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Won't stay off counters.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My cat, Kovu, is a very social cat, and needs to be involved in everything we do. Which, of course, means if we're eating, he thinks he needs to be on the dinner table. Or if I'm cooking in the kitchen, he will walk all over the counter top. He also loves to go up there and try to lick the butter dish. Sometimes he'll knock of the cover and actually start licking our butter.


We don't know how to keep him off. When we first got him we tried spraying him with water. And of course when we spray him he gets off, but that doesn't keep him from coming back on. We'll spray him or tell him to get off but he'll always jump back on. We don't know what to do to keep him from jumping on the counters anymore. Any help?
post #2 of 20
Push him off the table when you're eating, the same with the counters when you're cooking. Make sure to tell him down.

Don't leave food out unattended, ever. Cats have survived a long time by being rather opportunistic - they're certainly never going to let a good meal go to waste.

Otherwise, just let it be. If your counters are cleaned off and you wipe them down before preparing food on them you shouldn't have anything to worry about. I've found it's better to just go with it and make sure the cats know they're to stay out of my way when I'm cooking (this includes being underfoot) - they seem to be able to understand this better than a complete counter ban.
Less stress for everyone and the cats can survey the room from waist level and look out the kitchen window.

I have one, Tomas, who will occasionally keep me company while I do dishes, too, which is rather nice.
post #3 of 20
And welcome to TCS! I tried to search for an informative site that would give you some ideas for keeping your kity off the counters, but to be honest, I couldn't find one that I agreed with......
It sounds to me that your boy is looking for attention more then anything. It is essential to never introduce counter and table tops to them. Many people will make the mistake of feeding their new kitten up on the counter, then wonder why they keep jumping up there later! Or letting their kitten walk across, nap, or eat on their dining table, kitchen, coffee.........................
It also can be extremely dangerous for cats to jump up and walk freely on counter tops. Most importantly the stove top, they don't know when it is hot vs off.............
First rule of thumb is to keep any and all temptations off of table and counter tops. This includes butter dish, crumbs, any tempting scent. You should never set your pet up to fail when your training them.
Second be consistent and alert. Be aware of his presence and correct him before he jumps up on the counter. Snap your fingers or clap, tell him "no" firmly but calmly. You may have to be extremely patient and repetitive in the beginning.
If he does jump up on counter or table, immediately clap or snap fingers, point from where he is to the floor, snap, point at his feet then down to floor, and say "down" firm but calm.
I have never had a problem with any of my kitties on counter tops or table tops. Maia has her designated areas where she is allowed and areas where she knows are off limits. But she doesn't have temptation to begin with......
post #4 of 20
Everytime mine jumped up while I was preparing food, they were told NO and placed on the floor.

They are allowed to do as they like, except when I eating or preparing food. I just wipe down the counters each time.
post #5 of 20
I havent had much problems with them neing on counters. Only Holly likes to, and she just wasnts to investigate. They are pretty good about staying away from food.

Its less stressful fir me to just let them do their thing, but if your consistent they will learn soon enough
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Everytime mine jumped up while I was preparing food, they were told NO and placed on the floor.

They are allowed to do as they like, except when I eating or preparing food. I just wipe down the counters each time.
The reason why they jump up when you were preparing food is because they are normally allowed to, which means this becomes part of their territory.
This is exactly when it can become dangerous. What if you place a stew on the stove, or a soup, something that cooks over a long period of time. Your kitty jumps up when your not there.........It has happened.......
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
The reason why they jump up when you were preparing food is because they are normally allowed to, which means this becomes part of their territory.
And I don't care if they do It was easy to train them not to come up while I'm preparing or eating food.

I don't leave things cooking unattended, if I had to leave something on the stove I'd shut the door when leaving the room.
post #8 of 20
My cats are allowed on the counter, that's where their food is (out of the reach of a fat Lab). They stay on the 1/3 of the counter where their dish is. My stove and prep area is on a different counter and I never see them up there.

If it's really bothersome (or a safety issue), you could try putting tin foil or cookie sheets on the counters where they like to jump up. I have heard they don't like the noise and it deters them.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
And I don't care if they do It was easy to train them not to come up while I'm preparing or eating food.

I don't leave things cooking unattended, if I had to leave something on the stove I'd shut the door when leaving the room.
This is exactly the precautions one needs to take at all times to insure safety and temptations........ What may come easy to some is challenging to others.......
post #10 of 20
Aya wasa bout 12 weeks when she developed an interest in counter jumping. She couldn't then jump from floor to counter so she lept from the window sill to my range top. The sound of me igniting the gas (the little click-click) apparently attracted her interest and she pounced just as the gas flashed. Singed her fur all down one side. I was lucky it didn't ignite the cat! And she wasn't actually burned.

Did she learn? No, of course not.

Now I religiously tell her 'down' or squirt her if she gets up there.
post #11 of 20
It's not an easy habit to break. One of my cats was still jumping on counters when he was 17 years old. Toby is all over the counters, all the time and there isn't much we can do to stop him. If he ever jumps on the counter near the stove, he gets a firm "no" which has worked because he doesn't go near the stove at all. They like to be at your level and watch what you're doing and have a better view of what's going on in the house. Some cats are more like that than others. The only two suggestions I can think of are putting some some pieces of aluminum foil on the counter tops where she jumps up to scare her. Or instead of water, try a can of compressed air, not to spray at her, but just to make a hissing sound and scare her off.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver12 View Post
My cat, Kovu, is a very social cat, and needs to be involved in everything we do. Which, of course, means if we're eating, he thinks he needs to be on the dinner table. Or if I'm cooking in the kitchen, he will walk all over the counter top. He also loves to go up there and try to lick the butter dish. Sometimes he'll knock of the cover and actually start licking our butter.


