We have two 4 month old kittens that are constantly on the kitchen counter and table. They eat any food sitting out, hang out in the sink, sit in the empty crock pot, you name it. We call them the obnoxious kittens for a reason! They even jump up and try to sneak food off our plates while we're eating dinner.
We've been moving them to the floor, squirting them with a water bottle, or making loud noises when we catch them. This used to send them running, but now they no longer care and seem to enjoy their little squirt bottle baths. We rarely leave food or dirty dishes on the counter, so they're not after that. They get plenty of good quality dry food and a little wet food on top every day.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for keeping cats off the counter? I think it's gross and we have a glass top stove and I worry about them burning their feet if they walk across it while it's still hot.
By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR
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I have a friend who always kept a spray bottle of water with her and when her cats got someplace they weren't supposed to be she would squirt them with water. I don't know if it ever broke the cats of being where they weren't supposed to be, but when they got squirted they sure left in a hurry. This is one of the reasons that I don't like cats.
Stick double-sided tape all along the edge of the counter. Cats hate sticky tape on their paws! You may have to leave tape on the surfaces for a week or so, until they stop jumping up!
You could try a penny can-put a few pennies in an open soda can. Throw it in their direction when they aim for the counter, but don't hit them. It makes a big noise, and scares them. Or set it so it will fall if they jump on the counters. You can also try a "scat mat" sold at pet stores. It gives the animal a zap if they jump on it. Good luck!
Cats don't like aluminum foil either. Try taping some to the counters where they usually jump and they should get the heck out of there in a hurry, and hopefully, never go back. Worth a try ...
My cat loves aluminium foil! He pounces on it, scrunches it together, hides under it, rolls on his back on it, etc.
Seriously, my Calico is laying on a piece of the aluminum foil, chewing it and clawing at it, just as happy as can be! And I stopped using the spray bottle because she would just come running toward it like "yaaaay the sprinkler's on!" She isn't deterred by sinks with water in them, she falls in the dishwater when trying to get in the kitchen window all of the time. She jumps on my ceramic cooktop, right next to my hot tea kettle to get on top of the fridge. It's aggravating washing everything down with bleach every day, but it's kind of hilarious (like having my 20 yr old back as a little guy again). Nothing I have tried as of yet seems to work. I'll try the tape technique tomorrow. Thanks for the tips though, all of you!
Also, be tenacious. Just keep pushing them down, with some force, chanting in a gruff voice "Get down, get down, down, down," and eventually they might get the point. It works with mine. As soon as I see them someplace they shouldn't be I just start the chanting and they know what I'm talking about. Clap your hands as well. These sound so simple, but patience and tenacity usually pay off.
I gently pushed my kitten off of my counter and he got his foot caught in the handle of a drawer. The howling and hissing that followed made me feel like the most horrible person in the entire world. He was OK, but I will certainly think twice about pushing him off of anything ever again.
Mouse traps set on the counter. Cats don't like them. Buy a bunch, they're cheap. Squirting cats is a temporary fix as they quickly learn where it comes from and just wait.
Try this...put cookie sheets and sheet pans on your counters, out over the edge of the counter. When your kittens try jumping up, they won't have footing, and the pans will fall on the floor, making loud noises that cats don't like. I've had over 40 cats in my life time, and have never had a problem with cats on counters. Also, when you pill your cat, or bathe them, do it on the kitchen counter. They will associate 'un-fun' with the counter top. They are kittens and this is their time to test you! Be brave, be strong! :)
I wouldn't try mousetraps!
I had a problem with my cat using the bathtub as a litter box. I took mailing tape and tolled it sticky side up into circles, like double sided tape, and put it all over the bottom of the tub. Looie jumped in and back out and hasn't been in again. Good luck.
There are already all the training ideas here I would mention except I would never, ever suggest mouse traps because they could cause serious injury to paws, nose or tip of their tails!
Have you considered not having the Kittens in the room when you are eating and try closing the kitchen door to prevent them just doing what cats normally do.?
My cousin suggested sprinkling cayenne pepper on an area when I was having trouble with one of my cats jumping on the tops of the refrigerator and a china cabinet nearby. It has a strong smell that cats don't like. She had used it with success to keep her cats out of planters and off tables, etc. I didn't have the cayenne pepper, so I didn't try it, and I wonder if it might stain, so it might be worth a try if your counters won't be stained by it. I also heard that cats don't like to walk on bubble wrap, so laying a piece on the counter might discourage them - I didn't try this idea either. It should be the bubble wrap with the large (1" diameter) bubbles. It occurred to me to combine both ideas by sprinkling the cayenne pepper on the bubble wrap! My cat finally stopped jumping up there because there was so much stuff on the china cabinet that he had no footing to launch himself to the top any more. No amount of yelling on my part impressed him in the least! LOL! I used to use pennies in an empty soda can on a couple of cats I had years ago - all I had to do was shake the can and they took off; however, they also got scared when I was just drinking a soda, as they recognized the can, even though I pour the soda into a glass. I hope one of these suggestions works for you! Referring to another comment, the kittens are just doing what cats do - it's really no reason not to like them. It's up to us to just outsmart them!
I don't think you are making enough or the right kind of noise for these guys. Try leaving out a metal cookie sheet and every time you see one of them on the counter. Pick it up and bang it on the counter and then letting it go to drop on the floor. It should scare the devil out of them. If you do it enough times they may just get it. Unfortunately for you it is noisy, but I bet I works.
A cat does not understand someone telling them what to do or what not to do. All they see when you try to prevent them is an obstacle in their way. The plan is to get them to not want on the counters. You can do this a number of ways. One is to put them there and hold them there (gently) until they are desperate to leave. They will remember they didn't want to be there. If you have enough cookie sheets you can place them on the counters where a few inches hang over. When the cat jumps up the sheet will give way and fall to the floor scaring the cat who will probably stay away at least for a while. Kittens are a joy to watch and you don't want to make them neurotic. Eventually they will learn there is nothing up there and go to someplace more entertaining.
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