Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
I also use a spray bottle, but I don't spray them in the face, I spray them from behind or on the side. I have never sprayed them in the face, because I don't think that is right. Now, my cats know that if they see me with the spray bottle they are in trouble. Just my personal opinion on a spray bottle. Although I don't use it as much now as I did, and I couldn't ever be real consistant with it, because how do you spray a cat who is on your DVD player without getting water on your DVD player and ruining it, or other electronics or when they are sitting by a surge protector behind the TV?
I have to agree on the spray bottle--as long as you're not getting it in their eyes, it doesn't hurt, but my cat hates getting sprayed and knows that she's doing something wrong. We hardly ever have to use it to establish boundaries anymore, but occassionally we'll have to break it out again and shake it suggestively to curtail bad behavior, though it's probably been over a year since she's actually had to be sprayed. It may not work with all cats, but it works with her, as long as it's not in regards to huffing bleach fumes.
(It's more attractive to her than 'nip and requires no less than three separate barricades to stop her from getting high.)
However, your cat doesn't respond to it in this situation, or to foil, so here are a couple possiblities. I actually recently read in the paper about a woman cutting up those plastic nubbed office mats to deter kitties from a location. Most don't like the feel on their little kitty paws, so putting strips on the counter when it's not in use or putting them wherever she tends to take off from may stop her. When I first inherited my cat from her former owner, she wasn't sure that she wanted to accept me and listen to me regarding what territory was offlimits, and while I was at school she was a horrible little punk and threw things off my display shelf above the fireplace. (I undertand why her first owner named her Punk Ass, even though I couldn't call her that.) The foolproof solution in this case was to observe how she was getting onto the mantle in the first place, and then I placed tall items right along the edge in that location so she couldn't see where she was landing. My cat won't jump unless she's very clear about where she will land, so you might try observing if she always jumps up in the same place and line up some empty ceral boxes as a kitty fence. Once she couldn't see where she was landing, I watched Pandora investigate her old access spot a couple of times but never witnessed her jumping again or found my bats scattered on the floor, either, so as far as I know, it was a total success.
I agree about having a climbing apparatus of some sort, though. Pandora loves her three-tiered post and scratches and perches to her heart's content. Living in a rooming house with 11 other people and 9 other cats (I used to--not anymore, thankfully), I found that high perches seemed especially important to the girl kitties. Just make sure it's not within jumping distance of the places you're trying to keep her away from. More scratching posts like that will probably also keep her from damaging the furniture. Our cat likes carpet-coated posts, but she hates the ones with coiled rope on them. (That still works for us--we put the rope one in front of any piece of furniture that she takes a temporary scratching interest in and she promptly ignores it and goes back to her posts.) The cardboard ones with catnip in them may also work, but our cat refuses to scratch hers--she just licks it to get high on the 'nip until it's quite soggy and we eventually have to take it away.
I know that some people feel comfortable about their animals having free reign on the counter, but I don't, either, and with a flat range it could be downright dangerous to her, not to mention that some people foods, like onions, can be very hazardous to your kitty's health, so given the circumstances it's probably a good idea to continue trying to discourage her. (A friend of mine's kitten died from eating green onions in her kitchen, and it seemed from your post that kitty likes to sample the people food.) If none of the suggestions work, I'll bet the books suggested will offer other possibilities. Good luck. Let us know what eventually works in your situation.