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How To Cat Proof A fish Tank! No Cats Allowed Here!

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How to cat proof a fish tank? There are several ways to cat proof a tank. Choose the right tank setup and use deterrents to keep cats away. It’s possible to find a solution that works for the cat and the fish.

How To Cat Proof A Fish Tank

Cats are naturally inquisitive creatures and may see a fish tank as entertaining and a potentially tasty source of distraction.

In this article, useful tips and tricks on how to cat-proof a fish tank will be explored, helping pet owners to find effective methods of keeping both their fish and cats safe and happy.

how to cat proof a fish tank

Use Items Cats Dislike – Discourage Cat from Getting near The tank

Cats dislike certain textures and sounds. For example, aluminum foil or double-sided tape can be highly effective deterrents due to their unusual textures and noises.

Placing these materials near the fish tank or on surfaces leading to the tank can discourage your cat from exploring further.

Place a mesh screen or a fish tank lid on top of the fish tank. This will create a barrier that not only protects your fish but also discourages your cat from trying to access the water.

Keep The Cat Mentally Stimulated

One of the reasons why cats are attracted to fish tanks is that they provide visual and mental stimulation.

To reduce your cat’s interest in the tank, provide alternative sources of entertainment. Interactive toys, scratching posts, and puzzle feeders engage your cat’s mind and encourage them to focus their energies elsewhere.

Restrict Cats Access To The tank

There are several methods you can use to deter cats from approaching the fish tank. As mentioned previously, using materials like aluminum foil or double-sided tape can be effective in keeping the fish tank safe.

Consider placing the tank safe on a high surface that is difficult for your cat to reach. Clear the area around the tank of any food, including human food, fish food, and cat food. This will minimize your cat’s interest in the area.

A translucent cover on the fish tank can also help keep cats away by making the tank’s display less colorful and exciting while still allowing light penetration.

Reduce the visual appeal of the tank and keep your cat at bay.

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Choose the Right Tank

When it comes to cat-proofing a fish tank, selecting the appropriate aquarium is crucial. Let’s explore various types of cat access to different types of fish tanks and the features that can deter an inquisitive cat.

Open-Top Aquariums – Easy Access For The cat

Open-top aquariums may look aesthetically pleasing, but they are not ideal for households with cats.

Cats can easily access the water and fish. These tanks pose a direct threat to your aquatic pets. It’s best to avoid this type of tank.

Traditional Fishbowl – Easy Access For the Cat


A traditional fishbowl, like the open-top aquarium, is not recommended when you have cats in your home. The open and easily accessible design makes it simple for feline predators to harass or even harm your fish.

Fishbowls usually offer smaller living spaces, which in the long term, is not ideal for your fish’s health and wellbeing.

Aquarium With A Lid – Cat Cant Access

Fish Tank  Screen Cover

Choosing a fish tank with a lid that is secure should be a top priority when you have cats around. The lid will not only provide better protection for your fish but will also keep the cats from accessing the water.

Make sure the lid is made of sturdy materials like glass or hard plastic and features air holes for proper circulation within the aquarium.

The lid needs to fasten securely to the tank so that a prying cat won’t be able to remove it. Some aquariums come with lockable lids or clips that provide extra security to keep the lid in place.

Choosing a fish tank with a secure lid is the best way to cat-proof your aquarium.


Securing the Aquarium Lid

A sturdy, properly affixed lid can help prevent your cat from accessing the tank or causing any harm to your fish.

Sturdy Lid – Hard For The Cat To Move

When choosing a lid for your fish tank, it’s important to consider the materials used.

A lid made of hard, durable materials is effective in keeping a prying cat at bay.

A heavy fish tank lid is also less likely to be pushed aside, making it more challenging for your cat to access the fish tank lid’s interior.

Additionally, security features such as fasteners or locks are crucial in preventing your cat from dismantling the lid.

With a lid securely in place, your fish are less likely to become an easy hunting target for your feline friend.

Aquarium Lids – Different Lid Options

Aquarium specific lids are available that cater to the well-being of your fish and the prevention of feline interference.

Many aquarium lids are designed with built-in lighting, allowing for proper illumination of and supporting the needs of aquatic plant life.

These lids are built to securely fasten to the tank, making it difficult for a curious cat to remove or tamper with them.

Remember to regularly check the lid for any signs of damage, wear, or loosening.


More About Deterrents

Aluminum Foil

Place sheets of foil underneath or on top of the tank. The crinkling noise and texture should be enough to deter most cats.

This a simple and affordable solution.

Double Sided Sticky Tape

Using double sided sticky tape around the aquarium is another effective deterrence method.

Cats generally dislike walking on sticky surfaces.

Applying this tape on the edges of your fish tank’s stand or surface can discourage cats from approaching. Regularly check and replace the tape as it will lose its stickiness over time.

 Double -Sided Tape Cat Repellent

A textured shelf liner, something with a spiky surface, can be placed on the area around the tank, making it less appealing for cats to jump on.

