Teaching Your Cat To Keep Off Counters
We all know that cats love elevated places. For many homes, the highest place that your cat can jump to is the kitchen counter or table. These spaces become particularly tempting when the cat finds food hidden there. Of course, this means that we’re constantly chasing our cats away from our lunch, and re-cleaning countertops.
If you’re frustrated with your cat constantly spending time atop your counter, try following these tips.
1. Make Sure Counters are Unrewarding
Make sure that you keep your counters clear of food at all times. If your kitty jumps up and finds nothing to reward him on the top of your elevated surface, they’ll be less likely to keep up the search. You can also use double-sided tape on the back of cheap plastic placemats to create a sensation that cats don’t enjoy. Don’t worry – it’s painless, it’ll just make your cat think twice about jumping up again.
2. Don’t Punish your Cat
Cats don’t respond well to being punished. Instead of learning their mistake, most kitties just become frightened and struggle to make the connection between their punishment, and their behavior. If you have multiple cats, punishment can also startle other cats, leading to nervousness, or aggression.
Related: Should Your Cats Sleep With You?
3. Reward Good Behavior
Instead of trying to punish bad behavior, try rewarding good behavior. For instance, provide your cat with a tall scratching post that he can climb, and reward him when he spends time there, instead of jumping onto the counter. Animals repeat activities that benefit them, so making the right behavior rewarding for your cat is always a good idea.
4. Play with your Cat
Sometimes, cats jump up onto counters and misbehave for no reason other than that they’re bored. Playing with your kitty throughout the day will mean that he or she has an opportunity to get rid of some excess energy.
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5. Confine your Cat
Finally, if nothing you do stops your cat from jumping on the counters, then your best bet might be to lock him or her in a cat-proofed room during mealtime. Make sure that the room has a litter box, bed, toys, food, and water to keep your cat happy while you’re eating, and let him out as soon as you’ve finished preparing and enjoying your meal.