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A fluffy cat drinks from a small bowl on a marble countertop in a bright kitchen. A coffee maker and a canister labeled "COFFEE" are on the left, and a small cat figurine is on the right.
Pet Blog

How to Stop a Cat From Jumping on the Counter

Cats are curious creatures with many quirky behaviors, which range from kneading their humans to whipping their tails back and forth like Willow Smith. One phenomenon that kitty parents may know all too well is a cat on a counter. While some cat lovers allow their cats to chill on the kitchen countertop, it's not always the best place for kitties. Residual cleaning chemicals and hot stove tops may be dangerous for cats, and falling furs and paws that have been in the litter aren't sanitary for a cooking area. Wondering how to get your fearless feline off the counter? Keep reading!

Why Do Cats Jump on the Counter?

Cats are naturally built for climbing and have an affinity for heights. They have claws that allow them to pull up on trees and large muscles in their hind limbs that let them extend their bodies. In the wild, cats perch from tall vantage points to catch birds and pounce on rodents.

Your cool cat might climb onto the countertop because they like heights and feel curious about everything in the kitchen. If they're thirsty, they may be drawn to your running faucet. And of course, they're likely interested in the food itself — alluring aromas of chicken, fish, and other delicacies will definitely pique their curiosity.

How to Stop a Cat From Jumping on the Counter

Stopping your cat from climbing onto the countertop might take trial and error. Here are ideas that may work purrfectly with your kitty.

  • Place double-sided tape on the edge of your counter. Cats don't love feeling sticky tape on their paws, so they may stop crawling on the counter after a while. You'll need to keep reapplying the tape, though, and your kitty may learn to avoid the edge.
  • Leave crinkled aluminum foil on your counter. Not only do cats not like the feel of foil, but they also dislike the sound it makes. That said, your kitty may kick off the foil.
  • Place a plastic carpet runner on your counter. Again, cats dislike how plastic runners feel, especially when the nubby side is up.
  • Clean your counter. Clean crumbs or spills from your counter so that your cat won't look for anything on it!

Alternatives to Climbing on Countertops

How can you distract your cat? Take a paws and check out these alternatives.

  • Install climbing trees and cat towers. Mounted wall shelves are also great cat hang-outs.
  • Feed your cat. Leave kibble (like Meow and Zen Hearties from “I and love and you”) in puzzle feeders, lick mats, and other toys for them to find.
  • Replace your kitty's water supply. If your cat wants cold water, refill their water bowl or invest in a kitty water fountain at home.

With time, your kitty will learn that the kitchen counter isn't the cat's meow, so you can cook knowing that they're occupied elsewhere. Don't forget to reward them with a treat for their due diligence!