How do you keep your cat off kitchen benches?

@RawBill1 (8542)
Gold Coast, Australia
May 21, 2010 4:56pm CST
We have two kittens that are about 4 months old. Recently as they have grown, they have discovered that they can jump straight up onto the dining table and the kitchen benches. We have a squirter bottle full of water that we are using to wet them every time that we catch them up there, but this is not working. They just go up there when we are not in the room and at night. The other day I left the room for about 30 seconds and they jumped straight up on the bench and then off again as soon as I returned. They are well aware of the fact that they are not allowed to go up there because as soon as I left the room again, they jumped straight back up there. I am not overly excited about having them on areas where we do food preparation. We also have a chest of drawers in our hallway and they like to jump up on that as well. I have had to take off all of my sons artwork and photo frames as they were knocking them down and breaking them. Is this just a phase that kittens go through or are they likely to keep doing it forever? Anyone got any other suggestions on how to keep them off these areas other that what we are already doing?
4 people like this
11 responses
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
23 May 10
I have a kitten that is around nine months old and is soon to be considered an adult cat but he’s still at the very active and playful stage. I’ve had kitten before thankfully and I do know that they do settle down but it can take up to two years for some. The reason I said that I was thankful for having experienced kittens before is because if I didn’t have the knowledge that my cat will calm down I would be tearing my hair out! The only thing that keeps me going is the memory of my previous cat that was the same and eventually became a beautiful calm lap cat! My Hewie does the same thing; he will jump on the dining room table when I’m not looking and jump straight down when he notices me glaring at him! They are very intelligent and they know when they are being naughty; mine will look at my reaction before attempting to do something bad. We tried the spray bottle and it doesn’t always work. The best thing is a very firm and loud NO! They will do naughty things until they grow; we just have to be patient! Mine drive me nuts most of the time and I can’t let him run around the house unless I can see what he’s doing because he is extremely prone to mischief!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
24 May 10
They are very curious creatures these cats aren't they Paula. At least they have been really good with their toilet behaviour. There was only ever two tiny mistakes on the carpet and the rest of the time they have gone in their litter tray. Every now and then they get a bit carried away with their digging and dig out an old poo and send it flying across the room, but they are mostly good in that area. We do the loud NO at the same time as the spraying. They both run from me when I do this even though only one of them is on the bench sometimes. I wonder if female cats settle down earlier than male cats? Both of ours are girls. When are cats considered to be adults?
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
24 May 10
I am not sure...The lady at the RSPCA where I got Hewy (spelt his name wrong before) told me it takes a year and that's why I am to give him kitten food for 12 months. We have a female cat and she is very calm but she is nine years old and we didn't get her as a kitten. I would imagine that girls would calm down a bit sooner but I suppose it depends on the cat, like people they can be so different from one another. I've only had two male kittens before this one and they were both insane but they did settle...Eventually...Good luck with your disciplining!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 May 10
Thanks for the good luck wishes! What do they mean by kitten food? We do not buy any packaged or dried food for our dog or kittens. They both get raw meat in a mince or chicken necks usually.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24752)
• Australia
26 May 10
I don't really mind my cat going on the benches etc but I know I should deter him further. He has climbed on the table and the kitchen benches, bathroom benches and all the window sills...ripping frothy lace curtains when he falls off and grabs on, ever since he first came to live with me. I have sprayed, yelled, picked him up and dumped him on the floor, pushed him off and anything else I could think of. He ignores me at every turn. I got him at 8 weeks and he'll be 4 on Oct 16th. Obviously he is an ebil kitty sent to drive me mad. The only thing is, he balances things out with smooches.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
26 May 10
They are smart these cats aren't they. They know just how far to push people and can always keep the balance tipped in their favour by doing lots of cute and funny things. Our cats are always hanging off something. Sometimes it is hilarious and we race for the video camera and other times we race at them with a spray bottle yelling!
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24752)
• Australia
26 May 10
He drives me to distraction but I love him dearly...I think it is just the way of the cat.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 May 10
Yes, the almighty way of the cat is to take orders from no-one!
• Australia
23 May 10
Hey RawBill, I hate to break this to you but they will continue to do this until they are too old to jump high. I grew up with cats & when my mom was alive, she had my 2 for company & even at 12 years old, my cat was still jumping on the dining table. I guess you could try deterrants like getting a spray bottle with water & giving them a little quirt when they are doing something you consider naughty - cats generally don't like getting sprayed with water plus some of the spray bottles make sounds that cats don't like. Good luck :)
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
Oh No! Don't tell me that! Yep, we have been spraying them regularly whenever they do it.
• Australia
23 May 10
Another thing you may like to try if you haven't got one, get a cat climbing/scratching post thing, this may deter them from jumping up on the bench... just kep in mind that they're not for every cat - I bought a small one from the warehouse years ago for my cats & they were scared of it!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
We have two of those. We bought a little one about a month before we even got the cats and then my wife decided that she wanted to try her hand at building one. It is huge. We call it the P.ussy Palace. The thing is that she got some scrap carpet for it off Freecycle when she made it and we think it had fleas in it. We had a flea problem in the house after we got the cats and we noticed that they had stopped using the palace. We got rid of the fleas, but I think that they have negative emotional attachments to the structure now. We will have to introduce them to it again I think. They used to love sleeping in it beforehand but now they never even touch it!
