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10 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat sleeping above the trash can

We all adore our cats, but we don’t always adore their behavior. Kitty curiosity can lead to many a perilous situation, including your pet getting into the garbage and making a huge mess or eating something they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, you can only guide your cat’s behavior to a certain extent, so when something like this occurs, you need to find a product that will keep said behavior from happening again.

Luckily, when it comes to your feline friends getting into the garbage, you can do something about it by purchasing a cat-proof trash can! There are plenty of cans available in a range of designs and prices — so much so, it can make narrowing down your options a bit difficult. We’ve reviewed the 10 best cat-proof trash cans we could find so that you can decide quickly and get your cat out of the trash sooner rather than later.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
iTouchless Auto Trash Can iTouchless Auto Trash Can
  • Feature iconTouchless
  • Feature iconCarbon odor filter
  • Feature iconLid locks
  • Best Value
    Second place
    mDesign Metal Trash Can mDesign Metal Trash Can
  • Feature iconBest value
  • Feature iconHands-free
  • Feature iconEasy to clean
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    iTouchless Wings-Open Sensor Can iTouchless Wings-Open Sensor Can
  • Feature iconPetGuard lock
  • Feature iconHands-free
  • Feature iconCarbon odor filter
  • Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can
  • Feature iconClorox odor protection
  • Feature icon50% more room
  • Feature iconStore extra garbage bags
  • simplehuman Hands-Free Trash Can simplehuman Hands-Free Trash Can
  • Feature iconTwo sides for garbage & recycling
  • Feature iconSilver ion coating that resists germs
  • Feature iconQuiet close lid
  • The 10 Best Cat-Proof Trash Cans

    1. iTouchless 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can with Odor-Absorbing Filter and Lid Lock – Best Overall

    iTouchless 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can

    Material: Stainless Steel
    Capacity: 13 gallons
    Dimensions: 75 x 10.75 x 27.88 in
    Weight: 8 lbs

    If you want the best overall cat-proof trash can around, this one by iTouchless is what you need. Not only does it include a carbon odor filter to keep trash from becoming too smelly and attracting curious kitty noses, but it’s motion-activated, so you don’t have to touch the can unless you’re removing garbage. It offers 25% more room than cans of similar design and has an extra-wide lid, so large items fit easily. The shape of the can enables it to fit into tight spaces, so you should have no issues finding a place for it. This trash can is powered by batteries or AC adaptor and boasts up to three times the battery power of other garbage cans. It’s easy to clean, especially since it’s resistant to fingerprints, plus you can even lock the lid in place!

    Comes with a full-service warranty and a full-service manufacturer’s promise.

    • Touchless
    • Carbon odor filter
    • Lid locks
    • Does not come with batteries or adaptor
    • Some complaints of can breaking within 2 years
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    2. mDesign Metal 1.3 Gallon Rectangular Slim Profile Step Trash Can – Best Value

    mDesign 2.6 Gallon Rectangular Steel Step Trash Can

    Material: Metal
    Capacity: 1.3 gallons
    Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 11 in
    Weight: 2.24 lbs

    The mDesign Metal Step Trash Can is the best can for the money, coming in well below the prices of other trash cans out there. It comes in a variety of colors and offers an optional size of 2.6 gallons. Best suited for bathrooms, offices, or smaller homes, this simple trash can opens with a mere press on the pedal so you can keep hands clean and pets out. The exterior is made from stainless steel, so it’s durable, while the inside consists of a shatter-resistant plastic bin. Cleaning both the outside and inside is easy — you’ll only need to wipe it down with a damp rag or rinse with soap and water.

    • Best value
    • Hands-free
    • Easy to clean
    • Lid closing can be loud
    • Some reports of can arriving damaged
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    3. iTouchless 13 Gallon Wings-Open Sensor Trash Can with AbsorbX Odor Filter and Pet-Proof Lid– Premium Choice

    iTouchless 13 Gallon Wings-Open Sensor Trash Can

    Material: Stainless steel
    Capacity: 13 gallons
    Dimensions: 3 x 10.4 x 22.6 in
    Weight: 11.68 lbs

    This iTouchless trash can is the premium choice when it comes to cat-proof trash cans. It has a PetGuard lock feature that makes keeping cats out of the garbage a breeze. This can also includes a carbon odor filter to neutralize odors and make kitties less interested in what’s hiding in the trash in the first place. Because it’s motion-activated, you can keep your hands germ-free, and the unique winged opening has a low enough clearance you can place it underneath counters.

    This trash can is powered by battery or AC adaptor. It comes with a 2-year full-service manufacturer’s promise along with dedicated customer service.

