Is Your Kitty a Countertop Hopper? How to Keep Cats Off Counters
- This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. More information may be found here. It is not intended to be a substitute for expert veterinary assistance.
Richie, my cat, is a master of the counter-hopping technique. In fact, I’d estimate that he spends just as much time on the counter or kitchen table as he does on any of the several cat trees and scratching posts that can be found around my home. My cat has gotten into everything throughout the years, and I’ve done everything to keep him away from the countertops and other surfaces. We’ve experimented with everything from aluminum foil to air-puffers to innovative and unique cat furniture. If an expert advises it, we’ve tried it.
Before we get started, let’s have a look at why cats leap on the kitchen counter in the first place.
Why Do Cats Jump on the Counter?
Climbing is a natural manifestation of your cat’s nature, and it should be encouraged. In the words of VCA Animal Hospitals, when cats are stressed out, they may climb to find higher ground: “High vantage points allow your cat to view the world from a position of safety and to flee if it feels the need to do so.” If your cat appears to be worried when they jump on the counter, it may be time to investigate what could be causing them to be so anxious. Cats who leap on the counter just because they can and because it feels nice are also common.
- However, none of this explains why some cats prefer counters over cat trees and other surfaces such as carpets.
- Throughout his life, my cat Richie has been intrigued with human food, and I frequently find him on the kitchen counter, attempting to clean up a dirty dish or nibbling on a piece of ripening fruit on the windowsill.
- Natalya Vilman via iStock
How Do I Stop My Cat From Jumping on the Desk (or Countertop, or Kitchen Table…)?
One of the first stages in keeping your cat away from the counter is to make the countertops less enticing to them in the first place. The Anti-Cruelty Societyexplains that “as responsible pet owners, we want to offer our pets the greatest possible opportunity to act appropriately.” That entails putting them in the best possible position for success by eliminating the temptation to leap up in the first place. Cleaning up food crumbs before your cat can smell them out, installing child-proof locks to keep them out of cabinets, and (ugh) washing the dishes in a timely way are all things that are necessary for certain cats to survive.
If your cat is motivated more by curiosity than by hunger, it’s a good idea to give them with other high locations to investigate.
To be honest, you might want to supply all three items for the cat who is really interested!
Check out these pages for ideas on cat furniture to keep your climber occupied and entertained: 1.The Best Cat Furniture for People Who Live in Apartments The Best 2.19 Modern Cat Trees to Buy Right Now 3.These Cozy Cat Hammocks Will Keep Your Kitty Warm and Comfortable.
Does Aluminum Foil Keep Cats Off Counters?
Richie, the author’s cat, is perched on the kitchen counter. One of the most typical “home remedies” for counterhopping is to place aluminum foil on the surfaces of the counters. Kittens are said to dislike the sensation of foil beneath their feet and will avoid surfaces as a result, according to conventional knowledge. In practice, your experience may be different. However, while my cats have perfected the ability of knocking foil sheets out of the way, the foil technique has shown to be quite effective for some.
According to this article from VCA Animal Hospitals, “booby trapping” can be used to stop cats from engaging in undesirable behavior.
In addition to foil, I’ve used plastic carpet runners (with the nubby side facing up), plastic sheeting, and double-sided tape to keep my kittens off the counters in the past.
What Scent Will Keep Cats Away?
After trying various surfaces and seeing what works, you may consider using a smell to deter your cat from using the counter. Sentry Stop That! Spray, for example, is a pheromone-based solution that is designed to both comfort and repel kitties. The idea is that the pheromone aroma will prevent cats from a certain surface. Pheromone sprays that are suitable for cats are not harmful, but they must be applied carefully in order to educate cats to refocus their interest. Consider them a tool, rather than a punishment.
Stay away from beating or shouting at your cat, and avoid spraying him with water.” You might want to consider using a motion-activated air blower to keep your cat from developing scared associations with you.
In Richie’s desire to reach the countertop, these can serve as an effective “booby trap” deterrent, albeit he rapidly learned to simply walk around them instead.
Be Persistent and Provide Alternatives
Cats like jumping and exploring on their own. It’s only in their nature to soar to great heights! As a general rule, providing your cat with access to different surfaces is the most effective method of keeping them off the countertop. In the event that your kitten likes your countertop over the cat tree, it may take some time for them to learn to redirect to another surface.
Be patient, and keep in mind that your cat is only acting like a cat. Make sure you have a decent non-toxic cleaner on hand in the meanwhile to clear off those paw prints!
- Save Your Home Furnishings! Try one of these anti-scratch sprays for cats to see if it helps. Increase the excitement level of your cat’s life with these Amazon Cat Towers
- Does Using Cat Calming Pheromones Help to Calm Your Anxious Kitty?
