Not only are cats on counters annoying, but it can also put you and them at risk. Your kitty could land on a hot stove or ingest chemical residue from cleaning products and the bacteria on their paws from the litterbox could get into your food. If your cat is known to climb up and roam on your counters, check out these tips to keep them off!
Keeping your countertop clean will remove any additional temptations that cats have for climbing counters. Be sure not to leave food, crumbs or other treats on the counter that your cat may be drawn to. Also, consider doing your dishes in a timely manner so they aren’t enticed to visit the sink. Using a citrus cleaner may also help repel your cat’s interest as they dislike citrus odors.
Cats don’t usually respond well to punishment as it frightens them and they often do not associate their bad behavior with retribution. Physical and verbal punishment can also cause stress or provoke aggression. Instead, use positive reinforcement by offering a treat or throw a toy to get them off the counter. You can further train them by using a clicker with a treat so they associate the noise with a positive response. This can then be used to lure your cat off the counter in the future.
Provide other climbing areas
Your kitty may be jumping up on the counter to seek higher ground when feeling stressed or because it feels good (felines are physically built for climbing). Provide them with an alternate for climbing, such as a climbing tree or cat tower. You can praise your cat by petting them or leaving treats at the top of their post.
Make counters unappealing
You may be able to deter your kitty from going on the counter by using an unpleasant material. A trick often used is putting aluminum foil on countertops as felines don’t like the sensation under their feet. You can also try applying tape to the edge of the counter to discourage them from jumping up. Plastic carpet runners with the textured side up is another option.
Deter from faucet
If the main reason your cat is climbing in the kitchen is because of the faucet, consider why this may be. Check their water bowl area to see if there are stressors, such as it being highly trafficked or near their litter box. On the other hand, your kitty may just prefer the cold, fresh water. If this is the case, make sure to frequently replace their water and add an ice cube to keep the temperature down. They might also enjoy running water from a drinking fountain.