How can I keep my cats off the counter in the kitchen?

@angie828 (225)
United States
March 30, 2008 2:48pm CST
Does anyone have suggestions for keeping cats off the kitchen counters? I have six cats and almost all of them like to get up on the counters daily. It drives me insane. I have tried squirting them with a water bottle, and that doesn't even phase them. Telling them no and making them get down does no good either. As soon as I do that, they hop right back up and look at me with such a cute little face. It is like a game for them. Lets see how many times mom will put us down before she gets tired of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
5 people like this
20 responses
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
30 Mar 08
Wash your counters with amonia and leave them slightly damp when you are done or leave the damp cloth on the counter when you leave the room or house. Cats do not like the smell of amonia. They think some very large animal has been there. You will not have to do this forever. It should not take very long for them to get the message. Just be consistant at the beginning until they do get the message. It will work on Christmas trees too and anyplace else in the house that you wish to keep them out of or away from. Shalom~Adoniah
• Canada
30 Mar 08
That doesn't sound to healthy. Not only will the cats have to breath it in, but so will all of those who live there. There must be something else taht can be used that smells bad, yet isnt as damaging to your health. Plus, if it doesnt work, the cats will be up on the counter sniffing the rag.
• United States
30 Mar 08
Not a good idea. They will lick the amonia off their paws and that is toxic.
• United States
31 Mar 08
Sounds like a great idea to me. People have been using ammonia to clean for years, I don't think the smell is harmful. I doubt they would lick it off their paws, if they do, I don't think it would hurt them.
@mamakat (321)
• United States
4 Apr 08
Oy! Sounds like you've got some ornery little fur-babies around your house. And they've definitely found your hot button to get a rise out of you. lol We actually had a cat like that once. He'd jump on the stove right in front of us just for spite. Then he'd look around with this bewildered look as if to say 'Hey! Who put this stove under me?' Like he didn't know. lol The technique we used to use was to put double sided tape on the counter. If we didn't have double sided tape, we'd do the old fashioned making a tape roll so you have a loop of tape that's all sticky on the outside. We'd cover the counter so when kitty would jump up, they'd get the surprise of tape sticking to their fur. They definitely were not fans of that feeling. You may also be able to try the trick of if you catch kitty on the counter, have a can of dried beans, coins, marbles, basically anything loud and annoying you can grab and shake. The shock of the loud noise may end up programming kitty to think 'Hmm. I jump on the counter, I make a terrible noise.' If you are consistent enough with this, you may be able to train the cats to stay off the counter. Granted, you're outnumbered six to one. So more than likely, at least four of the six will always be posted on lookout duty waiting for you to come toward the kitchen so they can warn the others they need to am-scray off the counter so they don't get caught. Well, at least that's the way I think our kitties did it around our house. *wink, wink*
@mcat19 (1357)
• United States
1 Apr 08
Take a can that once held soda and fill it half way wit coins. Tape it shut. You might need several cans. Place them around your counter, so that when the cats jump up, they will knock down the cans and make a terrible noise. This will happen whether or not you are in the room. After a few times, the cats will give up counter surfing. Keep the counter very clean so there is no food to attract them. I would not use amonia or anything toxic on the surface. I doubt that licking amonia off paws is healthy thing for a cat to do.
• Canada
1 Apr 08
I have a couple of suggestions for you that may help. I have 2 indoor Siamese and though they do jump up, I find that if we don't leave food or anything else they find interesting up there, it lessens their interest in the counter. I also clean everything in my kitchen with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Not only is it non toxic, cats don't care much for the smell. You could try leaving a dish of vinegar out on the counter, that may deter them. Second, try putting as many aluminum pie plates as you can on the counter. It takes consistency, but it worked very well for one cat I had because he hated sudden noises. Cats are predators and sudden changes in their environment freak them out. Finally, If you don't have small children, you could try sprinkling cayenne pepper on the counter. True, you'll have to wipe it up, but cats really don't like it. You could try black pepper to, although that's not likely to be strong enough. I once taught a cat to leave the trash alone by sprinkling cayenne pepper in there. I hope you find a strategy that works!
@cher913 (25859)
• Canada
31 Mar 08
is there any type of herb or plant that they dont like? i have heard putting pepper out because they dont like that, but i dont necessarily want a bowl of pepper on my counter either lol,
@raven33 (70)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I'm currently having the same problem. Was just reading the other night on a few websites and found quite a few recommending the sticky tape solution as someone else suggested. I've already tried citus, and mine actually likes the water bottle, rattling something has absolutely no effect as mine is scared of nothing...so I'm going to try the tape myself. Good luck, and hopefully you hit on a solution that will work for you!
@Modestah (11188)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I have this same trouble with my 2. It is not like they do not know they are not supposed to be up there either, because when they see me come into the room they jump down in a hurry! I think one way is to keep all foods and cooking pots and pans cleared off the counter as these draw their interest. Although for some reason my cats like when I cleanse the counter off with my cleaning solution - after that they hop up there and roll all over it. augh. It bothers me because they have been in their litter box, you know! what kind of yucko are they carrying under their claws? ewwww.