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Top 10 Ways
1/10 Photograph by Brady Barrineau/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Use Sticky Tape
Cats are not fond of anything that is sticky. Purchase a roll of double-sided tape and adhere it to the edge of your countertop. This will deter the cat, but you may need to reapply it frequently to keep it sticky, and it may leave a slight residue on your furniture. 2/10memoryfoto/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Make Noise
Cats run away when they hear loud noises. Preserve a few pennies or dry beans in an airtight glass jar, aluminum can, or even an old peanut butter jar for safekeeping. As soon as the cat climbs onto the counter, shake the container to create some noise. 3/10 Photograph courtesy of Phil McDonald/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: The Spray Bottle
Using a spray bottle, you can deter the cat from climbing on the counter. One squirt of ordinary water should be plenty; nevertheless, avoid exceeding the recommended dosage. 4/10anmbph/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Aluminum Foil
Cats will stay away from the countertop because of the loudness and the sensation of aluminum foil beneath their claws. Simply attach a few strips of aluminum foil to the borders of your counters to finish the job. Image courtesy of ANUCHA PONGPATIMETH/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Offer an Alternative
If your cat prefers the countertop since it’s a sunny area, is there enough room nearby for a cat tower to be installed? Create an alternate sun area for your cat to enjoy in addition to his normal kitchen countertop perch. 6/10 Swapan Photography is a part of Shutterstock.
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Plastic
Cats, like aluminum foil, appear to be repulsed by the sound and feel of polyethylene. Try covering the counter with a piece of plastic sheeting when you aren’t at your house. It should be enough to keep the cat at bay. 8/10 Photograph courtesy of Steve Heap/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Ruin the Fun
Try pulling the shades or closing the blinds to block the sun if your kitchen countertop is adjacent to a sunny window. If your cat sits on the kitchen window sill and watches birds at the birdfeeder, you should consider moving the birdfeeder. Make it less enjoyable for your cat to be perched on the counter. 9/10tab62/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Use Peppermint
Peppermint, according to some pet experts, is a deterrent for cats. Use a few drops of peppermint essential oil in your kitchen cleaner to freshen things up. It’s possible that the minty scent on your kitchen countertop will be enough to keep your cat away. 10/10 Photograph courtesy of Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock
How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Remove Food
It’s important not to keep any food on the kitchen countertop if your cat is food driven, since this might attract him to leap up there. In addition, discuss your pet’s feeding schedule with your veterinarian to determine whether there is anything you can do to make your cat less food oriented. This article was first published on August 23, 2019.
5 Simple Tips To Keep Cats Off Counters
The kitchen counter is one of the most dangerous areas in our home since it is where we keep food, sharp items, store electrical gadgets, and prepare meals on a hot stovetop, all of which pose a threat to our safety. Because of their natural climbing ability and agility, our cats are drawn to high areas on an instinctual level. It is from lofty observation positions that cats feel most comfortable and secure while they are spotting, relaxing, and sleeping. Cats, like dogs, are curious and opportunistic feeders that will take advantage of any situation.
Even while it may drive us insane and make us feel unsanitary, from our feline’s perspective, leaping or climbing into locations that are deemed off-limits to humans is a normal behavior.
If you decide that your cat isn’t permitted on benches or tables, the counter must be transformed into a surface that your moggie isn’t interested in investigating.
How To Keep Cats Off Of Counters?
To prevent your cat from leaping on counters, you may use a variety of methods, including constructing raised platforms for them to utilize instead of the counters. Implement the strategies outlined in this guidance to avoid and manage counter leaping behavior via the use of training and other alternatives.
1. Aim High In The Kitchen
Cats enjoy being in close proximity to us. Sitting on the kitchen counter puts them on an equal footing with their human counterpart. Offer your feline buddy an elevated vantage platform nearby, such as a cat tower or the top of the refrigerator – which cats have voted as the “most popular kitchenette perch.” Counter cruising is also common in homes with windows near worktops, which is understandable given that bird watching is a cat’s favorite recreational activity. Install a perch on the kitchen window sill or let your cat to perch on the top of the pantry cabinets by walking on and off the refrigerator many times each day.
2. Keep Food Out Of Sight
Maintaining a safe distance between food and the counter will assist to keep food-motivated cats off the counter. Cats are generalist, resourceful eaters who are attracted to food that is discovered in unusual places, regardless of whether the food is given by human beings. To increase their chances of obtaining a reward, they will forage for leftovers off the kitchen countertops, eat out of bowls, steal food from bins, and lie in warm locations near the stove in the hope of receiving one. Given that your cat is an obligate carnivore, give it a species-appropriate diet in tiny, regular portions away from counters and never leave meat or grub unsecured on bench-tops, particularly when you are away from home.
Food should be stored in the refrigerator and cabinets to discourage foraging.
