10 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks!


Pets and garbage — it’s a thing. If you have a cat that seems to love exploring your garbage, you also know how much of a mess they can make. Also, it’s pretty disgusting. So, what’s a cat owner to do? The obvious answer is to get a trash can that will keep your cat out. But it can’t be too difficult for you to get into either.

To make your life easier, we collected 10 of the best trash cans that should prove difficult for your cat to get into. Read through the reviews, and you might just find the right trash can for your needs.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022

The 10 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans

1. Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can — Best Overall

Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

Capacity 20 gallons
Color Brushed silver and black
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Stainless steel and plastic

The best overall cat-proof trash can is the Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can. It’s also available in 1.2 and 13 gallons, but this review is for the 20-gallon garbage can because it obviously holds a large amount of garbage. It provides odor protection, including the inside of the lid, by reducing the odor-causing bacteria. The trash can itself has storage for extra garbage bags on the back and includes a ring on the inside to keep the bag tucked in. The lid closes quietly, it’s fingerprint resistant, and the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Best of all, it’s sturdy, so your cat shouldn’t be able to knock it over and get into the garbage.

The downside of this garbage can is that it is a little expensive, and it can sometimes be challenging to get the garbage bag out.

Pros

  • Comes in three sizes — the 20 gallon holds a large amount of garbage
  • Odor protection against odor-causing bacteria
  • Storage for extra bags on the can itself
  • Quiet-closing lid and fingerprint resistant
  • Sturdy enough, so cats can’t get into it

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sometimes difficult to get the trash bag out

2. Amazon Basics Soft Close Trash Can — Best Value

Amazon Basics 5 Liter Trash Can

Capacity 3, 3.1, 7.9, or 13.2 gallons
Color Brushed silver
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Stainless steel

The best cat-proof trash can for the money is the Amazon Basics Soft Close Trash Can. It comes in four sizes and has a soft-close lid, so it won’t slam shut. This also helps prolong the life of the lid. It’s fingerprint-proof and smudge resistant and has a sturdy interior bucket that can be removed to easily dispose of garbage. It will be difficult for your cat to get into.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to put the garbage bag into the can, and some trash cans might arrive dented.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Soft-closing lid
  • Fingerprint proof and smudge resistant
  • Sturdy plastic bucket makes disposal of garbage easy
  • Difficult for cats to get into

Cons

  • The bag can be difficult to put in sometimes
  • Might arrive dented

3. iTouchless Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can — Premium Choice

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can

Capacity 13 gallons
Color Brushed silver and black
Opening Mechanism Motion-sensor
Material Stainless steel

The iTouchless Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can was clearly designed to keep your cat out, and it has the advantage that you don’t have to touch it when using it. It includes a carbon filter that absorbs and neutralizes odors and has a fingerprint-resistant surface. It also has the option to use batteries or an AC adapter

The flaws with this trash can include that it’s expensive, and it also doesn’t come with the AC adapter or batteries.

Pros

  • Designed specifically to be pet-proof
  • Uses motion sensor, so you don’t need to touch it
  • Uses carbon filter to neutralize odors
  • Can use batteries or AC adapter

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t include batteries or AC adapter

4. simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

simplehuman 45 Liter Kitchen Step Trash Can

Capacity 12 gallons
Color Black
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Plastic

The simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can has extra storage for bin liners inside the can for easy liner changing. The lid also closes over the top of the bag for a cleaner look, and it has an extra-long steel step-on pedal. The pedal is designed to take up to 150,000 steps. The trash can is a sturdy plastic that shouldn’t be wobbly or easily dented.

Unfortunately, it is pricey, and the only garbage bags that really fit must be purchased from the company itself.

Pros

  • Liner storage inside the can for quick liner changing
  • Slow and quiet-closing lid
  • The lid folds over the top of the bag for a cleaner look
  • It’s stable and doesn’t wobble

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only takes the company’s own garbage bags

5. hOmeLabs Automatic Trash Can

hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can

Capacity 13 or 21 gallons
Color Brushed silver
Opening Mechanism Motion-sensor
Material Stainless steel

The hOmeLabs Automatic Trash Can is a motion-detector trash can, so you don’t have to touch it when tossing garbage away. The sensor can be adjusted to be activated from the top or the sides, or you can turn it off and open it manually. You have the option to use batteries or an AC adapter, which is included (but only the adapter is; you’ll need to purchase the batteries).

The disadvantages are that it’s expensive, and after a while, the motion detector might stop working.

Pros

  • Motion sensor so you don’t have to touch it
  • Motion sensor can be activated from the top or sides
  • Motion sensor can be turned off, and it can be opened manually
  • You can use batteries or the included AC adapter

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Motion detector not always consistent

6. simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can

simplehuman 50 Liter Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

Capacity 2 gallons
Color Brushed silver
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Stainless steel

The simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can has a slow and silent-closing lid, but it’s also capable of staying up, so you can take your time. The lid also has an internal hinge, so it doesn’t hit the wall when opened. The pedal is strong and made with steel and can take up to 150,000 steps. It’s also fingerprint-proof.

The disadvantages for this trash can include that it’s pricey. Also, some of these cans seem to arrive defective and don’t always close all the way.

Pros

  • Slow and silent-closing lid
  • Lid can stay up for longer chores and doesn’t hit the wall
  • Steel pedal can take up to 150,000 steps
  • Fingerprint-proof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some are defective and might not close all the way

7. Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Step-On Trash Can

Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Metal Step-On Trash Can

Capacity 12 gallons
Color Brushed charcoal
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Stainless steel

Rubbermaid’s Stainless-Steel Step-On Trash Can has a slow-close lid and a lid lock so you can keep it open for longer tasks. It’s in an attractive charcoal-colored stainless steel that is fingerprint-resistant and dirt- and smudge-proof. The removable liner bucket is made with durable rubber that catches leaks and makes for easy cleaning.

