Keeping your cat off worktops and counters
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Keeping your cat off worktops and counters

Cats
General

One thing that is certainly true about cats is that they don’t take well to training or being told what to do, and so if you’re having a problem with your cat in terms of them going into places that they shouldn’t do or generally getting up to no good, it can be hard to tackle the issue! One of the biggest challenges for many cat owners is keeping their cats off their kitchen worktops and counters, or other areas where food may be served or stored.

There are a whole multitude of reasons behind why cats often like to jump onto worktops or even go to sleep on them, as well as of course, just as many reasons for why many people find this inappropriate, with hygiene and stray cat hair in the food being just two of them!

In this article, we will take a little look at why some cats are so keen to get up onto the worktops, as well as what you can do to try to stop them doing it! Read on to learn more.

Why do cats like counters?

The reasons behind why cats like getting up on the counters are multiple, and learning to understand some of the main ones can give you a head start when it comes to keeping them off!

First of all, the most obvious reason behind why cats are sometimes fascinated with counters is because they associate them with food. Food preparation and cooking takes place on worktops and counters, and often, that is where the cat food is plated up and decanted from as well, giving the mysterious counter a lot of feline-appeal!

Secondly, the angle and height of counters mean that your cat cannot get a good line of sight to see what is going on on them, and as cats are very inquisitive, they will want to investigate!

Thirdly, counters are higher up than most chairs and tables, and cats love being up high-it gives them a feeling of security, and allows them to keep an eye on everything that is going on around them!

Finally, counters also have other potential appeals too, such as a good view out of certain windows, or a natural warmth due to the ovens or other cooking equipment used under and on top of them!

So, how can you keep your cat off the counters, given all of these appealing characteristics?

Provide alternatives

First of all, if you want your cat to give up something good, you will need to provide them with something better in its place! This may mean a warm snuggling spot, but is much more likely to involve a bed somewhere high up, such as by investing in a cat climbing frame with a bed at the top of it!

Also, if you have a utility room or other area with counters where it will not matter if your cat climbs, consider placing a bed for them in this area, in order to give them a similar alternative that will not bring them into contact with your cooking!

Keep food off the counter

While the majority of your food preparation is apt to take place on the counter, try to get out of the habit of keeping food that you have prepared or have not yet finished off the counter itself. This also means washing up and clearing your plates as soon as dinner has finished!

Removing food from the counters may remove some of the appeal to your cat, and help to keep them away!

Prepare your cat’s food elsewhere

Similarly, if your cat has built up an association with the counter and the place where their own food comes from, this is an association that you may have to break in order to keep your cat from jumping onto the counter to look for food, or to encourage you to speed things up when you’re preparing it!

Don’t store or plate up your cat’s food on the same counters where you prepare your own food, and if possible, feed your cat in another room entirely so that they do not get used to the idea that your food and their food comes from the same source.

Close your cat out

Finally, if your cat really won’t keep off the counters and is forever trying to investigate them or walk dirty paw prints where you will be doing your cooking, closing your cat out of the room entirely might be the best solution! This is a kinder and less stressful alternative to other methods of keeping your cat away such as using spray bottles of water or telling them off, as within the home environment, this can increase your cat’s stress levels.

Simply making it a blanket rule that the kitchen door stays closed at all times and is a cat-free zone may be the only sure-fire way to keep your cat from sleeping on or walking on your food prep surfaces!

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