3. Counter Surfing Training
Your cat will cease using the kitchen counter if you train them to use a mat or stool when you instruct them to do so. It has been proven that clicker training your cat is the most effective method of preventing counter-surfing behavior. In order to successfully address counter surfing, there are three key coaching steps:
- Train the behavior of going to the mat or sitting on a stool outside of the food preparation space. Additionally to sitting on a taller stool, the mat or stool can be used as an alternative to jumping on kitchen countertops. Slowly get closer to the realistic scenario while keeping distractions to a minimum. Frequently reinforce the behavior in a real-life setting by repeating it as many times as feasible
4. Design A Stimulating And Exploratory Vertical Environment
You may limit your cats’ inclination to leap on the counter by providing them with lots of opportunities to exercise their climbing and exploring impulses. Providing your cat with suitable vertical alternatives for climbing, scratching, and resting will encourage him or her to explore the world around him or her. Cat trees and furnishings are quite popular, despite the fact that they may be rather pricey.
- Create tall resting rooms inside by utilizing shelves, cabinets, workstations, dressers, chairs, and closets to maximize available space. Make a comfortable bed or blanket for your cat in this location, and place food or catnip there on a regular basis to attract him or her. It is possible to give limitless stimulation and resting space for one or more cats by placing them on a window shelf or a window-mounted bed. Construct a cat enclosure for the outside. Place tree branches, cat-safe plants, water, cat-grass, shelves, a DIY cat tree, and a hammock to provide your cat with a perch while keeping him out of reach of possible dangers
- And In multi-cat households, provide lots of tall sleeping locations to allow the cats to spread out their territory and not feel like they are competing for resources, which will prevent them from using the countertop. Your cat will be more tempted to avoid the ground and aim higher if it has to share a room with your pet canine, according to the study. Lookout points and cuddlers should be placed on the tops of bookshelves. Elevated resting spaces can be anywhere from a few inches from the ground to several feet above it. For cats suffering from arthritis or eyesight, a cushion on the floor, a cardboard castle, or a tiny cat tree are all appropriate heights to keep them company.
Keep your cat from climbing into areas that you wish to keep off-limits by placing barriers around them. The following are examples of potential deterrents:
- Double-sided tape is used since cats do not like walking on sticky surfaces. Aluminium trays filled with a little amount of water: some cats are afraid of water, while others do not mind walking over puddles
- The spiky nubs of carpet runners or mats should be placed face-up since cats do not appreciate walking on scratchy surfaces. Make use of baking sheets or long pieces of cardboard to partially cover the counter edge where the cat leaps in order to make the surface more unstable. In order to produce noise when it slides off the countertop, you may place empty tin cans on either side of it. PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Deterrent detects the presence of a pet and delivers a burst of unscented mist within a one-meter radius of the detected pet. Sprays operate quickly, thus it is not advisable to use them around cats who are fearful or timid in nature. It is possible for a nervous cat to grow afraid of certain rooms and avoid them altogether, or to become afraid of moving throughout the rest of the house.
More information may be found at: Best Invisible Fences For Cats Review. Use of a squirt water cannon is not recommended since it will just teach your cat to flee when you pick up the sprayer and to return after you’ve left the room.
Furthermore, some cats aren’t bothered by the spray, and it doesn’t serve as a deterrent in most cases. Removing the deterrent after your cat is consistently utilizing the designated skyscraper or stationary position is recommended.
With the proper training and environment modifications, you and your cat will be able to peacefully share the kitchen without the risk of harmful or unsanitary counter-surfing behavior. It’s crucial to understand that cats enjoy climbing and perching on high objects, which is why they’re so popular. Their misbehavior is more than simply mischievous; it is also an expression of innate behavior. They are not as cognitively mature as humans, and they think in terms of good and wrong, as well as behaving in spite of the situation.
You should only praise and reward your cat for the behaviors you desire them to attempt rather than the behaviors you do not want them to attempt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cats are extremely clever creatures! Cats may avoid a banned area when you are around, but as soon as you leave, they will place their paws on the ground. If you want to prevent your cat from leaping on the counter, provide them with appropriate vertical options or restrict their access to the kitchen. Deterrents should only be used as a last resort.
How do you keep cats off counters and tables?
Positive reward, environmental enrichment, training, a suitable tower, and outdoor stimulation may all be used to assist your cat in displaying typical climbing behavior while preventing them off bench tops and diverting them to acceptable surfaces.
Does aluminium foil keep cats off counters?
Positive reward, environmental enrichment, training, a suitable tower, and outside stimulation may all be used to help your cat maintain normal climbing behavior while preventing them off bench tops and diverting them to acceptable surfaces.
Why is my cat suddenly jumping on counters?
There might be a variety of causes for your cat’s sudden interest in leaping on countertops, including: When a new pet enters the home, your cat may feel intimidated, and you should be aware of this. Scaling up makes them feel safe and avoid touch until the introductions are complete. – A kitten’s first encounter with a toddler might be a stressful and scary event for him or her. Progressive presentations should be practiced in a controlled atmosphere that allows the cat to feel in command while also providing a safe haven to withdraw to.
- Distraction — A bored cat will get into mischief, so make sure your feline buddy has plenty of self-play toys, catnip, and cardboard boxes to keep him or her entertained.
