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How to Keep Cats Out of Cabinets (Without Tools!)

If you are sick and tired of your cat trashing your cabinets (Click here for the best solution, on Amazon #Ad) then you may be looking for a solution.

Can you keep your cat out of the cabinets?

To keep your cats out of your cabinets you need to use either a cat security lock or latch. The best ones can be secured to your cabinet without you needing to use any tools or drills. It can also be used for kittens.

What you will need to secure your cabinet

Description Image My Rating
01. Safety Latches (Best Option)
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5 stars
02. Eco-Baby Cabinet Locks
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03. Betertek Cabinet Locks
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4 stars

Now that you know the best way to secure your cabinets keep reading to learn two other methods to secure your cabinets, the problems with some of these methods, the best cabinet locks to choose, and so much more.

How to keep cats out of cabinets?

A white cat on a wooden cabinet shelf.

A white cat on a wooden cabinet shelf.

In this section, I will reveal a few methods that you can use to keep your cat out of your cabinets. Each of them has its pros and cons, with one of them being my preferred method.

  • Use a safety lock for cabinets (Best option)
  • Block access to the room where the cabinet is
  • Startle your cat when she goes near the cabinet

Use a safety lock for cabinets (Best option)

This is my best method. This entails you getting a cabinet lock or latch that will stop your cat from getting in. Primarily they are made for kids or babies, but they serve the same purpose for your fur baby, right?

The beauty of this method is you can secure your cabinet without using any tools or headaches.

Block access to the room where the cabinet is

Another option is to physically block access to the room where the cabinet is. It is full-proof if you can implement it correctly.

My problem with this blocking access method

As good as this may sound in theory, it is difficult to do. The problem is cats are curious and persistent. Meaning lets say you locked the room door that has the cabinet in it.

How long do you think it will be before your cat follows you in there and trashes your cabinet?

Startle your cat when she goes near the cabinet

This method is in line with most people’s natural reaction to their cat destroying (what about trash cans? click here) their cabinet. You know, you make a noise, click your fingers or maybe shout.

My issue with this starling method

The issue with this method is it scares your cat. And, the reality is, she may not listen to you anyway, are you with me? All that will happen is, she will start to get confused and resent you, are you with me?

Double-sided tape

One strategy that you can try is using double-sided tape. This is great for you because the texture is undesirable to most cats. The sticky side up makes them feel uncomfortable and may repel them from climbing up to your cabinet.

So, if you have a cabinet on top of a counter, try placing some on the counter surface leading to the cabinet and monitor the results.

Don’t worry, you should not need this forever. Once a cat learns its there it will hopefully train it to give it a miss next time.


Aluminum foil is another DIY repellent you can use. This sound and texture is also undesirable to cats. And if you strategically place this near the cabinet or any other out-of-bounds location for that matter, it should make them think twice.

Like most things, it’s never going to be 100% for all cats. So, you will need to test it and see how your cat responds.

Positive reinforcement (Clicker training)

This technique requires you to direct the cat away from the cabinet using treats. It may seem like you are rewarding the cat for negative things, but it’s not, you are merely training it to do what you want.

You basically offer it a treat when it’s on, or in your cabinet. But, place it away from it. This will move them away and seek the treat. The idea is, in time, it will learn to move away from the cabinet for positive results.

Feed them more often

If you notice that your cat is raiding the cabinet for food you could counter this behavior by offering them more food or feeding them more often.

However, this is only a good idea if they are not overweight. Why? Because if you offer this to the wrong cat, it could lead to obesity.

Some cats, in this situation, experiment with free-feeding. This is when you offer a selection of food that the cat can graze on throughout the day, typically dry cat food. And, is often used for cat owners that work all day.

Offer an alternative (e.g. cat tree)

Sometimes your cat may be climbing your counters or jumping into your cabinets because it just wants to climb. Therefore offering it a suitable alternative, such as a cat tree can really help.

This is a good investment, especially if it’s an indoor cat because it can also keep it more active and healthy. And, at the same time, keep it off your counters.

Many cat trees have areas that cats can use as a scratch posts as well. Which can also keep them from damaging your other furniture.

Undesirable surface texture

In addition to foil or double-sided tape, you can use a carpet runner. But, deliberately flip it overexposing the underside surface.

Some cats dislike this texture and it could deter them from jumping into your cabinet. To do this you will need to strategically place this runner near the cabinet if that works in your home.

Fill the cabinets with cleaning items

Another technique is using cleaning items, such as detergents, etc. These chemicals are known to turn cats off. And, when they can detect that your cabinet is full of this it will turn them away.

If you are really crafty, you could temporarily fill them, then switch it back to food once it’s learned to keep away.

It is better to not spend money on this, simply move your existing cleaning products, temporarily, and then you will not need to buy a new batch.

Make it harder to get to

Some cats will go into a cabinet because it’s just easy to get to. This could be because there is a nearby stool, chair, etc. Simply removing this aid it could prevent your cat from jumping into it.

Obviously, this may not be the case for all cabinets, but for some setups, this could be deemed as a quick win.

Why do cats jump on counters and mess with cabinets?

There are a number of reasons why a cat may jump on counters or mess with cabinets such as their appreciation for heights, the smell of the cabinets content, the temptation of running water on the counter, curiosity, their need for control, or the love of areas that are known to be out of bound.

Appreciation of heights

Most cats love heights. And, if they are not given other distractions, such as cat trees, and are limited to the indoors, your counter, or cabinet will be the next best thing.

