Converting Kitchen Cabinet Drawers to Fun Foraging Areas

Converting Kitchen Cabinet Drawers to Fun Foraging Areas

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Hi Mitch,

How are you?  I hope that all is well.  I have recently encountered a problem with Seymour and was wondering if you might have some ideas for me.  

I usually have Seymour on the kitchen sink countertop where her toys are.  

She plays there pretty much all day and clean-up is easy.  As of 2 weeks ago, she has been climbing on the cabinets and chewing on the wood.  

I do not want her to do this as I rent my apt and I do not want to have any damage to anything that doesn’t belong to me.  

I tell Seymour a firm “NO”, remove her from that area (putting her on the handle of her travel carrier or back in the cage every time she heads for the cabinets.)  believe me, she snarls at me and gives me that warning to leave her alone, but I will not allow her to be the boss.

 I don’t know how to break her of this new habit.  

As soon as I return her to her play area on top of the countertop after a brief time out, she still heads for the under-the-sink cabinet.  

She opens and closes the cabinet door until she can get her body inside the cabinet.  

The other day she made it inside the cabinet and sat there in complete darkness with the cabinet door closed and was amusing herself, whistling.

I have even taped the cabinet shut, but she got through the tape.  I am afraid that she will end up suffocating herself.  

I used to be able to leave her unsupervised on top of the kitchen counter to play with her toys while I sat on the couch about 5-ft away, but now she has found something else to entertain herself with and I have to watch her like a hawk.  

I have even placed obstacles in her way, but she is so clever that she figured a way around them.  HELP!!!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



“heads for the under-the-sink cabinet.” Is clearly indicative of brooding activity she’s looking for dark places to make babies.  

Tape is not going to work you need childproof locks. Telling her “no” has no impact. 

Birds are morally agnostic and don’t know the difference between right and wrong.

What would be at a bird toy or kitchen cabinet door?

Obstacles will not work, she is too smart

I know money is tight for you the ideal situation would be to generate placing on casters that you can roll in the kitchen that is her space.

You can also consider devoting one or two kitchen cabinet drawers to foraging areas in which you could fill up with toys and toy parts as well as treats and see if she is satisfied with that solution

Here’s a video that speaks to what I am talking about: 

The goal here is to get her distracted from the actual cabinet doors and drawers and provide something more interesting “within” each opening

If that doesn’t work she needs to lose kitchen countertop privileges and will get refined to inside or the top of her everyday cage – Hope that helps


Thank you so much, Mitch.  This info is very helpful.  

Seymour is chewing on the wood of the cabinet doors and I am worried about that.  I need to distract her to get her mind off of the cabinet door.

You’re right.  She can get around obstacles, but she might be afraid of a large stuffed animal if I placed it in her path to the cabinet door for a while.  

The suggestion of using cabinet drawers with her favorite toys is another option.  

I would need to cover and line it with something because she will poop in the drawer.

Thank you for sending the video.  I will check it out.  Yes, distraction is the key.  I would hate to refine her to her cage because I know that she enjoys her freedom.

 She will plop down to the carpeted floor (her wings are clipped) and get to wherever she wants to go anyway.  

I would then have to keep Seymour caged with the door closed.  She would be very unhappy and so would I.  


You’ve given me some great ideas here and I will give them a try.  Thanks again, Mitch.

I never thought about brooding activity.  What has always frightened me is Seymour laying eggs.  And I in a will

I pray that she NEVER lays eggs.  My vet said that not all females lay eggs.    Seymour will be 4 in August/September.  

I had a parakeet die because she became egg-bound. I wanted a male bird, but after purchasing Seymour and having her DNA tested I fell in love with her and couldn’t bring myself to trade her in for a male.

The bird store owner gave me two weeks to bring her back, but she had already stolen my heart.

Caiques are very stubborn and they want their way.  It is going to be difficult to break her of this habit now, but I will keep at it.  

Once she was able to get inside the cabinet door the other day, there was no way she was getting out as the door closed behind her.

I had a lot of cleaning agents under the sink too so there is no way I want her to stay under the sink.

Mitch Rezman

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