- It is critical to recognize increases in water intake as soon as possible in order to avoid health problems.
- Health and welfare of cats in their emotional and behavioral states Pages 49 – 63 in Elsevier Publishing Company, St Louis, MO This page was last modified on November 27, 2020.
- (2020, September).
- Karen Pryor Academy is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States.
T. H. States, et al., eds., retrieved November 28, 2020. (2019). Cat Behavior Counseling: A Guide for Owners. (Source: HSUS, Compiler) The capital of the United States is Washington. This page was last modified on November 25, 2020.
Preventing Cats from Jumping on Counters and Tables
Cats are made for jumping and climbing. During their natural lives, cats climb trees and leap great distances to move within their area, escape danger, and locate food. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that many domesticated cats attempt to activate these impulses even when they are confined to an indoor environment. That can lead to cats jumping onto items in your home that you would like them stay away from. Create a plan for keeping your pet off counters, tables, and other high-traffic surfaces.
Why Cats Like to Climb
It is important to understand why your cat likes to climb before you can take actions to keep him off the countertops. Consider the following: cats enjoy hunting birds, and the vast majority of birds are found on trees. Small rodents and ground-based prey, on the other hand, are simpler to catch when hunting from above. Climbing also aids cats in their efforts to stay away from potential predators. Your cat will frequently seek out high places in your house in order to act on these inclinations.
You may find your cat hiding behind your countertops to avoid having to deal with other pets or little people who spend a lot of time on the floor.
Alternatives to Climbing on Countertops and Tables
The most straightforward method of keeping your cat off your countertops is to provide them with an alternative outlet for their typical climbing and leaping habit. Both you and your cat will be happy if they have a variety of appropriate jumping and climbing areas to choose from. Cat “trees,” which are pieces of furniture designed specifically for indoor cats to scratch, climb, and investigate, are fantastic methods to keep your cat amused. These “trees” frequently have platforms for your cat to rest on, as well as intriguing rods and columns to climb up and around.
While similar in design to cat trees, kitty condominiums place an even greater focus on the provision of resting and concealing areas.
Provide an alternate method for your cat to obtain special “treats” if they are jumping on your countertops because they are hunting for food. Cats who are fed on a regular basis and are of a healthy weight can assist to reduce this habit, but overweight cats may need to be fed numerous smaller meals throughout the day.
Using “hunting” toys that hold little quantities of kibble might also teach your cat to adopt natural behaviors in order to find more food. In order to prevent promoting their counter-surfing tendency, you’ll also need to keep your countertops clean and devoid of enticing food.
How to Discourage Cats from Jumping on Countertops and Tables
It is possible that alternatives may not completely prohibit your cat from landing on your worktops and tables. For your pet’s safety, you may need to add deterrents to locations that are off-limits in order to make them frightening and unwelcoming. Environmental deterrents are items that your cat doesn’t enjoy but that aren’t harmful to him or her in any way. Things like unpleasant odors or textures are excellent ways to keep your cat away from your home without penalizing him or her for it.
You can experiment with techniques such as:
- Putting cookie pans on your counter and balancing them so that they produce a frightening noise when your cat leaps on them
- Placing tape on the edge of the counter or table with the sticky side facing up
- Making the counter surface uncomfortable by laying down a plastic carpet that “nubs-up.” Using towels to hang off the edge of your countertops so that your cat will slip down if they attempt to leap up
All of these deterrents have one key thing in common: they do not require you to scare your cat in any way. If you solely use your hands to remove your cat off your countertops, they will simply leap up when you aren’t paying attention to them. If you aggressively scare them away, your cat may come to believe that you are the ones who are frightening him, not the countertops. Environmental deterrents assist youngsters in learning that it is just the counters themselves that are off limits and frightening.
What to Avoid
- Cats are not good at responding to punishment. Instead of linking the punishment to a specific behavior, they link it to the person who is punishing them. Do not scold or strike your cat because it has gotten on the kitchen counter. Avoid pushing your cat off counters and tables, as they will develop afraid of you rather than the surface. Because they may injure themselves, refrain from using any type of deterrent that might harm your cat.
How to Keep Your Cat off the Kitchen Counter
Her habit of jumping on your kitchen countertops is one of those aspects about having cats in your home that isn’t always ideal: she may be a nuisance. Obviously, you don’t want food, or litter or litter box contents, to wind up in your meal, so this might be an issue. You should also keep your cat away from potentially harmful items such as blades, foods that are poisonous to cats, and hot items that may frequently be found on or near kitchen countertops, among other things.
Why Do Cats Like to Be on Counters?
There are a variety of reasons why cats may enjoy jumping on counters, particularly those in the kitchen, according to experts. Some of them are included in this list.
