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cat looking over shoulder from kitchen

How Do I Stop My Cat from Digging Through My Trash?

If your cat is fascinated by your trash, that is a common behavior. It could be that your kitty is digging in the trash because they smell food. Or it might be that the trash seems like a fun toy to play with. It is also possible that pure curiosity is motivating your pet. Either way, you do not want your cat scattering trash everywhere, or worse, getting sick on something. So, how can you put it to a stop?

First of all, do not punish your kitty. Negative reinforcement will just increase anxiety and aggression. If at all possible, get the trash out of the way entirely. Conceal it inside a pantry or cabinet that your pet cannot get into if that option exists. What if you cannot do that? Think about replacing your trash bin with one that requires the use of a step or lock to access. Weigh down the bin if you have to. Rambunctious cats may sometimes knock them over.

Don’t have room for a trash bin, and/or still having trouble? You could try a deterrent such as a spray that contains a bit of citrus juice. The odor may make the trash less palatable for your kitty. If there are particularly enticing items you have to throw away, think about either 1-putting them in the freezer until you are ready to take out the trash, or 2-taking the trash out sooner. Also, remember, bored cats get into more trouble on average, so make sure your pet is entertained with a fun toy.

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