Cat Proofing Cabinet: 5 Effective Strategies

We care for them, love them, and sometimes even worship them. Well, who can blame us? Cats are adorable, smart, and brimming with personality. But sometimes this personality can get pretty frustrating. For one, cats love exploring and wreaking havoc on cabinets. 

You may find  this behavior pretty odd, but in fact, there are reasons for this. So what are your cat’s intentions in doing this, and how do you stop them?

There are plenty of ways to cat proof your cabinets from rowdy felines. You can take a couple of rubber bands and tie the handles of your cabinets, duct tape the doors, make your very own cat-repellent spray, or take the surefire course of installing child-proof locks and latches on your cabinets and cupboards. Whichever you choose, at least one is bound to work on your mischief-maker.

Can You Keep Cats Out Of Kitchen Cabinets?

The short and sweet of it is: Yes, it is possible to keep furry felines out of your cabinets. There are multiple ways to keep cats out of your cabinets, both with or even without the help of tools. 

If you’d like to discourage your curious cats with no tools, try startling them whenever they come near your cabinets. There are obvious cons to this plan however, such as your cat becoming scared all the time. Additionally, this would mean you’re always keeping an eye on both your cat, and cabinets. 

Understanding Cat Behaviour: Why Do Your Cats Keep Opening Kitchen Cabinets? 

If you’ve found your naughty kitties struggling to get into your cabinets, seemingly for the thousandth time, you’re not alone. For some obscure reason, they love opening up your drawers, cabinets, doors and checking out whatever it is in there. Really, what do your felines see in these home fixtures? 

1. They are Curious

Probably one of the most apparent and predominant reasons, your cats are deathly curious what you hide in your cabinets. Could it be food? Perhaps a toy? Or maybe you’re hiding a new cat in there? 

Whatever it is, your smart little cat knows it’s something important to you, and therefore equally important that he knows what it is. For any housecat, your home is his home and therefore his territory. He feels entitled to be able to go anywhere and touch anything he likes, including your closed cabinets. 

2. They Want Control

Coupled with their innate curiosity, your cats also probably want to control and manage whatever it is you’re hiding in there. This behavior is also part of their strong belief that they should check out everything in their territory. They want to see if everything in their turf is as it should be, 

3. They Want What They Can’t Have

As part and parcel of their irrepressible curiosity, cats always want whatever it is you don’t allow them to have. It’s almost as if they enjoy your screams of terror and frustrated No’s. This is especially true if you happen to be hiding their entire industrial-sized bags of kibbles and treats. 

They can definitely smell it if you’re hiding food, and they won’t be able to stop themselves. Your cute little monsters will tear their fangs into those bags if it’s the last thing they do.

4. They Want Comfort 

Of course you’ve placed countless things in your cabinets and cupboards, but maybe there’s a small space remaining inside, perfect for an afternoon cat nap. 

The truth of the matter is, cats have maintained plenty of their survival adaptations from the wild; and one of those adaptations is the need to protect itself when asleep. Small nooks and hidden spaces can lull them to sleep like no other. 

Cats hiding in cabinets is not a  new concept; many felines love staying in a well-covered, hidden area, such as your cabinets. They love feeling surrounded by random stuff, just hanging out and being cozy in your cupboard. 

5. They Are Bored

In some instances, your cats zoom all over the place, looking for spots to hide around in because they are–quite simply–bored. While our furry little companions may seem lazy and apathetic, the truth is they still need some activity. 

This is more true for restless cats who are always pawing their way inside cupboards and cabinets. Extra energetic cats have a natural tendency of getting into more mischief when your back is turned. 

Things You Will Need

Cats causing chaos and destruction in cabinets may just seem like an annoyance, but this behavior can also endanger your pet. They can start from biting on kibbles to the harmful chemicals stored in your cabinets, so beware. 

It’s important to try and stop this behavior as soon as possible. So now that you know what drives your furry friend into your fixtures, the question is: how do you cat proof your cabinets?

1. Rubber bands

One of the easiest and most readily available items you can use are rubber bands. The thicker rubber bands will do better than the ordinary ones because they will be more durable and less likely to break as you’re using them. 

2. Duct Tape

Before we get to the more complex mechanisms, some cat owners have found that good old duct tape works well enough. While not exactly aesthetically-pleasing, you’ll do whatever it takes; and if you haven’t run down your local store yet, duct tape is a wonderful temporary solution.

3. Child-proof locks or Magnetic Locks 

Well, technically, our pets are our hairier children, so it makes sense that child-safety locks on your cabinets can do the trick. There are plenty of child-safety lock options available in the market, from the adhesive ones to those that are drilled into your cabinet. Here are some options:

  • Magnet lock sets
  • Adhesive Magnetic Locks
  • Adhesive Mounted Locks
  • Swivel Cabinet Locks
  • Slide Locks
  • Spring-loaded latches

Generally, locks that are screwed onto cabinets are said to be more effective in keeping out the most tenacious felines. But for those living in apartments, many times screwing anything on is a no-no. In that case, opt for the latches that hook onto cabinet handles instead, and beg your cat for mercy.

