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Keeping your cats off of your kitchen counters

Keeping your cat of your counters can be a challenge, especially when they find your counters comfortable.
Eve-Angeline Mitchell

Do you have trouble keeping your cats off your counters? This may be an especially difficult problem to deal with in the kitchen, where your cats might be attracted to the smells of food. Also, counters can be cool, and your cat might be looking for a way to cool down a little. The top of your refrigerator might be a little warm, which is attractive to cats that are feeling a little cold. However, most of us don't want cats on our counters, so here are some ways to keep them off.

According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman at Petplace, one of the most important things you can do is ensure that your cat has plenty of places to climb. Cats enjoy climbing as part of their nature, so having other vertical areas in your house for him to scale may help keep him from getting interested in your counters. In addition, you can try using "click and treat" training to teach your cat to come down off the counters whenever you say something like "off" or "down." Check out the link to learn more about this.

Dr. Dodman also suggests that you remember never to leave food out. This includes scraps left over from cooking, and dirty cookware and dishes. The food that we eat isn't always suitable for cats; some of the spices we use, and of course, the vegetables that we eat, can be unhealthy for them. Even eating butter can make them sick for a day.

The ASPCA suggests not only keeping your counters free of food, but also make them unappealing for your cats. They warn against squirting them with a spray bottle, or using your hands to frighten your cat off your counter, because all that will do is make your cat nervous around you. Instead, you should work on remote ways to keep them off, because then they'll associate something negative with the counter itself, and not with you.

They suggest putting some metal cookie sheets precariously on the edge of the counter, so that when he jumps up there, he won't land on a steady surface. Plus, the cookie sheets will make a lot of noise when the fall down, as your cat jumps back down to regain his balance. They say this shouldn't harm your cat, but if you'd rather not do this, you can put aluminum foil or something else that may be loud and crinkly up there, too. This also often teaches cats to stay off of certain things.

Above all, you don't want to make your cat afraid of you, so don't yell, clap your hands loudly, or swat or otherwise hit her. Also, these things will just deter your cat from jumping on the counters while you're there. You want him to stay off the counters altogether.

The ASPCA also warns against doing anything else, or using any devices, that may harm her. The point is to make your counters feel like an uncomfortable place, somewhere he just doesn't want to be. It might take some time and patience on your part, but with diligence, you can keep your cat off your counters.

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