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The kitchen counter is a place where food is prepared, and germs are spread so if you want to know how to keep cats off counters then this alone justifies your decision.
But consider your feline friend. It doesn’t matter how much they purr for your affection, when they jump onto the counter tops in the kitchen, they are faced with a number of hazards.
From hot drinks to sharp knives and everything in between, you are right in wanting to remedy their agile yet dangerous behaviour, even if you understand that they feel safe when off the ground.
So, to help you keep your kitchen more hygienic (cats love to nibble your dinner as you’re making it, after all), and your cat safe, here are 5 tips to keep cats off counters.
1) Clear Windowsills
One of the best ways of keeping a cat off counter is by giving them somewhere else to rest. Cats love to be off the ground, so present them with another option and they just might take it.
Otherwise, give your feline friend option for climbing and exploring. By making their environment more fun, they will be less inclined to jump on the countertop for their own entertainment. Strategically place scratching posts, and create tall areas for her to rest like on shelves, chairs, and wardrobes, and your countertops may well be cat-free before you know it.
If clearing the window sill doesn’t work, clear other spaces such as table stools under the window sill where they can rest.
2) Remove Food From The Countertop
Even with a human resource for food that is constantly refilled when they need substance, cats are opportunistic eaters. When they spot an opportunity to steal a scrap of food, they’ll take it. If you’ve ever found your cat rummaging through your bund, you’ll know what we mean.
So, by removing food from the countertop you can reduce the time your cat spends climbing where unwelcome. Even the scent can be enticing for a curious cat so store food in the fridge and in tuppleware boxes where necessary.
Finally, rinse dishes in the sink. The smell of leftovers may attract your kitty to the sink, which means a trip to the countertop en route.
3) Discourage/Encourage Them
Use a little tough love by clapping and saying ‘No’ firmly when you see your cat on the countertop. Alternatively, encourage them to jump down, or pick them up and place them in a different room but don’t forget to praise her she she jumps down from the counter. Overtime, this approach can make a big difference.
Sometimes, to keep cats off counters, you need to give them an unwanted surprise. Line the edge of your countertops with double sided tape, and it may discourage her from doing It again.
4) Use Citrus Cleaners
Cats are repelled by the scent, plus you get to keep your countertops clean. By spraying your counter a little more regularly than usual you can keep those curious paws away.
Other strong scents worth trying include vinegar, citronella, and garlic although the last one may be a bit much, even more humans!
5) Give Your Cat A Vantage Point
Ever considered a cat tower? Keeping your kitty at eye level can be just the thing to keep her off the countertop. They love being close to us, so keeping a cat tower in the kitchen can give them an off ground vantage point that makes them most comfortable.
Bird watching is a popular way to pass an hour or two for your cat. If your counter top leads to a window, it can be best to block her view by filling it for a while, and leaving her to watch from the other windows in the house by making them more desirable.
A cat tree placed by a window will provide a more comfortable place to watch birds without climbing on countertops.
Why Keep Cats Off Counters?
Cats like to keep clean, but they will often move directly from their litter box to your countertop. Even if they take a different route, cats paws can house bacteria which could find its way into your food.
Even a regular spray and clean isn’t enough to prevent bacteria spreading at all times. It is best to protect your family (especially young ones and the elderly) by stopping your felines family from exploring the counters.
Also, an over eager cat may land on a hot stove so keep cats off counters to prevent an avoidable injury.
Why Do Cats Jump On The Counter?
Some cat owners will find their feline friends constantly exploring the kitchen counter. As infuriating as this can be, it is usually for very innocent reasons. Including the following:
- Cats love heights – They love to be at human level, but being off the ground in general makes cats feel safe.
- The prefer running water – the fresher the water, the better. Cats love jumping on countertops to get to the tap. Want to distract them with an ample supply of fresh water? Try our best cat water fountain article on for size.
- Food glorious food – Cats having a keen sense of smell, especially when it comes to food.
- You’re there – Not all cats like company as much as others, but chances are, yours just loves going where you are!
- They need space – Have a home with more than one cat? If she doesn’t have the space to get away from the rest of the litter, she may try and use yours.
Although you just want your kitchen back, always remain patient when using the above tips to keep cats off countertops. As with any cat behavioural change, it can take time before you see results.
Getting annoyed with your kitty or treating her roughly is not an option. Not only is this the opposite of conscious cat care, but it can cause stress and may lead to other behavioural issues.
Remain calm and consistent and teach her the right way through love, and you’ll not only have a cat-free countertop, but a happy kitty.