4. Cat-repellent Spray

If you prefer a non-drastic solution, or you don’t want to attach anything to your cabinets–you can try using a cat-repellent spray. These sprays are pretty much on-hand in any pet store near you, so you can just grab some when you’re out. There’s also the option of making a DIY cat-repellent spray, with things you find right in your home. 

5. Cat Toys

If your cat just happens to be bored, then you probably need to purchase (or make) some cat toys. The good news is, there’s an abundance of cat toys available in the market, and your cat’s bound to like at least one of them. 

You have numerous types of toys to choose from, such as fishing poles, catnip-filled, scratchers, and interactive toys. If you don’t want to buy anything-no problem. There are also plenty of DIY cat toy ideas online!

How to Stop Cats From Opening Cabinets

You want to stop your impish cats from causing mayhem as soon as possible, but before you dash to the store, it’s best to learn more about what exactly you need to buy and if it’ll actually work on your unique little troublemaker.

1. How To Use Thick Rubber Bands

Get a bunch of thick rubber bands and tie them over your cabinet knobs or handles. This is one of the cheapest and most hassle-free ways to dissuade your furry little felines into opening your cabinets. 

Unfortunately, this method can only work if your cupboards or cabinets actually have handles. Otherwise, it’s best to resort to other measures. 

2. How To Use Duct Tape 

If your cat is not yet a serial cabinet-plunderer, using duct tape can be an option for you. Quite simply, put the tape over your cabinet or cupboard doors. 

Replace your tapes every now and then to ensure it’s still effective. Most cats will also scratch these adhesives out of the way, so laying tapes typically isn’t a long-term solution.

3. How To Use Child-Proof Locks 

There’s a wide range of child-proofing tools you can choose to use. Most of them are child-safety locks of varying styles. From wrap-around to slide locks, there’s a child-proof lock for your cat. Naturally, installation will also vary depending on what type you purchase. 

For slide locks, squeeze the two ends of the lock to release, thereby opening the slide and creating a gap. Next, position the slide around the handles of your cabinet. Press the buttons of the lock, and adjust. Release to secure your lock. 

Whatever type you choose, child-proof locks are said to be the most effective way in keeping your cats out of cabinets.

4. How To Use a Cat-Repellent Spray

You can find easy DIY Cat-repellent recipes online. In fact, most ingredients you’ll need are probably already in your house. One advantage of DIY cat-repellent sprays are its all-natural ingredients. 

DIY cat-repellents are also primarily non-toxic, easing the concerns of cat owners. Here’s an easy recipe you can try:

  • Mix equal amounts of water with vinegar, and add a bit of gentle hand soap.
  • Add in your choice of natural scent. Essential oils of lavender, lemon, and citronella are commonly used. In fact, cats are said to especially dislike citrus scents. 
  • Pour this solution into any spray bottle you have lying around.
  • Before spraying on your beloved cat, test your formula out on some cloth to make sure the formula doesn’t create stains.

Drizzle your spray on cabinets frequented by your cat. For it to work, cat-repellent sprays need to continuously be applied every 24 hours, so have a little patience. 

5. Get Your Cat Some Toys

Sometimes, cats want to explore and get into all sorts of trouble because you’re not playing with them enough. Entertain your furry friend with toys and activities that they enjoy. 

Spending time with your cats not only distracts them from creating chaos and seeking trouble, but it also saps up any excess energy they may have. Play with your cat for around 30 minutes daily, and you’re sure to see a difference. 

How Do I Keep My Cat Off My Upper Cabinets?

Most of the time, cats zoom up to your upper cabinets because it’s in their nature. They enjoy being on top of furniture because they can see everything; therefore they’re less likely to be surprised (or threatened). Being on top feels good, and they know it.

Thankfully, there are a couple of measures you can do to discourage this behavior. You can place sticky tape along the cabinet edges, or aluminum foil. The textures of these materials are incredibly annoying for your cat.

And if that’s not enough, you can always spritz some of your DIY cat-repellent spray all over your upper cabinets. 

Next Steps

If you truly can’t keep your cat out  of your cabinets after trying every single one of these measures, you could instead attempt maneuvers to lessen their curiosity altogether. Here are some last minute tips and tricks to help you:

  • Block their access from the room (where your cabinets are)
  • Keep all their food stock, treats, in lidded tupperwares

In the end, we love our naughty felines; and while these cabinet-obsessed behaviors are frustrating, don’t be too hard on them. We’ve mentioned plenty of options you can follow through depending on your cat’s personality, but what’s truly important is that you don’t punish your cat if they still want a quick peek inside your cabinets after all your effort.

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