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Topic 1:

My cats LOVE tape, especially duct tape. I had to duct tape a piece of cardboard up to the dog kennel, and the cats have ripped the entire thing down to eat the tape. They've also munched on the rolls. I laid some duct tape out on the kitchen floor to get an outline space idea for an island I'm building, and they sat there and chewed it and started shredding it. What is it about tape? They also love the packaging tape on moving boxes, the tape on the rolls you use for gift wrapping...

Topic 2 :

How can I keep them off my f*%$ing counters?! I have used spray bottles, double sided sticky tape (see above, it didn't last long), putting metal plates and spoons on the edges to fall off and scare them. I thought about trying one of those machines that squirts out air whenever the motion sensor goes off, but the kitchen is a main traffic point in the house, and it'd probably constantly go off. None of it is working. I was thawing out meat for dinner tonight and I heard a crash, ran into the kitchen, and Moe is taking off with my bag of ground beef that had a plate sitting on top of it to hold it under water that she fished from the sink! I have to LOCK my cats up in the back room every single night or when I'm not home because they WILL get on the counters, even if there's nothing there. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, go in for a glass of water, and find them sleeping there. They will get up on the counter right in front of me, and then act like they had no idea they weren't supposed to when I fuss or squirt them with a water bottle.
They have plenty of high perches. There are several shelving units around the house that they jump up on and lounge around. Do those shocking mats really work? Are they worth the money?
 

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Invest in clorox bleach wipes to swab the counters before using, thaw your food in the fridge, and learn to ignore it. :p That's my advice.

I've only ever had this one cat but there's NO way he'd stay off the counters. He's always watching what I do and seeing what's there. I have taught him to stay in 'his spot' on the counter by laying down an old dish towel for him to sit on. He knows that's HIS spot and if he's being a nuisance I can say in a grumpy tone "Where are you supposed to BE?" I'm sure it's my tone not the words but he heads back to his spot and watches from there.
 

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The best you can hope for is to have your cats not get on the counters when you are home, but once you go out the door, they KNOW you aren't watching. My Egypt loves the counters and she will sneakily jump up when I am not in the room and then when she sees me, she will leap off....busted!

And yes, thawing the food in the fridge is the way to go. I have thought about trying the Sssscat spray thingie, but it's kind of pricey....so I just scold them when I see them do it.
 

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My girls rarely go on my counters. However, I always keep my kitchen counters clear of anything that might tempt the cats, no thawing meat (as MowMow says, thaw in the fridge), no other food items, etc. I know you say your cats go on the counters even when there's nothing there, but if you have something there sometimes, then they're always hopeful that they'll find something. So, I'd make it a rule to keep the counters clear.
 

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Re: Cats-on-counters... Give up.
If you cannot control everything, control what you can.
Unless you can completely deny access, you may be able to control their actions while you are in the kitchen but you'll never know what they've been up to when you aren't there to see and monitor.

Bleach-wipes are your friend.
I simply bleach-wipe all surfaces before preparing foods.

NEVER leave anything tempting (rewarding) on the counters for them to find. Defrost and/or place the frozen package in a bowl of water and place it in the fridge, oven or microwave so the cats cannot reach it.
 

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Topic 1 - I think part of it is the sound. My girls like plastic. Cali and Charlee lick plastic grocery bags like a destitute person rubbing a magic lamp. I've heard there's some kind of fish product used in the making of them. But they like anything that makes a crinkly sound. Gigi is the one I have to watch out for, she'll actually eat plastic things. She once ate the entire strip you tear off a deli package. Fortunately, it was the main ingredient of her hairball soup I found the next day. With my feet.

Topic 2 - I was very lucky with Cinderella and Cleo. They showed no interest in the counters. At all. Then came the twins. I gave up. You can either be angry and yelling and annoyed a good part of your time at home with them, or you can make sure it's clear of anything they can eat or destroy and simply wipe your counters off. I couldn't even leave a sink full of dishes unattended, because they would play in and drink the dishwater. ewwwww!!!
 

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LoL @ cats on counters. My hubby tries like crazy to keep our two down and I just laugh at him because in the end he is the one looking like a mad man. They will do what they want when noone is around anyway. Tuffy likes to watch me cook, but like someone else said - he has his spot he is allowed to be and if he moves off it while I'm cooking, he then has to go down on the floor. He has learned to stay put! :)
 

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I heard that trying something spiky textured may deter them. Like the underside of one of those clear carpet runner things put a thick strip along the counter and see if that works? I've seen those 'static' mats in use and they seem to do the trick as well. The 'shock' is barely felt by a person and it's more of a vibration(I've been told, but dogs and cats alike do not like the feeling so that might be an option?
I've also seen a lot of foil used as apparently cats don't like it either.
I'm a germaphobe somewhat and the idea of kittie paws that frequent litter boxes then food preparing counter tops makes me cringe! My himmie doesn't jump (yet) but if she starts I most likely will try the carpet runner idea. I do check her feet and wash as needed and clean the litterbox once a day (it's a huge one too lol) and am always on the lookout for "butt-nuggets" cuz of her long britches..Anyway just wanted to say your not alone! I've owned and loved cats for a great portion of my life (as well as dogs, lizards, birds,arachnids) and have worked in the pet industry and vet industry for a number of years before becoming a SAHM, I love animals but that love doesn't help my germaphobe-ness LOL
Good Luck!
 

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I never thought about the flipped over carpet runners... I've got an old one rolled up and no carpet to use it on, so I'll see if I can cut it up and use it.
 

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Yeah, I'm a member of the "don't worry about counters" club. Really, they're very clean animals and I've never had any bad effects from letting Murphy up there. Heck, we give him treats up there and cuddle the living daylights out of him. We're kind of the anti-poster children for keeping cats off counters. :)
 
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