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I'm out for a couple of weeks with surgery and today a friend came over for lunch. I had some leftover roast beef with carrots and onion and we made a plate then went outside to eat. 30 minutes later, I come in and the KITTENS ARE EATING THE ROAST BEEF ON TOP OF THE KITCEN COUNTER! Apparently the lid wasn't completely on the roast beef so they knocked it off and proceeded to have themselves a feast.

I'm so aggravated - (but yet its funny) but don't know what to do. First, I'm thinking "why" did they eat it? Yep, it was darn good roast beef and if it was presented to me I'd eat it too, but are they eating it because they think they are starving or are they being mischievious little boys?

They really think they are starving all the time. I know I feed them enough and on a regular schedule, but each time they eat they act like they haven't had food in years. They were stray kittens and found at 3 months of age, so I'm wondering if it has something to with that. I've had them for 2 months now.

What sort of dicipline should I do/not do for this and other sort of behaviour? They are loving kitties, but very playful and have a devilish side to them. I want to break them of the habit that every time I go in the kitchen they think its meal time. It's very annoying and their cries for food are too much. They meow, howl, and trip me up just to see if I'm getting them food.
 

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I live with a food *****. As soon as he eats and i let him out of his room he races to the counter to see if I left any of MY dinner.

ANtyhing even remotely edible gets dragged off. He's even pulled down a 5lb bag of potatoes and tried to drag them behind the couch.

I've just learned that I can NOT leave anything out. I've had to make sure there is a place for everything and it's put away. My bread gets stored in the microwave now. I had to buy a heavier cookie jar with a sealed lid he couldn't force open. Dirty dishes either have to go into the dishwasher, get washed by hand, or get stuck in the fridge until I can deal with them. Dirty pots/pans have to get put into the oven if I don't wash them immediately..
AND I have to make sure I run the garbage disposal or he tries to fish stuff out of it with his paws.

Some cats can be deterred from counters. My MowMow just needs a gentle "MowMow, No!" with sustained eye contact and he'll never repeat the behavior again. My little SHepherd Book could care less. I swear he flips me the feline bird while doing things after I say "No." Some cats can be deterred with stuff like sssscat. My Book just comes up behind it, knocks it onto the ground and has his way with my food. Some can be deterred with a squirt bottle. I find that MORE annoying because I spend my time eating trying to keep one eye on the counter to squirt him.... it's easier to just clean up and let him see there is nothing good on the counter and then he leaves.
 

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I think because they were strays and knew what it was like to be very hungry all the time, they view any food as an opportunity to top off so to speak.
I personally see trying to discipline a cat as counter productive.
Hopefully they'll come to realize that they are not going to starve.
For your part you need to not leave food out where they can get at it.
 

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Maybe up the amount you're feeding them by a bit. When Doran was little I'd let him eat as much as he wanted in about 15 minutes. Then he was full. It worked great.

Muffin I had to guess since he'd just keep eating and eating until he made himself sick, lol. It's amazing how much they can fit in a little fuzzy tum!

There's nothing you can do to 'punish' them. They were doing normal cat things, scavenging. In fact, you should punish yourself (as if missing out on the rest of the roast beef isn't punishment enough, lol) for leaving food where they could get it.

The worst theivery my cats did was by getting into the freezer. The room they go into at night has out chest freezer in it. I'm still not sure whether they opened it themselves, or if our dumb roommate left it open a crack...but they got into it and ate a whole salmon. About 10 lbs between 3 cats.

I couldn't be mad at them 'cause I'd probably have taken advantage of free salmon too!
 

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We have to keep the bag of cat food all the way on top of the cabinets in the kitchen (so high I can hardly reach it and I'm 6 feet tall). Otherwise, if we leave it on the counter, or anywhere where our kitty can reach it, she will chew through the bag. lol.
 

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I've heard citrus skins, like orange or grapefruit should deter them from counter surfing. I have been fortunate with Meanie. I don't say that she doesn't get on the counters - if I leave her food on the counter instead of her bench, she will eat it. But she doesn't get on counters when I am in the kitchen. Of course, now that we have the puppy, she hides all the time! But, even before the puppy, if we ate in the living room, I could leave my plate and neither she nor my golden retriever would touch it. She doesn't bother my crocheting either!

Also, aluminum foil is supposed to work to prevent counter surfing.
 

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IT's all true :p

Sunday night I left a bunch of parsley and a bunch of cilantro in juice glasses filled with water on the counter for use in cooking. I trimmed the bottoms carefully and fluffed them up so they would so pretty until I used them.... by the time I got home from work yesterday there was no leaves left on either. Just naked little stems and BOTH cats had green smears on their faces. They were giving me looks like "What? I bet next time you'll remember our wheat grass won't you?"

I'm not sure which cat ate which herb but I figure the one with the lemony smelling poo got the Cilantro and the one with the great breath got the parsley....
 

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LOL. I'm ok with them eating stuff like that. ALthough I probably should have put it in the fridge......

You're right though. MowMow does try things now that he would never do before. Usually my most shocked saying "MowMow!" is enough to stop him.
 

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Cap'n Jack never counter surfs. The most he would do is sit at a bar stool and watch while I butcher up his weekly dinner supplies. Miu, on the other hand, is not so docile albeit she's not so bad. She will get off the counter when told, but she will get on if there's food or when I'm preparing their meals (altho for the weekly butchering she will also sit politely in the bar stool to watch).

If we're not in the kitchen, we keep all food and drinks hidden. It's hilarious sometimes. My mom will cook something early and leave it to cool to put in the fridge for later. Can't leave it cooling on the counter so the food could be in the oven, the microwave, the toaster oven, pantry cabinet, any one of the kitchen cabinets (which ever fits the dish) or finally on top of the washer in the laundry room with the door closed. When I have a coke or tea and I leave my room, I put it on my bathroom counter and shut the door.
 

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You could also try some long lines of double sided tape. I hear they don't like the feeling at all of something grabbing their pads. I have to feed my cats on the counter :-( because of my Min Pin. He eats everything in sight and will even climb their 6' tall cat tree (going up through the shelf holes)to get to the food! GL B
 

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I had that problem too, Mostly with my younger ones, Waffles, Monkeys, and Kodak. I ended up buying the Sscat motion activated repellent. I out it on the counter, turn it on, and when they jump up, it scares them back down. I only had to use it for a week or so before they got the hint to keep off the counters. Haven't seen one up there since January.
 
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