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Old 11-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #31 (permalink)
Tom Cat
 
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I can't stand the cats on the table or counters. The table I've pretty much given up on, we rarely eat there and it's just being used for my sewing right now. The counters drive me nuts, mostly because of the design of the kitchen. We have open shelves where we keep food, we really don't have anywhere else to keep it, and those shelves are accessible to the cats from the counter. They like to sit on the window sill above the counter and look out on the road. They have a 6.5" cat tree and about a million other places to climb and sleep. The counters are mine. I've resorted to scat mats. The thing with any deterrent is that the animal quickly learns when the behavior is safe vs not. Shouting and spray bottles only work to deter behavior while you're there to use them. Even with the mats I left them out turned off for weeks so the cats got used to them being there and nothing happening. That way they don't realize that the mat is part of the correction.
I certainly wouldn't live with my great Danes counter surfing just because they can reach it, same with the cats. Everything else is their realm, but not the counter.


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Old 11-11-2012, 10:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Growing up, cats on counters just DIDNT happen. Mostly because cats were outdoor creatures, that were charged with vermin patrol in the barn. They got straw, food, a barn to sleep in. Later on, they got the swanky, expensive water de-icer...kept the water warm enough not to freeze, so it was drinkable. Living outside is ok. I have a friend that has a number of beautiful, healthy, well cared for cats that live strictly outside.

It sounds like you want to do something for them...it sounds like you would like to try to let them indoors... I agree with everyone that cats get on counter, and they are darned determined especially if your back is turned. The people that make the invisible fence for dogs makes a training product for counters and cats. I used it on my cat to keep her in our yard...that's a story in itself. In our house, we have rooms where the cats can be "free" in....other rooms where they are only permitted if we are in there to supervise, like the kitchen. After a few corrections for inappropriate behavior, they stay off the counters while we're in there. And they stay off our legs and laps while we're eating. I wouldn't trust them while we're away though...instead we just shut them out of the kitchen.

If you don't have a way to have an indoor cat area, maybe you could find a solution for them outside. A well made "dog house" with a heat mat...or a heat lamp. Some small place where they could get in out of the cold and wind. Just take precautions that your heat source doesn't overload a circuit or something. One winter I decided to set up some cold frames to start lettuce in January. I had this clear plastic umbrella looking thing that I hung a 40watt light bulb in. I left it on 24 hours a day. I did manage to sprout lettuce seeds, in the ground, in January, in Michigan. As it turns out, I also was creating a warm place for a couple of the strays to take refuge in.

Whatever you decide to do, you can still have well cared for and loved cats. Indoors, or out.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #33 (permalink)
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You could even take one of those big plastic totes....flip it upside down on it's lid, cut a hole in the side big enough for a cat to crawl in. Put a "seed starting mat" in the floor to keep it warm...with a blanket on top of the mat. Set the "cat igloo" on top of a piece of styrophoam to insulate it from the cold ground (if you've ever had to stand on cold ground for hours and then tried standing on styrophoam instead, you'll know what I'm talking about). It would make a warm, protected place out of the cold when they need it.

Amazon.com: ViagrowTM Seed Propagating Seedling Heat Mat, 20.5" X 8.5": Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com: ViagrowTM Seed Propagating Seedling Heat Mat, 20.5" X 8.5": Patio, Lawn & Garden

Best part about the seed mat, it is low watt and doesn't use much energy AND it is constructed to be used around water, so it is safe plugged in outdoors.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:07 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Mine know they are allowed on the counters to look out the windows. When I'm cooking or preparing food, they know they must stay on the floor. And they do surprisingly enough.
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