Pet Parenting: My cat won’t stay off the counter!

Dear Denise,

My cat won’t stay off the kitchen counter and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve tried using a spray bottle filled with water, but it does not seem to faze her. She gets down at the time, but gets right back up when I turn my back. Any other ideas for keeping her on the floor?

Thank you!

Dear Mama:

double sided tapeAs you’ve already discovered, punishment doesn’t work too well in this situation, and that is because the punishment is coming from you. If you aren’t there, nothing bad happens.

The solution to your problem is two-fold. First, you need to make you counters less attractive. In fact, make them super-no-fun at all. I’d suggest double stick tape. I know it’s a little inconvenient for you, but it should work.

When kitty jumps on the counter and her feet stick to it, she won’t like it. Just run a few strips across the counter when you leave the house. You can remove them when you get home, and you should only need to do it for a couple of weeks to instill the notion that the counter is sticky.

cat treeNext, you’ll need to make sure she has an alternative.

Do you have a high place that she IS allowed to be? If not, create one. You can do this in a number of ways, but the easiest might be to get a cat tree of some sort, and if possible, put it in the kitchen (at least for a little while), maybe by a window.

Then treat the tree with some Feliway pheromone spray, or rub it down with catnip if she likes that. That should attract her, and combined with the new yuckiness of the counter, she should prefer the new spot to the old one.

Good luck!


Denise HolmesLove. Trust. Teach. CDP, Inc
“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery