How to Keep Cats From Jumping On Countertops!
31 October, 2016
Naughty ginger tabby cat lying on the kitchen counter and dish drainer

Our cats love to jump on our countertops while we are cooking or even just hanging out in the kitchen.  Some cats even like to drink straight from the water fountain!  While some owners tolerate it (me), others hate it.  Of course, it’s not fun to have cat hair in your food or on your plate, so how do you stop your cat from jumping on the countertops?

First try to remove what your cat finds so enticing

First, remove the rewards that make the counter surface so appealing. If your cat enjoys snacking on  what’s left in your cooking pans, let them soak in the sink before you sit down to a meal. If your kitty likes to jump on the countertop while you are cooking, choose that time for giving your kitty some of her own food.

Designate a spot in the kitchen where your cats can stay while cooking

If you don’t allow your cat to be on the counter while you’re making dinner, you need to make sure to also give your kitties a safe, desired spot.  You should designate a specific spot in your kitchen, like a nearby chair or if your kitchen is small, a nearby cat tree or wherever you want your cat to hang out. Give them treats when they are there so there’s positive reinforcement for the new behavior.

You can also offer alternatives that are high reaching where it’s OK for your cats to jump

If birdwatching is rewarding for your indoor cat, set up a feeder or birdbath near a windowsill that you don’t mind her sitting on-in the family room or home office. Multilevel scratching posts-complete with resting areas and hideouts-make great viewing platforms for territory surveillance.   Pick your own desired spot where your cat is welcome to jump and make that spot desirable.

Make the countertops unwelcome or less appealing

You can make the counters off-limits by having an unwelcome surface. Cats have tactile preferences; most don’t like surfaces that are sticky, slick, cold or prickly.  Try using double-sided sticky tape on the areas of your counter where cats tend to jump; cats don’t like walking over the sticky tape. You can mount the sticky tape on a placemat or something similar so you can remove it when you need to use the counter; just be sure to always replace the mat when you’re done using the counter.

What you should not do and would only be counterproductive:

  • Do not scold your cat verbally, spank her or hit her for getting on countertops and tables. It’s highly unlikely that this kind of punishment will teach her to stay off and your kitty will become frightened of you.
  • Do not shoo or push your cat off countertops and tables as your cat could fall and injure herself.
  • Do not use any device to scare your cat away from forbidden areas if there’s a chance she could be physically harmed or scared by the device.

Cats are creatures of habits so consistency is key to keep your cats off the counters

Once you establish a routine that seems to be working, be consistent.  Cats are creatures of routine so if you can get them off the counters and to a place that works for you, don’t veer from it.  Make sure that your family and everyone who interacts with your kitty does the same and soon enough your cats will be off your countertops!

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