Know how to keep cats off the counters with these top methods!

The thought of how to keep cats off the counters must have crossed your mind many times upon seeing your cat jumping over literally every high point of your house and ending up damaging stuff. However natural this jumping flex might be for the cats, it’s a bad behavior and should be discouraged. Love for exploration and anatomical support allows the cat to jump and they utilize it fully.


However, this fun activity may pose them to various risks along with the family members too. With jumping cats, there can emerge threats of:

  • Food contamination with cat saliva
  • Severe injuries to the cat or owner
  • Ingestion of foreign objects by cats
  • Hygiene issues

Let’s move on to understand the problem closely and see how to keep cat off counters.

Reasons why cats love to climb over the counters

how to keep cats off the counters

Before you move on to explore how to keep cats off the counters, it can help to know why they do so in the first place. The following are the probable reasons:

  • Cats have a natural love for heights and they are good climbers too.
  • Curiousness is a common behavioral trait of cats that makes them want to explore the parts that they cannot see from down below.
  • Attractive stuff placed on the counters lures them to explore.
  • Running water highly attracts the cats and this makes them go back to the basins time and again.
  • Cats just do some activities that stimulate them and jumping to new heights appeals to their senses best.
  • They are also good observers and they might want to know what you do on those counters.

Distracting the cat from climbing up on the counters

After all, cats are pets that can be trained or manipulated softly into behaving rightly. On that note, giving them alternatives can be a great way to distract them from going for unwanted activities. We are talking about meeting their jumping needs with better alternatives so they never have to look at the counters.

Let’s see some tricks you can try:

  • Windowsills can be a great distraction where the cats would love to climb and sit. Keep them clean to make them desirable to the cats. Put cat mats on them to make them extra comfortable and exciting.
  • Use climbing toys for cats like cat trees or high collapsible beds that can stimulate them greatly into performing the tricks they love to if you want a simple answer to how to train cats to stay off counters.
  • Make the alternative climbing spots more appealing by adding a cat’s favorite scent substances to them like honeysuckle or catnip. You can even place their favorite toys on them.
  • Every time your cat does the right jump, praise her and treat too. However, don’t make it a habit.
  • Keeping the cats engaged is very important because they get bored easily and may begin exploring around which is their intrinsic nature.
  • Use more of the resources that we discussed above in case you have many cats in your house. This is to avoid competition so that none of them gets ignored for doing the bad behavior.
  • Training methods can also help to reinforce positive behavior in cats. Clicker training is one good example of such methods where you can distract your cat with any reward and press any clicker at the same time. This will make them associate the treat with that sound in time and they will look forward to it.

Preventing the cat from climbing up on the counters

how to keep cats off the counters

Some cats just don’t take no as an order enough for stopping any activity and it is here that you must also know about the methods to deter the cats from climbing on the counters. Following the preventive methods also complement your attempts at training the cats to behave properly. It’s always better that you go for the softer methods first and then increase the intensity as the situation calls for.

Here are some tips you might use if you are aiming at keeping cats off counters:

  • Upon seeing your cats trying to make a jump, strike a loud clap and hurl a “No” at them. Although it’s advisable that you don’t try to physically handle them at this moment, but you can try picking them and placing them somewhere else if the situation calls for it. This can be made easier by praising the cats when they obey your orders.
  • You must make sure that the counters remain clean of any stuff that might intrigue your cat enough for climbing to catch it. If your kitchen counters are particularly invaded by your cat, then make sure there are no food scraps or leftover food on it.  Carefully seal the food kept to avoid it being contaminated and also rinse off the dishes nicely to prevent the cat from jumping.
  • Citrus cleaners are a good idea to try when thinking about how to keep cats off kitchen counter. Cats dislike the citrus smell so a citrus-infused cleaner can act as a great deterrent for the cats from jumping off the counter-top. Make sure to use these cleaners for wiping clean your kitchen counter every time.
  • Double-sided tape can prove to be a great hack prop when you are trying to deter your cats from jumping onto the counters. Stick the tape all around the edges and it will irritate the claws of the cat every time it touches it. With time, this lesson will get seeded into the memory and they will hesitate to the same next time.
  • Booby traps can also be a funny yet effective way out. Take cans filled with some coins in them and place them at the loose edges of the counter. As they will fall when the cat shakes the counter, the noise will startle the cat and prevent it from trying the jump again.
  • Similarly, you can use different devices or set-ups if you have been thinking about how to keep my cat off the counter. Some good examples are the Snappy Trainers, Cat repellants, Plastic mats, etc. that work on the idea of creating loud sounds or motions to disturb the cats by startling them and preventing them from doing any undesirable activity.
  • Make sure to remove and keep away any supportive structures that might be helping the cat to reach the counter. It can be any chair, box, mini-table, or anything else and you must ensure that such things aren’t anywhere near the useful counters.
  • At the same time, it is important to observe the intensity and timing of your cat’s jumping behavior as any exaggerated physical activity can have all the possibility of any medical issue lying underneath. If it has been a sudden behavioral change consult an animal expert immediately.

Practice caution too

Here is what you don’t have to do while sorting how to keep cats off the counters:

  • Never give harsh punishments to your cats because that won’t help the situation at all.
  • Never try to remove the cats from the counter with physical force as they might fall and hurt themselves.
  • Don’t use harmful devices or deterrents that can cause major physical damage to your cats like real mouse traps or gaseous sprays.
  • If your cat does the jumping and climbing extremely occasionally and is usually meek, then it’s better to practice some mild behavioral training with her only.
  • If nothing works out, consider seeing a feline behavioral expert who might give you the right suggestion for the situation.


We hope that it will be easier for you to now decide how to keep cats off the counters as we have listed all the top methods along with the right approach to carry them out. We would suggest that no matter what you do, just be soft on your cat to make her feel uncompromisingly cared for and loved.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.