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Training cat to stay off the kitchen counters

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ever since I got my first kitten I've been trying to train cats to stay off the kitchen counters. Sometimes I think it's almost working, then I go and sabotage myself. I had six dishes lined up on the counter and had put wet food in all of them when I had to go to another room to check on something. A couple of minutes later I walked back into the kitchen to find five cats on the counter eating their breakfast. The only one who wasn't there was Shareena, who is usually my troublemaker. Go figure. It just proves what we all know, our furry friends are always unpredictable.

I didn't think to grab my camera before I chased them all down and put their dishes on the floor.
post #2 of 24
Hey, once you figure it out, let me know the secret! I've come to the conclusion that we only pay for the house, but it is actually the kitties domain. I tried everything a few years ago (aluminum foil, squirt bottles, etc) but I just gave up after a while. Just last night Gizmo snagged his claws into 1/2 of a porterhouse steak and started munching. Yeah, the dogs were happy because they got what was left. I ate a salad.

See, this is why I don't have children! If I can't control my animals I definately can't be in charge of kids!
post #3 of 24
Bobber loves to troll the counter for food. I've learned if I want to defrost anything from the freezer, esp meat to put in microwave so she can't chew on it. If I'm soaking any pans or even if I delay washing the dishes until morning she will lick them out.

Bakker loves sitting and sleeping on the kitchen table. Its a short leap to the counter from the table where he proceeds to knock all sorts of items on the ground.
post #4 of 24
Accept it and just keep things put up, covered, and the counters clean. IMHO, this is how a kitchen should be kept anyways. They can't make the counter surfaces any dirtier than they already are, so you must wash those to begin with before preparing food.

Life's short. You could lose one of your kitties tomorrow, so it's not worth battling over who's territory the counters are.

I have my table sitting in front of the two dinning area windows. It's specifically pushed up to the wall so they can sit and look out. I also let them up in the kitchen window - though that backfired on Sho the other day. The counter was a little wet and I was washing dishes. He slipped.
post #5 of 24


My cats have the run of the house. Anywhere they can get to is fair game. So far as the kitchen counters go, I've never really had that problem with my cats. When Chynna was younger she would jump onto one spot on the counter by the fridge, go up onto the fridge and then to the top of the cupboards. As she's gotten older, she prefers lower surfaces. Abby did the same, and even now at 10 years she no longer does even that.

However, both like to go into the pots cupboard, so I've learned that I have to wash my pots before and after cooking . It's a small price to pay for all of the love and companionship they give me.

Both do like to get onto the kitchen table though. They can get to it easily using a stepping method from the floor, couch, window sill, and finally the table. I don't even mind that so long as they don't do it while I have company over for dinner. And they're pretty good about that.
post #6 of 24
Jack has never showed any interest in the counter and has only ever been on it once in my presence and that was when we were in the process of moving and had boxes stacked by the counter so it was like step away.

Harley has only been seen leaving the counter one time, when hubby had pork chops defrosting right around kitty meal time...

Leslie
post #7 of 24
I guess I'm pretty lucky then as Sunny does not, nor is he interested, in climbing on the counters......Now the fridge is another story
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Accept it and just keep things put up, covered, and the counters clean. IMHO, this is how a kitchen should be kept anyways. They can't make the counter surfaces any dirtier than they already are, so you must wash those to begin with before preparing food.

Life's short. You could lose one of your kitties tomorrow, so it's not worth battling over who's territory the counters are.

I have my table sitting in front of the two dinning area windows. It's specifically pushed up to the wall so they can sit and look out. I also let them up in the kitchen window - though that backfired on Sho the other day. The counter was a little wet and I was washing dishes. He slipped.
I don't object to the cats being on the counter so much, but I really want to keep them away from the stove top. They don't seem to have any sense of when something is hot.

Last week I caught Lion (11-week-old kitten) sitting on the counter right next to the stove watching the eggs boil. He wasn't trying to dip his paws or nose into the boiling water, but he was a little too close for my comfort. Then a couple of days ago he was walking across the stove, actually brushing up against a teapot that was on a burner turned on high heat.


The problem with them eating on the counter was that only half the dishes were on the counter. The rest were on the stove because I'd run out of room.

My kitties like to sit in the kitchen window, too. Of course they have to go across the sink to get there and manage to get their feet wet about half the time. Just watch out if I try to put one of them in the sink intentionally for a bath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post


My cats have the run of the house. Anywhere they can get to is fair game. So far as the kitchen counters go, I've never really had that problem with my cats. When Chynna was younger she would jump onto one spot on the counter by the fridge, go up onto the fridge and then to the top of the cupboards. As she's gotten older, she prefers lower surfaces. Abby did the same, and even now at 10 years she no longer does even that.