- Cats enjoy the feeling of being elevated. Cats enjoy being at a good height because it makes them feel comfortable, and they enjoy viewing what is going on below them. Countertops with window views are possible. Cats enjoy peering out of windows and taking in the sights and sounds of the world beyond. If your countertops provide your cat with a view of the outside world, this may be a contributing cause to her preference for being on top of them. Cats are just inquisitive creatures. Your feline friend is likely to be too concerned with not being left out of anything, and she is especially interested in keeping track of everything that happens in her domain. The countertops are no exception: she’ll want to check in on what’s going on up there on a regular basis
- And The odors emanating from the kitchen surfaces are pleasant. The wonderful fragrances emanating from the countertops are sure to attract your cat to jump up and investigate the surroundings. Moreover, if she has previously discovered something delectable to munch on up there, she will have gotten positive reinforcement that will encourage her to continue doing so
- We spend a lot of time at the kitchen countertops doing various tasks. They enjoy being with their humans, and we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, utilizing the worktops and other surfaces there. You should know that if your cat enjoys jumping up on the counter and hanging out with you while you’re chopping and sautéing, it’s because she loves you.
While all of these are reasonable reasons for cats to want to be on our kitchen counters, it is critical for their safety and the cleanliness of our food preparation area that we educate them to remain down on our countertops.
Tips for Training Your Cat to Stay off the Kitchen Counter
When it comes to training your cat for anything, the most important thing to remember is to make the behavior you want her to perform as attractive as possible while making the behavior you don’t want her to do as repulsive as you possibly can. It is less probable that simply trying to keep your cat off the countertops would be effective than keeping her off the counter AND providing her with a better option. In order to fulfill your cat’s demand to be high up, see what is happening on outside, and spend time with you (where she can see what you are doing) while you are working in the kitchen, you’ll need to come up with creative methods to keep her entertained while you are working.
Consider some of the following methods for utilizing that extra room to fulfill your cat’s craving for height:
- Remove everything off the windowsills so she may perch on them. If you have windowsills, make an effort to ensure that at least some of them are free enough for a cat to sit on them. Consider freeing up some room on an end table or a sturdy stool near to the window in its place. Cat bed or play mat on the back of your couch or chairs will provide hours of entertainment (especially ones that are near windows). In addition to demonstrating to your cat that it is acceptable to hang around in certain areas, you can save your furniture from a little of hair. Consider purchasing one or two cat trees. Stylish cat trees with broad, robust bases and platforms at window level are particularly popular with feline customers. They may serve a dual use as scratching posts, perches, and sleeping areas for your cat. ThePurrfect Viewis our favorite of the three options. Because it’s covered with sisal fabric, which makes it a popular scratching substrate for cats, it’s also stable, tall, and equipped with platforms that can be used as beds or perches. It’s also well-built and can endure for years. Make sure you have enough space for all of your kitties. In the event that you have numerous cats, you’ll need to assign extra high areas for them to hang out. Not only do you not want them fighting over them, but you also do not want certain cats not having access to them, leading in stress-related undesirable behaviors.
If you provide your cat with these particular, elevated hangouts from which she can view outside, she will almost likely be pleased. If, on the other hand, she ignores your new kitty places, you should strive to make them even more enticing. Catnip can be sprinkled on them or honeysuckle can be sprayed on them. Make use of them by placing your cat’s favorite toys on them or by placing a bird feeder outside the window in front of one of them. Please keep in mind that if your cat suddenly begins climbing on counters in quest of food and devouring anything she comes across, she may be suffering from a medical condition.
It’s also crucial to provide your cat with a comfortable space to hang out with you when you’re in the kitchen cooking.
For those who don’t have the room, consider using a solid stool or chair, and make her aware that the stool or chair is hers by welcoming her into it and rewarding her with food, affection, and praise when she leaps up.
Having a play session with your cat before you begin food prep can also be beneficial. After you have finished your meal prep, you can reward her with a few treats or her regularly scheduled meal. She may be willing to slumber or eat in the background while you work.
Deterrents to Keep Your Cat off the Kitchen Counters
Once you have offered your cat with a sufficient number of choices, you may need to add deterrents to make sitting on the counters an unappealing option for her to continue. Work your way up from the least aggressive approaches to the most forceful ones as needed.
- Maintain the cleanliness of the countertops. Make a habit of covering, putting away, or otherwise securing any food left on the counter. Make sure any dishes in the sink are thoroughly rinsed so that there are no food bits causing alluring scents
- Clap your hands together and say “No.” If you notice your cat jumping on the counter, clap your hands together and shout “No” firmly. You may either pick her up and move her to a more appropriate location while praising her while she’s there, or you can applaud her once she leaps down from the counter. Citrus-based cleansers should be used. Due to the fact that cats are repulsed by citrus aromas, using a citrus-based countertop cleanser on a regular basis may be sufficient to keep your curious kitty away from the kitchen counter. Consider using double-sided tape. If you line the sides of the countertop with double sided tap, your cat may become irritated when she leaps up and learn that it is not nice to be up there
- Create a jarring booby trap. Place 10 or 15 pennies in each of many cans and tape the cans together to prevent them from opening. Place the cans in a variety of locations on the kitchen countertops where they are teetering on the brink of falling off the edge. When your cat leaps up on the counter and rubs up against these, they will fall off and make a loud noise before falling off. This is generally enough to terrify a cat and maybe deter her from attempting it in the future.
