In school, if there was foil paper in anybody’s lunchbox it would have indeed ended up as a wrinkled-up ball that would have been hit on the heads of all my friends including me.

Now something as fun as that, which could easily be a toy for cats is hated by them. 

Yes, you heard me mostly all cats have a love-hate relationship with aluminum foil. One minute they hate it, the next they don’t.

Not literally but this is pretty much what happens. Let’s know more about the timeline of this unique pair and why it is hated by the cat.

Why Do Cats Hate Aluminum Foil?

Why Is My Cat Scared Of Aluminum Foil?

You may have heard the crinkling sounds made by the aluminum foil when you tear it from the roll or crumple it. 

For cats, this crinkling sound is far too intense as it is for us. 

Studies have proven that the crinkling of aluminum foil produces ultrasonic sound, human ears cannot pick up on these sounds as it is out of our hearing range. Cats can pick up on ultrasonic sounds they communicate with their prey, i.e. mice and rodents through ultrasonic sound. 

So when cats walk over the foil or hear someone crinkling it, they get startled and scared.

The appearance of aluminum foil might also be a reason your cat is avoiding it or scared of it. The texture of the foil is smooth and its surface is glossy and smooth, it also reflects and makes it resemble water. 

We know cats are not the biggest fan of water so they prefer to deflect and avoid the aluminum foil.

The whole situation, the sound, and the texture are enough for the alarm bells to ring in a cat’s mind.  

Cats are known to flee from danger rather than face it head-on until it is necessary. So if the aluminum foil feels like a potential threat it would be enough for them to steer clear of it.

What Does Aluminum Foil Do To A Cat?

What Does Aluminum Foil Do To A Cat?

Imagine being in a stressful situation and then people around you start asking you more stressful questions relentlessly which you are not able to answer and the questions keep coming one after the other. 

You would be stressed and overwhelmed too. Right?

We are guessing that’s how your cat feels when it has its first encounter with the aluminum foil.

The crinkling of foil produces an ultrasonic sound that the human ear cannot pick up but the cats hear it. 

This crinkling sound causes a lot of discomfort to them and they don’t like it one bit.

The texture of aluminum foil also bears semblance to that of water, the reflection, and the shiny and smooth surface. This is not a very ideal condition and not to the liking of cats.

 Cats when walking on foil, both of these combined drawbacks attack the cat’s senses and overwhelm it.

All of this at once causes a sensory overload of sorts to your cat. It is too much for them to handle hence it scares them.

They try to avoid situations that cause stress and overwhelm them.

Walking on foil for cats is like walking straight into trouble, as all the stress and anxiety for cats is an indication that the cause of it is a source of danger. 

That’s why cats are scared of aluminum foil and avoid it.

Is Aluminum Foil Toxic To A Cat?

Is Aluminium Foil Toxic To A Cat?

Yes, your cat dislikes aluminum foil but is it toxic for your cat?

Yes, if your cat swallows aluminum foil, it is toxic for your cat.

Cats love playing with little pointy things. When crumbled up, aluminum foil has a lot of edges which the cats like. 

But the ball of foil could easily open up and your cat could tear it into pieces, cats are unaware of the consequences if they swallow it. These little sheets can be harmful to your cat. 

These could get lodged in the throat of your cat which could be fatal and kill them as they could choke on such tiny pieces.

If they manage to take it down their throat it could get even worse. The small sheet of metal could get stuck in the lining of their stomach. If this happens, surgery would be the only option to fix such an issue. 

Cats might love to play with the foil but they might tear the foil apart while playing with it. They cannot distinguish between what’s good for them and what is not.

Playing with aluminum foil falls under the category of dangerous and toxic for them. Hence whenever you see your cat playing with the foil stop it and pry the foil from them. 

You should be very careful and not let the cat play with these substances as it could be fatal for them.

Do Cats Hate Walking On Aluminum Foil?

Cats might initially be wary of the aluminum foil, but once they assess it thoroughly they might not be afraid of it.

Once they realize that whatever the weird sound-causing substance which looks like water is harmless, they get rid of the fear they hold of it.

Some cats familiarize themselves with the foil and they start playing with it. 

The sound and appearance would catch them off guard initially and they would avoid the foil as much as they can but once they get used to it, they do not avoid it.

Some cats cannot face their fear and remain on the lookout for the signs of the presence of aluminum foils. But generally, most cats get over their fears and play with the foil.

Playing with the foil is a sign that they may have gotten over their fear but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for them to play with it.

Make sure you keep a check when your cat plays with foil because it could be too dangerous if they swallow it.

Does Aluminum Foil Keep Cats Away?

Does Aluminum Foil Keep Cats Away?

You might have heard that to keep cats away you should try aluminum foil. 

Their discomfort around the foil is more or less the reason it is suggested to keep them away from places you don’t want them going. 

But is it effective? 

No, when the initial shock wears off for a cat and it becomes familiar with the foil the cat cannot be kept away from the place by aluminum foil. 

When the cat is scared of the foil it avoids the foil and indirectly the places it is put in. So for some time it might keep your cat away from a place or a thing but not for long. 

Once the cat gets acquainted with the foil it may even start playing with it. Something available to be played with becomes more important to them. 

So indirectly you might be pushing your cat in the place by putting foil in there if the cat is familiar with the foil. 

To cats, aluminum foil is a very strange substance and at first, they even categorize it as dangerous and are scared of it. But curiosity gets the better of them and they set out to examine the foil. 

Once they realize it’s not harmful they get over their fear of it, some may even treat it as their plaything and play with it. 

So if you want to keep the cat out of a certain place you should use something more effective as aluminum foil is not it. 

I’m sure if you have ever come across any cat parents they would have enough anecdotes to confirm that aluminum foil is not the best thing to keep your cat away and save the things or places from them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What would happen if my cat swallowed aluminum foil? 

Aluminum foil is toxic for cats if they swallow it. The foil can get stuck into its throat and the cat could choke on it. It can also get stuck in the lining of the cat’s stomach, which would require surgery to take out. 

My cat hides when I tear aluminum foil, why?

The crinkling of aluminum foil produces an ultrasonic sound which is uncomfortable for the cat. That may be the reason that your cat is scared and hides to avoid the foil. 

Is it safe for cats to play with aluminum foil?

no, it is not very safe for cats to play with foil. The foil may fit the description of everything they like in a toy but still. It is very dangerous for cats as you cannot predict them, they might swallow it, which is something we don’t want.


Cats and aluminum foil have a slow burn kind of rapport. 

Until the cat is familiar with it, it won’t go near it and avoid it. Once it gets to know that the foil is not dangerous, the foil becomes her favorite toy. 

But this favorite toy is very harmful to your cat if swallowed. The cat does not know it does not have to eat it, you have to make sure it does not as it may cause numerous issues inside the body of the cat. 

The crinkling of aluminum foil produces ultrasonic sound, which the human ear is incapable of hearing but the cat can pick up these sounds. 

The intensity of this sound causes discomfort to the cat hence it avoids the foil. 

This is also a reason why people use temporarily use aluminum foil to keep cats away from certain places. 

Would you use aluminum foil to keep your cat away or find a more effective method?


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