I have this terrible habit of leaving the cat food lids on my kitchen counter until I decide to clean up later on in the day. And everytime, without fail, my tabby will jump up on the counter to lick the food off the lids. And every time, without fail, I have to chase him off. Even without this temptation, cats generally enjoy hopping onto the kitchen counter because it taps into their predatory nature. Not only does it allow them to be up high (which they love) but they can smell food, which intrigues them. In some cases, they’re just naturally attracted to the running faucet.
If you’re struggling to keep your cat off the kitchen counter, don’t worry because you’re in luck. We have some helpful tips below:
Keep Your Countertops Clean
Your best defense against the cat jumping on the kitchen counter is to keep it free from any crumbs or food debris. The less food your cat can smell, the less need they’ll feel to jump up and grab it.
Tape Crinkled Aluminium Foil on the Edge of the Countertop
Your cat’s paws are extremely sensitive, so they won’t like the feeling of crinkled aluminum foil underneath their feet. Furthermore, the sound that aluminum foil makes will gently spook them and force them to jump off the countertops.
If you don’t have aluminum foil or don’t feel comfortable wasting it, there is another alternative. You can also….
Apply Sticky Tape to the Edges
Like the use of aluminium foil, cats will also be deterred by the use of sticky tape along the counter’s edges. One disadvantage of using this method is that you will have to continually reapply the tape, which could damage your countertops. However, it’s a quick solution to use while you train your cat to avoid the countertops in the meantime.
Reward Them (Sort of)
While rewarding them for jumping onto the counter would be counterproductive, one thing you can do is place a treat or a toy near the counter to lure them off. Over time, your cat will begin to associate being off the countertops with their reward.
When you do this, we recommend using a clicker or something else that makes noise to help with this reinforcement. The main goal of this exercise is for your cat to establish their treats with the floor instead of your kitchen countertops.
Use a Cat Repellant
If none of the other methods work for you, you can always use a cat repellant. Usually available online and found in many pet stores, cat repellents use strong fragrances such as citrus to deter your cat from jumping onto areas of your house that they shouldn’t.
Cats are immediately repelled by certain scents, which is why they typically don’t like candles or aerosol sprays. Cat repellents or cat blockers, as they’re sometimes called, can be sprayed on furniture, countertops and other furnishings. The scent usually deters them from the area for up to 24 hours. If you do use this, just be sure that it doesn’t get on any food you have lying around on the countertops.
When it comes to training your cat not to go on the countertops, there’s a lot of different methods you can use. Just be patient with them and remember that when they jump on the counter, they’re doing so out of instinct. With these tips, you can gently guide their behavior into a more preferable direction.