How To Keep Cats Off Counters Like A Pro

Keep your cats safe and your surfaces clean 🐱

how to keep cats off counters

If you catch your cat jumping up on the counter every two seconds, you’re definitely not alone. There are a whole bunch of reasons why your cat might be like this. But just because he loves being up there, that doesn’t mean you do.

You just want to keep your BFF safe and your counters clean — but how?

We spoke with Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian with Hepper, to find out how to keep cats off counters.

Why do cats jump on counters?

There are a few reasons why you might find your cat jumping up on the counter all the time.

“Some of it goes back to their innate hunting instincts,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo. “Cats also may want to jump on the counter to get away from other smaller pets or children. They may also just want to get more up to your level to interact with you or to get at food left out.”

Should you keep your cat off the counter?

While your cat may love the vantage point from up high on your counter, it’s actually not the safest place for him to be.

“Cats can get hurt if they fall from even a countertop height,” Dr. Bonk said. “They can also get into things that they shouldn’t, such as cleaners or human foods that can make them sick.”

How to keep cats off counters

There are a few things you can do to keep your cat off the counter.

1. Give your cat something else to climb

Your first step should be to redirect your cat’s urge to climb to something he should actually be climbing, like cat trees or shelves.

“These will also serve as a place to get some alone time away from dogs or children,” Dr. Bonk said.

Try this cat tree from Chewy for $85

Or this cat window perch from Amazon for $25

2. Give your cat individual attention

If your cat’s jumping up on the counter to get on your level and interact with you, it might be because he feels he’s not getting enough attention. So try dedicating a little more time during your day for some one-on-one TLC.

3. Get him a treat toy

And if your cat’s on the counter to get some food, a treat dispensing toy could give him what he’s looking for and keep him entertained at the same time.

Try this treat dispenser toy from Chewy for $8

4. Try deterrents

If none of those things have gotten your cat to stop jumping on the counter, you might want to consider getting something that will deter him from wanting to go up there.

“Try deterrents such [as] putting cookie sheets or aluminum foil on the edge of your counter to make an unpleasant noise when they jump on it,” Dr. Bonk said. “Putting tape sticky side up may also work. Placing towels or newspapers on the edge of the counter so that they will slide off when they jump up is another idea.”

The important thing to keep in mind about deterrents is that you’re going to want to pick ones that won’t harm your cat.

Here are some the Anti-Cruelty Society recommends:

By making it unpleasant for your cat to be on the counter, he’ll eventually decide on his own that he doesn’t want to jump up there anymore.

5. DON’T spray your cat with water

You might think spraying your cat with water can be a good deterrent, but it won’t actually create the outcome you want.

“Punishing a cat with a spray bottle or yelling typically doesn’t work because they associate the negativity with you rather than with being on the counter,” Dr. Bonk said.

So if you weren’t sure how to keep cats off counters, at least now you know you have options.

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