The flaws of this garbage can are that it’s expensive, it tends to dent easily, and the slow-closing lid feature might break after a while.

Pros

  • Slow-close lid
  • Lid lock keeps it open longer
  • Charcoal-colored stainless steel is fingerprint-resistant
  • Removable liner bucket is a durable rubber

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Dents easily
  • Slow-close lid might break

8. Kohler Step Trash Can

Kohler K-20940-BST 13-Gallon Step Trash Can

Capacity 13 gallons
Color Black
Opening Mechanism Step-on
Material Stainless steel

The Kohler Step Trash Can has a slow-closing lid that has hinges on the inside to prevent it from banging into the wall. You also have the option to lock the lid in place for longer tasks, and the black stainless-steel finish is fingerprint-proof. The plastic liner on the inside is easily removed and makes for easy cleaning.

However, it is expensive, and there are pieces of plastic under the foot pedal that are prone to breaking. You need to step directly on the middle of the pedal for it to work properly.

Pros

  • Slow and quiet-closing lid
  • Hinges on the inside prevent banging into the wall
  • Lid can lock into place to keep it open for long tasks
  • Black stainless steel is fingerprint-proof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Foot pedal has plastic bits that might break

9. U-Eway Tilt Out Trash Can Holder

U-Eway Wooden Tilt Out Trash Cabinet

Capacity 10 gallons
Color Gray, white, or black
Opening Mechanism Tilt to open
Material MDF wood, pine, and bamboo

The U-Eway Tilt Out Trash Can Holder is the way to go if your cat is that smart and determined to get into your garbage — just hide it away completely! This is actually a cabinet with a tilting feature where you place your garbage can and just pull the door open to access it. This way, it’s hidden and convenient. The cabinet is made with MDF wood, as well as pine and bamboo. Also, it has an extra drawer for storage, and the top is a cutting board that can be removed, and it’s available in gray, white, or black.

Unfortunately, this isn’t technically a trash can, so you’ll need to buy a separate one if you opt for this cabinet. It’s also expensive and not that easy to assemble.

Pros

  • Hides the garbage inside — away from smart cats
  • Tilting feature makes hiding your trash can convenient
  • Attractive cabinet design so it’s more than a trash can
  • Top is a removable cutting board
  • Available in gray, white, or black

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Need to buy a separate garbage can
  • Not easy to assemble

10. Joybos Bathroom Trash Can

JOYBOS Bathroom Trash Can

Capacity 7 gallons
Color White
Opening Mechanism Press-top
Material Plastic

The Joybos Bathroom Trash Can is great for those of you with cats that are more interested in the bathroom (or bedroom) rather than the kitchen garbage. It’s available in either a square or rectangle shape and has a press-top: You press the top, and it opens for you to put the garbage in. It’s easy to clean and made from durable white plastic, and the rectangular shape, in particular, will fit skinnier spaces.

The disadvantages are that it is a little pricey for the size, and the spring on the lid is prone to breaking after a while. Plus, the lock doesn’t always latch properly.

Pros

  • Works for cats interested in bathroom or bedroom garbage
  • Press-top keeps it closed and easy to open (for you)
  • Easy to clean in durable white plastic
  • Rectangle design can fit in smaller spaces

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Spring might break after a while
  • Lock doesn’t always latch properly

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Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Cat Proof Trash Can

Before you make any final decisions, check out our buyer’s guide. We go over a few points that you might want to consider before getting something.

Expense

Most of the garbage cans on this list are on the expensive side. That said, paying extra can also mean the difference between an attractive garbage can that your cat can’t get into and a hunk of plastic that you’re constantly cleaning up.

This doesn’t mean you should only opt for the most expensive garbage cans. You should be able to find reasonably priced ones that your cat can’t get into, but if you are looking for style in addition to smarts, be prepared to pay more.

Opening Mechanism

The main ways of opening these garbage cans are through a push-button, motion detector, and most commonly, a step-on pedal. The motion sensor trash cans will usually be the most expensive, but they might not always be consistent. If your cat is super determined and jumping on top of it, this could actually trigger it to open. This might also scare your cat away from it, but there are no guarantees with cats.

The step-on pedals can be the safest bet because most cats won’t have the right kind of weight to open them. It also makes it easy for you to access too.

hOmeLabs 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can
Image Credit: hOmeLabs, Amazon

How Smart Is Your Cat?

Some cats are smart and might figure out how to get into your garbage can regardless of what kind it is. If you suspect that your cat is an Einstein, you might want to opt for hiding the trash can over installing locks. You can purchase items like a special cabinet or just stick it inside the cupboard under the sink.

Size

Always double-check the measurements and the capacity. You don’t want to end up with a can that’s too small or too large for your needs, and you’ll want regular garbage bags to fit. Some of these cans are designed so you can only buy one kind of garbage bag, so be aware of this and be sure to read reviews.

Related Read: How To Cat-Proof Your House (10 Tips to Remember)

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Conclusion

The Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is our overall favorite for reducing odors and its extra storage for garbage bags. Amazon Basics Soft Close Trash Can is well priced and available in four sizes and is more challenging for your cat to get into. Finally, the iTouchless Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can even has in its title that it is “pet-proof,” and it also has a motion sensor.

We hope that our reviews of these 10 cat-proof trash cans have helped you figure out the best garbage can will be for your needs. You want to keep the garbage and odors in and your cat out, and hopefully, one of these will do the trick!


Featured Image Credit: Tarasenko Andrey, Shutterstock

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