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How to keep him off the table

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any suggestions how to train a kitten to stay off the kitchen table? Whenever any of us are eating at the table, he jumps up to see what's going on. And if we are reading, he does the same thing. He's curious about the food, but I think just wants to be a part of what's happening up there.

Either he doesn't learn or he's super stubborn. We can keep putting him down 10 times, and he will keep jumping up. After the 4th or 5th time, he bites or tries to avoid our hands. Sometimes I end up locking him in my bedroom so we can eat in peace. I don't want to keep doing this though. At this point, I don't think I could have guests for dinner. It would be so embarrassing. How have others trained their kitties? I thought about filling a can with change, and then shaking it and banging it on the underside of the table when he jumps up. The other cat I had for many, many years seemed to learn things really quickly after I just clapped my hands loud and said NO! Not this little one!
post #2 of 17
He'll learn, but sometimes you have to just wait til they're older. Mine saw my trying to train him as a challenge, and the more I protested, put him in another room, etc., the more he'd come back for more, but once the novelty wore off, he stopped. But a good idea would be to feed him just before you eat, to blunt his appetite a bit (your food probably smells terrific to him) and if you have to close him away to eat in peace for now, just do it.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiva13 View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions how to train a kitten to stay off the kitchen table? Whenever any of us are eating at the table, he jumps up to see what's going on. And if we are reading, he does the same thing. He's curious about the food, but I think just wants to be a part of what's happening up there.

Either he doesn't learn or he's super stubborn. We can keep putting him down 10 times, and he will keep jumping up. After the 4th or 5th time, he bites or tries to avoid our hands. Sometimes I end up locking him in my bedroom so we can eat in peace. I don't want to keep doing this though. At this point, I don't think I could have guests for dinner. It would be so embarrassing. How have others trained their kitties? I thought about filling a can with change, and then shaking it and banging it on the underside of the table when he jumps up. The other cat I had for many, many years seemed to learn things really quickly after I just clapped my hands loud and said NO!
Quote:
Not this little one!
That is what I said about trying to keep Persi off of the cooktop until I tried one of these: The only other place he is not allowed (besides outside) is the garage and a few loud car honks cured him of ever waning to go out there again. In both cases I am talking about something MUCH louder than clapping of hands. Anyway, thought I would share what worked for me. Yep, tried the pennies in the can, etc., what worked was something LOUDER. And I did not like doing that but thought it better than squirting the poor little guy. Good Luck!
post #4 of 17
If you have the patience, I was able to train my eldest, Penelope, by spraying her with a spray bottle of water. It took about 2 months to fully wean her of getting up there. She rarely gets on the table and countertops now though.

NOTE: This didn't work on my youngest cat, Maverick. He seems to like water!
post #5 of 17
I wouldn't spray him, if you miss and get him in the face/ears it can cause an infection.

Just keep putting him down, saying NO loudly or using the pennies in a can. You have to be firm and consistant, he'll get it eventually.
post #6 of 17
Did you try putting tinfoil on the table for a while?...I have heard they don't like the feeling of it on their feet and will stay off. Then after a while, they will just not go up there anymore and you can take the tin foil off.
post #7 of 17
this is what I did. I created an aluminum foil wall into the room where we ate. and I added two ssscat cans in the path in case she tried to go under of over the aluminum. within a few attempts she learned to wait patiently on the sofa right outside the dining room while we eat. Now we are ina new house and she still waits outside the room when we eat. If we eat outsidie she walks around under the table but NEVER jumps up when we are eating.

picking up your cat is actually reinforcing he behavior because the cat is getting attention. better to find something like the scat can which is not triggered by you but by the behavior itself.
post #8 of 17
StayAway by Con-Tech will work great for this.
post #9 of 17
The StayAway and SSSCat work well for keeping them off when you aren't there. And as tedious as it is, putting them on the floor does work eventually. I had the darndest time keeping Carly and Lucy off the dining room table. Each time I saw them there, I picked them off the table and gently put them on the floor. One day I noticed they didn't get up there anymore when I was home.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll do the things you all suggest gradually and see what he responds to. I don't care that much when I'm not home, just when we're eating. (That is if we can keep the table clear when we're not home, with 3 teenagers!)
post #11 of 17
Do you say anything to him, or just pick him up and put him down. Without a verbal "NO" and clap your hands or maybe a small swat on the behind, he won't understand the table is off limits.

When Charlie makes any attempt to put feet on table (from the chair) we immediately tell him NO and clap our hands.

Oci's are pretty darn smart - he's learning what he can/can't do in only a few lessons.
post #12 of 17
I bought a disinfectant cleaner and just wipe down counters and table before preparing/eating food.

I'd never be sure they weren't on the table while I was at work anyway - little imps.
post #13 of 17
Honestly, the spray bottle was pretty much the most effective tool I've used.

I had a big problem with my two kittens running out of my apartment whenever (and I mean every time) I opened the door. I picked up a spray bottle from the store and would give them a little spritz if they were very close to the door or tried to get out. It's been two weeks now, and my boy has been 100% broken of the habit, while his sister is not far behind.
post #14 of 17
Or this may be something he will never learn! How is he with the computer keyboard?
post #15 of 17
Here is what I think is your problem....nobody learns anything if someone else keeps doing it for them. By you picking him up and putting him down over and over, he does'nt understand "down". You need to have the vocal command and gesture, finger snap or hand clap, point moving hand towared floor, "down" in a firm voice. Even if you trick him at first by teasing him with something else to get him of the table, use gesture and command at same time. If you try the water, which you can even just sprinkle a little from your hand instead of bottle, with the command and gesture. Each time less will be necessary till he will understand. It is very important to establish this training so that you can also keep them off counter and stove, which is for thier safety!
post #16 of 17
When you figure this out, will you let me know?? I have one of the most stubborn, hard-headed cats in the world!! She knows she's not supposed to be on the counters because when she sees me coming, she hops down! It's very frustrating, but I watch her like a hawk and tell her firmly "NO!" when I catch her "in the getting ready to jump" position. When she complies, I always tell her "Good girl!"

Stephanie
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
When you figure this out, will you let me know?? I have one of the most stubborn, hard-headed cats in the world!! She knows she's not supposed to be on the counters because when she sees me coming, she hops down! It's very frustrating, but I watch her like a hawk and tell her firmly "NO!" when I catch her "in the getting ready to jump" position. When she complies, I always tell her "Good girl!"

Stephanie
In your stage, you have already won the battle ! She knows better, yet gets a reaction from you, on the table, or after she gets off. I would stop telling her shes a good girl, if you see her in the "I'm going to jump on the table" position, tell her " no, silly" chase her away. Shes just trying to get attention and it working. If you catch her up there and she jumps down on her own "yeah, you know your not sappose to be up there". It's a game for her at this point, so you need to distract the attention from the table, so there is nothing lost or gained by jumping up on the table
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