Keep Your Cat Off the Counter

There are many reasons to discourage your cats from leaping up on the kitchen counters. There are hazards to them—such as hot stove burners—along with hazards to dishes and glassware, and the fact that you don’t want paws that were recently digging through a litter box in the area where you prepare food. Ick.

Cats love counters, though. Some like to look out the windows, others may be up there to get water from the sink or just because they can. So what can you do to keep cats off counters? Each cat is different so some of these ideas probably won’t work with your cat, but at least one of these solutions will probably do the trick.

Stick to it – Apply a strip of double-sided tape to the edge of the counter. Cats do not touching their paws to the sticky stuff and may soon give up jumping on the counters. However, if your cat is a good jumper, they may leap right over the tape. And you may get tired of touching your paws to the sticky stuff when you work at the counter. Another solution is to apply the tape to something you can easily remove from the counter, such as a cookie sheet or piece of plastic. The item can be quickly removed when you want to use the counter, and there is no sticky tape residue left on your countertop.

Foiled again – Cats also do not like foil, so to keep your cat off counters, cover them with sheets of aluminum foil. Or cover a cookie sheet with foil and leave it where your cat leaps up on the counter.

The element of surprise – Get the cat to jump off the counter by making a loud noise just as their little paws reach the surface. It is best if they do not associate the noise with you, or they will learn to stay off the counter only when you are around. That means yelling may not work. A whistle, air horn or just the noise of some pebbles in a tin can all be effective, though.

A spritz of water – One way to discourage any feline activity of which you do not approve is with a quick spray of water from a misting bottle. Most cats hate water, so this can be effective and modify their behavior. Of course, it may keep your cat off the counter only when you are around.

Make the countertop uninviting – Do not leave food or playthings (such as your keys or cell phone) that may attract the cat. Clean surfaces with citrus cleaners (cats do not like citrus) or strongly-scented disinfectants to keep Fluffy away.

If none of the above “home remedies” work, there are products you can purchase to keep cats off counters. These include motion detectors that will sound an alarm when the cat gets up on the counter, and even mats that emit a mild electrical pulse. It is not enough to harm the kitty, but will discourage it from hanging around.

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