However, both like to go into the pots cupboard, so I've learned that I have to wash my pots before and after cooking . It's a small price to pay for all of the love and companionship they give me.

Both do like to get onto the kitchen table though. They can get to it easily using a stepping method from the floor, couch, window sill, and finally the table. I don't even mind that so long as they don't do it while I have company over for dinner. And they're pretty good about that.
My kitties love the cupboards, too. I just don't tell my family when the come over that the pots and pans have kitty pawprints on them. As long as nobody else is in the kitchen I can get them washed before using without any comments.

Shareena also likes to climb up inside the cupboard and get into the silverware drawer from behind. It's so shallow she can't get herself turned around to get back out. Then I hear this pitiful little mew asking me to open the drawer.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
Shareena also likes to climb up inside the cupboard and get into the silverware drawer from behind. It's so shallow she can't get herself turned around to get back out. Then I hear this pitiful little mew asking me to open the drawer.
I worry about the stove, too. I have an electric one, so it can really stay hot for a while. I thought they would have managed to burn themselves by now, but so far they both leave the stove top alone. When there's food cooking, though, it's best to use lids when you can and not leave it unattended.

Surprisingly, Tomas stays out of the cabinets. The only one he and Sho want into is the one under the sink... where the garbage is It has a baby lock on it because Tomas likes to tip things over for no other reason then to see if he can fit inside - I don't want a stinky garbage covered cat and floor.
post #10 of 24
Trout is not into the kitchen at all actually...not sure why
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
I keep cleaning supplies under the sink and the garbage is in a utility closet. Both of those are blocked off so kittens can't get themselves into trouble. I also shut them out of my office when I can't be in there with them. Otherwise, they pretty much have the run of the house.
post #12 of 24
Good luck! Marge not only gets on the counter, but will pee and (rarely) poop on it, if left unattended. Of course, she did not start doing this until after the $3000+ Silestone countertop was installed. It drives me CRAZY. It is a constant battle with this cat, and it is so DISGUSTING. I try to keep a neat and clean house (o.k., I am a neat-freak), and this just takes the cake. Luckily, Silestone has anti-microbial stuff built in. I use a ton of Clorox-type disinfectant wipes (there is something so wrong with having to make sure your counter cleaning wipes remove E-coli bacteria--you know, the kind that resides in one*s rectum). I also use a lot of hot water and anti-bacterial dish soap on the nasty spots first, then the wipes. I will not use any food that comes in contact with the counter surface!


I have tried foil, spiky carpet runners (they just walked and laid on those), etc. No go.

I have a semi-solution: I bought 4 of those folding cardboard display boards in the craft store. When I leave the house, I erect them, like folding screens, on the counter top (I joined 2 + 2, to make 2 large screens, and stuck on Velcro on the unjoined egdes, so I can make sure they are closed without any opening for the cats to get through). I also installed a cup hook on the walls at each end of the counter, and applied a metal grommet on the corresponding area of the screen ends. This way, I can fasten the screens to the walls, so they don*t fall down while I am away.)
post #13 of 24
Well, I don't have an answer for you as I just got my cat a few weeks ago... he seems to have been trained to stay off counters already. However, this post reminded me of something funny that happened the other morning... I was fixing some food for Bodhi on the kitchen counter and all the sudden, he made a flying leap to try and get up to where the food was. My counters are really tall though and he didn't quite make it! All I saw was a big furball fly up beside me and then go back down to the floor. Thankfully he wasn't hurt or anything, but I think it might have scared him enough that he hasn't tried getting on the counters again.

I'm sure others have good suggestions for you and I wish you the best of luck!!
post #14 of 24
I don't bother trying to keep my cats off the counter, but they are trained not to come up while I'm preparing food.
I've just gotten into the habbit of wiping down the counters before use.
post #15 of 24
My cats, especially Cali, are ALWAYS on the counters!!!! This is a HUGE problem with my grandpa. He HATES it when they are on them. He says that it is a health hazzard because they have dirty paws because they walk in the litter pan that has dirty litter.

He says that I have to do something to keep them off the counters or else I am going to have to take them back to the animal shelter . I DONT want to do take them back. We have had them for one and a half years.

