How to Keep Cats from Jumping Onto the Kitchen Counter

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Cats can be discouraged from jumping onto the kitchen counter by applying clear double-sided tape to the edges of the counter or by creating attractive areas in other parts of the house. Avoid giving a cat any attention when it jumps on the counter with help from a professional pet behavior consultant in this free video on cats as pets.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Care
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Video Transcript

How to keep cats from jumping on the kitchen counter. First of all, if your cat likes food, which many do, you don't want to leave any food open and out on the counter to attract them because that's just creating a bad habit. So, if you do have food, at least keep it covered, otherwise your cat is going to get great reinforcement every time they jump up on the counter and get something delicious to eat that's made it a great fun thing for them to do and even if your cat only gets something once in a while it actually turns more into playing the lottery for them and if they are getting a treat once in a while by jumping on the counter then it makes it even more tantalizing the next time. So again removing all those items would be a good place to start. The other thing that you can do is to make the counter an unappealing place to be. So if your cat is jumping up on to the counter you can use something like Sticky Paws and Sticky Paws is a product that's actually just a double sided tape so if you can't find this you can buy some double sided tape and it should work the same way. So this comes in strips and you peel off a strip and it has two sides to it. You lay this clear sticky tape down right on the edge of the counter where your cat's going to be hopping up and then you're actually able to remove the paper part and it leaves a clear film behind. The great part of this is that your cat's not able to see that there is anything on the counter so they're likely to try jumping up and you don't need to scold them in this situation just allow them to jump up and feel that their paws get stuck on there then instead of thinking that the counter is a wonderful place to be they'll find it a lot less appealing. Cats don't like to be stuck to things. Again I would avoid disciplining your cat in these situations because cats will just think that you're upset and they won't necessarily understand that it has to do with their behavior. The other problem is if they don't do it when you are around because you are disciplining them when you are not around to discipline your cat they are still going to get away from it so again keep the counters clear and you can use something that's unappealing to your cat that they can't necessarily see so even when you remove that tape your cat still thinks that it is an unhospitable area to be. The other thing to keep in mind is your cat is probably jumping on the counter because it's high up. It's an attractive place to be in the cat world to be on high vertical surfaces so one way to keep your cat from jumping up here is to make sure you don't give them any attention or affection when they do, even talking to them and telling them to get off or removing them physically can be some type of attention. So you want to create other spaces that are comfortable for your cat. These can be window perches, high scratching posts, maybe a shelf that you clear off and make interesting for your cat to be on but usually they are up in these areas because they want to be in a high space so if you create high spaces for your cat they are less likely to seek out the areas where you don't want them to be.

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