If you’re trying to find ways to keep your cat off of your kitchen counter tops or furniture, here are some effective techniques.
First, keep this in mind. The key to teaching your cat to stay off the counters is “negative reinforcement.” Your cat needs to learn that jumping on the counters produces a negative result. Also, you need to realize that cats are natural climbers, so you need to have a cat tree, cat shelves, or something that your cat is allowed to climb onto.
Method 1: Spray Bottle
This method works, but is not the most recommended because you take the chance of your cat associating YOU with the negative results. But here’s how it works…
Keep a water spray bottle handy at all times. Any time the cat jumps onto the counter, give it a quick little squirt (not in the face). The trick is to not let the cat know that the squirt is coming from you because that will just teach him that the negative results only happen when you’re around.
Method 2: Soda Cans On A String
This method also works, but is not recommended as much as method 3. But here’s how it works…
Tie a few empty soda cans together across the edge of the counter. Put a can on one end of the counter, then a string, then another can, then more string, another can, etc. Space the cans every 2 – 3 feet. Tie the string high enough than when the cat jumps up, he will trip the string, pulling the cans over. The noise will scare the cat.
The problem with this technique is that it could scare your cat a little too much, resulting unnecessary anxiety for your cat.
Method 3: Surface Covering
This is my most recommended method. The goal is to create some type of surface on the counter that is uncomfortable for your cat to walk on. You’re not looking to cause pain, just discomfort. The best things to use are double sided tape, upside-down contact paper, or upside-down plastic carpet runners (with the little plastic pokey things).
All you have to do is place the tape, contact paper, or carpet runner on top of the counter. When your cat steps on it, he’ll feel the sticky tape or contact paper, or step on the pokey things on the carpet runner, and realize he doesn’t like the feeling. Within a few days, he should have no interest in jumping on the counter. It works great!
Remember, don’t ever punish your cat for jumping up on things. Instead, practice negative reinforcement to change his behavior. He’ll lose interest in the bad behavior before you know it.