Why Do Cats Jump On To High Spaces And Kitchen Worktops
Domesticated cats love being in high places, such as the top of bookcases, kitchen counters and bedroom wardrobes, because they are descendants of the Proailurus . These cats were tree climbing hunters who lived in the rainforest, and would climb up trees so that they could keep an eye on the world beneath them, therefore boosting their confidence and naturally helping them assert dominance. Tree climbing also offered immense survival value, therefore becoming hardwired in their instincts.
So, if you want your cat to stop climbing all over your kitchen worktop, then you need to make sure they have enough space to do this. This can be done by purchasing you a few cat climbing polls, a cat shelf or clearing off some space at the top of your bookcase, However, this isnt the answer to your problem its the first of many steps to getting your cat to stop parading all over the surfaces where you prepare food.
Ways To Stop Your Cat From Jumping On Your Kitchen Counters
Now that we understand some of the likely reasons your cat is jumping up onto the kitchen counters and why we want to prevent this behavior, its time to go over the specific actions you can take to put an end to it. There are eight different options here for you to try. If youre lucky, youll only need one!
Why Is This Behavior Unwanted
In some households, cats might be allowed onto the kitchen counters. Some pet parents are so enamored with their pets that they just cant tell them no! But its a bad idea to let your cat up onto your countertops, for at least these three reasons:
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Give Your Cat Other High Places To Go
Your cat may be just climbing up onto the countertop because they love to climb and are looking for a way to get to a high point in the room. If you want your cat to stop doing this, you can give them another high place to climb, such as a cat tower. Hopefully, theyll decide that they like climbing this more than the counter.
Foil The Counters Edge
This ones not our favorite option, but its definitely effective. Youll have to tape a strip of aluminum foil along the edge of the counter. When your cat touches the foil, the sound and feel of the foil against their nails is a major deterrent and should turn your cat around instantly. Granted, its not a very attractive look, but if youre getting desperate, its an option you can turn to.
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Offer Alternatives In High Places
A great way to prevent cats from jumping on counters and tables is to give them something else to climb. As natural climbers, cats crave vertical challenges and will be drawn to the high locations. A cat tower will satisfy their need to climb up high.
To make their own vertical space more appealing, place it near a window. As well as getting a good spot to snooze in the sun, your cat will be able to see outside. This will allow them to watch natural prey, such as birds, to entertain their natural curiosity and instincts.
If your cat likes to jump on the counter to get away from something or someone on the ground, a nice high cat tower will make them feel much more comfortable as well as giving them a full view of the room below.
Keeping Cats Off The Table
The following is an excerpt from the Petfinder Blog.
In January, Petfinder held a live Q& A on Facebook with pet trainers Andrea Arden and Mychelle Blake. Over the coming weeks well be posting some of our favorite questions and answers here on the blog. Read our FurKeeps Q& As here.
Q: We cannot keep our 2-year-old cat off the table! We have tried everything since the day she came home at 13 weeks , but nothing has worked. Any time we turn around, shes up there.
We make sure she has food and water, play with her, pet her but she still insists on being on the table. How do we break this habit, or is it even breakable at this stage? Meg H.
A: This is a common behavior with cats who have an instinctual need to climb. Heres what you can do:
Give your cat attractive alternativesThe key is to provide her with some alternative, higher-up places to go that are appropriate, such as a cat tree, or some shelving on the walls. Make the appropriate area highly attractive to her by rubbing catnip on it, feeding her dinner on it, petting and praising her on it, etc.
Any time you see her go onto the table, quietly pick her up and remove her to the appropriate area and then give her positive attention when shes on it.
Sticky Paws is another product you can put on the table temporarily its like double-sided tape that is safe for furniture and cats do not like the feel of it.
Mychelle Blake, MSW, CDBC
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Why Does My Cat Knock Everything Off My Desk
As numerous hilarious Internet videos show, our cats seem to love to knock things off high places. Why do they engage in this funny but also sometimes annoying or even dangerous behavior?
