How To Keep Fish when You Have Cats

Cats are very inquisitive by nature, and unfortunately for fish keepers there’s nothing more appealing for them than a fish tank. Fish tanks are a big source of bright colours and movements which catch the attention of most animals, especially cats. Let’s also not forget the stereotypical hunter and prey dynamic between cats and fish, which makes keeping both tricky, but not impossible. With a few simple steps and changes you can help to keep your fish safe and stress free and create a peaceful environment for both your fish and cat.

Put a Lid On It

Cats can cause a lot of unwanted stress towards your fish which can result in a lot of complications, so the last thing you want is your cat being able to access the fish within the tank. As you may have seen some cats will try to catch your fish by placing their paws inside the tank. A great way to stop this is by using an aquarium lid or purchasing a fish tank with a lid. Most lids will have small holes for air flow and a small hatch for feeding, making it ideal for your fish and also stopping pesky paws getting in the water. Just make sure your lid is always securely attached to your tank!

Location location location

As with fishkeeping in general location is key!  When it comes to keeping both cats and fish an important thought to consider is whether it is easy for your cat to jump up and peer inside? If so find a spot that is not within your cats direct eye line and a space that will delay your cat’s intrusion on the fish, giving you enough time to separate them. Also try placing objects within your cat’s path towards the fish tank; it will make it more difficult for your cat to reach your tank.

Move your Cats stuff

As simple as it sounds, moving all your cat stuff such as Cat Beds, Cat Scratching Posts and Cat Litter Trays away from your fish tank will make an instant positive impact. The separation of the cat’s accessories and your fish means that your cat will relax and play separately from your fish tank, lowering the amount of time spent in close proximity to it.


As previously mentioned location is key, keeping your fish tank in a separate room from your cat is another easy fix. By creating a no cat zone your fish can swim peacefully within their tank. It’s also great for when your cat is alone in the house; by simply shutting them out of the room with your fish tank there will be no drama to be had.


A simple technique is to draw your cat’s attention away from the tank. Giving your cat plenty of things to do like playing with cat toys will keep your cat distracted from the tank, and hopefully satisfy their curiosity.

A great investment would be to get a Cat Stand. The Cat stand allows your cat to safely play and climb up the tall surfaces and if kept away from the tank or in another room will be a great distraction.

When it comes to keeping both cats and fish it’s important to always think about and take steps to ensure the safety and welfare of both pets. If you need any more aquarium tips and advice check out our other articles on our Fish Keeping Advice Page.
If you’re looking for more cat advice, head over to our Pet Keeping Advice page on