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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Counters and Table tops

As a new kitty owner, I really don't know much about training cats. We don't have a lot of "rules" that we would like the cat to abide by, but one of them is to stay off of the kitchen counters and table. What's the best way to teach a cat this is unacceptable. My ex-roommate used a water spray bottle, but what happens when you are not home and the cat doesn't get in trouble for it...will it take longer to teach them to stay off? Are there other methods?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 05:17 PM
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the best method is to never have anything left out that will reward kitty for getting on the counters. Whenever you catch them on the counters, you tell them NO and put them down. It only takes a couple weeks for a new cat to learn this.

We have 4 cats and one of them has ALWAYS gotten on the counters behind our backs. I've never been able to train her otherwise. But she never does it in front of me.
I'm sure i could set up some things that would make it unpleasant for her, snappy traps, cellophane, towers of empty aluminum cans.. but we are in the habit of not leaving food out (MOST of the time) and that's probably thanks to her diligence.
Hope that helps.


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 07:46 PM
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There's really not much "training" you can do, other than to keep your counters clear of anything inviting and say "No" when you're around, as mimitabby suggests. If it's really problematic to have them up there when you're not around, you could try a product called "SSScat", which is sold in PetSmart and similar places. It's motion activated and it gives off a spray of air when a cat (or anything else) comes near it, which is harmless, but cat's don't like it. You can google it. Depending on the size and configuration of your counters, you might need more than one can of SSScat.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 08:19 PM
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It's not that cats want to be specifically on the counters, they just love being up on anything high. I don't think they can help themselves, it's a losing battle in my house. Cinderella and Cleo never went up there. Then I adopted the Calibratz. Any bad habits Cleo has, she learned from them.

I have to admit, I do like it when one of them jumps up and keeps me company while I do the dishes.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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So could it be said as long as there is sufficient access to high points, they may redirect their energy to those? We are planning on, as we did for our roommate's cat, putting up "cat shelves" that allow for easy access away from the dogs, and also a high point to watch everything from....Since she's still adjusting, we haven't really made this a priority (dogs and cat have been in separate nations), but maybe I should bump this project up as soon as we have time?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 12:42 AM
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No, they'll still want to jump up on the kitchen counters, I think. Unless you put cat shelves up in the kitchen. Then they might leave the counters alone.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielleM View Post
So could it be said as long as there is sufficient access to high points, they may redirect their energy to those? We are planning on, as we did for our roommate's cat, putting up "cat shelves" that allow for easy access away from the dogs, and also a high point to watch everything from....Since she's still adjusting, we haven't really made this a priority (dogs and cat have been in separate nations), but maybe I should bump this project up as soon as we have time?
It could be said that if there's sufficient access to high points, they "might" redirect their energy to those...but unfortunately, they might not. I have a number of cat trees in my family room (which adjoins my kitchen) and I keep my counters pretty clear of things. My girls rarely go on the counters. That might be because they have other climbing outlets and there's nothing on the counters to interest them, or it might be I just got lucky. Still, if you were planning to put up the shelves in any event, you might try them sooner rather than later, since having them up can't hurt.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 01:13 AM
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You can give them 'cat areas' that are acceptable and let them know what you consider 'non cat areas' with your behavior while you interact with them. But as you said ... when you aren't there to monitor their activity, you don't know WHAT they're doing on those counters.

I stopped worrying about it. Bleach-wipes are my friend and I use them every time I prepare food.
Why bother stressing over something you cannot control when there are other solutions and compromises like the bleach-wipes?

Our cats know when we are in the kitchen we will tell them sternly to get down and will *make* them get down if they don't listen to us when we tell them "Down!". Many times, I can even stop them from even jumping up at all ... but I have to be observant and tell them 'No!' as I see them thinking about it and/or preparing to jump up.



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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 08:00 AM
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Our girls know they're not allowed on the counters and never jump up there when we're around..... But as soon as we go to bed they're up there investigating and we'll hear the thud of them jumping off shortly after we turn the lights out. As others have said, as long as you keep the counters clear of things that will interest them you'll have few issues. You have to assume that they'll jump up there regularly when you're not there to see if anything interesting has showed up, but if you keep removing her from the counter and telling her no she won't keep doing it while you're around.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 08:10 AM
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I stopped worrying about it. Bleach-wipes are my friend and I use them every time I prepare food. Why bother stressing over something you cannot control when there are other solutions and compromises like the bleach-wipes?
I had to chuckle at that, Heidi. That one falls under the heading of "one person's blessing is another person's curse". Muffs and Abby rarely go on my counters, but the one time they're guaranteed to go there is if I use any form of bleach wipe or bleach spray. My girls, especially Muffs, are attracted to bleach like they are to catnip. Once a week, I use a spray that contains bleach on the counters, and without fail Muffs then jumps on the counters to sniff the bleach, and the next thing you know she's rolling around in ecstasy! Of course, that rather defeats the purpose of cleaning the counters. But I'm glad to hear that approach works for you.
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