When teaching your cat to keep away from the kitchen countertops, it is critical that you are patient, caring, and understanding with him or her. The fact that your cat is merely acting like a cat doesn’t make it right to treat her harshly or aggressively, and it might cause her stress, which could lead to other unpleasant habits. Even while you may not be able to completely eliminate your cat’s habit of jumping on countertops in a single day, if you are persistent and deliberate in meeting your cat’s needs and wants, the outcome will almost certainly be a happier cat and a counter free of fur.
How to Keep Cats off Counters: Preventing Cat Counter Surfing
You might wonder why cats are so drawn to climbing and jumping on furniture or anything else that is high enough to support their weight. If you’re a cat owner, you’re probably not surprised by this. You most likely observe your cat jumping up, looking about, and lazing from the top of your furniture multiple times a day, depending on how active he is. The reality is that climbing is a natural tendency for cats, and they do it all the time. Climbers in the wild do so for a variety of reasons.
Considering that this behavior, along with pouncing and stalking, is completely natural for cats, it shouldn’t be surprising that they act on these impulses in a domestic context when there are no predators or prey present.
You might have observed them knocking stuff off the table or leaping on the kitchen countertops, to name a couple of examples.
So, what are the best methods for keeping cats off of counters?
How to Keep Cats Off Counters
Remove the sources of temptation, or in other words, make your countertop less enticing to your cat, is a realistic approach for keeping your cat off the counter. Meanwhile, it would be ideal to ensure that people have access to other options. After much deliberation, here are some suggestions for keeping cats away from the kitchen countertops:
Remove the sources of temptation
Some cats climb on countertops because they are unable to resist the temptation of something tasty. Food placed on counters and tables is a popular cause for cats to climb them, as is their curiosity. Food should be kept away from children and should not be placed out in the open to avoid this. If you are unable to put the food away, keep it in tightly sealed containers so that your cat cannot get a scent of it. It is also advisable to make it a practice of cleaning up any food scraps that may have been left on the table and doing the dishes as soon as you have finished eating after a meal.
Also, cover your garbage can and store it in a location where your cat will not be able to view it. These techniques will help to keep your kitchen less enticing while also keeping it more organized.
Keep cupboards and cabinets securely closed
If you want to keep your cat from climbing up and getting into your cupboards and cabinets, install child-proof locks that can be quickly locked when not in use.
Close the doors
If you’re away from home and no one is around to oversee your cat, the best thing you can do is lock the door to your kitchen, dining room, or any other area in your house that you don’t want your cat to wander into and investigate.
Set up “booby traps”
Using “booby traps” to keep cats from jumping over counters or into specified sections of the house is an effective method of preventing this behavior. Despite the fact that the phrase “boobytrapping” appears to be devious or malevolent, it will not damage your cat. Instead, it will simply serve to deter the undesirable behavior from occurring. The use of boobytrapping will prevent your cats from getting on worktops and tables in this situation. So, what is the best way to keep a cat off a counter using booby traps?
- Using aluminum foil, keep your cat off the counter.
- Cats appear to dislike the way aluminum foil feels on their feet, therefore they strive to avoid it whenever possible.
- Cats are known to become irritated when they come into contact with something that adheres to their paws.
- Purchase of a non-electric pet training mat that works as a deterrent to keep your cat away from particular pieces of furniture is another alternative.
If putting up booby traps on the surface of your counter does not work, another alternative is to spray some essential oils mixed with water on the counter and other surfaces to deter your cats from getting on them in the first place. Citrus-based essential oils (lemon, orange, and other citrus fruits), lavender, and peppermint are among the essential oils that are known to discourage cats.
Providing an alternative to jumping on kitchen surfaces is another method you should think about using. You may discover some of the other methods for diverting your cat’s attention in the section below.
If your cat is jumping on your countertops because it is looking for food, you may discourage this behavior by providing them with alternative means of obtaining treats. In the case of a healthy-weight cat, free-feeding may be beneficial in that they will no longer feel the need to search for food. Alternatively, you may try utilizing a pet camera in conjunction with a reward dispenser to divert your cat’s attention away from the counter. Among the other alternatives are a slippery mat, a puzzle feeder, and interactive toys.
Alternative elevated surfaces
Consider the possibility that your cat’s leaping on your counter or other furniture is motivated by curiosity and the need to have a good vantage point of the world.
In that situation, there are a variety of excellent options for redirecting this behavior.
