If you are like many cat owners, you may have wondered how to keep cats off counters after noting that your cat or cats love to jump up there! Sometimes this behavior doesn’t seem like a big deal, and yet other times is inappropriate to the situation and you wish somehow to get them off and keep them off.
For example, when you are preparing food and have it out on the counters, your cat may jump up to try and taste what it smells to be the only exquisite delicacy! Human food is very tempting to cats, especially as a lot of it can be high in fat which their noses pick up to mean good quality and nutritional.
Unfortunately for your cat, this is rarely the case and human food is not good for them. It is also not good for us if they are constantly taking it since we end up with less to eat!
Why keep cats off counters?
One of the greatest benefits to keep cats off counters is the matter of correct kitchen hygiene and cleanliness. You don’t want your cat upon places where they can contaminate what you put into your mouth. As they spend a lot of time outdoors there is no knowing what their feet has picked up and what they are now treading around in the house.
Chances are, the bottom of your cats feet are not going to be too clean. They will likely be covered in bacteria and perhaps even parasites which could do damage to your digestive system.
Thus, keeping them off of the table and counters is very important and something that needs to be continuously enforced. But doing this can be harder in practice, especially without knowledge of how to go about it.
Understanding how your cat’s mind works
Cats are very independent animals, they won’t do something for the sake of it. An activity has to look interesting to them first in order for them to partake in it.
The trick to keep cats off counters is to take their attention away from what they believe to be interesting onto something seemingly better. This is a nifty trick all types of animals and even toddlers.
This can be accomplished through a reverse approach as the outright approach would be to make the floor look more interesting than the counters.
This can work, but your cat may end up thinking it is getting treats for jumping onto the counter in the first place. For example, if your cat jumps up onto the table and you get a nice piece of fish out to entice them back onto the floor, they are going to think that jumping onto the table means they get fish!
Is reverse psychology the best form of training?
Thus, the reverse approach has to be utilized. What this means is making the table or counters seem like an unpleasant place to be, so that the floor is naturally a better place.
To do this, you can use an unpleasant distraction. Cats don’t like loud noises and will usually be swayed from a course of action through a clap of the hands or the rattle of your keys, for example. My cat learnt from my dog, so all I have to do is click my fingers and make a sound that he understands as no.
If this method doesn’t work then the next option is to tape materials onto the counter edges which cats dislike and will stay away from. Cats hate sticky things so if you put tape down they will most likely stay away. Be sure to use masking tape as other tapes can leave a residue that is hard to remove.
The second thing cats dislike is the noise of aluminium foil. You can tape aluminium foil to the edges of your counters too and it may be enough to startle them and dissuade them from returning. However, if that doesn’t keep cats off counters, the tape option is definitely your best option.