Cats love to be where the action is and up high in any room. In the kitchen, the counters are prime real estate. This can make it very frustrating to train your cat to stay off of the counters.  Sometimes it seems impossible to train a cat to keep off of counters.

Cats do what they want and think they can jump anywhere in the house.  I assure you that with much patience and consistency, you can train your cat to stay off of the counter.  There are many methods one could use to train a cat; these are the ones that I found to be the most helpful. Remember to only use training methods that are safe for your cat. Physical harm, such as hitting, should never be used as a punishment to train your cat.

Counter Solutions

One way to make the counter space less appealing to your cat is to cover the counter in foil.  When the cat jumps on the counter, the foil can scare the cat and eventually, the cat will no longer jump on the counter.  Unfortunately, some cats don’t mind foil which is where double sided tape comes in handy.  While this might be initially inconvenient, placing double sided tape on the counters can be an efficient method for deterring kitty away from the counter.

This is usually effective; unless there is something wonderful on the counter that kitty really wants.  It is important to also not leave anything on the counter that would tempt your cat to counter surf.  Don’t leave any food or dishes on the counter that might make your cat curious.  Removing the yummy treats from the counter might make your cat less interested in the counters.

No-Go Areas

Not allowing your cat into the kitchen will definitely keep your cat from counter surfing.  This might be inconvenient for some people, but for others this is the perfect solution.  One easy and inexpensive training tool is heat or movement sensors.  These will detect when your cat is trying to enter into the kitchen and make a loud noise or blow air at the cat.  These are very effective and can help keep your cat out of the kitchen all together. 

Feeding your cat in the kitchen can cause your cat to be an avid counter surfer.  Feeding your cat in the kitchen can cause your cat to associate the kitchen with food.  Preparing their food on the counter will definitely cause kitty to make an association with the counter and food.  This will make it difficult to keep your cat off of the counter.

As a solution, try feeding your cat in a different room.  Also, try preparing your cat’s food where they can’t see you do it.  This will cause your cat to no longer associate the counter with food.  Lastly, don’t store your cat’s food bowl or food on the counter.  Keep them where they cannot see them or get to them.  The laundry room or the garage could be a good place to keep food and food bowls.

Active Methods

Using a squirt bottle or a water gun can be a great tool in training your cat to stay off of the counters.  This method is most effective when the cat doesn’t see the bottle that you are squirting them with.  When done patiently and consistently, this is an extremely effective method because it causes your cat to associate the counter with something unpleasant. The downside is that this method can only be done when you are home and actively watching the counters.  You can also use a noise to scare your cat off of the counter as well.

Another active method is to give your  cat their own special place in the kitchen.  Putting a cat tree in your kitchen or giving them their own special place in the kitchen can be very effective in preventing counter surfing.  Giving your cat somewhere better than the counters to explore and play on can definitely deter your cat from being interested in the counters.  It is also helpful to reward your cat with a treat or attention so that way they associate their cat tree or special place with something good and continually choose to jump there instead of the counter.

Outdoor Cat?

And of course, the easiest solution would be to just have an outdoor cat.  Unless you have an outdoor kitchen, this method is a sure fire way to keep your cat off of the counters.

Time and Patience

This is not an exhaustive list of methods to keep your cat off of the counters.  There are many more out there.  You can combine these methods and you might need to try a couple of different ones until you find the one that best trains your kitty to stay off of the counter.  Training your cat can be very frustrating and the important thing to keep in mind is to be patient and consistent.

Training your cat to stay off of the counter or training your cat to do anything takes time. The most important thing is to only use training methods that are safe for your cat.  And of course, never resort to physical harm to punish your cat.  Throwing items, hitting, or kicking your cat is always a horrible and ineffective training tool.

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