Cats instinctively look for heights as a way of safety and dominance. The safety is gained by having the sight over the ground level. And, back in the wild, their ancestors would use this position as power.

Regarding domination, the cat that had the highest height was typically known to have the control and dominance.

The smell of the cabinet is enticing

Many cabinets, especially those that are stored in the kitchen, are stuffed with food. This may not smell much to you. But, to a cat they know it’s there and can detect it.

If something piques their interest then they will feel compelled to check it out right away, regardless of how high up it is.

The allure of running water

A counter top in a kitchen, for example, is likely to have a tap. This running water can attract your cat. So, it may go for this over your cabinet.

Why? Well, this is instinctual for cats. In the wild, they would choose running water over still because it is more likely to be fresh and not contaminated. So, it’s a survival skill basically.


Curiosity is a big reason for cats to take an interest in your cabinets. They may see something, or just wonder what is behind those doors that is being kept from them.

It may not be that great, or boring in fact, but the fact that they can’t see it draws them in to want to inspect it.

Demand control

A cat believes, in their mind, that they own your home and you are merely living there to serve them. Therefore, when they see a closed cabinet they feel that it’s part of their territory.

With that being said, they will make it their business to find out what’s going on in that closed cupboard, even if it’s out of principle.

They love out of bound areas

Similar to curiosity, anything that is deemed out of bounds is interesting for them.

It’s like someone explaining to you that you should not press this red button, then leaves the room for a few hours. Chances are, the button will get pressed.

In this context, a cat is not much different. They will see these cabinets, and wonder why it is out of bounds and make it their business to explore.

3 Best cabinet safety locks/latches

Now that you know what my preferred method id to secure your cabinets. In this section, I will share with your three of my best safety locks/latches to keep your cat out of your cabinet.

For each option, I will explain what I love and do not love to help you decide.

01. The Good Stuff Safety (Best Option)

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  • Securely held in place (Strong adhesive used)
  • Fits all decor (not visible when the cupboard is closed)
  • No tools required (Simple stick and set process)
  • No keys required
  • Can be used for children as well as pets


  • There is no way to override the lock, to keep it unlocked
  • It cannot be used on cabinets with sliding doors.

What I like about this The Good Stuff Safety Latches

This safety latch fits neatly inside of your cabinet to keep it hidden away, but more importantly, your cabinet secure. It uses some super strong adhesive to keep your cabinet secure.

Because it fits inside your cabinet it will not interfere with your existing decor. Meaning, it will blend in perfectly. The setup is easy because it uses adhesive strips. So, no tools or drills are needed.

Another thing I like about this is the fact that no key is required. It has a latch that uses a special technique to open it. Which, your cat will have no clue how to do, obviously.

As you can see from the image above, this is also ideal for babies or children if you have any.

In summary, if you are looking for a way to secure your cabinet without the hassle of using tools to set it up, this sounds like a good fit for you.

What I dislike about this The Good Stuff Safety Latches

There are some rare occasions where you may wish to leave your cabinet unlocked. And, unfortunately, there is no way to do this without removing the safety latch.

Also, if you have a cabinet with sliding doors, forget it, this is not for you.

02. Eco-Baby Cabinet Locks

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  • Simple set-up (no tools or equipment needed)
  • Can also secure cupboards, draws, etc
  • Invisible from the outside (uses magnets)
  • Strong & durable (Uses strong 3M adhesive)


  • No replacement cradles are available if it is lost
  • The adhesive could be stronger

What I love about this Eco-Baby Cabinet Locks

This Eco-Baby cabinet lock secures your cabinet using a clever magnetic key. It is simple to set up and again, with no tools required to get it up and running.

Apart from your cabinets, it can also be used on draws, cupboards, etc. So, it means that you can get maximum value from it.

Because it uses a magnetic key, instead of a conventional key it is invisible from the outside. This is a big bonus because it means that it will not mess with the look of your cabinets. It also uses some strong 3M adhesive to keep it in place.

In summary, if you are looking for a solution to keep your cat out of your cabinets, with a clever locking mechanism that will not affect your decor, this sounds like a great choice for you.

What I do not love about this Eco-Baby Cabinet Locks

It comes with cradles to set it up, but unfortunately, there are no replacements that you can purchase. Also, the adhesive could be a bit stronger, in my opinion.

03. Betertek Cabinet Locks

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  • Designed not to leave traces on your furniture
  • Simple to set-up (No tools, drills, etc required)
  • Reusable (Simply remove and place on new item)
  • Adjustable (The straps can easily be adjusted)
  • Can also be used on doors, windows, etc


  • Not designed to secure an oven.
  • You may need to replace the adhesive tape in time.

What I appreciate about this Betertek Cabinet Locks

This cabinet lock, by Betertek, secures to the outside of your cabinet to hold it securely closed from your kitty (or baby).  It is designed to not leave any traces on your furniture in case this is a concern for you.

Like the others, there are no tools required to fit this together. It can easily be reused by removing it and applying it to another cabinet.

The straps, that secure it, are adjustable. Meaning they should be fine to fit most cabinets. It can also be used on other objects like doors, windows, etc.

In summary, if you are looking for a method to secure your cabinet that is reusable and easily adjustable, then this sounds like a good option for you.

What I do not appreciate about this Betertek Cabinet Locks

Some people would like to secure their oven as well. If this is you, this item is not for you. It is not designed for that. Also, the adhesive may need to be replaced from time to time. But, luckily it comes with adhesive.

Lindsey Browlingdon