Because it simulates the natural trees that cats love to climb in the wild, a cat tree is a good option. It is possible that your cat may immediately climb it, or that it will take some time for their curiosity to grow up. Cat condos are also a fantastic alternate option. Not only do they give your cat with something to climb on, but they also act as a personal lounge place for your cat to relax in. Not to mention that cat condos might come with toys that your cats can use to entertain themselves for hours on end.
- Not only will it provide an excellent view of the surrounding area, but it is also rather comfortable.
- They also appreciate the sunshine, which makes it a wonderful spot to unwind.
- Aside from that, bookshelves are excellent because they give a decent viewing angle.
- It would be much more comfortable if there was a pillow and a blanket.
Please keep in mind that cats are naturally inclined to jump on counters, tables, and other furniture, and as such, you should refrain from punishing them for this behavior. Physical punishment will not be effective in keeping your cat away from the counter when it comes to keeping your cat away from the counter. Being patient with our cats and redirecting their behaviors through the methods listed above are important aspects of being responsible cat parents.
8 tips to keep cats off of counters
Cats are frequently observed perched on high areas, such as countertops, looking down on the activities below them.. But what is it about cats that makes them want to hang around up there? Moreover, how can we prevent them from appearing on our countertops? The president of the International Cat Association (TICA), Vicki Jo Harrison, stated in an interview with Newsweek that cats enjoy countertops because they smell nice and because they allow them to satisfy some of their natural inclinations, such as climbing and jumping.
- So many domesticated cats make an effort to retain their natural tendencies, even when they are kept indoors.
- In addition, cat counter surfing poses a variety of potential risks, including the possibility of your cat landing on a hot stove or transferring bacteria from their paws onto your food preparation area, according to Harrison.
- The same cannot be said for all cats who do not like to be on the counter.
- Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus It is critical to determine the root cause of the behavior in order to propose a better option.
- “Punishment undermines the bond and can drive a cat to become afraid,” Johnson-Bennett said in an interview with Newsweek.
On the corner of a kitchen counter, there was a cat sat. Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus Several methods for keeping your cats off countertops are discussed in this article.
Don’t Leave Food Nearby
According to Johnson-Bennett, the availability of food on the counter is the most typical cause for your cat’s counter surfing behavior. Cats are particularly attracted to the smells of food, whether it be leftovers from their owner’s meal or their own food being made at the kitchen counter. Make certain that no food is left out uncovered, and that no dirty dishes are left in the sink or unclean pans are left on the burner. Todd stated in an interview with Newsweek: “It is difficult to alter one’s own behavior, but doing so makes a difference.
The fact that cats thrive on regularity means that providing them with multiple little meals throughout the day on a regular schedule not only helps to reduce their food consumption, but it also keeps them hooked to the floor, where they know their next meal will be provided.
Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus
Distract Them Before They Pounce
If you notice your cat is on the move and ready to leap up the counter, distract them with their favorite food or toy and they will be less likely to do so. The usage of a “hunting” toy that includes little amounts of kibble may be used by owners to cater to their cats’ natural impulses for going in search of more food, according to Harrison. When it comes to utilizing a distraction to keep your cat off a counter, the Animal Behavior College (ABC) of California advises that “timing is key,” as you might mistakenly reward your cat for jumping onto the counter.
A joyful kitten looks up at a wand toy with its eyes wide open.
Provide Plenty of Alternatives
According to TICA president Harrison, providing your cat with an alternative source of climbing and hiding space, such as a cat tree or tower, is the most effective approach to keep them off countertops. These are excellent opportunities for cats to use their innate climbing instincts. Some cats may prefer to be on the counter because it makes them feel more secure. In an interview with Newsweek, Johnson-Bennett explained that being in an elevated position is natural for cats because it allows them to observe more of their surroundings and protects them from being attacked from behind.
As she explains, “Cats typically feel more secure up high, therefore the more permissible alternatives you present, the less likely it is that the counter would be required.” Todd said that it is a good idea to set the cat tree next to or near the counter, in order to encourage them to utilize it by hiding treats in the cat tree that they may discover.
To do this, reward them with goodies for spending increasingly longer periods of time on the tree, while also adding lots of short, simple periods to ensure that they do not become bored.
Keep training sessions short and sweet by rewarding participants with little sweets like pieces of tuna or shrimp “Todd spoke with Newsweek about his experiences. A kitten lying on a cat tree is the subject of a child’s play. Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus
Set Up Another Window View Area
Cats like watching the world go by, and some may be drawn to the window view from the kitchen counter since it offers a glimpse of the outside world. The placement of a window perch or cat tree near another window can give a more comfortable viewing area for the cat to see outdoor events, according to Johnson-Bennett. Pet retailers have kitty ledges that connect to window sills, which are also available in numerous designs. An image of a cat peering out of a window Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus
Get a Cat Water Fountain
Due to their preference for drinking flowing water from taps, cats frequently congregate on kitchen and bathroom countertops. In addition, Johnson-Bennett suggests purchasing a cat water fountain and installing it on the floor, which will give the same visual appeal. A kitten sipping from the faucet of a sink. Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus
Don’t Reward Them for Jumping Off Counter
If your cat is begging for attention, they may be surfing the counter, where the countertop brings them closer to you to give them attention. As a result of our attention being drawn to the cat at that moment, we frequently reinforce that behavior. When a cat is demonstrating attention-getting behavior, owners should just take the cat up and gently set it back down on the floor, without caressing, kissing, making eye contact, or talking to them. Johnson-Bennett spoke with Newsweek about her work.