I too have tried everything (foil, spray bottles, clearing off everything, etc.) to keep them off, but nothing has worked. I am afraid that if something doesnt work soon, I WILL have to take them back to the shelter.

The other night I had a dream that they had got into SOOO MUCH trouble that I had to take them back. I was SOOOOOO SAD I dont want this dream to become a reality. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBelongInTheZoo View Post
My cats, especially Cali, are ALWAYS on the counters!!!! This is a HUGE problem with my grandpa. He HATES it when they are on them. He says that it is a health hazzard because they have dirty paws because they walk in the litter pan that has dirty litter.

He says that I have to do something to keep them off the counters or else I am going to have to take them back to the animal shelter . I DONT want to do take them back. We have had them for one and a half years.

I too have tried everything (foil, spray bottles, clearing off everything, etc.) to keep them off, but nothing has worked. I am afraid that if something doesnt work soon, I WILL have to take them back to the shelter.

The other night I had a dream that they had got into SOOO MUCH trouble that I had to take them back. I was SOOOOOO SAD I dont want this dream to become a reality. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate to say it, but he is right about the paws thing. Can you somehow keep the cats out of the kitchen? If not, how about putting sheets of plastic over the counters? (I did this with Marge, but she just peed on them anyway). DH just suggested something--stop feeding them in the kitchen, if you do. Perhaps this may help to keep them out of there more often.

Please do not take this the wrong way, but I think the problem with your Grandpa vs. the cats is deeper than the counter problem. I suspect that he wants some excuse to get rid of them, as deep down, he does not like cats/animals. If it is not the counters, I have a feeling it will be something else that angers his about the cats, prompting him to try to get rid of them. This is the first time I have heard of anyone who truly loves cats use the kitchen counter thing as an excuse to get rid of them. Most of us seem to just tolerate it, frustrating though it may be (imagine how I feel, with a peeing & pooping cat on my counter! Marge has been doing this since February, yet we still have her--and just tried to adapt to the problem to compromise. There was a point when I felt giving her away would make her happier, as I think the counter thing is a reaction to one or more of the other cats tormenting her, but that was for that reason, not the peeing part.)


I hope you can find a solution to your problem FAST, and wish you luck.
post #17 of 24
I use a squirt bottle, but really only want them off the stove (all the time) and off the counters when I'm cooking. Usually once they've been squirted a couple times you only have to shake the bottle and say "no" or "down" or whatever you associate with it. My husband has better luck with one of our cats. He says "git" and Stimpy stops whatever naughty thing he was doing.

I used to have a cat that actually knew that "get down" meant get down from the counter. If he was up there, all I had to do was say that and he was off. I'm working on Lola, she's just as smart. Her thing is getting on the fish tank hood.
post #18 of 24
Angel don't bother with the counters very much. But when she does, there's no keeping her from it.
post #19 of 24
There are some cat training sites out there, where have you checked? Dr. yin has a great page set up for stuff like this. It's cat tricks page is really helpful.
post #20 of 24
Miloh is terrified of the counter, methinks. I came stomping out the other night, knowing he would jump off right away if I made a loud noise. He was so scared, he practically fell off in his haste to get away!

I'm not sure he knew it was me, but he hasn't gone on since! Poor thing.
post #21 of 24
I have three dogs and they wouldn't dream of getting on the counter. They can be trained. The cat however did whatever she wanted - regardless of anything, I couldn't train her. Yes, at one point I was disillusioned enough to think that I could train her.
My cat is very bold and actually liked many of the tricks like foil, etc. The only thing that worked was several SSSCat cans. I that product! It gave me my counter back and my sanity
Don't worry concerned cat people, she has the rest of the house and many cat trees at her every whim.
post #22 of 24
I gave up a LONG time ago- luckily the cats that I have right now don't every really go up onto counters/kitchen table, however Pirate does have one spot on the table if the kitchen windows are open (it's very cute). Over the past couple years, I've figured out that even though the house is mine, the cats OWN it. Everything in it is theirs, nothing is really off limits to them.
post #23 of 24
Well, I don't cook here in the trailer and the counter is the only place the cat food is out of reach of my relatively well behaved dog, so I feed them on the counter.
In fact, I don't even keep food here aside from pet food, I guess the pets just let me crash here as their caretaker
post #24 of 24
my cats are always up there I don't cook too much, but when I do I make sure to remove all food as soon as it is done cooking, I put pots and such in the oven or microwave if there is food left in them before I either have seconds or bowl it up cause they will get it in as soon as I turn my back When it's me versus the cats, they vastly outnumber me!
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