    • PetGuard lock
    • Hands-free
    • Carbon odor filter
    • Doesn’t come with batteries or AC adaptor
    • Some complaints of receiving defective products
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    4. Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can with Clorox Odor Protection

    Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

    Material: Stainless steel
    Capacity: 20 gallons
    Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 29 in
    Weight: 12.38 lbs

    This trash can claims to fit 50% more garbage than other cans of the same size, making it handy to have around. Plus, the Clorox odor protection on the lid inhibits bacteria that cause nasty odors from growing in the first place. The top is silent when closing, so you don’t have to worry about loud slamming each time you use the can. As a bonus, you can store garbage bags behind it!

    This garbage can is made of stainless steel that is resistant to fingerprints and easy to clean. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    • Clorox odor protection
    • 50% more room
    • Store extra garbage bags
    • Complaints of lid mechanism breaking within months
    • Some people had trouble removing full bags from the can
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    5. simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free

    simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free

    Material: Stainless steel
    Capacity: 15 gallons
    Dimensions: 14.2 x 22 x 25.8 in
    Weight: 12.38 lbs

    simplehuman’s Hands-Free trash can comes with two receptacles — one for trash and one for recyclables — so you can keep everything in one place. It opens via the use of a steel pedal — a pedal the manufacturer claims is good for up to 20 uses a day for 20 years. The lid closes silently, so there are no issues with loud banging, while an internal hinge on the lid prevents it from hitting the wall when opened. simplehuman incorporates a silver-ion coating that resists not only fingerprints but germs as well, so your trash can will remain clean.

    Requires custom fit liners from simplehuman that you can dispense from the back of the can.

    • Two sides for garbage & recycling
    • Silver ion coating that resists germs
    • Quiet close lid
    • Complaints that can dents easily
    • Rare complaints of paint color disappearing within a year
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    6. simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can with Secure Slide Lock

    simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can

    Material: Plastic
    Capacity: 13 gallons
    Dimensions: 4 x 18.7 x 26.2 in
    Weight: 7.5 lbs

    Another from the simplehuman brand, this can is designed to be space-efficient while still being large capacity. The lid comes with a lock that slides shut so you can keep your cats out. On the flip side, the lid of this can stays open as long as you need it to for those trash jobs that take more than a second or two to complete. And like the last simplehuman trash can on this list, the lid has a patented technology that enables quiet closing.

    This trash can is fabulous for those with large households. Comes with custom liners and a 5-year warranty.

    • Slide lock on lid to keep cats out
    • Space efficient
    • Large capacity
    • Complaints about customer service
    • Reports of defective products being delivered
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    7. Amazon Basics Soft-Close, Smudge Resistant Trash Can with Foot Pedal

    Amazon Basics Soft-Close, Smudge Resistant Trash Can

    Material: Stainless steel
    Capacity: 28 gallons
    Dimensions: 81 x 11.42 x 20.67 in
    Weight: 6.49 lbs

    Looking for a basic cat-proof trash can with no frills? Then we suggest this one by Amazon Basics! As it’s operated by a foot lever, it’s more difficult for cats to get into. However, if you need the lid to stay open while you’re changing out bags, there’s a lid stay open mode you can activate. The stainless steel exterior of this trash can is durable, resistant to fingerprints, and simple to clean. The interior consists of a heavy-duty plastic bucket that can be removed easily to make the disposal of trash a breeze.

    • Simple design
    • Stay open mode
    • Durable
    • Complaints of inside of lid rusting
    • Reports of trash can sliding all over the place
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    8. NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Infrared Motion Sensor Trash Can

    NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can

    Material: Stainless steel
    Capacity: 21 gallons
    Dimensions: 14.02 x 17.99 x 28.62 in
    Weight: 10.3 lbs

    This Amazon Basics produced trash can is made of durable stainless steel that is resistant to fingerprints and contains advanced sensor technology. All it takes to open this can is passing your hand within 10 inches of the motion-activated infrared sensor. Keep your hand or garbage within that 10-inch range, and the lid will stay open for as long as you need. Move your hand away, and the lid closes in a 3-second time frame, making it that much more difficult for kitties to sneak in and grab trash.

    The power for this trash can should last for up to 6 months.

    • Uses advanced technology
    • Durable
    • Lid closes quickly
    • Issues with customer service
    • Complaints of lid no longer working within months
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    9. SONGMICS Kitchen Trash Garbage Can

    SONGMICS Kitchen Trash Garbage Can

    Material: Powder coated steel
    Capacity: 13.2 gallons
    Dimensions: 7 x 12.6 x 25.6 in
    Weight: 13.7 lbs

    This trash can will lend an air of elegance to whatever room you place it in with its simple silhouette and classy design. Made with powder-coated steel, the lid of this can contains a mechanism that buffers it during closing, so you won’t have to deal with loud bangs. While the can opens via a foot pedal, you can keep it open for longer than a few seconds at a time by lifting the lid back completely. The inside bin is made of plastic that contains holes on the side to keep your garbage bags in place.