We don't know how to keep him off. When we first got him we tried spraying him with water. And of course when we spray him he gets off, but that doesn't keep him from coming back on. We'll spray him or tell him to get off but he'll always jump back on. We don't know what to do to keep him from jumping on the counters anymore. Any help?
This sounds very familiar to me. I finally found the solution that works very well for me, just let him have free range on the counters. Persi goes where he wants. Now and then I hear DW yelling at him but I remind her that she wanted a Persian cat to be able to look at and I remind her that includes laying on the counters while she is fixing dinner. What can he hurt? Yeah once in a while I find a hair or two in my dinner but I don't mind.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persi & Alley View Post
This sounds very familiar to me. I finally found the solution that works very well for me, just let him have free range on the counters. Persi goes where he wants. Now and then I hear DW yelling at him but I remind her that she wanted a Persian cat to be able to look at and I remind her that includes laying on the counters while she is fixing dinner. What can he hurt? Yeah once in a while I find a hair or two in my dinner but I don't mind.

I think most of us with cats have found a hair or two in our dinner. Bijou is pretty good - he loves being on the counter but he never gets up on the small one beside the stove so I don't worry about him getting burned thank goodness. He just walks back and forth along the counter rubbing his head/cheek against us as he passes us. He also likes when I put my little jacket on the table in front of my laptop so he can lay on it with his head and paws on my arm/hand. He is pretty savvy in that he knows he is not allowed on the table while we are eating. He sits beside hubby's chair and waits for his portion of our dinner to be cut up into small pieces and served to him.
post #14 of 20
Since I've had Bodhi, I've never seen him jump on any counters (except I know that he has done it once because he ate through a bag of loaf bread that was sitting there). Now, the kitten is another story. I've had to work continuously with him to not get on the kitchen table. Right now, he's not big enough to jump onto the counters since they're abnormally high. But the kitchen table is his favorite place to explore when I'm cooking, etc. So far, I've tried clapping my hands really loudly, saying a firm "NO!" and gently picking him up from the table top and placing him on the floor. I am always careful not to do anything physically to him that would cause him to be fearful of me. I am trying to condition him that when he hears the clap and NO, that he will get down from wherever he's at. It's taking lots of patience. I am thinking of trying the aluminum foil thing though for when I'm not home.

As a side note, I really don't mind that the kitties get on counters and tables, but I think about when company comes over and wants to sit at the table. I don't want the cats jumping up there during our meal!

This is just my two cents...

Candace
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
It is essential to never introduce counter and table tops to them. Many people will make the mistake of feeding their new kitten up on the counter, then wonder why they keep jumping up there later! Or letting their kitten walk across, nap, or eat on their dining table, kitchen, coffee.........................
I was very annoyed when ours discovered the kitchen counters. They had been really good about staying off both the table and counters, then one day I found them basking in the sun in my big picture window over the kitchen sink. I wondered how they figured it out until my husband showed me the "trick" he taught them by flicking toys onto the bathroom counter so they'd jump up. Now I know where they learned it!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by carla1183 View Post
They had been really good about staying off both the table and counters, then one day I found them basking in the sun in my big picture window over the kitchen sink.
Cats love windows and sun. If no harm is done, let them enjoy it. Mine love sitting in all of the windows and I wouldn't take that away from them just because the one in the kitchen is above a counter (actually it's over the sink ).
post #17 of 20
I totally dont' blame people who want to keep cats off counters and the kitchen table. I think thats a personal choice and I support it.

We do not allow the boys on the counter--Jack has never been allowed and has no desire. We were blessed when Harley came that he adapted to house life well and because Jack doesn't get on the counters he didn't feel a need either. We caught Harley once, after a package of pork chops and thats it.

I don't mind the table--we rarely eat at it, we use it for board games only.

Leslie
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
I don't mind the table--we rarely eat at it, we use it for board games only.
Now there is something I do mind! Have you ever stopped a board game in the middle to go to bed only to find the pieces all over the house the following morning?
post #19 of 20
I would try a can of coins .. rattle it loudly and push the cat off.

You have to be consistant with this type of behavioural approach, as if you allow kitty to go one time then not the other time it reinforces the "bad" behaviour. Its called negative reinforcement.

I personally do not like to see cats on kitchen counters as it is unhygenic, just as I would not let people walk all over my kitchen counter.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MzKitty View Post
I would try a can of coins .. rattle it loudly and push the cat off.

You have to be consistant with this type of behavioural approach, as if you allow kitty to go one time then not the other time it reinforces the "bad" behaviour. Its called negative reinforcement.

I personally do not like to see cats on kitchen counters as it is unhygenic, just as I would not let people walk all over my kitchen counter.
If you had any idea of what you actually eat and the bacteria and germs you deal with every day handling money and eating in restaurants, a little thing like wiping down your counter with a disinfectant before preparing foods wouldn't be a big issue.
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