With an instinct to jump onto higher places, you will find your cat usually likes to hang out on your countertops. In the wild, cats normally jump long distances and climb trees to find food, and move around to stay away from danger. Hence, it’s no surprise when your feline pet shows similar traits when living with you.
Trying to keep your curious pets from exploring the kitchen table can be a daunting task. That doesn’t mean it’s fine to allow your kitty to surf through the counters. This bad habit is unsanitary and can cause potential danger to both the pet owner and the cats.
Teaching your furry creature to stop climbing on counters is not easy, but some strategies have proven effective. In this post let’s find out why cats jump onto counters and how you can keep them from counter hopping.
Why Do Cats Like To Jump On Counters?
Before you take the necessary steps to keep your cats off the kitchen counters, you need to understand why they prefer to climb on the kitchen counters. Kitchen counters are like magnets for cats for various reasons. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why cats like to explore counters:
- Smells Interesting:
Kitchen counters are often filled with lots of interesting and tempting items. This includes freshly cooked delicious meals, leftovers from yesterday’s dinner ready to be reheated, and raw meat being thawed for preparing dinner. All these together make it a happy spot for them to keep visiting to satisfy their hunger.
Besides food items, they may also find other stuff like utensils, spice bottles, and even small things interesting to play with. Cats usually play around with these items, considering it to be an artificial mouse.
- Love of Heights:
By nature, cats have a great attraction to heights. Known as natural climbers, if they happen to come across anything in your house that’s raised, your cat will surely give it a try. You won’t be able to stop them from scaling heights to satisfy their curiosity.
In addition to curiosity, sitting perched up high allows them to scan for food. Heights also give them an added sense of security, knowing predators won’t sneak up on them and attack. With countertops being high enough, most kitties prefer to jump onto it either from a chair or directly from the ground.
- Access To Fresh Running Water:
Most cats have an attraction towards the running water in the kitchen sinks. The sink faucet turns out to be irresistible and the main source of drinking water. While in the wild, cats prefer to avoid drinking from stagnant mud puddles. They always opt for running springs or streams as their drinking source.
This might be because cats find running water tastier to satisfy their thirst, especially during the summer. If your kitchen counter has a sink attached, your pet creature will surely check the sink out.
Be it licking up the last remaining drops on the sink basin floor or drinking for a leaking tap, your furry buddy will have more interest in the kitchen sink. This is why it is essential to keep a cat water dish clean and refill it with clean water regularly. Even if the kitchen sink might be clean, it’s advisable to discourage them from hopping on the counter to avoid getting hurt
- Feeling Boredom And Seeking Attention:
When your cat gets bored, they often jump onto countertops, either searching for fun or some mischief. Being able to explore the kitchen counter gives them some excitement. They also get excited while seeing the frantic response of the pet owner when they jump onto the table.
These responses often confuse the cats easily, making them feel encouraged to repeat the same behavior. Some cats may even climb on the counter to grab your attention to play with them. To avoid this, make sure that your furry friend has an adequate amount of catnips, cat toys, cardboard boxes, and yarn balls to play with.
How to Discourage Your Feline Pet From Jumping on Kitchen Counters?
Here are some effective ways in which you can prevent your cats from jumping onto kitchen countertops.
1. Correct The Behavior Early:
Don’t allow your feline pet to get into the habit of climbing on the counters often. Make sure to correct them each time they jump up. By confronting their actions sooner, you will be able to correct their behavior easily. For instance, whenever they climb the countertops, they refuse to give them treats.
2. Keeping The Counters Clean:
Cats usually climb the countertops due to curiosity or in search of food. If they do not find anything on the countertop to explore, they will slowly lose interest. Remember to wipe the surfaces clean to get rid of food odors, as it can be tempting.
Even well-behaved cats may find delicious food tempting and end up jumping onto countertops. Carelessly cleaned kitchen counters will have lots of spills and crumbs for your feline pets to nibble on. Clean the counters thoroughly and make sure there are no food leftovers on the table.
Once they come across leftover food crumbs on the counter table, it gives rise to the counter exploring behavior. Also, feeding small meals frequently will keep them from scavenging the counters. Also, make sure that your countertop is free from other objects like sharp knives, hot vessels as they can hurt your pet.
3. Evaluate Their Feeding Schedule:
Hungry cats are more likely to scavenge kitchen counters for food, especially when you cook meals. Try feeding them right before you cook or changing their food type to see if it works. If they stop climbing, you need to adjust their meal time accordingly.
Some cats tend to overeat at times, so you need to pay attention if they sneak onto the counter. To avoid this, consult your vet to decide on your cat’s feeding schedule. This will help you figure out if any changes have to be made to make your pet less focused on hunting for food scraps.
4. Provide Climbing Alternatives:
As natural climbers, you won’t be able to do much in stopping cats from climbing. The best way to deter cats from getting onto kitchen counters is by offering them other alternatives. Get the different types of kitty furniture or vertical higher spaces near windows, where they can see the outside world. By looking outside, they will be able to satisfy their curiosity and instincts.
5. Modify and use deterrents:
Modify your kitchen counter surface using materials that feline pets usually avoid walking on. This includes using sandpaper, double-sided tape, plastic mats, and aluminum foil. Placing it close to the counter edges will be the first thing they step on when they climb the counters. Once they dislike the surface, they will surely jump down quickly.
If your countertops have windows where they can sit and watch the outside world, go ahead and get some curtains or blinds for your windows to discourage sightseeing.
With an adequate amount of training, your cat will come to an understanding that counter surfing is not accepted. While training your feline buddy, make sure to remain patient and understanding – remembering it’s their instinct. Treating them roughly can result in your cat showing undesirable stressful behaviors.