    This brand promises 100% satisfaction and customer service before and after purchase.

    • Elegant design
    • Hands-free
    • Holes to hold bags in place
    • Reports of soft close breaking within months
    • Rare reports of pedal breaking in a short time
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    10. JOYBOS Bathroom Trash Can

    OYBOS Bathroom Trash Can

    Material: Plastic
    Capacity: 3.7 gallons
    Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 12.6 in
    Weight: 2.69 lbs

    Finally, if you’re looking for a smaller trash can more suited for a bathroom or bedroom, then this JOYBOS trash can could be a perfect match. While it isn’t touch-free, it is opened and closed by a simple touch to the top, making it that much harder for cats to break into. Small enough that you can stick it almost anywhere, this trash can hides your garbage (and garbage bag) entirely away. It is created from ABS engineering plastics, making it incredibly durable and water and dust resistant. The lid is soft close, so there won’t be any loud, startling noises when it closes.

    • Small
    • Touch to open makes it difficult for cats to get into
    • Hides garbage bag
    • Complaints of lid spring hinge being too fragile

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Cat-Proof Trash Can

    When it comes to purchasing an amazing cat-proof trash can, there are certain things you should be checking for. You don’t want to buy the first trash can you come across just because the price is good, only to discover that it doesn’t include everything you need. With that in mind, take a look at the following considerations when you’re doing your research.

    Security of the Lid

    How secure the lid of a trash can is should likely be your highest priority when it’s a cat-proof can for which you’re looking. Whatever you purchase will simply be a waste of money if a cover doesn’t secure well, right? As such, don’t merely look for a trash can that has a lid that closes; look for a can that has a heavier lid that can’t be easily opened. Some garbage cans will also include a lock, which might be beneficial if your cat is particularly ninja about getting into things it shouldn’t.

    As important as the type of lid is, you should also consider how the lid is opened. If a garbage can opens via foot pedal, there might be a slight chance your pet could open it on their own. Likewise, if it’s motion-activated and your cat jumps high enough and into range, it may also open. Weigh that against the likelihood of an occurrence such as this happening.

    Trash Can Size

    You don’t just want to get a cat-proof trash can; you want to get a can that will hold the levels of garbage your household produces. If you get the wrong size, you’ll be changing out the trash non-stop — which will be both a pain and another opportunity for your pet to get into it.

    Durability Of Materials

    When it comes to garbage cans, you’re better off picking one that includes highly durable materials. Not only do you want it to be scratch-proof, but you also don’t want a can that dents or dings easily. And it isn’t just the outside of the can you should be checking for durability — how durable a lid spring mechanism or foot pedal is will decide just how long your garbage can will last.

    Extra Features

    Some trash cans will come with snazzy extras such as infrared sensors and motion activation. Some may even come with odor neutralizers designed to make your garbage and home smell better. These extras might cost you, though, and in the long run, some might not work out well cost-wise. Motion-activated cans, for example, often require batteries or AC adaptors that might not be included in the cost of the trash can or that will need to be replaced regularly. Weigh the benefits of extras before purchasing.

    household trash
    Image Credit: Travis Wolfe, Shutterstock

    Value For The Money

    Garbage cans can be surprisingly pricey these days — even the simple ones! Check prices closely when hunting for a cat-proof trash can to ensure you’re only paying for what you need and not any unwanted add-ons. Also, keep in mind that just because a garbage can is on the more expensive side, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically the best cat-proof can around.


    As with any and all products, we recommend checking reviews of the product and brand closely. One of the easiest ways to decide upon a new purchase is by seeing what other pet owners have to say about it.

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    There you have it! These reviews of the best cat-proof trash cans available should help you make your choice in no time. When it comes to the best overall cat-proof trash can, we highly recommend the iTouchless 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can with Odor-Absorbing Filter and Lid Lock with its larger capacity and odor neutralizer. For the best value, our pick is the mDesign Metal 1.3 Gallon Rectangular Slim Profile Step Trash Can due to its durability and price. If a premium choice is what you’ve been looking for, you’ll want to check out the iTouchless 13 Gallon Wings-Open Sensor Trash Can with AbsorbX Odor Filter and Pet-Proof Lid with its PetGuard lock.

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    Featured Image Credit: Khoir Gallery, Shutterstock