Tips On How to Keep Your Cat Off the Kitchen Counters

Keeping your cat off the kitchen counters serves dual purposes—it mitigates potential hazards for both felines and humans.


For example, a cat sauntering across a hot stove risks injuring itself. Moreover, a cat that has recently visited the litter box could track waste onto countertops, a particular concern for places where food is prepared.


Understanding the Feline Fascination with Counters

Cats gravitate towards kitchen counters for multiple reasons. They love elevated spaces, they’re enticed by the smell of food, and some are attracted to running water from the kitchen sink. Understanding these motivations is the first step in changing your cat’s behavior.

cats on top of kitchen counter
cats on top of kitchen counter

Practical Tips to Deter Counter-Jumping

Here are some methods to encourage your cat to stay off the counters:

Sticky Tape Solution

Applying sticky tape to the counter edges can be an immediate turn-off for cats. The disadvantage is that you may need to reapply the tape frequently, and it could leave a sticky residue.

Aluminum Foil Trick

A strip of crinkled aluminum foil on the counter’s edge will deter cats both with its texture and noise. However, this method might interrupt your regular kitchen activities.

Clicker Training

Using a clicker for positive reinforcement can be effective. Offer a treat or toy to lure the cat off the counter and click to signal the positive behavior.

Furniture Rearrangement

Removing chairs that serve as launching pads to the counters can limit the cat’s access.

Legal Jumping Targets

Invest in a cat tree or climbing tower to provide an alternative elevated space. Occasionally, place treats at the top to make it more appealing.

Cleanliness is Key

A clean counter is less likely to attract cats. Ensure that it is wiped down regularly to avoid leaving tempting crumbs or spills.

Water Bowl Management

If the cat prefers sink water, consider refreshing its water bowl more often or investing in a cat water fountain.

Toy Distractions

If your cat is seeking stimulation, offering ground-level toys can divert its attention from the counters.

When All Else Fails

cats on top of kitchen counterIf none of these methods prove effective, a feline behavioral therapist may be needed to introduce new techniques tailored to your cat’s behavior. Always consult your veterinarian for any health-related concerns regarding your pet.

By using a bit of creativity and staying “one jump” ahead, you can successfully curb your cat’s desire to explore the kitchen counters.

What methods have you found most effective in keeping your cat off the kitchen counters? Share your experiences below!



  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.