Anyone who has cats knows they are very adept at using their paws. Watching cats play, you can see them bat at objects, paw at others and sometimes, with a twist of their little paws, hook items and toss them in the air. I know one feline patient who places his paws together to catch the little fake mouse toys that his owner tosses to him. Cats are also curious creatures, highly attracted by rapid movement. One of my cats is an expert flycatcher, while another will do somersaults in the air trying to catch the feather at the end of the fishing-pole toy. Knowing the nature of cats, it is not surprising when I hear people ask why their cats appear to enjoy knocking items off desks, tables, bookshelves, mantles, etc. I think a number of factors about this activity appeal to cats.
Part of the appeal may be linked to play-related behavior and the other part may be an expression of exploratory behavior. I think most cats start off just being curious about an object. They paw at the object to see if it moves or how it moves and inadvertently knock it off the desk. Once the cat has seen the object fall, he may be attracted by the speed of the falling object, the sound the object makes when it hits the floor and maybe even the attention, both good or bad, he receives from his owners.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Jumping Everywhere
How to Discourage Cats from Jumping on Countertops and Tables
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Never Leave Cat Toys On The Counter
If there is a cat toy on the counter, a cat might be getting the message that this place is part of his play area. After all, his human doesnt seem to mind. This is sending mixed signals to the cat. To discourage cats from playing on the counter, do not put or leave their toys here. If toys are placed here, they might even take it as a challenge making the counter a very exciting place for the cat. Instead of deterring the cat, this might even encourage him.
Spraying The Cat With Water Every Time They Go On The Worktop
Squirting or spraying cats is known as a negative reinforcement technique, and whilst some cat owners swear by it, the principle of this punishment isnt great. Think about it you, the cat owner, should always be on guard and ready to squirt your cat with water whenever they set foot on the worktop. This means that in terms of consistency, youre just telling the cat to stay away from the worktop when youre at home. Theyll also associate you with punishment as you cannot hide and squirt them all the time theyll see you do it. You will also be at risk of stressing them out and making them frightened of water.
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Be Persistent And Provide Alternatives
Cats love to jump and explore. Its simply in their nature to get up high! In general, the best way to keep your cat off the countertop is to make sure they have access to alternate surfaces. If your kitty prefers the countertop to the cat tree, it may take some time to train them to redirect to another surface. Be patient, and remember that your cat is just being a cat In the meantime, be sure to have a good non-toxic cleaner on hand to wipe up those paw prints!
How Can You Train A Cat To Stop Jumping On The Counter
Dr. Simpson says that its easier to train a behavior from the start rather than trying to modify it later, but that doesnt mean its impossible. Youll need a little patience and a few handy tools along the way. If your hungry kitty is licking the counter for scraps after youve cleaned up and stored food away, then invest in a food puzzle, or make a DIY onethey are an active and fun way to engage a cats love of the hunt.
For the more curious cats, there are a few ways to change their feelings toward the countertop. You can give the cats the high vantage points they desire in other parts of the house.
“Some people go all out and build walking ledges around the room or install shelves for their cats to explore uncharted territory, but you can more easily provide vertical living space for your cat with a cat tree,” says Dr. Simpson. “When placed near a window, a cat tree is even more entertaining for your cat.”
If the kitty condos and cat trees dont work for your feline friend, you may need to make your kitchen counter an unpleasant or unattractive place for him or her to be. Try covering the area with double-sided tape or aluminum foil to make it texturally undesirable. There are some commercially available products that deliver static charges or loud tones when the cat jumps onto the area you’re trying to protect.
Some products also deliver a burst of unscented aerosol spray when motion is detected in the area.
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Why Do Cats Jump On The Counter
Kitchen counters attract cats like a magnet for several reasons. Once you identify the reason your cat likes the countertop so much, you can use this information to modify or redirect your cat’s behavior.
- Cats love heights. Get any two cats together with a climbing tree or cat tower, and you’ll have a ready-made game of “King of the Hill.” Countertops are just high enough so that most cats can either jump up from the ground or get help from a well-positioned chair.
- Kitchen counters smell good! They’re often loaded with tempting things to eat, such as raw chicken parts, ground beef, or yesterday’s tuna casserole that’s ready to be reheated for dinner. A carelessly cleaned countertop may also be home to crumbs and spills that a cat might enjoy nibbling on.
- Cats like fresh running water. Some cats are also attracted to running water in the kitchen sink, and for many cats, this is their main source of drinking water. Although the kitchen sink is probably cleaner than the toilet, there are better alternatives for your kitty.
