Keeping the Cat Off the Counter

Cat on the Kitchen Counter

Kitties are so sweet and cuddly. There’s nothing like having that little furball curl up in your lap and start up the engine that powers that soft purr. But there are other times when kitty does some very irritating things, like jumping up and walking or laying on the kitchen counters, or other places where you don’t want them. Cats don’t take to being trained like a dog would, but it is possible to break this habit.

There are three main things that you need to know when you decide to train your cat to keep off your counters and other surfaces.

  1. It is difficult.
  2. It is very difficult.
  3. It is EXTREMELY difficult.

This is why many people choose to live with it rather than try to change this behavior. But if you are one of the few who have the time, patience, and nerve; I have a few tips and tricks that may help.

 Why Does Kitty Want to be Up There?

First off, identify why your cat jumps on the counter. What attracts it so? Is it food? Then be sure to put away all food and wipe down the counters and rim of your sink. Most cats love to lick up even the tiniest food particles they can find, so you’ll want to be very thorough.

Maybe a perfect window sill can be reached by walking across the table? Shut the curtains or move the table so that the sill isn’t as appealing. The point is to remove whatever is attracting their attention.

 Offer An Alternative

Wall Shelves for CatsNext is to offer something you don’t mind your cat perching upon. A multi-level scratching post is a perfect place for your cat to observe its domain. Perhaps you could offer another window sill, making it more enticing by placing toys near it.

You can’t blame your cat for jumping up and lounging on unwanted surfaces unless you offer alternatives. Cats like their routines, so any changes may take a while. Not only will your cat be upset by its favorite places now being off limits, but it must also adjust to new routines.

 Bring Out the Big Guns

Kitty on the CounterNow for a particularly stubborn cat, you may have to break out the big guns. This involves making the surface uncomfortable for the cat. Cats tend to not like anything with an odd texture or feeling. Sticky, cold, crinkly or prickly are examples.

Invest in double-sided tape, my friend. Cover some cardboard or cheap place mats in double-sided tape and place them on the surfaces. The sticky texture will disturb the cat, without hurting it, and will make the counter uncomfortable to walk or lie on.

Whenever you are not using the counters, be sure the sticky-tape mats are on them. Soon enough you will being to notice your cat is staying away from the counters. Leave them on for a few weeks, then every week remove one piece. If you notice the cat coming back, lay all the mats down again and start over. Some alternatives to use are tin foil and saran wrap, but these don’t seem to work quite as well.

Just remember that your main focus is patience and time. Changes won’t happen overnight.

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    • Glen
    • January 19, 2014

    Another way to keep cats off a counter is to spray them with water from a water bottle kept nearby.

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