How Can I Protect My Aquarium From My Cat?

How can I protect my aquarium from my cat? Very good question because cats are predators and they just love to hunt for easy prey like your fish friends.

Especially young kittens who “misbehave” all the time. They just love to chase after everything that moves, and it looks so cute!!! I have three cats myself… gotta love those hairy furballs.

Your fish friends, however, will not appreciate being hunted therefore it is wise to teach your kitten or cat to stay away from an aquarium.

You can keep an aquarium with cats. Let’s start with how can I protect my aquarium from my cat so that you can enjoy your cat and your fish friends.

1. The Location of your Aquarium

Without cats, it is already a challenge to find a great spot for an aquarium but when you have cats you need to think twice about where you want to place an aquarium. You want to make sure that your furry cat friend does not have easy access to an aquarium.

There is no need to place an aquarium in a room that is rarely used because you want to enjoy an aquarium as well. Just try not to place the aquarium in a room where the cat relaxes or plays the most.

How Can I Protect My Aquarium From My Cat - Aquarium Location
Kitten Playing With the Fish in an Aquarium

Your cat will just get excited and your fish will become stressed when your cat is hopping around the glass, jumping on top of the aquarium, or getting its paws in the water. Cats are masters in climbing and exploring especially kittens. Look around in the room you have picked and check if there is anything that the cat can use for easy access to your aquarium.

It could be anything from chairs to tables, bookshelves, etc. Try to block their jump section with books, chair pillows, or anything else you can think of.

With cats, it is best to take an aquarium that comes with a stand that is designed for the actual aquarium you have bought. A designed stand fits an aquarium size exactly, leaving no space for your cat to jump onto.

2. Place a Hood on your Aquarium

Closing off an aquarium is very important with cats. Not only are your fish easy prey but you will also save your cat from drowning when you have a large aquarium. Another benefit of having a hood on an aquarium is that the creatures in the aquarium will not jump out.

Do not think to be smart and just place a random cover on top of an aquarium because cats are inventive enough with covering that is not secured in place. Avoid glass hoods as well because glass can easily break. You want to make sure that the hood you use is strong enough to hold the weight of the cat. Test your hood out before you place it on an aquarium. Place the hood very tightly and make sure it is heavy because that way the cat will not be able to open the hood with ease.

Cat sitting on top of an empty aquarium
My Cat, Peanut Sitting on Top of my Aquarium

Do not forget to cover the holes on the back of an aquarium with plastic. The back is partially open because of cords, filter parts, and other accessories. The cat can get his paws in those holes with ease.

A few other benefits of having a hood on an aquarium are.

  • You will keep the aquarium clean from cat hair.
  • The water will not evaporate so fast.
  • The water balance will not be disturbed by the dirty paws of the cat.

3. Stability of your Aquarium

Without a doubt, the aquarium should be as steady as possible even without cats. The aquarium should not be easy to tip over, with a larger aquarium it will be a lot more difficult for the cat because the water will add a lot of weight as well.

Aquarium Size - Nano Aquarium
Nano aquarium

Nano aquariums, however, are very easy to knock over for a cat. Make sure you place the nano aquarium on a spot that the cat cannot knock over the nano aquarium. You could cover the sides of the nano aquarium with books or plants or other kinds of accessories which will make it harder for the cat to knock the nano aquarium over.

Do not let the cat scratch the glass, it might seem funny but the cat can damage the glass which can cause the glass to break. Especially with an acrylic glass aquarium. Acrylic glass scratches easily.

4. Train your Cat

Cats are predators and are not easy to train, especially if you have a full-grown cat. A kitten might be easier but still, it depends on the cat’s personality.

Cats love to hunt and explore and if you try to chase them away with yelling or using violence they will just hunt at night when you sleep. You want to keep the cat away from obstacles, water, or nasty smells.

How Can I Protect My Aquarium From My Cat - Train Your Cat
Cat Peeking from Under the Carpet

There are different ways you can teach a cat a lesson, below I have listed a few options you could use.

4.1 Some Tricks you can Use

  • Water pistols are a great tool to use for protecting your fish friends. Cats hate water and will most likely runoff.
  • Cats really dislike certain smells, like oranges, lemons, eucalyptus, wintergreen, etc. Placing those next to the aquarium is definitely worth the try.
  • Provide enough safe places for the cat that is high enough for your cat to climb up to. Scratching poles are perfect for that.
  • Place snacks around the house for the cat to hunt for, it will keep the cat distracted and busy.
  • Cats just love to chase that famous red dot from laser lights. Get one, it will help a lot in draining the cat’s energy.
  • Do not let the cat eat in the same room as where the aquarium is. The less distraction from real-life food the better.
  • Place obstacles if you can where the cat might jump from. When there is stuff in the way it can prevent the cat from jumping. Unless you have a cat like mine who just takes down the entire shelf lol.
  • For the night close the door if possible. When you cannot close the door you can use a towel or cloth to cover the aquarium with.
  • Some cats just like to watch your fish friends from a distance. There is no harm in just watching, as long it is from a safe distance because even though the cat is not attacking. Your fish friends will get stressed from those big eyes peeking into their homes.

These are just a few guidelines and in no way do I guarantee these tips will work. Cats have different personalities and some will just never leave your fish alone.


Thank you everybody for reading my article about, how can I protect my aquarium from my cat.

With a little creativity, trial and error along the way you will have a great time with your cat and fish friends.

If you got any questions about how can I protect my aquarium from my cat. Feel free to leave them in the comment box below and I will do my best to answer them all.

Looking for more random articles about the ocean and aquatic life? Look no further and click here to gain more knowledge.

  1. Nicole,

    Fantastic website and I loved this article, thank you!

    I have to agree on the “Cats are masters in climbing and exploring especially kittens”. When my cats were kittens, they quite often managed to climb on top of the Kitchen cupboards and I still don’t know how they got there!! 🙂

    I am hoping to introduce an Aquarium to the “Thats Ecom” office soon!


  2. I should have found this post a few years ago…
    one of our cats liked the aquaruim that much she decided to drag her claw down one of the joints ….
    we had a corner aquarium with three forward faces…s o four joints for her to attack….
    little did we realise that she woould be able to get her claw right through hte joint…..
    coming down in the morning to a very wet carpet – low water level and a sheepish looking cat…
    a rapid journey to the local shop and back with an emergency 24″ tank…
    transferring all the fish, substrate, plants and pump ..
    they did all survive…
    trried repairing the joint a few times to no avail …so the fish lived out their remaining lives in the emergency tank….
    the cat carried on watching hte original tank ..maybe thinking they were just on holiday…not the brightest spark….
    but i would cover any external joints with a metal sheeting if we get the combination of cat and fish again…..
    Thanks for the article Nicole


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