Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,492 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,492 Posts
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. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,664 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
991 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
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. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
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. :)
Susan, it sounds like you need to talk to your cats about the dangers of "huffing" the bleach fumes ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,953 Posts
I'm with Heidi . . . the easiest thing is to stop worrying about it. Murphy's always been allowed on the counter. We actually encourage it by cuddling him when he's up there and giving him treats. :) Hey, it's nice not to have to get on the floor all the time!

But really, if you keep the Clorox Wipes handy there's really no problem. I guess the germophobes might never get used to that idea, but then again, the germophobes shouldn't have cats in the first place.

I think it's another area where we should work on ourselves to accept what cats are doing, rather than expecting them to change. I keep remembering the line, "Dogs are motivated to please you. Cats are motivated to survive."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,074 Posts
Keep a bottle of Dettol (safe for cats as long as they don't actively LICK the counters) spry and wipe before using the counter. It kills anything nasty on there.
We did this anyway a long time before we got a cat as counters get grubby anyway.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
723 Posts
Counters have two attractions; they are higher than the floor and they are often the center of activity. Some cats just need to be where the action is :) I'm in Heidi's camp. I just wipe the counters down before cooking. The only place my guys are not allowed to be is on the dining room table when I'm eating. I don;t know how i managed to convey this, but they're very good about the one rule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
It's easy. Just keep them cluttered. Cover every inch with spare change, unopened junk mail, extra batteries, house keys, flashlights and such so that their surfaces are unnavigable.

It worked for me until the pre-Christmas clean-up.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,492 Posts
I actually tried that, keeping stuff on the edge of the counter so they couldn't jump up, but the clutter bothered me more than the counter cats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,974 Posts
I'm a pretty serious germophobe and I never allowed ex's cat into the kitchen much less onto the counter.

Mow doesn't have icky germs though. ;) He's allowed wherever he wants to go and I don't worry too much about it. Bleach wipes are just something I've always used and now I just use them before I do anything on the counter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,974 Posts
It's easy. Just keep them cluttered. Cover every inch with spare change, unopened junk mail, extra batteries, house keys, flashlights and such so that their surfaces are unnavigable.
Mine would get cleaned off quick. Mow'd be up there winging things off to watch them hit the floor and roll around.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top