Cats are incredibly nimble creatures. They are also intensely curious animals. Combine these two facts, and what do you get? A pet that will likely end up on your countertops, that’s what.
To keep cats off counters naturally, use materials they don’t like. Line the counter’s edge with double-sided tape or tinfoil, two things that cats hate to touch. You can also place baking sheets on your countertop or lay out sheets of tinfoil that will make noise when your cat jumps up.
Cats are very particular about things they like and don’t like, read on to get some ideas of ways to keep your cat off your counter – the natural way.
Line the Edges With Double Sided Tape
There are a few sensations that cats cannot stand. One of them is having tape stuck to their fur. If you’ve ever witnessed a cat step on a piece of tape, you’ve likely also witnessed them shake their paw violently to try and get it off as fast as possible. You can use this tape-hatred to your advantage.
Line the side of the counter with double-sided tape. This tape has a sticky finish on both sides so that it will stick to the edge of the counter and stick to your cat’s fur if she comes in contact with it. As your cat jumps onto your counter, she’ll brush past the tape, and her fur will stick. It won’t have enough hold to harm her in any way, but she will be greatly annoyed by the sensation.
- Pros: All-natural, simple, and effective.
- Cons: You may have to replace the tape often, and your clothes could stick to it as well.
Mold Tinfoil Around the Counter’s Trim
Similar to tape, many cats do not like the feeling or sound of tinfoil. If the tinfoil is crumpled up into a ball, the cat might play with it, but if you mold some tinfoil around the edges of the counter, it can deter your kitty from venturing up there. As tinfoil is touched or moved, there is an abrasive sound that may affect the cat’s highly sensitive ears, and that’s why they prefer not to touch it.
- Pros: You likely already have tinfoil in your house and can modify it immediately.
- Cons: Having a tinfoil edge on your counter is not the most aesthetically pleasing solution on this list.
Lay Out Sheets of Tinfoil on Your Countertop
Again, cats hate coming in contact with tinfoil. By laying out sheets of tinfoil on your countertop, your cat may still jump up, but she’ll likely jump off immediately once she realizes what she’s standing on. You might prefer this solution to the cookie sheets below since tinfoil is low-profile enough that you could leave it on the counter while you go about your normal routine.
- Pros: This fix is fast and easy, and affordable.
- Cons: You have to be okay with spreading aluminum foil over your counters.
Place Cookie Sheets on Your Counters
Another extremely effective way to keep cats off of countertops is to lay out some sort of baking sheet or plastic ware that will make a lot of noise if the cat hits it. You can place baking sheets upside down on the counter, and that way, if your cat lands on them, they will make a loud sound.
Some people also leave plastic cups that are easily knocked over when a cat lands on a counter. Your cat won’t expect the sudden noises, and her first instinct will be to run away from the commotion.
- Pros: This is a simple solution that is sure to scare your cat away the first time it happens.
- Cons: As your cat becomes used to the sounds, she may not be scared of the clatter the third or fourth time it happens. Cats are also highly intelligent, and if you leave the trays in the same place every time, she could easily remember where they are and avoid landing on them.
Leave a Bowl of Citrus Peels on Your Counter
Cats hate the smell of citrus. Lemon peels, lime juice, grapefruits, and oranges are all citrus fruits that cats cannot stand. If your cat is jumping on the counter, you can try leaving out a bowl or two of citrus peels to keep your cat away. You can also lay the peels out on the counter directly or spread them out on newspaper for easy clean-up.
- Pros: This is an easy-to-do, all-natural way to deter cats from a certain area of your home or garden.
- Cons: It may not work for all cats, and keeping fruit peels for an extended period can attract fruit flies.
Keep Your Counter Clean
If your cat is jumping onto your counter to look for food, you can slowly lessen her habit by keeping your counters clear. Whenever you’re not actively cooking, put all food in cupboards or airtight containers. Avoid having bread or baked goods on the counter, and rinse any dirty dishes right away. You shouldn’t keep any recycling or cans on your counter either; cats will be extremely drawn to cans used to hold tuna or even empty beverage containers.
- Pros: Your home will feel larger and more inviting with clean countertops.
- Cons: This won’t stop your cat from jumping on the counter, but she may learn over time that there are no treats up there for her and lessen the behavior.
Buy Your Cat a Cat Tower
Cats are famous for loving high places (but they still get stuck in trees), so your cat could be hanging out on your counter because she likes the elevation. In this case, you may be able to tempt your cat away from the countertop by creating an even better place for her to hang out. A cat tower lined with carpet will be a more comfortable perch than a cold countertop. You can create extra temptation by rubbing some catnip into the seat at the top.
- Pros: Your cat will love her cat tower, and it will be your pet’s own space to rest.
- Cons: This is not the cheapest nor most space-conscious solution. Your cat could also already have a cat tower, and she still chooses to venture onto the countertop.
Buy a Running Water Fountain
One of the most common reasons why cats jump onto counters is to reach the sink. These felines love running water, preferring to sip fresh H2O rather than the stagnant liquid in their dish. Some cats even nap in the sink, though if you tried to bathe them, they would run for the hills.
You can try and keep your cat out of the sink by buying her a running water fountain. These devices are pet bowls with a small motor in them that keeps the water running constantly. Your cat will likely be satisfied to drink from her dish instead of the sink if her water is running.
- Pros: If your cat is a fresh-water fiend, there’s a very high chance that a running-water bowl will keep her off the counters.
- Cons: These gadgets take up a lot more room than a normal cat bowl, and if it doesn’t work, you may have wasted your money.
Cats love to spend time on counters for many reasons; running water, high viewing point, snack hunting, and spending time with you. While your cat might not have negative intentions, having pets on your counter is not very sanitary for a cooking space. Try the natural solutions in this article before turning to any sort of disciplinary behavior to which many cats do not respond well.
- David Suzuki Foundation: How to Keep Cats Out of the Garden
- PetMD: Why Do Cats Get Stuck in Trees
- ScienceMag: Cats rival dogs on many tests of social smarts. But is anyone brave enough to study them?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.