The Spruce / Charlotte Engelsen
Check Your Cats Feeding Schedule
Sometimes, when your cat is looking for food, its on a mission to overeat. Other times, its actually still hungry, and this could be an indication that you need to take a look at your cats feeding schedule. Maybe they need more food or an extra meal. But they could just be trying to overeat, so always keep that in mind.
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Why Do Cats Like It Up There So Much Anyway
According to a study out of Cornell University that explored unwanted feline behavior, cats naturally seek out high places to rest.
“You’ve heard the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ right?” asks Dr. Aimee Simpson, Medical Director VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia, who explains that “Cats are natural explorers, always wondering what’s on the other side of any closed door or, in this case, what’s up there on the counter. In the wild, cats seek out higher points to observe their territory, keep an eye out for prey, and to protect themselves from predators.”
Cats bodies are also made for jumping. According to Dr. Simpson, “Cats have large muscles in their hind limbs that allow them to extend and lengthen, and a flexible spine with shock-absorbing discs for a graceful landing.” Their bodies also make it possible for them to leap onto the countertop without you ever noticing.
According to Dr. Simpson, it takes just a fraction of a second for a cat to take off. This explains why you go to grab the eggs, and by the time you turn around, the cat has already burrowed its face in basil. Its endearing, but does not make for the most ideal cooking conditions.
When chopping onion and garlic, be sure scraps or pieces aren’t left out for your cat’s consumption. Other items that cats need to steer clear of include chocolate, ethanol, and bread dough.
Safety And Sanitary Reasons Why Cats Should Not Jump On Kitchen Counters
As much as cat owners want their feline buddies to enjoy their playtime, the counter is not a safe place to explore. Cats may unknowingly come in contact with a hot stove top or a pot of boiling water once they jump on the counter. They may also come across dangerous chemicals such as bleach. Food is also sometimes left on the counter and these could potentially harm the cat. Remember that most human foods are not safe for cats, these could either have too much sodium or may have little bones that can cause choking or block their intestines.
Another reason is for sanitary and hygienic purposes. Cats may knock down or topple over everything on the counter which will eventually cause a mess that needs to be cleaned. Not only this takes time for the pet owner, but it is also unfortunate to have wasted pizza, broken mugs, or shattered condiments lying on the floor.
Also, since cats use their paws in their litter box, there could be tiny particles of urine and feces left behind. Although these are probably not very harmful to humans, contamination of the food is still something that should be avoided.
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Make Counters Less Tempting
Cats climb out of curiosity. If theres nothing to explore, they will quickly lose interest in their surroundings and before you know it, they are on your kitchen counters!
Make sure theres nothing to tempt them onto counters and tables by never leaving food out. Always wipe down surfaces to remove food odours this will help to remove their temptation.
As well as food, make sure there is nothing else to tempt your cat to climb up high. This can include toys, cat nip, moving objects or windows. Consider getting blinds or curtains for windows near counters so that your cat cant see outside.
Make The Kitchen Counter A Boring Place For The Cat Make It Less Enticing
The curiosity of a cat is often compared to that of a child. If an adult is doing something, they would want to be there too. They might even offer to help or take part in what you are doing. This could also be one of the reasons why your cat is always on the counter whenever youre in the kitchen. To avoid this, make the counter a less enticing place with the steps below
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How To Stop Your Cat From Jumping On The Kitchen Worktop
Cats. You give them shelter, food and affection which leads them to the conclusion that they are in fact Gods, and we are their loyal servants who should be grateful to exist beside them. There are 8.0 million domesticated cats taking over homes in the UK , and the majority of their owners admit that their cat both literally and figuratively walk all over them. Its unhygienic, gross and also dangerous no one wants to see their furry friend burn their little paws on a hot surface .
Many cat owners face the daily struggle of trying to get their cats to stop jumping on the kitchen counter, strolling across the hob and climbing in the sink. From doing the usual, look Matilda, weve talked about this. Your paws are dirty, and food is prepared here, please stop. To picking your cat up, placing them on the floor for them to jump back onto your fitted kitchen worktop whilst staring you in the eyes, the battle of maintaining control and ownership in the kitchen seems never ending.