How to Stop a Cat From Jumping on Everything

Thwart her lofty goal with booby traps and appropriate alternatives.
Thwart her lofty goal with booby traps and appropriate alternatives. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Oh, cats are curious, alright. Too curious -- about the dining table, the bathroom counter and the mantel full of fragile things begging to be knocked down. If you're tired of it, combine simple training techniques with alternative outlets for jumping to encourage Katty to stay off.

Lofty Goals

When your cat jumps to places he’s not wanted, he’s probably not doing it to annoy you. Maybe the spot he wants happens to be the most comfortable napping spot in the house. Perhaps he simply enjoys the perspective of being more than a foot tall, or the ability to see out a window. According to the ASPCA, successfully teaching your cat not to jump hinges on embracing his high-climbing ways rather than insisting he stay grounded. Train him where not to jump and provide some acceptable perches, and you will reach a happy compromise.

Stick to It

Cats don’t like sticky or rough textures. Covering the places you don’t want them to jump with something they would rather avoid teaches them that jumping there has a negative consequence. Place strips of double-sided tape or loops of tape on counters or other hard surfaces. When a cat lands on it and touches the tape, odds are he’ll flee the scene. Keep the tape in place until he learns the area is a no-go zone and stops trying. Sandpaper and carpet protection plastic with the spiked side pointed upward also work.

Sound the Alarms

Cats also hate loud, unexpected noises. Booby-trapping forbidden spaces with noisemaking items discourages jumping, but it risks frightening your cat and making him skittish. The ASPCA recommends stacking baking trays on an offending surface. They will rattle and send the cat running but won’t cause lasting emotional distress. Clapping, yelling or making other noises may keep the cat off the counter, but you risk keeping him away from you, too. Motion-sensitive devices sold at pet stores that snap or move when a cat jumps nearby serve the same purpose.

A Place of His Own

In conjunction with teaching him where he’s not allowed, provide your cat a few safe items for him to climb on and explore. Pet stores carry a variety of cat furniture ranging from short stools to ceiling-scraping towers. In addition to an outlet for climbing, a piece of cat furniture gives your furry pal something to keep his mind active. Adequate toys, beds and playtime keep him happy and distracted, leaving less time for him to get bored and look for trouble on top of the bookcases.

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