How to keep cats off counters – Part 4

As any cat owner can attest, kitties love heights. They enjoy climbing on top of bookcases or snuggling up beside the fruit basket that sits on top of your refrigerator. They become jungle kitties if a fichus tree is in sight, but most of all, they love countertops.

Countertops, simply put, intrigue cats. They are elevated like a kitty mountain top, and they have lots of interesting things to explore – the kitchen sink, water pitchers, food items, picture frames and candles. Even more enticing is the fact that countertops are typically forbidden territory by humans.

Since cats are strong-minded creatures that tend to do exactly what they want to do, keeping them off of your kitchen or bathroom counters can be a formidable challenge. As with any conflict of interest, your chances of winning depend on your ability to employ several tactics and your willingness to stay in it for the long haul. You must be patient and consistent, as your kitties may prove a very stubborn opponent in the battle of the countertops.

Since cats will not obey commands as dogs do, you first need to accept the harsh reality that your furry felines will more than likely jump on the counters regardless of how many times you tell them not to, no matter how firm your tone. As a result, your best strategy is to try to make the cats not like the counters or engage in things that will make them want to stay off of them.

Easier said than done, but there is some hope. A common method is take a jar and place a few coins in it. Since cats do not like the sound of coins hitting glass, be sure to keep this noise maker nearby at all times during your training days.

As soon as you see your cat looking up at the counter in what appears to be a preparatory jumping position or catch your cat already on the counter, grab the coin-filled jar and shake it like crazy. The cat will jump down. However, this method will not deter a cat for long, so be prepared to repeat this process as many times as necessary.

The spray bottle method can be a good deterrent. Most cats cannot stand water. If your cat is on the counter, take a handy spray bottle filled with tap water, aim and squirt away. The kitty will more than likely take off for dryer pastures.

Another tactic is two-sided tape. You can actually buy this at pet stores. It is called Sticky Paws. Place several strips of this tape on your counters. The idea behind this is that your cat will step on it and get, you guessed it, sticky paws, which your cat will not like. If the kitty knows that stepping on the counter will result in this unpleasant condition, then perhaps he or she will stay away.

You can also try reprimanding your cat when he is on the countertop and praising the kitty when he jumps down. You run the risk of getting just a curious stare, but some cats really do respond to your tone of voice.

One more thing to try is clapping your hands loudly when your cat is on the counter and firmly telling it to get down. Similar to the coins-in-jar method, your cat may just want to get away from the noise you are making.

Whatever you do, try to be persistent and to have others in your home employ the same methods. Cats can be challenging in the area of behavior modification, but it can be done.

And, if you are not sure of your success, don’t be too demoralized. Stores today offer countless varieties of wipes you can use to remove any cat hair that your furry friend may have left on the countertop when you were not looking.

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