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6 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat on top of trash can

Cats can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a lot of trouble! Do you come home to find a feline burglar has gotten into your trash and left a mess behind? If your cat loves to get into unsecured trash cans, upgrading to a can with pet-proof features is a must. With sturdy lids and great designs, any of the trash cans in this list would be a great choice for your home. These reviews will help you know your options for keeping your trash safe from cats.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Simplehuman Kitchen Step Trash Can Simplehuman Kitchen Step Trash Can
  • Slide lock keeps even determined pets out
  • Silent closure avoids pet attention
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Rubbermaid Step-On Trash Can Rubbermaid Step-On Trash Can
  • Simple to use lock
  • Easy clean
  • Slow closing lid
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    iTouchless Sensor Trash Can iTouchless Sensor Trash Can
  • Motion sensor makes lid easy and hands-free
  • Odor seal keeps attention away from can
  • Locking feature keeps cats out
  • Simplehuman Dual Compartment Can Simplehuman Dual Compartment Can
  • Second compartment for recycling bag
  • Stable and hard to tip over
  • Stainless steel lid
  • iTouchless Sensor Trash Can iTouchless Sensor Trash Can
  • Motion sensor makes lid easy and hands-free
  • Odor filter to keep down smells
  • Locking feature keeps cats out
  • The 6 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can– Best Overall

    simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can

    Volume 13 gallons
    Material Plastic
    Weight 7 pounds

    With a silent close lid and a simple lock, we found the Simplehuman’s Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can to be the best overall cat-proof trash can. It is large, sturdy, and easy to use without unnecessary bells and whistles. It comes in several different colors and has a 13-gallon capacity—large enough for most households but not unwieldy. The lid opens and closes with a steel foot pedal that is easy for humans to open and hard for cats to get into. A simple sliding lock can be used to close the bin more securely if your cat is especially clever or big enough to knock the bin over.

    This can’s biggest negative is that some reviewers stated that its lighter weight and smooth material made it prone to slipping or shifting when the foot pedal was used. Reviewers suggested adding rubber grips if necessary.

    Pros
    • Slide lock keeps even determined pets out
    • Silent closure avoids pet attention
    Cons
    • Prone to slipping on some surfaces

    2. Rubbermaid Premier Series IV Step-On Trash Can – Best Value

    Rubbermaid Premier Series IV Step-On Trash Can

    Volume 12.4 gallons
    Material Plastic
    Weight 9.98 pounds

    We think the most cost-effective locking trash can on the market is the Rubbermaid Premier Series IV Step-On Trash Can. It comes in a deep charcoal plastic with a stainless steel rim and lid that protects your trash from curious pets. The snugly fitting lock and foot pedal are designed to help keep out cats. It also includes a lock that is easily switched on and off, making it impossible for pets to open when locked. This can also has many other useful features, like interior vents that make it easier to remove trash bags quickly.

    The disadvantage to this trash can is that some reviewers reported the lid coming off when knocked over. A strong and determined cat might be able to get into the can that way.

    Pros
    • Simple to use lock
    • Easy clean
    • Slow closing lid
    Cons
    • Lid might come off if knocked over

    3. iTouchless Wings-Open Sensor Trash Can—Best Premium Option

    iTouchless 13 Gallon Wings-Open Sensor Trash Can

    Volume 13 gallons
    Material Stainless steel
    Weight 11.68 pounds

    The best premium trash can for keeping out pets is the iTouchless wings-open sensor trash can. It comes in a sleek and smudge-proof stainless steel to hide your cat’s failed attempts at access. iTouchless cans are hands-free, using a battery-powered motion sensor to open them when unlocked. When closed, the two lid flaps seal tightly to the can, making it difficult for cats to access.

    Along with its locking system, this can also come with carbon odor filters that neutralize trash odors. If the smell of garbage attracts your cat, this feature alone is invaluable because it reduces interest in the can.

    There aren’t many negatives to this trashcan but does come at a higher price to match. Some customers also reported the can was prone to denting, although this was rare.

    Pros
    • Motion sensor makes lid easy and hands-free
    • Odor seal keeps attention away from can
    • Locking feature keeps cats out
    Cons
    • More expensive choice
    • Occasionally prone to denting

    4. Simplehuman Dual Compartment Can

    simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Kitchen Step Trash Can

    Volume 15.3 Gallons
    Material Stainless Steel
    Weight 21 pounds

    For pet owners who require a second trash can for recycling, the Simplehuman Dual Compartment Can is a great option. It comes in slick stainless steel that resists pawprints and smudges. It has a foot pedal for opening its heavy steel lid, making it difficult for cats to gain access to the inside of the can. Because of its larger base and heavier weight, it is almost impossible to knock down.

