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It’s every pet owner’s nightmare: coming home with vomited trash on the floor and the culprit nowhere to be found. You’re pretty sure who the suspect is (and no, it probably wasn’t a random intruder). It was your friendly feline companion. Why do cats knock over trash cans?
Cats knock over trash cans because they are attracted to the contents inside. Tipping – while potentially fun for them – is usually not the main goal but a byproduct of their curiosity.
Read on to understand why cats engage in this frustrating behavior and how to put an end to it once and for all.
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How do I stop my cat from knocking over the trash can?
It’s best to have a heavy trash can with a lid in a place your cat can’t reach. If you can’t do these three things, try at least one of them to start. For example, a heavy trash can is one that your cat is unlikely to be able to knock over. You can even put something heavy in the bottom of your trash can to hold it down, like a brick. This will at least result in less potential damage and may make the adventure less exciting for your cat.
Ideally, you would want to keep any trash cans away from your cat. This may mean putting it in a closet or closet. Sure, some cats know how to open base cabinets with their paws. If so, you may decide to use childproof locks. It may be less convenient for you, but it’s worth keeping your cat safe and away from trash cans.
Finally, having a trash can with a lid that closes can be very useful. It’s harder for cats to get into these types of trash cans, which can make them a good solution if there’s nowhere to hide your trash can. The best types are those with a foot pedal or some sort of latch, so your cat can’t lift the lid itself.
Can I get a cat repellent bin?
The most repulsive cat litter box is the one that is hardest for your cat to access. This means that any heavy bin can be sealed off and out of reach. This may mean a large trash can that is only activated by a motion sensor, making it difficult for a cat to get inside. These also tend to do a great job of stopping odors from escaping.
You can also find cat-safe deterrent sprays to put inside or around the box to make it less attractive. Be sure to use something safe because you don’t want to make your cat sick.
You should also make sure to empty your trash can regularly, so that there are fewer odors to attract your cat. Spraying a citrus or vinegar scent around you can also help eliminate those appealing odors.
Why does my cat like the trash can?
Cats are truly curious animals, so they see a trash can as a space full of potential mysteries to uncover. They are probably first attracted to the garbage can because of the variety of smells it gives off. Even if you keep your box as clean as possible, cats can smell things that we would never notice. Once their attention is piqued, they’ll find all sorts of items they can potentially play with or even eat.
Cats like to experiment with different textures, especially like anything that resembles their prey, like mice. All it takes is one amazing time with the trash, and they’ll keep coming back to it in hopes of finding more fun.
Why Does My Cat Play With Trash But Not Toys?
A cat will play with trash instead of toys if the trash is more original, engaging, and textually enjoyable. Have you ever brought home a brand new toy just for your cat to play with the box it came in? Trash cans can be a similar scenario as the contents are constantly changing.
Your cat may not have fun with the types of toys you bring home, so it’s always best to experiment with different types. Some cats prefer noisy, crunchy, and textured toys, while others prefer soft, fluffy toys. It comes down to trial and error.
However, you may find that no matter what toy you give your cat, they are never satisfied for long. This probably means that he appreciates the novelty of the toy more than the toy itself. If so, you can hide most of his toys and only leave a few at a time.
Then, periodically swap the toys he has so that he constantly gets something new (or at least new to him). You can also use paper bags, boxes, and other items that aren’t traditionally considered “toys” to keep him engaged and hopefully out of the trash.
What should I do if my cat eats from the trash can
First of all, it is essential to determine what your cat ate in the trash. This may be hard to figure out (he ate it, after all), but do your best to sort out what was in the trash.
Cats are mainly looking for protein, so if there were still bones with meat, that might be what he was looking for. These types of foods are generally relatively harmless, but you should always watch out for signs of any illness such as vomiting or weakness. You can always call your vet if you don’t know what to do or have any concerns.
Sometimes cats eat inedible things, like plastic. This can result from a nutritional deficiency, boredom or anxiety. If you notice that he is still chewing on the plastic object, immediately remove it from his mouth.
Continue to monitor him for any signs of illness or discomfort, and be prepared to call your veterinarian in an emergency. They can teach you how to perform a Heimlich maneuver on your cat or can help you watch for signs of intestinal blockage, such as vomiting after eating or diarrhea.
Things to keep in mind
Your cat is probably trying to get into your trash can because he’s bored. Make the trash can less exciting by investing in a trash can that he doesn’t have easy access to and make sure to clean it frequently to keep odors to a minimum. It can also be a sign that your cat needs more stimulation, so be sure to play with him often and offer him new toys and products to enjoy at home.