We all love our cats. They’re as much a part of the family as – if not more than – little cousin Jimmy who likes to talk about his car too often or about his favourite obscure Danish Death Metal band. It can be frustrating seeing perfectly well-behaved cats online, especially when looking at pet social media influencers, but that’s down to persistent training.
Just because we love our cats, doesn’t mean that we want them to be walking around our food or scavenging from our plates in much the same way they don’t expect us to eat out of their food bowl during dinner time. Cats do, however, love to prowl around on kitchen worktops and on tables, where there is a good chance of finding food while at the same time getting a vantage point from higher ground. Getting your cat to stay off of these perches can be tough, but the following training tips will hopefully help.
Why do cats like being on worktops?
There are a plethora of reasons that cats like to be up high on worktops, though the main reason is so that they can survey a larger portion of the house/their territory, while also giving them the sense of dominance over the area.
Another reason is that worktop is prime picking grounds for bits of food, while the dining room table can also be a reliable source of plates and food. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the food on these surfaces is particularly great for cats to eat, however, so you should always be careful about what you leave laying around when your feline is on the prowl.
What can you do to stop them?
The best way to reduce the chance that your cat will jump up onto counters and to dining room tables is to give them something else to perch on like a tall scratching post or a vertical climbing stand. These work particularly well next to windows so that your fluffy family member can have a great view and fell king or queen of the hill. It will also provide some more interesting scenery than a front row seat to the kitchen.
What if they still won’t stop?
If your cat already tends to climb on your work surfaces, then there are some simple ways to convince them that this isn’t where they should be. One great way to do this is to bollard the area with pots and pans so that they learn that this isn’t somewhere that they can comfortably sit, and in turn makes them find new places to hang out. Another ingenious idea is to line the places that they frequent with tin foil, as cats don’t like the feel of metal under their paws. This works just as well if not better than pots and pans as you can still use the work area. This may not be as practical on a dining table, however.
Once your cat has learned that their usual haunts aren’t as ideal as they used to be they should quickly find better alternatives for their vertical vantage points. Cats can take longer to train than dogs as they’re a bit more stubborn, though over time these tricks should help to curb your cat’s behaviour.
This post was inspired by an article by Iams, who we recently worked with on a large shoot involving a whole bunch of our cats and dogs.