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Posted on 11-23-2017
How to keep your cat off the counters - By Kaitlyn
There’s no doubt about it, cats like to jump and be up somewhere high. They’re curious creatures. Always having to check everything out and need to know what’s what. At least that’s how my two cats are.
It only took about 30 minutes after bringing them home as kittens before they jumped on the counter. That was not something my boyfriend and I were going to put up with. But unfortunately, it was something that must have been allowed before we got them. We have had them for over a year now. They still do sometimes jump on the counter, but it is greatly improved from before. Teaching your cat appropriate behaviours is possible, it just takes time and patience.
The biggest tip I can give you to keep your cats off the counters is to be consistent. And especially do not encourage them to be up there. Do not do anything positive if you catch them on the counter. Do not pet them, don’t use a gentle baby voice with them. Doing this will make them think it is OK. With dogs, we praise them when they do something good. The same thing applies for cats. Using positive reinforcement and praising them when they are NOT on the counter. When they are on the floor for example, giving them treats and playing with them at that time.
Another tip is to keep your counters are boring as possible. If there is nothing on there they can get into, they won’t be inclined to jump on the counters. My cats seem to have a preference for bread. They will chew through the bags and make a terrible mess of crumbs throughout the house. Of course they won’t simply eat it on the counter. They grab it and go. Our solution? Any bread stays in the microwave. But yet at the same time, our bananas are safe. They could care less about fruit. Go figure!
As much as I know it is inconvenient, putting something down on the counters that cats don’t like can also help to deter them. Tinfoil for example can be successful. Stepping on it is not a sound they particularly like. After a few attempts, your cat is not likely to want to try and jump on the counter again. They will associate counters with something unpleasant, and will hopefully stay off them.
All this being said, there certainly are some circumstances where having your cat jumping on the counter can be a benefit. For example, a multi pet household where there are different diets being fed. If there is a dog and cat, feeding the cat on the counter can help to keep the dog out of the cats’ food. Or if there are two cats requiring different diets and they cannot eat each other’s food. If one cat is readily able to jump and the other is not, then having one eat on the counter is a potential solution.
Generally speaking, no one wants their cats jumping on the counter. As pet owners we certainly ingest enough pet hair without them being close to our food! Keeping your cats off the counter isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. Each of these tips may not necessarily work for you. But I hope that this at least gives you some ideas to help curb the behaviour. From one cat owner to another, I completely understand.
If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share with us!
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