If your feline friend is constantly hopping on the kitchen counter to drink from the tap or grab snacks from the buffet and you’re wondering how to keep cats away from counters or your brand new coffee table, read on.
This can be frustrating if your cat likes counter surfing. You may be worried about sanitation if that’s where you cook meals, they get in your way, or they spill something and break it.
However, the real danger is to themselves with knives and other sharp utensils around. You may want to know how to discipline your cat when it misbehaves, but your furkid won’t know why you’re yelling at or punishing it. Instead, learn to change their behavior.
Below you’ll find all the tips you need to understand why cats like heights and how to stop them from jumping up and keep your counter clean and cat-free.
Why do cats jump on counters and tables?
Your cat might jump on counters and tables for a number of reasons. Here are a few :
Cats are descendants of wild animals, so often their behavior is that they follow their natural instinct to hunt. When your cat jumps on the kitchen counter, it mimics wild behaviors. In the wild, cats climb trees and high places not only for safety, but also to get a better vantage point to search for prey, whether it’s a bird out of reach from below. or a rodent on which they can surprise and leap from above.
At home, they may feel more secure on the kitchen counter or on a table if there are other pets or children on the floor. From a height, they can monitor their surroundings, go in search of food (if you have forgotten any) and practice their hunting techniques (jumping and stalking).
Often jumping on the counter or table is a reinforced behavior. They may have done it once and you rewarded them with a treat to repeat the behavior in hopes of receiving more. If there is food in the kitchen or dining room, your cat may be tempted.
If your cat is jumping around a lot, it may just be that she is bored and wants some attention. If you’re in the kitchen, they may just be trying to get closer to their human.
Cats are naturally curious and love to explore, so they need plenty of vertical space to stay mentally and physically stimulated.
Although your cat simply prefers running water to still water that you’ve left in a bowl on the floor for him, drinking from the tap may indicate illness. Make sure that if they seem more thirsty than usual, consult the vet, as this could be a warning sign of diabetes or kidney dysfunction.
For other reasons your furry friend may be obsessed with the sight of water, be sure to read our article “why does my cat paw at her water bowl?”
How to keep cats away from counters and tables
1. Cat trees
If your cat needs to practice her hunting skills or explore her surroundings through vertical spaces, give her other options. Cat trees are a great way to give your cat more vertical space, exercise, and an enriched environment so they can utilize their energy and be entertained.
2. Alternative treats
If your cat is looking for treats in the kitchen, try offering delicious treats elsewhere or in a more exciting format. Spoil your kitty with one of the best cat treats or make it a hunting game by putting kibble in puzzle feeders around the house.
Be sure to put food away, don’t leave snacks or leftovers on tables or counters, and wipe down surfaces so your cat doesn’t seek out treats.
4. Drive away temptation
If they are tempted by treats in the kitchen or dining room, try to ward off the temptation. This could mean taking away their access to the counter or table if the only way they can jump is using a chair or other piece of furniture. Or you may need to close certain rooms to them while you cook or eat.
5. Give them attention
If your pet has enough interactive play, it may not seek your attention when you cook, eat, or work at the table. Make sure they get plenty of one-on-one time and have plenty of toys to play with when you’re not around.
6. Buy a water fountain
If your cat jumps to drink tap water, try replacing the water in her bowl more often. If that doesn’t work and your feline is one of the water-loving breeds of cats, you may want to invest in a water fountain designed for pets so they have running water on the floor. floor.
7. Smell-Based Deterrence
You may want to consider repellents to keep your cat away from counters and table tops. However, it’s important not to use deterrents that could hurt or upset your cat.
Try to keep your cat off the counter by using smells or scents they don’t like and will avoid going near it. It could be a non-toxic herb like rosemary or lemon balm or an essential oil. Just make sure whatever you use is safe and won’t harm your pet.
8. Noise-Based Deterrence
Cats are not fans of loud noises. Place aluminum cans filled with coins, pans, or baking sheets on your kitchen counters so that when your cat jumps on them, the rattling of falling objects will deter him from repeating the behavior.
9. Touch deterrence
If you want your counter or table to be cat-free, try placing something your cat won’t want to step on, like tape or a rug or rug with the studs facing up.
Does aluminum foil keep cats away from counters and tables?
When you crumple aluminum (or when a cat jumps on it), it makes a high-pitched sound that only a cat can hear, but that sound is enough to stop the cat from stepping on it.
Cats are thought to dislike the feel of foil under their feet or the sound it makes as it is too much for their senses, so it acts as both a tactile and touch-based deterrent the noise.
What cat-safe essential oils and sprays can keep cats away from counters and tables?
Non-toxic essential oils that are safe for cats include rosemary, basil, fennel, lemongrass, and lemongrass oil.
However, these should always be diluted with about 20 drops of oil to ¾ cup of water and they should be rubbed on your countertops or better yet put on tea towels hanging in the kitchen so your cat can smell the odor but do not lick. surfaces or paws and ingesting the oil.
How to train your cat to avoid counters and tables
If alternatives or repellents don’t work, try training your cat to stay off counters and tables.
This can be done using positive reinforcement. Every time he jumps off a counter or table, praise him, show him plenty of attention, and give him treats. When they jump, don’t reward them or pay attention to them and they’ll soon learn.
Clicker training can be particularly effective by using a command such as “get down”, using the clicker when they obey, and then rewarding them with a treat so that they associate getting down with the clicker and getting a reward.
When training your cat, it’s important to understand why it behaves the way it does (does it want food or attention?), plan how to deal with it, and then be consistent with your coaching. This means no slipping and stroking them on the counter someday. You will also want to offer your cat alternatives and remove temptations to help with your training.
Clean all your counters and tables, remove food and snacks, and keep your pet in a different room if you cook or eat to try to create boundaries to help them. Make sure they get plenty of mental and physical enrichment. That means lots of interactive toys to play with and cat trees to jump and climb on.
What you should not do
Avoid punishing or yelling at your cat as it will not react to this. And never use a deterrent that will hurt them. Do not spray them with water, use toxic sprays, cleaning products or essential oils.
If you spray your cat with water, push him off the counter, or yell at him, it won’t stop his behavior. they are more likely to avoid you and jump on counters when you are not present.