    Although many owners have reported that it works well for keeping out pets, it does not have a built-in lock function. Because of this, an especially clever cat might be able to get around the heavy lid.

    Pros
    • Second compartment for recycling bag
    • Stable and hard to tip over
    • Stainless steel lid
    Cons
    • No dedicated lock
    • More expensive option

    5. iTouchless Pet-proof Sensor Trash Can

    iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

    Volume 13 gallons
    Material Stainless steel
    Weight 8 pounds

    The iTouchless Pet-proof Sensor trash can is packed with great features to make your life easier. It comes with a battery or plug-in motion sensor that opens the lid automatically, making it easy and sanitary to use. The stainless steel finish is pawprint-resistant and easy to clean. It also includes an odor filter that absorbs trash odors. It also includes a locking feature that prevents pets from opening the lid.

    The only drawback to this design is that the lid is less secure than some on this list. Some clever dogs and cats have managed to get the whole lid to come off, bypassing the pet locks. If you like the idea of a sensor-opening trash can but don’t need a premium-quality lid, this model might be better for your needs.

    Pros
    • Motion sensor makes lid easy and hands-free
    • Odor filter to keep down smells
    • Locking feature keeps cats out
    Cons
    • Lid less secure

    6. Sterilite Locking Lid Step-On Trashcan (2 pack)

    Sterilite 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket Trashcan

    Volume 12.6 gallons
    Material Plastic
    Weight 9.7 pounds

    This Sterilite two-pack is a good value option if you need a second can for recycling or other uses. It has a simple foot pedal to open the lid while keeping cats out. It also has a secure lock to prevent pet access, even when tipped over.

    The lower price does come with some drawbacks. The plastic pedal and lid are less durable and won’t hold up to stress as well as metal parts would, and the lightweight design makes it possible for many cats to tip it over if determined. Although the plastic lock is secure, some reviewers reported their pets getting the entire lid mechanism off.

    Pros
    • Second can for recycling
    • Simple and secure lock
    Cons
    • Weaker plastic parts
    • Lightweight
    • Less secure lid

    hepper cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    Why Do Cats Get Into The Trash?

    Most cats get into the trash because the smells make them hungry or curious. If your cat is constantly interested in the trash can, he might be annoyed with the amount or quality of his food. That doesn’t automatically mean you should feed him more, though—many cats want to overeat if they have the chance.

    Food isn’t the only reason cats get into the trash. For some, the trash can is an intriguing place to play. If your cat has constant behavior problems, he might be bored and trying to get your attention. Spending some quality time playing with your cat might make him less likely to act out.

    Best Features in a Cat-Proof Trash Can

    Trash burglars have a lot of tricks, and not all trash cans work equally for all cats. Different trash cans have different features that make them easier or harder to get into. Whether you buy a trash can designed to be pet-resistant or not, here are some features to keep in mind:

    simplehuman cat proof trash can
    Image Credit: simplehuman, Amazon

    Lids

    The first line of defense in any trash can is the lid. Lids should open via a button, foot pedal, or other cat-safe method. Freely swinging lids are easily accessed by cats, making them a poor choice. Lids should also be tightly fitting—a loose lid might come off entirely with little trouble, or open enough to wiggle a paw into.

    Weight

    Although most cats aren’t heavy enough to knock down a trash can, larger and more determined housecats might be able to. A heavy, stable trash can will be safer for your cat if he is on the bigger side. Stainless steel has an advantage over plastic here. If your trash can might tip over, make sure the lid will stay firmly shut at any angle.

    Locks

    Many trash cans have built-in locks designed specifically for keeping out pets. These locks should be easy for a human to latch and unlatch. If they are too tricky to use, you might end up leaving the trash can unlocked by default.

    Odor Control

    Cats usually get into the trash because of the tantalizing scents of old food. Some trash cans have features meant to minimize odors, including airtight seals and odor-neutralizing filters. Buying a trash can with odor control features can address the root of the problem. If your cat can’t smell food, he won’t want to get in!

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    We hope that these reviews have helped you know where to start in looking for a cat-proof trash can. The Simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can is a great all-around option, with a simple lock and sturdy construction. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Rubbermaid Premier Series IV trash can also comes with a lock and basic features to keep pets out. Finally, the iTouchless Wings-Open Sensor CaniTouchless Wings-Open Sensor Can is a more deluxe option, with motion sensors, pet locks, a stainless steel finish, and a sleek cat-proof lid to keep the most determined of feline food thieves out.


    Featured Image Credit: helfei, Shutterstock

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