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How To Keep Your Cat From Climbing On The Counter and Tables

How To Keep Your Cat From Climbing On The Counter and Tables March 2022

Cats have an instinct to climb to high places and get a good view of the area. Unfortunately, this tendency sometimes brings them to places they aren’t supposed to climb, like the kitchen table. Not only is counter-walking a bad cat habit, but it can also cause harm to themselves. They can walk across the stove, eat left-out foods that will upset them, or ingest residue from countertop cleaning products.

Almost every cat will want to climb, so this is a matter of redirection, not stopping them completely.

Alternative To Counter Tops 

Furniture made for indoor cats to scratch, climb, and explore, are excellent ways to keep your cat entertained. Cat “trees” often include platforms for your cat to rest on, along with interesting poles and columns to climb. They offer a human-approved way for your cat to get in high places.

However, you don’t have to purchase cat furniture to create a better alternative. Find areas of your home, at a safe height, where your cat may be inclined to climb. Make the area highly attractive to her by rubbing catnip on it, feeding her dinner on it, petting and praising her on it, etc.

Make The Table Less Appealing

Alternatives may not entirely prevent your cat from winding up on your counters and tables. So, if your cat can’t seem to kick her bad habit, many reputable animal organizations recommend the use of environmental deterrents. Environmental deterrents are things that your cat doesn’t like but won’t hurt them. Things like unpleasant smells or textures are a great way to keep your cat away without punishing them.

WebMD animal-safety-website “Fetch” recommends the use of the following pet-safe “booby traps”:

  • Balancing cookie sheets on your counter so they make a scary noise when your cat jumps on them
  • Placing tape sticky-side up on the edge of the counter or table
  • Placing plastic carpet running “nubs-up” to make the counter surface unpleasant
  • Hanging towels off the edge of your counters so your cat slides off if they try to jump up

Again, none of these will harm your cat, but they should annoy your cat enough that your cat avoids them.

What to Avoid

  • Cats don’t respond to punishment well. Instead of connecting the punishment to an action, they connect it to the punishing person. Do not yell at your cat or hit them to not go on the counter. They’ll become scared of you, not the counter.
  • Don’t push your cat off countertops and tables. They may hurt themselves.
  • Don’t use any deterrent that could hurt your cat.