws can damage your car’s paint.

If you’ve had a bunch of cats on your car’s hood, putting some cayenne pepper on it might work. They’ll notice that you’ve put it on the hood once they’ve jumped onto it. 

It won’t take them long to realize they’ve stepped in a bunch of it. Cats never have to deal with cayenne pepper in the wild. So, it can have a pretty powerful effect if it touches their fur. 

The cats won’t stick around with pepper stuck to their coats. They’ll figure out somewhere else to hide while they’re cleaning themselves off. 

Does Cayenne Pepper Actually Work to Keep Cats Off Cars?

Cats are some of the most perceptive creatures we’ve ever encountered. It’s not surprising to hear they’ll run away if they’ve found cayenne pepper.

It probably hurts their nostrils to even sniff. 

Covering your car’s hood with cayenne pepper should put a stop to the cat’s nightly meetings. 

They’ll find another spot to spend their time once they’ve found the pepper. 

You can also use pepper to discourage rats from nesting in the engine bay. Toss a little bit around the inside of the bay. 

Make sure you’ve covered most of the bay’s interior before you finish putting it in there. 

The more area you’re able to cover, the more effective the deterrent will be. 

Covering most of the engine bay with pepper should prevent any rodents from living there. Don’t use low-strength pepper, though. That’s not going to be strong enough to keep them out of the car’s engine. 

Alternatives to Cayenne Pepper for Keeping Cats Off Cars

Cayenne pepper is only one way you can try to keep cats off the car’s hood. 

You can also create your own deterrents to use on it. Cats have rather sensitive noses, so they’ll notice scents right away. 

Using something with a strong smell can be useful if you’re trying to keep them off the car. Try mixing a little essential oil with some water. 

We’d recommend using one that has a strong scent, even when it hasn’t been diluted. 

Mix it with water until you’ve created a strong-smelling solution. You can use this to coat the car’s hood and make it less attractive to cats. 

Always put some of it on your car’s hood before going to bed at the end of the day. 

Putting it on top of the car each night is crucial if you’d like them to stop. The cats will learn to avoid your car if it always has stuff on it.

They’ll figure out another place where they can relax if your car is no longer a possibility. 

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!