1 person likes this
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
22 May 10
Be very diligent while they are still young and reinforce that they are not supposed to do that. I have also heard that cats can not stand how aluminum foil feels on their feet or the sound of it. So try covering the counters and benches with aluminum foil before you go to bed at night and leave the house, hopefully they will not like it and stop jumping up there. Then after they have stopped for a while hopefully they will not jump up and do it anymore.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
Ah, thanks for the foil idea. This could be an answer. It will be a bit of a nuisance putting it out and packing it away each day, but it could be worth a try for a while. We are trying to be as diligent as we can be with them while they are in this learning stage. Hopefully the message will get through to them.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 May 10
Thanks for the foil advice! I tried the foil trick a few times and it seems to keep them off the benches at night time now whenever I remember to put it up there. The first night that I used it we heard the sound of foil being landed upon about 5 minutes after we went to bed. I have not heard it since when I have put it up there.
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
22 May 10
Hello rawbill. Cats can be very interesting and at the same time so annoying. We've had 3 cats in the last 20 years and only one ever got on the counters. Mr Superman would get up there if we forgot to put the butter away. We would find his tongue prints in it. Now when you say bench I imagine you are talking about what we call counters. They never got on the dinning room table either. But did have some place that were high they liked to go. Babs like to get in the china hutch but never disturbed any thing. The only thing that I can think of is we never gave them any people food and always kept their food dishes with food in them. If we didn't you would feel their condemning looks boring into your back. They never meowed just stared at you. If superman thought you were ignoring him he would crawl up you leg and dig the claws in just far enough to get your attention. Superman and Babs are both gone now and we have a 5 year old kitty that we got when she was about 5 months old. She also never gets up on the counters or the dinning room table. But she will get on an empty chair and look over the edge of the table to see what is going on. She also is not given any people food. When we first got her she was always sticking her nose in our drinking glass of tea or what ever we had in the front room so I got her a fat short glass and put it on a work table and she has left our drinks along ever since. Some thing you might try is putting enough coins in a can so that so when it falls it will make a loud noise. Seal the can. then balance it so that if the cats brush up against it will fall and scare them away from the counter or any area you don't ant them to be.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
They are certainly very interesting. They are a constant source of amusement for our whole family. But yes at the same time, they can be frustrating as any pet can be. Yep, benches are what you call the counters. The food preparation thingy's in the kitchen! The coins in the can are a good idea, although that might wake us up at night when they are prowling the bench tops. We never give our kittens people food either and they always have food in their bowls. The one thing that may have attracted them to the bench tops in the first place now that you mention food, is the fact that we used to place their half eaten food bowls on the corner of the bench above their eating corner in the kitchen. We did this because when our dog came inside, she would go straight to their food and eat it every time. Now that they are able to get onto the benches, we have been placing the half eaten food into a cupboard, but I guess the kittens are already in the habit of seeing and smelling their food on top of the benches. Hopefully after a few weeks of their food not being put up there, the will stop going up there. Maybe!
@DummyBlog (379)
• Pakistan
22 May 10
By not keeping a cat, at all! ;)
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
Ah, wise thinking! They are too much fun to get rid of now though. The kids and wife would not talk to me if I did get rid of them!
• United States
22 May 10
Good luck on this one, my rug rats will do as they please and whenever they want to do it. They don't go outside at all and they'll get their baths about twice a year, so we just go with the flow. Christmas trees and plants were outlawed in our house ages ago, they're the boses, i guess. (lol)
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
You are right. They are the bosses and will not be controlled like dogs will! Hmmm, I had not thought about the Christmas tree with kittens. At least we still have over six months to prepare ourselves for that one!
@benhilo (873)
• Tripoli, Libya
22 May 10
I use a spray bottle of water to keep them off the kitchen area. One of my cats likes to jump up near the burners due to the fact that I use to keep the catnip in a shelve above. So, I removed the catnip and anytime the cat jumps up near the stove, I shoot it with the water spray. It worked for me.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
The water spray certainly makes them run from the room pretty quickly, but they still end up back on the benches again. I think we just need to keep persisting for longer. Hopefully they will get the message sooner rather than later.
• Pakistan
22 May 10
The best way to keep your cat of the kitchen benches is to kill the cat..lol
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
Hmmm, my life might not be worth living if I did that!
@Wizzywig (7860)
22 May 10
Easy for me... I dont have a cat - but, in your case I think you'll have to get rid of the dining table & benches
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 May 10
Easier to get rid of the cats!
@kaylachan (4778)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
22 May 10
It is not possible to watch them 24/7. Animals like that will go through phases, and it can be difficult to train them otherwise. While you might not like it. Clean off your food-prep areas before preparing food, and be sure to clean it as soon as possible afterwards. This will help with possible contamanation issues you may be having concerning food. The cleaning will help detir them as well because animals often don't care for wet places. Also seal off areas you don't want them going if at all possible for times when you can't watch them.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
22 May 10
Yeah, you are right. We cannot watch them at all times. When they were younger we used to keep them in the bathroom overnight, so they did not get up to any mischief then. But it got annoying taking the kitty litter and their bedding and water out every morning and sweeping up the mess. If our dog did not sleep in the laundry at night, it would be perfect for them to sleep in. Thanks for your advice Kaylachan. Hopefully they will outgrow this phase soon.