Keeping Your Cat Off of Counters and Tabletops

As a cat owner, one of the most annoying tendencies your pet might have is jumping up on to tables and countertops. Not only will he sneak a lick from your glass of milk, he’ll shed cat hair on the table or get dirt from his paws all over the counter. If you don’t want your cat up on the table and wish there was a way to keep him off, read on—a Treasure Coast veterinarian has some tips.

Remove the Reward

Your cat may like jumping up on a shelf or counter because there is some sort of reward there. It could be a food morsel that’s always there, or a comfortable bedding spot. Maybe it’s the path to a window overlooking the birdbath that your cat likes to spy on. Whatever the reason, you can deter your cat from enjoying these positions by removing the reward that’s there. Take the food away, move the bedding, or relocate the birdbath. Your cat will have less of a reason to find his way up to those spots. If your cat’s behavior persists or you suspect an underlying health issue, consult with your veterinarian about Veterinary Diagnostics to rule out any medical causes for the unwanted behavior. Ask your Treasure Coast veterinarian for more advice on removing rewards.

Offer Alternatives

Cats are natural climbers and jumpers—you don’t want to discourage this behavior entirely. Instead, offer an alternative space for your cat to jump onto. Provide a bedded windowsill overlooking the birdbath that you don’t mind your cat lying on. If your cat is always exploring countertops in search of food, perhaps he’s not getting what he needs in his dish. Make sure his food bowl is full at mealtimes. You can ask your Treasure Coast vet for the proper portion sizes and appropriate feeding times.

Environmental Discouragers

You can try to dissuade your cat from jumping to certain areas by placing an “environmental discourager” device there. For instance, place a set of aluminum baking sheets on the edge of the shelf or countertop your cat likes to jump onto. If placed correctly, the sheets will topple off of the ledge as your cat, startled, leaps away. This will make your pet reluctant to try the same maneuver again.

It’s important to never harm your cat—don’t try environmental discouraging if it could in any way injure your cat. ALWAYS ask your Treasure Coast veterinarian before attempting a scenario such as this, especially if it looks like it might be dangerous.

With patience and the right techniques, you can safely discourage your cat from jumping up onto tables and countertops. Your Treasure Coast veterinary professional can offer more tips, as well as connecting you with an animal behaviorist if your cat’s tendencies are truly a problem.

If you’re looking for a safe and enriching outdoor space for your cat, consider celebrating National Catio Day by building a catio. This enclosed outdoor area allows your cat to enjoy fresh air and stimulation while keeping them safe from potential dangers.

Contact us, your local animal clinic in St. Lucie County, FL!

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