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Old 01-24-2013, 01:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best way to train cats to stay off counters?

I have two 4-5 month old kitties that are 'pretty good' about staying off counters and tables, but not perfect. I think this is largely because I'm living with roommates and the rules are somewhat fuzzy, which really isn't good. We have a spray bottle but if possible I'd rather not 'punish' them. Right away I'm moving into my own place and so I'd like to make sure that in this new place the rules are very clear and that they know what is not ok. Any ideas or suggestions on the best way to kindly teach them what they can and can't be on?

They are very good kittens and are pretty much perfect as far as scratching on their posts, litter box etc. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I pick my battles and that's not one of them. Even if you can train them to stay off when you're home, they're probably having counter parties with nip and tuna while you're gone. The best thing to do is to keep your counters clean, uncluttered and boring. Then simply wipe them off before you use them. Cats love being up high, they're not doing it to annoy you. (most of the time)
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
I pick my battles and that's not one of them. Even if you can train them to stay off when you're home, they're probably having counter parties with nip and tuna while you're gone. The best thing to do is to keep your counters clean, uncluttered and boring. Then simply wipe them off before you use them. Cats love being up high, they're not doing it to annoy you. (most of the time)
That's kind of how we see it, too. We left a loaf of bread on the counter and one of the kits (Ziggy, if I had to guess) got her little teeth into it pretty well. A few days later with a brand new loaf, I came home a little hole was chewed into it. Again, if I had to guess, it was Zigs.

We are making sure to keep the counters clean and super boring, but it is hard in an apartment with three people.

The spray bottle works really well. They don't really associate the spray bottle with you, but as a separate entity. Usually my kits will come up to me not long after spraying them, but honestly, I haven't seen it work to keep them off, but to get them off of the counter. No matter how many times I spray Moosey, she jumps up on my BF's desk.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm in the process of trying to do the same thing. My reason are 50% i don't want him up there and 50% i have small counters that could be dangerous for him. He wound up ontop of my fridge not to long ago which I don't know how he managed becuase theres no easy way up or down.

He hasn't eaten anything but he got up there once or twice. I've picked him up, told him 'no', and put him on the ground a couple of times. The water bottle will be my next step, but he hasn't gotten up there in a while. You might also consider a smaller figer tip spray bottle (less water, less punishment). They sell them in the travel section at major retailers.

I've also tried detering him by leaving things like plastic cups or empty 2-liter bottles on the edges so it looks harder to reach. They will also make a sound if he knocks them off that could scare him off (maybe) but also alert me if i'm in another room, or evidence when I come home.

So far he's been pretty good about staying off.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cats love sitting on things. There's basically no way to teach them what things are sittable or not without being a bit of a jerk (in my opinion).
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with the picking your battles thing. With Billy I accepted it because he only went to one corner to greet us when we got home and it was just too cute. Your's are still a bit young to really get a handle on it IMO, but you could start by a stern NO!! and putting them down on the floor. That worked so-so for me for awhile and I was able to graduate to a snap of the fingers with a pointing to the floor and that worked too - kinda. Couldn't control it at night much at all though. I'd get up to see paw prints on the counter.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I asked the same question a few days ago. Been told to do the spray bottle, sticky tape. I'm just worried about my kitten hurting itself by falling off or stepping on a hot stove.

I've hissed at my little chap and he seems to back off...flicked water from my hand...but he is persistant! The other day I was cutting a cake, and from the time I had bent down to get plates, he had gotten on and had a lick of the side! Hahaha

Gotta love their persistance...

But now I've tried keeping it boring and he seems to be less interested. But we'll see.

Good LUCK!!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Best way to train cats to stay off counters?

I lose that battle every time. Even if you "train" them, they just learn to do it while you're not there.

I recommend a container of Lysol wipes and just disinfect before cooking or eating.


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Old 01-25-2013, 03:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I did try the water bottle spray thing at first. But after a couple times, when they realized water wasn't fatal, Cali would squeeze her eyes shut and brace for the spray. I laughed so hard at her that I just gave up.

BUT, she did break two toes when she fell off the counter while playing in the dish drainer. I wasn't in the room and didn't realize the drainer was so near the edge. I think a heavy saucer fell on her foot as she landed. So you also need to keep your counters safe.

She was only five months old and what did she do when she got home with the splint on? I found her hanging onto the counter with her one good paw!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brat!!!!

But she still loved me THIS much:

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Aaawww that poor little paw! Robocat!

Such a cutie. Great caption!
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