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Why Do Cats Hate Aluminum Foil – The Unique Reason

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There’s a reason cats are known for being curious animals. If your cat sees something new in your home, they are going to want to explore. There are certain items, though, that cats seem to have a strong aversion to, and aluminum foil is one of the top ones. People have speculated for decades why that it is they dislike it. So, why do cats hate aluminum foil? 

Cats hate aluminum foil because of the sound and texture. Aluminum foil is uncomfortably loud and may startle most cats. It also has an unusual texture that is uncomfortable for cats. Cats may also not recognize what aluminum foil and get defensive in response to the texture and sound. 

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Does Aluminum Foil Keep Cats Away

The only way to test whether aluminum foil keeps your cat away is to try it out. Once a pet owner establishes that their cat hates aluminum foil, you can use the household item as a tool. If your cat has an aversion to the material, they often will not walk on it or may go out of their way to avoid coming in contact with it.

This is very handy to know if you are looking for a way to train your cat to avoid jumping on counters or getting into a specific part of your house. If your cat has never been exposed to aluminum foil before, there is a strong probability that laying down aluminum foil will keep your cat from exploring it.

Depending on how frightened your cat is, they may start going out of their way to avoid the aluminum foil altogether. Some cats who are a bit more curious may warm up to the aluminum foil over time, and this strategy may lose some of its effectiveness.

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Foil

Aluminum foil is an item that provides a sensory overload for your cat. They have never encountered anything similar outdoors or in the wild, so they have no frame of instinctual reference for how to handle it.

Aluminum foil is both shiny and reflective, and some people believe cats think the foil looks like water. Most cat breeds do not like to swim or get wet, so when they see the foil and believe it looks like water, they are going to avoid walking onto it (Cat Wigo). Anything new presents a risk, and most cats are going to avoid taking unnecessary chances.

Another reason cats are afraid of aluminum foil is that it makes a loud crinkling noise when it’s stepped on. When cats lived in the wild, part of their astute hunting skills is owed to how silently they can move around. The aluminum foil gives their presence away, and they don’t like that!

Even today, with our domesticated house cats, they still tend to be very quiet animals and can move around quite stealthily. They would prefer to stay away from loud materials that are unfamiliar.

What Does Aluminum Foil Do To Cats

People have become very entertained by the reactions cats have when they walk across the aluminum foil. It’s even become a social media trend to capture your cat’s reaction.

Some cats are so startled by the foil’s noise that they will immediately recoil and jump away from where they touched it. Their reactions are so dramatic that it seems like the foil has almost hurt them somehow, but this is not the case. Some cats are just really bothered by the shiny and crinkly material!

On the flip side, other cats do not seem bothered at all and will continue to sit on the counter as if nothing has happened. The only way to find out how your cat reacts is to try it yourself!

Is Aluminum Foil Safe For Cats

Aluminum foil is not safe if your cat uses it as a toy or shows signs of trying to rip or chew the foil. With that said, if your cat seems to leave the foil alone, it is ok to have it out to prevent them from getting into an unwanted area.

For the most part, having aluminum foil out as a preventative behavioral measure is not physically dangerous for your cat. The aluminum foil bothers your cat psychologically much more than physically because they do not understand it.

However, aluminum foil can turn dangerous for your cat if they are using it as a toy. Aluminum foil has sharp edges and can easily tear, and your cat could accidentally cut one of their paws on a sharp edge.

If your cat has claws, be on the lookout to see if they tear the aluminum foil while walking across it. Small pieces of aluminum foil are a major choking hazard if your cat accidentally ingests the foil (Petful). If this happens, contact your vet immediately.

DIY Cat Toys

If your cat is showing interest in playing with aluminum foil, or anything else you would rather them not play with, the key is to redirect their interests elsewhere. Make sure they always have safe toys available as an alternative.

There are much better toys you can make at home for your cat that is not as dangerous. Try making a yarn ball out of scraps of string or rope you have in your house. Cats love to chase the string around the house and will be entertained for hours by the yarn ball.

Boxes are another item that you probably have lying around your house that makes for a great do-it-yourself cat toy. Any large brown cardboard box will work! Just cut some holes out on various sides of the box so your cat can play in it, and you have got an instant cat toy.

What Other Surfaces Do Cats Hate

Cats are very reactive when they encounter a surface or substance that is new and unfamiliar to them. This can work in your favor if you are trying to keep them away from a certain part of your home. However, whether you are using aluminum foil or another technique, you should note that cats can become immune to certain sensations, the more frequently they are exposed.

Some noises that typically bother cats include very loud whistles or bells, pots and pans clanking together, or suddenly and abruptly dropping something. Cats can also hear at higher frequencies than humans, and that type of noise can drive them crazy. Sometimes computers or TVs can emit high-frequency noises.

Some smells or odors that cats dislike include aloe, eucalyptus oil, and citronella (MSPCA). Spraying one of these scents in a specific area will deter your cat from being near that spot for a long time.

While we have established that aluminum foil is often an irritating surface for cats, other materials typically drive cats crazy. It depends on the breed, but most cats will avoid walking through the water of any kind. They also highly dislike any sort of sticky surface or anything that is too smooth. The reason behind this is that they have trouble gripping the ground on a super smooth surface.

To get a cat to avoid chewing or biting on a specific area, you will want a bitter-tasting spray. Cats are surprisingly known to hate the taste of citrus-flavored items and will lose interest quickly if what they are chewing on tastes bad.

If you struggle with your cat jumping on bathroom counters or kitchen tables, the aluminum foil technique is worth trying. It is a great tool to have up your sleeve if you know your cat likes to get into mischief. Plus, it is entertaining to watch their reactions as they try to make sense of aluminum foil!