In the viewpoint of an animal (or person) who is regularly neglected, even if she only receives attention when she climbs up on a counter and is yelled at or picked up and placed on the floor, this is still attention.” A kitten is being hugged on the shoulder of a person.
Do Show Them Regular TLC
In order to meet your cat’s demand for engagement and attention, it’s critical that you provide them with lots of interactive play time on a regular basis. Otherwise, they may resort to jumping onto countertops. Johnson-Bennett expressed herself as follows: “If you want to keep your cat entertained during his or her alone time, put out toys that discharge food or a bird feeder outside for him or her to enjoy. It’s possible that it’s time to make some changes to your cat’s home’s environmental enrichment.” In the palm of a person’s hand, there is a kitten napping.
Make the Counter Less Attractive
Cats can be discouraged from climbing onto the counter top by employing “environmental aversives,” which are substances that make the surroundings unpleasant to them. Putting some baking sheets near the edge of the counter, for example, might result in their tumbling over when they jump onto the counter and landing on the ground. “Your cat should not be damaged as a result of this encounter, but she will be less likely to take the risk of climbing on the counter in the future,” according to the Humane Society of Huron Valley.
According to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, “the major advantage of utilizing an environmental aversive is that it occurs whether or not you are there.” Your cat will learn that it is never safe to stand on countertops, rather than learning that it is safe to stand on counters when you are not present and waiting until you are not present to go up on the counter to do so.
You don’t want her to come to the conclusion that you are the terrifying creature “The refuge provides an explanation. On a kitchen counter, there’s a small cat sitting. Images courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus
Simple Ways to Keep Cats Off Your Kitchen Counters
We independently choose these items, and if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission. The following is a scenario that is all too familiar: In the comfort of your friends’ house, you’re drinking a glass of wine as your hosts finish putting the final touches on dinner. A little time later, their pet cat goes to the bathroom, licks itself a little, and proceeds to hop up on the kitchen countertops, just where your meal is being prepared. Cats are known to prowl about the countertops, pausing every now and then to lick and paw especially intriguing locations, and some have even been known to sniff out the ingredients.
The generosity and wonderful company of your hosts have left you feeling forever thankful, but the supper portion of the dinner party has left you feeling uninterested and unenthused.
How to Keep Cats Off Counters
You might want to let your cat full reign over the counters at times, but there are some situations where it’s preferable to put up the kitty version of a “stay off” sign to deter him. So, what is a cat lover to do in this situation?
- Let’s start with a great quotation from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Instead of squirting your cat with water when they jump on a prohibited counter, “prepare for the surroundings to punish your cat directly,” says the author. Balance a few thin cookie sheets against the edge of the counter. ” When your cat leaps to her feet, she will fall on the bed covers. It is likely that they may shift and possibly tip over, creating an unpleasant commotion when she leaps back onto the floor.” Use inexpensive, recyclable aluminum foil instead of parchment paper if you don’t want your cats on your cookie sheets and your cookie sheets on the floor (or if you just have one cookie sheet). The Humane Society recommends that you make your counters uncomfortably sticky, either by doing it yourself with double-sided tape or by purchasing prepackaged goods. It is suggested by This Old House that cats dislike the feel of sandpaper underfoot, so you might place it on your counters while you are not cooking. For cats who find their countertops to be a little bit of heaven, Petfinder advises easy methods to make them less appealing, such as drawing the curtains to hide the bathing sun — and the view of your bird feeder
- And removing the cat’s food bowl from the counter. Peppermint solution may be sprayed on counters to repel cats while also making your kitchen smell minty fresh, according to The Nest’s Pet section. WikiHow has comparable suggestions that include black pepper, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, and lavender — all of which are wonderful
- And Pawnation has provided me with one of my favorite solutions: “Clicker training is recommended by certain specialists. This approach entails teaching your cat to jump off the counter when a cue word is said, such as ‘off.’ As soon as the cat responds to your command, use the clicker to reward him with a goodie.” Encouragement is a good thing.
…And Don’t Forget to Clean Well After Cats Have Been on the Counters
Even if your cats do occasionally wander about your countertops, the experts at VetStreet recommend cleaning them carefully before preparing food to preserve your health—and the health of your guests—as well as the health of your family and friends. It should be possible to clean with hot water, soap, and an antibacterial agent. Tess Wilson is a contributor to this article. Tess has found herself in a little cottage on the prairie after many pleasant years of living in tiny apartments in major cities.