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How to Get a Cat to Stop Jumping on Kitchen Counters (8 Proven Methods)

The affinity cats have for climbing things is well known. Many cats are constantly on the prowl for the highest perch in the house, willing to climb up to those heights by whatever measures are necessary. Often, this leads to cats climbing all over your furniture, including couches, bookcases, and kitchen counters.

It’s a bit unsanitary for your cat to be slinking around your countertops, not to mention the safety concerns. Nonetheless, it’s a behavior that many cat owners witness. So, what should you do to stop your cat from jumping up onto your kitchen counters? We’ve found eight great methods to prevent this behavior. Hopefully, one of them will be the right solution for your cat!

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Why Is This Behavior Unwanted?

Black and white domestic cat lying on modern kitchen_Sarah McGraw_shutterstock
Image Credit: Sarah McGraw Shutterstock

In some households, cats might be allowed onto the kitchen counters. Some pet parents are so enamored with their pets that they just can’t tell them no! But it’s a bad idea to let your cat up onto your countertops, for at least these three reasons:

  1. Your cat could easily end up creating an unsafe situation if it were to knock over a dish or glass and break it, creating many sharp shards that could harm you and your cat.
  2. Not everything on your countertops is safe for cat consumption. While you probably don’t have anything poisonous to you on your counter, some things that are safe for humans can be toxic to cats, like garlic and onions.
  3. If your cat puts its paws in your food or sheds some hair on the counter, it could contaminate your food, introducing bacteria and possibly more into the food you’re going to eat.

Why Your Cat Is Jumping Up on the Counter

Sometimes, understanding a problem gets you halfway to a solution. So, before we discuss the ways you can stop your cat from jumping up onto your kitchen counters, let’s go over the reasons why your cat is even exhibiting such behavior.

  • Your cat can smell food on the counter or cabinets that it wants to get to.
  • Your cat is just trying to climb up to a high point, such as the top of your cabinets. They may just want to relax or sleep there.
  • It’s possible that your cat is jumping onto the counter in an attempt to escape another pet.
  • If you’re cooking, your cat could just be attracted to the smell of your cooking and be jumping on the counter in hopes of getting a bite.

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The 8 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Jumping on 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, it’s 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 you’re lucky, you’ll only need one!

1. Foil the Counter’s Edge

This one’s not our favorite option, but it’s definitely effective. You’ll 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, it’s not a very attractive look, but if you’re getting desperate, it’s an option you can turn to.

a roll of aluminum foil on countertop
Image Credit: FabrikaSimf, Shutterstock
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2. Try Some Sticky Tape

Here’s another option that’s a bit inconvenient. It’s similar to putting foil on the counter’s edge, only this time, you’re just putting a strip of sticky tape there. Again, cats hate the feeling of the sticky tape, just like the aluminum foil, so it will discourage your cat from climbing up. Unfortunately, this method can cause damage to your counters if you’re not careful about the tape, so don’t leave it on too long or the adhesive might not come off again easily.

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3. Keep Your Cat in Another Room While Cooking

cat sleeping near salt lamp
Image Credit: Robert Hale, Shutterstock

Often, cats are simply attracted to the delicious smells of your cooking. If you find that your cat is jumping up onto the counter whenever you’re in the middle of making a meal, then it might be time to bar your feline from the room whenever you’re cooking.

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4. Positive Reinforcement Training

Cat’s don’t do too well with punishment, but they generally respond well to positive reinforcement. Rather than yelling at your cat for being on the counter, you can try enticing them to get off and rewarding them for doing so. Try tossing a toy or treat on the floor whenever your cat jumps up onto the counter. When your cat gets off the counter to go after the reward, then give them some positive reinforcement in the form of love and nice words in a pleasant tone.

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5. Utilize Deterrents

Certain things will naturally deter your cat, such as citrus scents. If you use a citrus-scented spray on your countertop, it can repel your cats and put an end to their climbing up. As a bonus, your kitchen will smell delicious.

citrus oil_Monfucos_Pixabay
Image Credit: Monfucos, Pixabay
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6. 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, they’ll decide that they like climbing this more than the counter.

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7. Keep Your Countertops Clean

If you have food scraps and old dishes on the countertop, the smell could be enticing your cat into climbing up to try and get a taste. Clean off your countertops well and avoid leaving any food scraps out to dissuade your cat from making the trip.

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8. Check Your Cat’s Feeding Schedule

Image Credit: Pixabay

Sometimes, when your cat is looking for food, it’s on a mission to overeat. Other times, it’s actually still hungry, and this could be an indication that you need to take a look at your cat’s 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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If you’re starting to get frustrated by the fact that you’re always finding your cats on your kitchen counters, then one of these eight solutions might finally put an end to this behavior and help you take your kitchen back. Cats are curious creatures, and they love to climb, so kitchen counters are often victims of their exploration. You can put a stop to that, by deterring your cat, using positive reinforcement training, ensuring there’s no food left out, keeping your cat out of the room while you cook, or one of the other ways we’ve covered. We’ve provided so many options in the hope that you’ll find the right fit for you and your feline, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

See also: How to Keep a Cat From Jumping Over a Gate (8 Tips & Tricks)

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Featured Image Credit: EkaterinaSid, Shutterstock