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How to Keep Cats Off Kitchen Counters & Tables (6 Proven Methods)

Ashley Bates

It’s no secret that cats love heights. Some may be more inclined to jump than others, but it is a totally expected behavior that you can’t untrain—however, you can channel it. Some owners feel a little wary about their cat’s paws traipsing on sanitary spaces when they freely climb in and out of their litter box.

No one wants poopy paws where they eat. So, how do you keep these entitled felines off the counters and tables they so rightfully own? We have a few ideas that could reduce or eliminate this issue altogether.

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Why Do Cats Jump on Counters?

Jumping is a natural impulse for cats. It isn’t a behavior that they can stop entirely. In nature, cats use their impressive jumping abilities to climb trees and other high platforms to chase prey and run from potential danger.

You can consider this behavior inevitably embedded into their DNA. It isn’t something that can be “trained” out of them, but you can redirect them to more favorable high points in the home.

Are Squirt Bottles Effective?

Even cats that are curious about water really don’t like being sprayed with it. Many people keep squirt bottles handy to spritz the perpetrator every time they hop up on a forbidden surface. But is it really for the best?

The bottom line is that spraying cats with water is not a means of positive reinforcement—but a punishment. Your cat could have trouble correlating being on the counter with being sprayed.

It can also make them feel afraid of you. Instead, it’s best to use positive reinforcement training to get the results that you really want.

You can strengthen your bond much more if you use positive tactics rather than harsh consequences for expected behavior. divider-cat

6 Proven Methods to Keep Cats Off Your Counters & Tables

1. Sticky Tape

Cats hate having things stuck to their feet. Many companies make double-sided sticky tape specifically to deter cats from scratching and climbing. If you place these sticky pads on the edges of your counters, your cat will quickly learn to avert these unwanted territories.


2. Buy a Kitty Condo

Maybe your cat just needs something of its own to climb upon. Kitty condos are excellent because they give your cat the vertical leverage they’re looking for. Plus, they give them lots of warm snuggly places to nap, scratch, and hide out.

You can make a really fun DIY project out of it, creating your own. Or, you could even buy one premade that is super unique and interesting for your household.


3. Get Wall Climbing Posts

Companies make wall posts that fit on the studs of your walls. You can arrange them as you see fit, allowing your cat to jump up as many levels as you wish. When they have something enticing like this, it could prevent or deter them from jumping on places you’d rather they not be.


4. Put Up Some Perches

If your cat craves being at the highest point of the house, you could buy perches for your kitty to delight in. There are tons of options to choose from, such as bridges, wall hangings, and other high platforms. Your cat will love having something to call their own and might just steer clear of your countertops.


5. Use Scent Deterrents

Depending on exactly where you were applying it, you can always use some scent deterrent for your cats. Certain smells really repel felines, like citrus, for example. So, if you use one of these fragrant compounds, they might think twice about getting up on the counter.

The entire concept is to make the area undesirable. There are plenty of safe, natural cat repellents available online. Or, you can use some natural DIY scent deterrents, like lemon and water.


6. Put Objects Up That May Scare Them Away

If you want to take a different approach, you can always put something up that your cat really doesn’t like. Whether it is an object they’re scared of or something that makes them uneasy, placing an item like this on your counter or table might make them resist jumping.

Every feline will be different. So it’s up to you to determine exactly what you feel they don’t like so you can implement it in your favor.divider-cat

Final Thoughts

It would probably be best to use a combination of tactics to keep your cat from your countertops. One method alone might not suffice, but the more measures you take—the better. Some ideas might work better for some felines over others, so it might be trial and error at first.


Featured Image Credit: OceanicWanderer, Shutterstock

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.