• Canada
31 Mar 08
I have had cats all my life and have successfully trained every one to do or not to do whatever I choose. It takes patience, perserverence and consistency. Cats HATE citrus of all kinds. So Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit. Buy it cheap, in bulk containers at the grocery store and you can use it to wipe or spray your counters, tabletops, couch, whatever, with. It is non-toxic, non-offensive to us, but very offensive to cats. Yes, when you wipe you can leave it a bit damp. But do not dilute it, use it full strength. It will not harm fabrics either. You can also use citrus peels and rub the surface with it regularly. Other cat training tips: I have used vaseline and pepper (even cayenne) on telephone cords to stop some cats that have a penchant for it from chewing them. Booby trapping works well, too, because otherwise, they just realize that they can get away with the behaviour when you are not around. It has to be something that they do to themselves when they do the unwanted action. That is the only way to truly cure them.
@aretha (2538)
• United States
31 Mar 08
with our cat we used a little bowl with a lid and put a few pennies in it. when ever she would get on the table or counters we would shake it. she didn't like the noise so she got that every time she would get up some place she shouldn't have been. it worked so when we found out we where having my first son we put the crib up and did the same thing. that way when we had the baby she would go in the crib. it did work and she wouldn't get on the counters or in the crib. my in-laws have had the same cats for 10 years and they have always allowed them to get on the tables and counters witch i find nasty. when your trying to sit and eat you have a cat up in your face and end up with cat hair in you food or drink. she just started doing the change in a bowl because she heard people didn't like eating there. it has been about a month and i haven't seen one on the counter for awhile now they do still get up on the table but not like they used to so now shes really working on that. i always hated the spray bottle it just seemed so mean. i also had someone tell me to use ammonia to clean the counters and i think that is horable. that will make them sick. hope this helped
• United States
31 Mar 08
kind of a oddball thing works for me. they have a toy i'd bought them that they don't like. it makes a noise they find disagreeable,and usually run away. so all i have to do is put it on the edge of the counter so they can see it's up there,and they don't try to do it at all.
@xxgutsxx1 (201)
• United States
31 Mar 08
Hmmmm......oh so many harsh ways... Since the cat gets on the counter, how about the counter getting on the cat? or a claymore on the counter and if the cat touches it.....BANG! Or.....put a chihuahua on the counter to guard it. or the boring way, dont like the cat? Get rid of it (*_*) IM JK
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
31 Mar 08
my cat likes to go on the counter too. actually he just likes to climb anything...maybe that is it...the answer...buy them one of those big climbing cat tree house and place it near a nice window, where they can enjoy climbing it, jumping on it, sitting on top and staring out the window. it might keep them busy and they will forget about the counter... just yesterday, as i was typing on my computer, i looked up and noticed my cat was on the refrigerator, opening the cupboard, crawling in, door shut behind him, he rummaged inside, and pushed open the other door, and jumps out...inspector gumby, pi does it again, searching for something on one of his townhouse adventures, climbing, running, jumping and playing...i need to keep mine away from the hdtv.
@winterose (39893)
• Canada
31 Mar 08
ignore them you are giving them attention by putting them down and they love it.
@julievy (595)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I had a cat that did that. One day when I went to work I booby trapped the counter top with several strips of double stick tape. When I got home from work most of the tape was missing off the counter. I found the cat in the closet with tape wrapped all around her paws. I never had a problem with her jumping on them after that experience.
@angemac23 (2004)
• Canada
30 Mar 08
It's pretty safe to say that no matter what you do to the cats (squirting water included) they will always do whatever they want! And they will do it more if they know you hate it!! I apologize, but I have no suggestions for keeping them off the counters as my cats do it too and I have tried everything to make them stop but nothing works!!
• United States
30 Mar 08
I have heard that spraying the surface of things with 'bitterapple' helps. You should be able to get it at a pet store. My feeling is that unless you are there all the time to train them from the beginning you have already lost on this one. Sorry. But CATS RULE (and dogs drool) lol. I love dogs too.
@saundyl (9789)
• Canada
30 Mar 08
When i wanted my latest kitten to stay off my counters and tables when they weren't in use i would clear them off then i had made a "Cover" from cardboard and covered the cardboard with double sided sticky tape. they don't like getting their paws stuck to things so they associate the stickiness with the counters and tables. Another kitten i had previously the spray bottle someone else suggested worked for him.
@emeraldisle (13139)
• United States
30 Mar 08
Oh do I know this feeling. It's not easy at all to keep them off it. Be consistent and keep putting them off. Tell them no or make a noise at them. I found snapping my fingers and then pushing them off helps. Now if I just snap my fingers a couple of times they jump off on their own. With the water try putting a bit of vinegar in the spray bottle. They don't like the smell of it and it can make them avoid it more. It didn't work for me but I have known others it has. Good luck
30 Mar 08
Keeping Moomin off the countertop wasn't easy but I kept a spray bottle of water mixed with a few drops of citrus juice at hand. Cats don't like citrus, apparently, and he soon got the message after a couple of soakings.
• Canada
30 Mar 08
I have 3 cats, and all of them love to do the same. I usually put water in an empty spray bottle, from leave in conditioner or hairspray. After I spray them they jump down. But as you said, your cats don't seem to mind the water. Unfortunatly, its very hard to train cats. Half of the time, they do know what you want them to do, just like a dog, but they choose not to listen. You might need to find something they are scared of, to keep them off the counter. Are they scared of the vaccuum? If so, turn it on when they are up on the counters, and bring it towards them untill they jump down. Other than that, I'm really not too sure.