Why Do Cats Hate Aluminum Foil So Much?


Have you ever crinkled up a piece of aluminum foil and noticed your cat totally freak out? This is actually a pretty common behavior among cats.

But why doesn’t she like it? And can you use this little fact to your advantage?

We spoke to Dr. Megan Conrad, a veterinarian working with Hello Ralphie, and Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinarian at Stayyy, to find out the reasons why cats hate aluminum foil.

And as it turns out, your cat's feelings towards that crinkly, silver stuff mainly has to do with how much it messes with her senses.

It has a strange sound

In general, cats usually aren’t fans of high-pitched noises (or any noises they’ve never heard before, really).

And believe it or not, aluminum foil actually makes high-pitched sounds that humans can’t hear but your cat definitely can.

“Cats have extremely acute hearing, and the strange crinkly noise that the foil makes when touched can be irritating to their ears,” Dr. Conrad told The Dodo.

So while foil may look (and sound) like nothing much to you, your cat’s experience with it is totally different — and can actually be very annoying for her.

It has a weird texture

Another reason why your cat might not love aluminum foil is because of the texture.

“Cats find the texture and movement of aluminum foil weird because of the combination of smooth surfaces and rough edges,” Dr. Sievert told The Dodo.

So whether the foil’s just lying flat, crinkled up into a ball or — gasp — crinkled up andthen laid out flat, it’s really just too much for your cat to take.

It resembles water

Thanks to its reflective surface, aluminum foil resembles water. And if cats hate one thing in this world, it’s water. So if she thinks that the foil is actually H2O, she’s not going to want to get anywhere close to it.

Basically, aluminum foil can create a sensory overload for your kitty — and she just doesn’t want to deal with it.

Does aluminum foil actually work as a deterrent?

You may have heard that some people use aluminum foil to deter their cats from being in places they shouldn’t — like around the Christmas tree or on top of tables.

While this trick can work for keeping some cats out of mischief, not every cat will be deterred by foil covering an area.

“Some cats, once they overcome their initial uncertainty about this new shiny surface, will lose their fear of it and not find it threatening,” Dr. Conrad said.

Instead, Dr. Sievert suggests trying double-sided tape to keep your cat away from certain areas. “[Cats] won't like having their feet sticky,” Dr. Sievert said.

So when it comes down to aluminum foil versus your own cat, you can test it out to see if she avoids areas covered in foil — and maybe even take a cute video of the process.