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How to keep your cat out of the trash can

Can any sound compare to that characteristic thwump of your cat leaping into the trash can? Especially when Thanksgiving comes around, both formal feral cats and lifelong house cats can fall prey to the siren call of the kitchen trash can. It’s as if all of the flavorful trimmings and juicy scraps sing their names. It can be a tough habit to break when your kitty decides to start “dumpster diving,” but it can be done!

Try a new trash can

Even if you haven’t been putting flesh or bones into the garbage, you may have inadvertently tossed a takeout box or food wrapper that smelled too good to resist. Once a cat learns a new trick, it’s very hard to get them to unlearn it. That’s why on this blog, we’re big advocates for changing the environment if you can’t change the behavior.

Swing-lid trash cans and trash cans with lids that are easily opened by humans are also accessible to cats. Instead, a tall kitchen trash can with a foot pedal, wide lid, and lip that’s flush with the can should be better barrier. If you have a particularly clever kitty, you may want to freeze your meat scraps instead.

Consider composting

Composting is another good way to remove temptation. While many backyard composters advise against putting bones and meat into your compost, commercial composting companies can handle such leftovers. Many New York City buildings are opting into food scraps and yard waste collection programs, also known as “organics” collection. If you live in Jersey City or Hoboken, the Community Composting Company offers airtight, kitty-proof collection bins for your kitchen that can be picked up weekly or bi-weekly.

Are you still looking for someone to keep your cat out of trouble this Thanksgiving? Book one of our pet sitters! We still have availability, but don’t wait. Book today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

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