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How Do I Keep My Cat Off the Counter?

keep cat off the counter white mountain college for pets

How Do I Keep My Cat Off the Counter?

Dear Mike,

 

Thank you for the advice on how to stop my cat from peeing on the carpet. I did what you said and it seems to be working. However, now we have another issue. I can’t seem to keep my cat off the counter in the kitchen.

There is nothing worse than finding cat hair in my food! Plus, most of my guests seem to have a problem with my cat hanging out near the hors-d’oeuvres.  Rightly so, I might add.

So, since you were so helpful before, I was hoping you could give me a few pointers on how to train my cat to stay on the floor where she belongs.

Signed,

 

Hopeful Cat Owner

 

Before you can keep a cat off the counter, you must understand why she’s drawn to it. Cats like to be up high where they can keep an eye on their little kingdom. Bits of leftover food or fresh water in the sink just make the kitchen counter even more appealing. Many kitchens have a window nearby that draws a cat’s interest. With so many ‘extras’ it is hard to convince a cat that the kitchen counter wasn’t designed specifically for their pleasure.

So, the obvious first step is to remove the ‘rewards.’ Close the blinds and eliminate both the view and the warm sunlight. Make sure everything is scrubbed down and all dishes and food have been put away. Dry out your sink and make sure the faucet does not drip.

Present Alternatives

Set up a multi-level scratching post near a window. No cat can resist climbing to the top. There they can gaze out over their territory and not offend anyone. Cats are creatures of habit so it may take a few weeks before your cat fully makes the switch to the scratching post.

fat catTaking It Up a Notch

Disciplining a cat won’t work. You have to outsmart them.

If you still can’t keep your cat off the counter even after you’ve given them a better alternative, then it’s time for Plan B. Make your kitchen counter a ‘bad place.’

Cats do not like things that are sticky, cold, or prickly. Cardboard covered in double-sided tape, or tin foil will work, but for a large counter surface, I like to use rubber shelf liner. It is relatively inexpensive and cats don’t like the feel of it on their paws.

As a last resort, you can try motion activated noisemakers. We have found the Ssscat Deterrent units to be particularly effective.

With Persistence You Can Keep Your Cat Off the Counter

Be persistent and remember, it is always about getting your cat to ‘choose’ to stay off the counters, not forcing them to do so.  Feel free to give me a call if you need more help with training your cat. I’m always happy to help.

 

Wags,
Mike Robertson, College for Pets