How do I keep my cat off the counters?

As cat owners, we all know that cats, by nature are curious creatures. They like to explore and reach the highest point in the house that they can. But, when kitty starts to become a nuisance and insists on creating havoc in the kitchen, we have to do something to stop it.

The first thing we must do is find out why kitty is getting up on the counters. Is there some tasty food up there to nibble on? Does the faucet drip? Is the counter the perfect spot to look out of his favorite window? We have to take away whatever tempts him to get up there. If there is food leftover on your plates, be sure to scrape it in the trash and rinse them before putting them in the sink. If the faucet drips, tighten it or replace it. You don’t want to give kitty any reason for being up there.

The next thing you must do is replace his favorite perch with something similar, such as a cat tree. This will allow him to climb up and survey the room, without breaking your fine china. Install the cat tree and sprinkle some catnip on it to encourage kitty to use it.

Ok, got the cat tree done? Here we go. Keeping kitty off the counter is pretty easy, you just have to associate it with something negative. For example, you can squirt kitty with a water gun every time he gets up there and yell a sharp, “No!” But, this doesn’t work when you are not around to police the kitchen. So what else? What I have found that works best is to make the surface of the counter unpleasant on his feet.

You can do this fairly easily. Find one of those plastic runner mats, the ones that have the sharp bumps on the backside. Place it bump side up on the counter top. You might want to tack it down with some packing or double-sided tape to keep it from sliding if kitty jumps up there.

When kitty jumps up on the counter, he will have these sharp pokey things on his feet, and just like you when you walk barefoot on gravel, it won’t be a fun thing. He will jump down, now, this make take awhile for him to totally get the point that the mat will be there every time he jumps up, so be patient. Keep the mat up there for a week or however long it takes to keep him off the counters. Then eventually, you can remove it and leave it off. Just remember, once you remove the mat, don’t leave anything up there to tempt him again or you will have to start over!

Another technique you can use is to take some unbaited wooden mousetraps and set them up on the counter. Cover them with a towel (remember you don’t want to hurt kitty, just scare him). When kitty jumps on the counter, it will set of a chorus of SNAPS! and will send him running from the kitchen as fast as he can. If you try the second one and catch it on video, you just might win America’s Funniest Home Videos!

Good luck! If you have any other techniques that you have used that have worked, feel free to post them in the comments section.

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One thought on “How do I keep my cat off the counters?

  1. I’ve found keeping his foodbowl off the counter-top the most successful solution. I mean, instinctively, my cat’s going to go to the food if he’s hungry – and there’s no point fighting a cats instincts, you have to work with them to succeed.

    I always dish his food up in his eating area by the back door, he gets used to it, and I can reward him for going there first.

    You can’t stop him from doing it 100% of the time – he’s an inquisitive little chap, but it’s certainly under control now.

    Looking forward to reading more tips from other cat owners.

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