This is a pretty common question. We have all seen the cartoons and the meme’s with cats sticking their paws into aquarium tanks and trying to eat your fish. Can I have an aquarium with my cat or will my cat eat my fish?

The answer to this is multi-faceted. Cats are naturally inclined to catch and kill fish. Having a cat around can be a stressful event for the fish in question. Cats generally love to sit and watch the fish swim. You may think this looks peaceful, but it is not for all the involved parties. So, what should you do if you have cats and fish already? Try these things.

Make sure that your cat is unable to get closer than two feet from the tank. This keeps a distance that is safe and less stressful for all parties involved.  A correct location means that your cat can not get on top of the tank or next to the tank. You want it to be in an unreachable location.

Make sure your tank has a lid. A tank without a lid is disaster for the fish. Even the most well-behaved feline may have trouble resisting a fish dinner.

Location location location. Think about the surroundings.  Your cat is an expert at jumping. They have springs for legs, and we all know it. Anything that they can get on can be used to launch them up to the tank. Take care to make sure you do not provide that opportunity for them.

Make the tank area unattractive to your cat. Foil or sticky tape around the take can be useful. Cats are not fans of citronella, wintergreen, and eucalyptus. Putting these essential oils near the take will dissuade your cat from going closer.

Don’t store anything that belongs to your cat in the same area as your fish tank. All the cats’ toys, food, litterbox, cat tree and other items should not be in the same space. Maybe putting the tank in a room that the cat does not have access to at all is possible and that would be ideal.

Your cat may be the ideal housemate and just want to watch the fish swim, but we all know what they say about curiosity and cats have plenty of it. You can successfully have both together, but it is important to keep the two separated for everyone’s safety.

So the short answer is yes you can, but take some precautions to keep kitty from having a mid day sardine snack or from giving your fish an anxiety attack.