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Why Does My Cat Open Drawers? 9 Tips to Stop Them

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat trying to open a drawer

Why Does My Cat Open Drawers? 9 Tips to Stop Them

Cats can be a complete joy to own, but sometimes their inquisitive personalities can get them into trouble. This is often the case when they start getting into every drawer in your home, and while it can be cute at times, it can also be extremely frustrating.

But why do they keep opening drawers? And more importantly, how can you stop them? We’ve highlighted 10 tips you can follow to keep them out of the drawers in the first place before diving into why so many cats try to rifle through your belongings.

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The Top 9 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Opening Drawers

1. Use Childproof Locks

white drawers with child proof locks
Image Credit: RaspberryStudio, Shutterstock

If your cat likes opening things up like a toddler, it might be time to treat them like a toddler. That’s the idea behind childproof locks, which ensures your cat won’t be able to open up drawers no matter how smart or determined they are.

Of course, it does mean you’ll need to constantly deal with the locks themselves, which can be pretty annoying, but it’s a foolproof solution that’s easy to set up.

  • Very effective
  • Easy to set up
  • Various options available
  • Locks can be annoying to deal with
  • Can get expensive

2. Try Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is essentially a lower-end version of childproof locks, and you can use it to keep the drawers in your home closed even with a little force from a cat pulling on them. Double-sided tape works most of the time, but it does require that you keep replacing the tape as the stickiness wears off.

But if your cat gets tired of trying to open the drawers or forgets about them, it can be the perfect way to train your cat to stay away from these areas.

  • Cheap and easy
  • Fairly effective solution
  • Must keep replacing the tape
man's finger touches double sided tape
Image Credit: Ekaterina43, Shutterstock

3. Use Aluminum Foil

One of the simplest and most surprisingly effective ways to keep your cat away from drawers is to use aluminum foil. Most cats can’t stand the feeling and sound of the foil, so they’ll stay far away from it, thus keeping them away from the drawers over time.

This is a cheap method and easy to set up, but it doesn’t really look the best, and while most cats don’t like it, some simply don’t care!

  • Very low-cost solution
  • Easy to set up
  • Some cats don’t care about it
  • It doesn’t look the best

4. Block It From Opening

If you put something heavy in front of the drawer, your cat won’t be able to open it in the first place, ensuring they can’t get into it. It depends on the drawer’s location and how feasible this solution is, but there’s no denying its effectiveness.

Sometimes it’s super easy to set up, although it does require constantly moving stuff to access the drawer just to block it off again. It’s not always convenient, but it gets the job done!

  • Free
  • Very effective
  • Requires constantly moving things
  • Can clutter an area
drawer under bed
Image Credit: KeetawatPhotography, Shutterstock

5. Motion-Activated Deterrents

Looking for a more creative solution to keep your cat out of drawers? Consider motion-activated deterrents. These deterrents spring up, start moving, or spray your cat when they get close to the drawer, scaring them off and keeping them away from a certain area.

This is a great long-term solution, but it can be a bit more costly and challenging to set up, and cats can get extremely creative in how they work their way around them.

  • Long-term solution
  • Can be expensive
  • Not always the easiest to set up
  • Cats can sometimes work around them

6. Cover the Knobs

Cats often use the knobs to open up drawers, and once they figure out how to use them, it can be challenging to keep them away. If you need to work the knob to open the drawer, one way to keep your cat away from it is to cover the knobs.

This is an easy solution and doesn’t cost much, but you’ll need to find something your cat doesn’t want to mess with; otherwise, they’ll still work their way into the drawer.

  • Simple
  • Free or very affordable
  • Doesn’t work on all cats or drawers
  • Not visually appealing
drawer with jewelry inside
Image Credit: MBLifestyle, Shutterstock

7. Use Scent Deterrents

Cats explore the world with their noses, and if they smell something they don’t like, they want to stay away from it. That’s why scents can be the perfect solution to keep your cat away from the drawer. Cats have sensitive noses, so a little spray will go a long way, and it means you don’t need to use any visible objects.

However, some cats simply ignore the smells, and to keep up the effectiveness, you’ll need to keep reapplying it.

  • No unsightly objects
  • Affordable
  • Doesn’t work on all cats
  • You need to keep reapplying the spray

8. Give Them Plenty of Areas to Play

Sometimes your cats are getting into things and creating trouble simply because they don’t have anything else to do. If you give your cat a more fun environment with a cat tower, some toys, and everything else they need to stay busy, they might forget all about the drawers.

Of course, this isn’t a foolproof solution, but give it some time and try to pinpoint exactly what your cat wants the most!

  • Ideal for a cat’s health
  • Requires more patience
  • Won’t work on all cats
bengal cat plays on scratching post
Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

9. Startle Them

This isn’t our recommended solution or even the most fun for your cat, but there’s no denying that it works. It also doesn’t cost anything before clapping loudly and giving a stern, “No!” However, it does require you to catch them in the act. Plus, this could break their trust in you, so it’s really not the most ideal option.

  • Free
  • Could put your relationship at risk
  • It requires catching them in the act

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Why Do Cats Try to Get Into Drawers?

Cats are naturally curious animals and have pretty unique personalities, and because of this, there are numerous reasons your cat might be so insistent about getting into certain drawers. For starters, they like getting into small spaces, and many drawers naturally fit this description.

Next, cats are extremely curious, and sometimes, they just want to get into the drawer to figure out what’s in there. Finally, sometimes opening drawers and climbing inside them is simply fun and there’s nothing else to it!

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Now that you know why your cat wants to get into drawers and a few ways you can keep them out, all that’s left is for you to take the necessary steps to accomplish your goal. Find the options that work best for you and use as many of them as possible because the more you use, the more successful you’ll be!

Featured Image Credit: newsony, Shutterstock

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