Citrus Scents

Many cats are repelled by citrus scents. Place lemon, orange, or grapefruit peels around the perimeter of your aquarium, or use a citrus-scented air freshener nearby.

Replace the peels or refresh the scent regularly to maintain effectiveness.

Deterrent Sprays

Deterrent sprays can also discourage cats from approaching fish tanks.

These sprays usually contain harmless, but unpleasant scents that cats dislike.

Spray the area around the aquarium according to the product’s instructions, taking care not to spray directly on any electrical components or the fish tank itself.

Electric Deterrents

Another option to consider is electric deterrents, such as motion-activated devices that emit a high-pitched sound or an air puff when a cat approaches.

These devices can be placed near fish tanks and will activate as soon as a cat gets too close.

It’s crucial to make sure the device is compatible with your aquarium setup and will not harm your fish or water quality.

A combination of these methods, may work best for you to cat proof your fish tank. The deterrent shown below emits a puff of air. You can train your cat to keep away from the tank.

 Spray Pet Deterrent for Cats

Protecting the Fish and Equipment

Keeping your fish safe from curious cats and ensuring that all the equipment remains in good working order is essential for maintaining a healthy and secure fish tank.

Moving Fish While You Cat Proof

One way to protect both your fish and equipment is to temporarily move them to a safer location while you cat-proof the tank.

This will help ensure that the fish are not at risk of being caught by curious cats and that the equipment remains undamaged during the process.

Cover and Protect

Choose an aquarium with a sturdy, hard lid or add a mesh screen covering to your existing glass aquarium.

A mesh screen not only keeps cats out, but it also allows light and air to penetrate, ensuring the overall health of your fish.

Use mesh such as shown in the image below to make a DIY cover for your fish tank to keep the cat out.

 DIY Fish Tank Mesh Screen

Filtration System

Another key element in protecting your fish tank is the system of filtration, which needs to be kept safe and functional. Look for a system with low powered electricity, as this will help keep cats from interacting with the equipment.

Make sure the system is placed securely and, if possible, not easily accessible or visible to your cat.

LED Lights

Using LED lights in the tank can provide safety benefits for your fish and your equipment. They are energy-efficient and less likely to cause heat-related issues.

Plus, they can be an excellent deterrent for cats, as the bright light may make the tank less appealing for them to explore.

 LED Aquarium Light

Creating a Safe Environment for Fish and Cat

Grow Aquarium Plants

Having a healthy aquarium environment is important for the wellbeing of the fish. One way to do this is by including live aquarium plants.

As well as providing shelter and hiding spots for the fish, aquarium plants also help to remove harmful substances from the water and produce oxygen, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for the aquatic life.

Plants can also play a role in cat-proofing your fish tank. Having tropical fish in a densely planted tank can help reduce the visibility and accessibility of the fish.

The fish are not as easily seen, making the aquarium less interesting to curious cats and feline paws.

Remove Any Jumping Platforms

Clearing the area around the fish tank is also important, as it helps ensure that cats don’t have an easy platform to jump onto. Maintain a clean surface and removing tempting treats, such as fish food or cat treats.

You can make the setup less attractive for your feline friend to explore. The mat shown below is a deterrent to prevent cats jumping onto counter tops.

 Counter Top Protector Pet Deterrent Tiles

Additional Tips for Cat Proofing

Aside from the primary measures implemented to cat-proof your fish tank, there are a few additional tips that can help keep your curious cat at bay from your beautiful aquarium.

Dangling Fabric

Introducing bright colors and dangling fabric near the fish tank will serve as a distraction for your cat’s attention .

By offering an alternative play area, it can encourage them to interact with the fabric instead of attempting to reach the fish tank.

This can be a simple DIY project using a combination of fabric, ribbons, or strings that your cat will enjoy playing with.

Old Blankets

Another quick fix that works well when you temporarily need to protect the fish tank is to cover it with old blankets. This helps block the view of the aquarium and dulls the attractiveness to your cat.

However, it’s important to ensure the blanket doesn’t cover any necessary ventilation areas, This method should not replace a proper tank cover or lid.


Regularly trimming your cat’s claws can help reduce the risk of them causing harm to the fish should they manage to reach inside the tank.

Ensure that paws are clean and well-groomed. This decreases the chance of them contaminating the water.

Top Take Aways

To summarize, some key points are:

  • Choose a fish tank with a secure lid to prevent cats from accessing the water and fish.

  • Keep the area around the fish tank clean and free of food or items that might attract your cat.

  • Utilize deterrents such as double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or textured shelf liners on surfaces around the fish tank to discourage cats from approaching.

  • Consider covering the fish tank with a breathable material, like a blanket or towel, to minimize distractions for your cat, while ensuring proper ventilation for the fish.

  • Keep the door to the room with the fish tank closed when possible to restrict your cat’s access to the area.

You may need to try multiple methods or a combination of solutions to find the best approach for your specific cat proof aquarium situation.

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