How To Keep Cats Out Of Cabinets: Proven Tricks

Last Updated on: February 7, 2024

Cat owners often grapple with their pet’s cabinet invasion. 

Aside from investing in cat trees or safe play zones for your pet, some would use deterrents, child-proof locks, and cat repellent sprays.

This guide provides insights on how to keep cats out of cabinets and navigate their cabinet fascination. We’ll cover tips, training methods, and balancing safety with their feline instincts.

Tips On How To Keep Cats Out Of Cabinets

Now that we understand why cats love cabinets, we can devise effective strategies to keep them out.

This section offers invaluable advice for all cat lovers determined to harmonize their living spaces. Remember, the goal isn’t just about keeping cats out of cabinets but ensuring a safe environment for our feline friends while maintaining order in our homes.

Here’s a list of handy tips to discourage your feline companions from entering your cabinets:

1. Use Cat Deterrents (Commercial Sprays And Home Remedies)

Many cat parents turn to commercial sprays to keep cats out of cabinets. These products emit scents that most cats dislike.

If you feel a bit crafty, you can concoct a homemade remedy using water and essential oils like citrus or rosemary. Simply spritz it on cabinet doors. 

Alternatively, double-sided sticky tape can be an effective deterrent; cats despise the sticky feeling on their paws. Stick a strip on cabinet doors or surfaces. If your cat leaps onto a countertop, a swift mist from a spray bottle can deter them from counter surfing.

2. Child-proof Locks

Baby-proofing isn’t just for babies. Childproof latches and magnetic keys keep cats out of your kitchen cabinets, storing cleaning supplies and chemicals.

Cats are curious creatures. Their desire to explore inaccessible spaces, especially sliding doors, can lead to potential hazards if they come into contact with hazardous items or substances.

Installing child locks ensures that cabinets remain shut, and using a magnetic key offers added security. It’s a simple yet ingenious solution.

3. Provide Alternative “Safe Spaces”

Cats jump, climb, and explore. It’s in their nature. But if you offer them designated spaces to express these behaviors, they’re less likely to invade cabinets.

Consider setting up a cat tree near the kitchen sink or living area. It allows your indoor cat to have its perch. A comfy bed or a cardboard box can also be an enticing alternative.

Positive reinforcement, like treats or clicker training, can guide your cat to prefer these spaces over the allure of an open cabinet.

4. Modify the Cabinet Environment

Consider changing its contents or environment if your cat is frequently drawn to a particular cabinet. For instance, store cleaning products or plastic bags elsewhere, as these can be tempting playthings (or even dangerous.)

Ensure no food is stored within reach, which could trigger their hunting instincts. Also, you may want to keep pantry items in sealed containers and avoid storing strong-smelling products in low cabinets.

Another trick? Using a baby gate and encouragement, reward cats for staying away from cabinets associated with food.

Eliminate the spaces between stacked items in your cabinets to make them less appealing for exploration. You can do so by placing double-sided tape or adding cabinet guards on shelves to deter cats. 

For those adventurous cats seeking the thrill of high places, keep the cabinet tops cluttered to discourage their leaps. Cats are more likely to lose interest when cabinets appear cramped and uninviting.

Training Your Cat Away From Cabinets

Training your cat away from cabinets is not just about safeguarding your belongings. Still, it’s also about ensuring your kitten stays safe from hazards like sharp edges, substances, or even getting trapped inside.

If you’re grappling with the issue of your cat jumping into unlatched cabinets or making a playful attempt at cabinet doors, you’re not alone. Here’s how you can effectively train them away from these tempting zones.

1. Reward-Based Training

The idea behind this is simple – reward your cat for the behavior you want to see. For instance, if your pet stays away from the cabinets during dinner, treat them with their favorite food. Or if they opt for their litter box instead of the inviting shadows of a cupboard, praise them.

Cats respond very positively to such rewards. Remember that the inverse is true; never use a startling sound or running water as punishment. Negative reinforcement will only lead to fear.

2. Patient, Consistent Efforts

Like all training, keeping your cat away from cupboards requires patience and consistency. Giving your kittens easy access to a room when you’re too tired to reinforce the rules might be tempting, but maintaining consistency is vital.

If cats have a penchant for higher grounds, offer them alternative furniture they can climb. By providing consistent alternatives and continuously discouraging cabinet interactions, your pet will soon get the idea.

3. Addressing Relapses

Even with the most diligent efforts, there might be instances where your kitty sneaks into a cupboard. Don’t be disheartened. Instead, revisit your strategy. Perhaps the smell of food is too tempting? Consider moving it. 

Do the knobs entice your cat? Try installing childproof latches or adhesive locks that deter opening. If you store cleaning supplies or other substances in low cabinets, consider putting them higher, beyond easy access.

Remember, every cat is unique. While the installation might persuade some of a lock, others might need a combination of methods. By understanding your cat’s motivations, you can keep them safe and maintain your cabinets as off-limits zones.

Alternatives To Total Restriction

1. Safe Cabinet Spaces For Felines

As many cat parents know, felines have a particular affinity for enclosed spaces. Felines enjoy open cabinets and shelves; they do it for fun and comfort. Check the sturdiness of storage shelves near a cabinet door to ensure they won’t topple if your cat jumps on them.

Instead of restricting access, why not designate safe cabinet spaces just for them? Dedicating a specific cupboard or cabinet for your cat eliminates potential dangers, such as sharp corners or hazardous substances.

Place a toy or a litter box inside to entice your kitty further. The familiar smell can make the space even more inviting. You may also consider installing adhesive or child locks if you’re concerned about cats having easy access to this space.

Doing so allows you to open the cabinet doors for your cat without them having the ability to do so themselves. This way, your pet has a designated spot they associate with safety and comfort without the risks associated with other cabinets.

2. Balancing The Safety And Happiness Of Your Feline Friend

The well-being of our feline friends involves a delicate balance between safety and happiness. While keeping felines out of cabinets storing cleaning products, food, and other chemicals is essential, it’s equally important to recognize and cater to their innate desires.

Cats love heights and enclosed spaces, for example.

Instead of viewing every cupboard or shelf as a potential danger zone, consider how you might adjust your environment to satisfy these natural inclinations.

Maybe install furniture or shelves that allow them to climb without running into hazardous items. Child locks on particular cabinet doors ensure they don’t access hazardous zones, but leaving other cabinets slightly ajar can provide them the joy of exploration.

Create optimal balance at home with safety measures like locks and limited access while accommodating your kitties’ needs. It’s also best to understand their needs and adjust your home to ensure your cat stays safe while feeling content and happy.

3. Keeping Cabinets Closed

The closed cabinet habit is a straightforward yet highly effective way to keep your cat safe. Always remember: a latched wardrobe is a cat-safe cabinet. A quick yet rigorous inspection of cupboard doors before leaving a room can save your feline friend from unforeseen hazards.

Cats are agile and love to explore, especially when cupboards store tempting items like food.

Don’t hesitate to install door locks or adhesive strips to keep your cat at bay. Please don’t leave it to chance; make it a habit. 

By keeping those cabinets closed, you’re taking a proactive step in keeping your cat out of harm’s way. Doing so can also prevent potential mishaps, like knocking over dangerous substances or making an unscheduled poop discovery on the kitchen floor.

Learning More About Why Cats Love Cabinets

1. Exploration and Curiosity

Felines, in their innate curiosity, yearn to explore the unseen, the untouched, the unopened. Every crevice, especially your closed cabinets, for these clever animals, sets forth a thrilling new world waiting to be discovered. 

Cabinets, frequently shut and unnoticed by us, are magnetic to them. Their hidden mysteries captivate the felines, irresistibly tempting them to investigate.

The challenge of prying open a cabinet door piques their interest, fueling their provocative exploratory instincts. But it’s not just a cabinet; it’s an uncharted territory summoning the feline explorer within.

2. Hunting Instincts

Felines are natural hunters. Such spaces perfectly ape the burrows and lairs of prey in their native wild, promptly awakening their natural hunting instincts. 

Opening a cabinet door and leaping inside provides a satisfying hunting-like experience. Imagine a cabinet door; it’s a barrier for us, but it’s an exciting opportunity for a cat.

With a feline’s agile jump, the door swings open, the darkness within mirroring a den of hidden prey. That flicker of hunting adventure, followed by the leap into darkness, isn’t merely instinct – it’s a winning conquest, rich in satisfaction for our intrepid housecats.

These mysterious cabinets are a domestic safari awaiting their bold exploration.

3. Seeking Comfort and Safety

Cabinets offer felines a cozy refuge. These closed spaces provide solitude and security, allowing cats to escape stress or enjoy peace while observing their surroundings.

Amid the household hustle and bustle, these naturally curious animals seek tranquility. When attempting to deter cats from cabinets, consider these insights. 

You can provide satisfying options to ensure harmony within the household by understanding what cats need. You may offer alternatives like cat trees, utilizing child safety locks on cabinet doors, or even setting up a baby gate to block access.

Final Thoughts

Understanding feline behavior is paramount to effectively keeping our cats out of cabinets. Recognizing their natural inclinations, especially towards food and curiosity, can guide us in devising effective strategies.

Whether securing a cupboard door with a lock or placing deterrents in strategic areas, each actionable step ensures your home remains organized. As such, it will keep our feline friend safe.

Remember, patience and consistency are key. Every cat is unique, so it’s essential to tailor your approach to keep your cat out of cupboards. Respect their nature and maintain the boundaries you set for a harmonious household.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cat-proof cabinets?

You can cat-proof cabinets by installing a child-proof or magnetic lock on cupboard doors. Keep food items out of easy reach, and regularly check the cupboard interior for anything that might attract your cat.

How do I stop my cat from jumping on my cabinets?

Deter your cat from jumping on cabinets by using double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or commercial pet deterrent mats on top. Cats dislike these textures.

Why does my cat keep going in the cabinets?

Cats are naturally drawn to food scents and dark cupboard spaces.

Can I train my cat to stay out of cabinets?

Yes, you can train your cat using methods like positive reinforcement; it will require patience and consistency.

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