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Keep Cats Off Kitchen Counters

 by jaime on 05 Sep 2014 |
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Does your cat enjoy wandering about your kitchen countertops, inspecting your cooking and getting their fur into inconvenient places? While some owners don't mind their cat doing this, for many others it's a common frustration that's not only a concern for hygiene but also the welfare of the cat.

So why does it happen?

Simply, cats are climbers.

And because they are such avid enthusiasts of being up high, your kitchen counter is just another frontier worth exploring.  

Cats like high vantage points because:
  • They can observe their territory.
  • They can escape other pets, or things that scare them (or annoy them too!).
  • Certain 'up high' places like fridges and tables tops can provide warmth and/or sunny places to nap on.
  • Kitchen counters often boast morsels of food, just waiting to be eaten up.

Many owners would prefer to stop having their cat freely access their kitchen and it's a fair call because while the kitchen is certainly a tasty place to visit, substances like cleaning products and foods that are not kind to cats are always potentially within reach.

So how do you stop it?

Firstly, accept that your cat's desire to climb and explore up high are just part of their nature and if you try to prevent them from climbing altogether, the more they are going to do it.

So, alternatives are what you'll need to supply! Choose interactive items that will invite your cat to climb, jump and explore and will hopefully reduce their desire to make their way into the kitchen. Cat trees and 'kitty condos' are perfect as many of them provide entertainment, comfort and perches in which they can observe their territory. If your cat is a big fan of watching out of windows, you can even buy shelves that attach to window sills which are specifically made for cats.

If your problem is a hungry cat rather than one that loves to climb then you may need to address their diet to find a way to stifle their desire to much on crumbs in the kitchen. If your cat is being fed one or two meals a day, perhaps changing this routine to become several small meals so they always feel satisfied. Alternatively, if your cat is at a healthy weight then you could consider free feeding them - however if you choose to do this, keep a very close eye on your kitty's weight. And remember to be constantly diligent about keeping your food out of paw's reach.

There are many methods you can adopt to keep your cat off the kitchen counter, but always bear in mind to never be cruel or put your cat at risk of hurting themselves especially if you're not always home. Some useful ideas to implement include applying sticky tape or aluminium foil along counter edges.

Remember, never yell or hit your cat for going on table tops. Never push them off counters or use devices that could physically harm your kitty. And if your cat is quite nervous, be very cautious as to how you approach this situation because it might have an even worse effect than to begin with - even scaring your cat to the point where they won't want to go anywhere in your home.

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