Counter Conflicts: Why Cats Get Up On Counters & How To Keep Them Off

There are reasons why cats get up on counters, and the cats think they're good reasons!
Thomasina, why do cats get up on counters? My cat is always on the kitchen counters, and he's driving me crazy!
-- Annoyed

Hi Annoyed!
Cats get up on counters for a few reasons, and we think they're very good reasons. But there are ways to keep him off if you really want to.

Let me tell you why cats get up on counters first. Maybe you'll change your mind.

Why Cats Get Up On Counters

Some cats get up on counters so they can have a drink from the faucet.
One reason why cats get up on counters is because we love being in high places. We feel safe when we're up high, and we can see everything that's going on around us. We're also out of the way of all the annoying activity that's going on on the floor.

When your cat gets up on the counter in the kitchen, he can keep a close eye on you, and he probably loves that. I imagine he finds you and the things you do in the kitchen very interesting!

Here are some more reasons why cats get up on counters.
  • The kitchen counter is where you prepare your cat's wet food. When he's on the counter, he might be telling you he's ready to eat.
  • Some cats get up on counters because they smell good. After all, that's where you prepare your food, too, and the counter smells like whatever you made for lunch or dinner.
  • For some of us who live with other cats, the counter is a private place where we can be away from everyone else and eat or nap in peace. 
  • Some cats get up on counters so they can have a long, luxurious drink from the kitchen faucet. 

How To Keep Cats Off The Counters




Could you compromise with your cat and give him a little piece of counter to call his own? If you give him a little bowl of treats or dry food in a corner that's out of your way, he'll probably stay there to eat and watch you.

If that won't work for you, here are some ways to keep him off the counter. I feel very guilty telling you these things, but my human typist says I should.

  • Attach some bubble wrap to the counter. It doesn't have to stay there forever! Your cat won't like the sound of claws popping bubbles and will decide it's best to just stay on the floor.
  • Balance some lightweight cookie sheets on the edge of the counter. They'll crash on to the floor when your cat jumps on them. He won't want that to happen more than once or twice! The cookie sheets could also disrupt his line of vision, so he won't try to get on the counter at all. Beware though: Once he notices the cookie sheets are gone, he might start getting up on the counter again.
  • Make a solution of lemon juice and spray it on the counters. Most cats hate the smell of lemon juice. 
  • Put double stick tape in strategic locations on the counter. Your cat won't like the sticky feeling on his paws and will stay away. Again, you have to do this for just a few days.
  • If all else fails, use an electronic deterrent to keep him off the counters. Take it from me, the ones that make a high pitched noise that can be heard only by cats really work! 
  • Never use a spray bottle. That will just teach your cat to get up on the counter when you're not around and could make him afraid of you.
Hope this helps, Annoyed. I hear cans opening, so I need to get on my way. Oh, in case you're wondering. I eat in a corner on the counter! 


Today's Recommendation
This electronic deterrent
really works.
















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