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Old 12-22-2013, 06:03 PM
Location: The Northeast - hoping one day the Northwest!
1,107 posts, read 1,124,017 times
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My husband and I recently adopted a kitty from animal services. Great cat, very friendly and loves people! However, the only issue we have is that he LOVES to jump on the kitchen counters. We have two other cats that never did this. He even broke a dish by jumping up on the counter.

Another thing we are scared of is if he jumps on the stove when it is on, since he has jumped on the stove (luckily it was off!) When we are cooking, a lot of times we will tend to place him in another room, but I don't want to continue doing this. For example, today I am baking brownies for work tomorrow and when they are cooling - I'll need to keep him in the other room, since I don't want him to get to the brownies and I can't keep an eye on him 24/7.

He is a male (he is not fixed yet, he is going to be, but when we adopted him he had a uri and they wanted that gone before the surgery)

Any advice? Looking for more positive reinforcement. Once he is fixed, do you think it could stop the jumping?

thanks in advance!
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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Neutering a cat will not stop jumping on the counters. Some cats do and some cats don't. It has nothing to do with age, sex or where you got the cat.

Do not wait until the cat is neutered to try to stop the bad behavior. Try to stop it now before it becomes an ingrained behavior.

Some suggestions

1) Keep some spray bottles filled with water in various spots on the counter. Spritz the cat quickly and say no" anytime he gets up there

2) Motion activated air horn for cats. This little gizmo will emit a burst of compressed air if the cat is within range. Some can also be set with squawky sound and air if the cat comes near

3) Scat Mat strips. These are battery operated plastic strips that you place where you don't want the cat to be. If the cat lands on one, it will receive a jolt of static electricity. Quite harmless. I have a couple and have tried them on myself before using with a cat.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:59 PM
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Congratulations on your new family member!

Give him his own elevated space in the kitchen. Install a shelf on the wall, or put a little table somewhere or give him a spot on top of the fridge. When he jumps on the counter, simply move him to his own spot.

Spraying water will only teach him to stay off when you are there. I don't recommend it.

The ssscat or buzzer things would be more effective as far as training since they will go off whether you are there or not. I don't like the electricity ones. I don't believe in causing pain to train.

But even if you use one of those remote type deflectors, give him a spot in the kitchen where he can be up at your level and see everything going on.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:45 AM
112 posts, read 221,761 times
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I feel your pain
You've gotten good advice, some of which I'm going to be trying myself! So far, having a spot that they can be in the kitchen seems to be helping. My resident cat, Miles, only started jumping on counters when our previous cat passed away. And then he continued it when we moved. So we had hope he would stop it. We have a spot now in the kitchen where he can be elevated and see out a window. I'm thinking about it now, and since then, he hasn't jumped on the counters much. The new guy though is a rascal. I need to make a seperate spot for him and see if that works. For now, we spray with water and tell him no and place him down in another room. I'll try to distract him in another room also with toys and such, but as soon as he hears you in the kitchen he comes running.
good luck!
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:36 AM
Location: FL
1,117 posts, read 1,707,143 times
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My Orion thought the table was a good place when he was a kitten but was smart and would only get on it when I was gone. I don't like scaring or using pain to reinforce either and saw what amounts to strips of tape in the pet store to deter cats.

I got a roll of packing tape and made a 'tablecloth.' I placed it sticky side up on the table and secured it. Orion quickly learned the table was not a place he wanted to be. He's 11 now and has never shown an interest in the table, he also doesn't get on counters or anywhere else I tell him not to go. It also worked for my more intrepid cat Joe who doesn't seem to be afraid of anything.
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:53 PM
Location: California
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My cat Neptune does this too. It's gotten better since I gave him a dedicated place on a counter to be his spot to sit and watch. But he'll still jump up on the other counter when I'm cooking to sniff the food. When he does this I say "NO" in a loud, stern voice and roughly pick him up and put him on the floor. Not rough enough to hurt him, just to make it clear that I'm not picking him up to be affectionate. If he stays on the floor while I'm cooking or in his spot on the counter I give him a treat to reward his behavior.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:09 AM
Location: Ft. Myers
17,631 posts, read 11,084,828 times
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Chewy has always been a counter cat, but he knows his boundaries. We allow him on the counter top that runs around the kitchen but not on the lower surface where the sink or cooking surfaces are. He generally sticks pretty well to those limits, but if he gets too nosy we just say in a stern voice "CHEWY !" and he will go back to his spot.

Daisy gets up there too and is learning her limits, and Lucky is not a jumper, so he can't get up that high. I did worry about Daisy in the beginning because she didn't understand the stove top was hot, but she has matured and no longer jumps up there when I am cooking. She does like to jump up on the fridge and look down on us though.

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Old 12-26-2013, 01:42 PM
Location: Colorado
11,628 posts, read 7,199,518 times
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I was also worried about my cat getting into misfortune near the stove top. We have a gas stove, and he has fluffy fur, so yeah...the two make for a scary thing for Mom to worry about.

I know that when I'm not there he's going to do whatever. I don't leave anything cooking on the stovetop when I'm not in the room. If something has to cook a long while, I just sit at the kitchen table with a book to read, near enough to see if anything is amiss.

But I use orange scented Clorox wipes to wipe the counters frequently, and Nimbus hates the smell of 'em. And we put a folded blanket on top of the upper cabinet in a corner, so he can be up high and watch stuff, he can access it without getting on the counter, he has a sort of cat-ledge from a partial wall that he can jump from to get on the cabinet tops up by the ceiling. When I've caught him on the counters, I order him sternly and loudly with the same word every time, "DOWN!" and a pointing finger. When he complies, I give him a treat. Well the problem with this is that he knows that the sequence of events leading to treats involves getting into mischief in the first place. Once I realized this, I simply started pulling him off the counter if he doesn't listen, without the treat. But I do give him treats in a specific spot on the kitchen floor...and never let him eat while on the counter.

So yeah, it's a struggle. I'm not interested in training via negative reinforcement. Sometimes he listens to me telling him to get down, sometimes I physically remove him. But he's not the most persistent cat, I don't think I've ever had to remove him more than 3 times (when there was something REALLY interesting on the counter) before he got the message and wandered off, flicking insulting gestures at me with his tail.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:08 AM
Location: Wandering in the Dothraki sea
1,350 posts, read 1,266,399 times
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Sounds like you have a climber

One, try leaving sheets of tin foil on the counter when you're not arround. Supposedly cats HATE the noise/feeling of foil under their feet. Strips of double-sided tape works as well, I've had luck with that. Keep a spray bottle on hand...the key is to make the counter as unattractive as possible.

Two, I agree with a previous poster that suggested another 'high rise' location in the kitchen for your cat. Maybe with some catnip and treats on top of it to encourage your kitty to go there instead.

Good luck with your new fur baby
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