How To Keep Cats Away From A Fish Tank

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Komsan Pomphun

The joy of being a cat parent is parallel to the joy of owning a fish tank. However, cats often let their curiosity get the best of them and decide to mess with fish tanks. Many people understandably struggle with how to keep their cat away from a fish tank.

You can keep cats away from a fish tank if you put double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the lid. Place some cat deterrent spike strips in front of and on top of the tank to keep your cats away. It’s also a great idea to use a hard, closed-top lid, so your cats can’t reach the fish.

Distract your cats as much as possible with toys and a scratching post, so they leave your fish tank alone. Follow along as we explore how to keep your cat away from a fish tank, so you can protect your fish.

How Do I Keep My Cats Away From My Fish?

1. Choose A Closed Tank

While it’s easier to feed your fish with an open tank, this makes it too easy for your cat to mess with your fish. Closed tanks can keep your cats away from your fish. They can also help keep the water cleaner, as dust, dirt, and debris are less likely to get in the tank.

Make sure to choose a closed tank with a hard top. Cats are clever and sneaky, and they may still find a way to get on top of your tank. With a hard, closed tank, you at least won’t have to worry about your cats falling into the water.

2. Keep The Tank Away From Furniture

If your cats are like most felines, they likely love to climb all over your furniture. While it can be cute, it can also be stressful if they do it to get a closer look at your fish tank. The last thing you want is for them to get on top of the tank.

Because of that, it’s important to put your fish tank somewhere that your cat can’t reach it. Keep your furniture at least several feet away from the tank. It’s also a good idea to keep your fish tank close to the ledge of whatever surface it’s on. That way, they can’t jump up onto the table or the stand it sits on.

3. Use Cat Deterrent Strips

Cat deterrent strips are essential for any proud cat parent. These cheap, simple, and soft spike strips can keep your cats away from valuable items and furniture. If you must put your fish tank on a table that’s easy to access, you can keep your cat away with some deterrent strips.

Don’t be alarmed by the appearance of cat deterrent strips. They may look harmful, but cat deterrent strips are designed to scare cats rather than hurt them. Typically made of plastic or rubber, cat deterrent strips are uncomfortable when a cat walks on them.

Simply put some cat deterrent strips near your fish tank, so they think twice about messing with it. They may step on the strips a few times before they learn not to. Cat deterrent strips only cost $15-$20 for a pack of 24, so it’s a great deal.

4. Put Foil On The Lid

If there’s one thing cats hate, it’s aluminum foil. There’s no clear answer to why they hate foil, but it likely has to do with the texture. Put some aluminum foil on the lid to keep your cat away if your cat is still obsessed with your fish tank.

Simply cover the edges of the lid if you don’t want to cover the whole thing. This should still be enough to keep your cat away from the tank. However, you may have to cover most of the lid if you still catch your cat up there.

5. Keep A Spray Bottle Nearby

Negative discipline is never a good idea with cats. However, you can use a spray bottle to humanely discipline your cat. Keep a spray bottle near your fish tank, so you can quickly spray your cat if they mess with it.

Cats are fast learners, so it shouldn’t take long for your cat to realize they should stay away from the fish tank. That said, cats are also sneaky, so they may mess with the tank when you’re not around. That’s why it’s worth using other methods, such as aluminum foil and spike strips, to keep your cat away.

6. Double-Sided Tape

Much like aluminum foil, cats hate double-sided tape. Many people use double-sided tape to stop their cats from scratching furniture. Cats hate the feeling of double-sided tape, but it won’t hurt them.

Put some double-sided tape on your fish tank’s lid or around it on its stand. Luckily, double-sided tape isn’t noticeable, so you don’t have to worry about it making your tank look bad. It’s also cheap, easy to replace, and you can find it anywhere.

7. Citrus Scented Cleaning Spray

Many of us love the smell of citrus, but cats typically hate it. Citrus-scented cleaning spray can keep your cats away from your fish tank. Use the spray to clean the outside of the tank and the table it sits on.

The scent will linger for a week or longer, and it should keep your cats away. Not only will your fish tank be clean, but you won’t have to worry about your cats messing with it.

8. Distract Your Cats

If there’s one thing we know about cats, it’s that they’re playful and energetic. They always look for something to do, and that’s why they gravitate to your fish tank. In many cases, the best thing to do is simply distract your cat with other activities besides messing with your fish.

Set up scratching posts somewhat close to your fish tank, but not close enough that the tank will catch their eye. Keep several cat toys, such as wands, in the area so you can quickly grab them to distract your cat if they focus on the tank. The scratching posts will distract your cat when you aren’t around, and the wands will give them a fun activity when you’re there.

Why Are Cats Obsessed With Fish Tanks?

Cats are obsessed with fish tanks because cats are natural predators. They notice the movement within the tank, and it makes them spring into action. In nature, cats eat everything from mice and shrews to fish.

Just because the tank is in your house, it doesn’t mean it won’t trigger your cat’s natural senses. This is a healthy response, but it can be annoying to deal with. That’s why it’s important to protect your fish tank with a solid lid.

Summing It Up

The best way to keep cats away from a fish tank is to use a solid, closed lid. Open-top fish tanks make it too easy for your cat to fall in or hunt the fish. You can also put double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the lid to deter your cats. Otherwise, it’s a great idea to distract your cats with toys and scratching posts so they don’t focus on the tank.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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