Keeping a Cat Out of the Top of the Fish Tank

A solid barrier will prevent your cat from fishing in your tank.

A solid barrier will prevent your cat from fishing in your tank.

Cats and fish both make wonderful pets, but owning both does present certain challenges. Cats are natural hunters and may go fishing in your tank if left unsupervised. A little time and creativity is all it takes to keep your fish safe and your cat dry.

Place the aquarium on a tall surface. While cats are agile jumpers, they will be less likely to climb onto your tank if it sits far off the floor. Move any furniture away from the tank to make jumping more difficult.

Fit the aquarium with a plastic aquarium hood. Make sure the hood fits tightly and doesn’t shift if you move it with your hands. Not only will the hood deter the cat from playing in the water, it will keep a jumping fish from flopping around on the floor.

Line the top of the aquarium hood with double-sided tape. Cats dislike the sticky feeling between their toes and may stop jumping on the tank. Space the strips evenly across the top of the hood for best results.

Spray the cat with a squirt bottle when jumps on the tank. Tell him “no” in a firm voice and usher him away from the tank. Most cats don’t like water and will be startled off the fish tank by a single squirt.

Arrange a few pieces of cat furniture in a different part of the house. Sprinkle a little catnip over the furniture, and place the cat close enough that he can smell the catnip. The cat will learn this is his own special place and will steer away from the tank.

Items you will need

  • Aquarium hood
  • Double-sided tape
  • Spray bottle
  • Cat furniture
  • Catnip


  • Cats are naturally curious and may sit and watch the tank. Let the cat observe the tank as long as he isn’t climbing on the tank or trying to catch the fish.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.

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