How do you keep your cats OFF the kitchen surfaces?

(43 Posts)
iamnowawhaticallmother Tue 11-Jun-13 11:36:49

I have two cats who used to be very well behaved but since growing larger have decided to brazenly stroll up and down the kitchen surfaces - which drives me potty. I have no idea how to remedy this. We can't keep the door shut because of the way the house is designed.

So my question generally is how do you make your cats stay off things you need them to? (I can't use those sprays you get in pet stores in the kitchen) - I'm very allergic to sprays and things.

There is no food on them by the way.

Iwillorderthefood Tue 11-Jun-13 11:38:22

I clap my hands and say down. She seems to have got the message.

mirry2 Tue 11-Jun-13 11:39:41

Very difficult. We tried all sorts. Best solution was spreading kitchen foil over thye work surface-they hate it - but a niusance to kepp having to do it.

iamnowawhaticallmother Tue 11-Jun-13 11:41:32

I have tried that Iwillorderthefood (love the name) and they get off them - but they do it repeatedly and they must LIVE on them at night as there is cat hair in clumps in the corners. It DRIVES ME MAD. Is there any way of instilling it in them for longer than a min?

iamnowawhaticallmother Tue 11-Jun-13 11:41:52

oooh - kitchen foil? Good idea.

IME, you can't!
If you don't see them doing it, it's because they're doing it when you're not looking ;)

My cat knows she isn't allowed up (she's always trying to get up to drink out of the tap, despite fresh water in bowl, and untouched fountain!)
She goes up anyway-gives herself away as she makes a little cat grunt as she jumps-then I come in and she jumps back down looking guilty.

Sometimes when I come home, I'll see her through the kitchen window, jumping back down.

Little buggers.

HansieMom Tue 11-Jun-13 11:44:28

They hate being sprayed with water. If you can sneakily do it so they do not see you spraying it, it works better.

yetanotherworry Tue 11-Jun-13 11:46:57

We've managed to train our cats to not jump on the surfaces by clapping or sending the kids after them However, we do have a mysterious set of muddy prints that appears on the worktops every night. Hmmm!

We just live with it and I make sure I wipe the surfaces down before food preparation which I suppose is a good habit to be in anyway.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 11:49:40

Tight discipline when they're young. (Exclusion from The Presence for a period of time for offences.) Usually takes them a day or two to learn not to offend - but then I have Siamese and they train beautifully.


Anything on the floor is fair game though. You can train them away from important areas easily enough but you can't make their entire lives a mass of rules. 'OI ! ' usually works well enough if you've forgotten something and left it lying but they probably won't remember well enough not to do it again.

MrsMagpieCovetsShinyThings Tue 11-Jun-13 11:50:30

you can't. we've been trying for 4 years. we tell them to get down and squirt with water and they do get down for about 5 mins until our backs are turned

It wouldn't even occur to me to try. I even feed some of them on the work surfaces to give them a chance to eat without being pushed out of the way by the very fat ones (who are too fat to jump up - so there's a thought - you could make them all very fat smile ). If I want to use a work top I just wipe it first (or just brush the hairs off - I'm quite relaxed with that sort of thing and it seems to do me no harm).

PollyPlummer Tue 11-Jun-13 12:22:32

I clap my hands or tell her to get down when I am about, but never bothered with much more. She still does it when we are out though. We just give the surfaces a good clean before food prep.

Rikalaily Tue 11-Jun-13 12:25:45

I don't, I just wipe the surfaces down ALOT. They will get down if I say 'get down' but I can't keep my eye on them all of the time and they are all locked in there overnight.

Bramshott Tue 11-Jun-13 12:26:05

I don't - I just wipe the surfaces every time before I use them.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 12:27:07

I'll confess that I don't like it thecatneuterer . It's not primarily an issue of hygiene (given how close I am to my cats, I really can't get too worried about that) it's a matter of safety. Kitchens are potentially quite dangerous areas and I don't like the thought of cats jumping up - and sending glass, china or hot something skidding and falling, interfering with cords to appliances, or (horrors) going on to a hot hob and ending up with melted paws.

In fact, I'll often send the cats out of the kitchen if I'm doing a big or complicated cook (so that they don't get underfoot) but at least I know they're not going to jump up and disturb something I'm doing on a surface.

Yes I do worry about the hob cozie, particularly as one of them seems to like sitting on there. So I always leave a pan covering any hot part until it's completely cooled down, just in case. Cats seems perfectly capable of negotiating glasses, plates etc though, just as they do in other parts of the house.

Mind you I've never done anything that could be regarded as 'complicated cooking', so that's not going to be an issue with me.

ClaraOswald Tue 11-Jun-13 12:38:32

Mine don't. They also avoid coming in the kitchen when I am cooking as they have had various foodstuffs poured on their heads as a result of getting underfoot.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 11-Jun-13 12:41:14

You can't . The best you can do is train them to stay off the worktops when you are there. Then you can pretend to yourself that they have learned to stay off smile

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 12:43:08

Well there's the interesting thing, thecatneuterer. Once they're trained to avoid kitchen surfaces, they also seem to avoid other surfaces in the main house eg they don't go on tables, sideboards etc. (Although I've never worked out what the common factor is in their minds.) I've not trained them to that - they just seem to do it automatically.

Well that is interesting cozie. I've never had any success at training any cat to do anything. They are quite good at training me though smile

I've just had the urge to upload some photos of cats on my work surfaces to my profile page. I really should take more photos though - sometimes you can barely see work surface for the amount of cats on there. And some have even learned to jump up further to the top of the wall units, where I've put a couple of blankets for them.

chickensaladagain Tue 11-Jun-13 13:27:53

I use a grapefruit scented kitchen cleaner (made by method, I buy it from homebase)

They don't seem to like the smell

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:33:12

Goodness, I feel the urge to say 'OI!' even from here!

Great pics. grin

I've been trying to work out what the criteria are for training them. It's not just the Siamese (although they do seem to be so easy) because the non-Siamese also seem to mind their manners as well.

I'll have to mull it over.


Ha ha cozie. Even if they could hear you they'd be totally bemused. They think it's their kitchen and they just allow me to use bits of it occasionally.

deliasmithy Tue 11-Jun-13 13:55:45

I think you can train cats and they do know where they shouldn't go. The issue is more whether they are tinkers enough to keep disobeying!
I luckily can shut my kitchen door.
They also know climbing the shelves is banned. One of them will climb them in front of me. I sternly say no and she pauses and looks at me waiting to see what I'll do. If I move as if to get up she promptly runs off, if not she keeps climbing!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Jun-13 14:11:41

I gave up, he completely forgot himself when we moved and decided that a new house equals new rules, plus he can see the patch where the rats live from the kitchen window so that settled it.

I use e-cloths to wipe up now which is cheaper than constantly spraying multi surface cleaner everywhere.

It is easier with subsequent cats if you have well trained older cats. My bad cat seems to have grown up knowing there are some rules she must never transgress.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 14:14:37


Lol fluffy.

And what's an e-cloth?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Jun-13 14:19:13

It's a microfibre cloth but the fibres are triangular (I think) and very densely packed, you just wet it and wring it out to wipe down and dry it off with a tea towel.

They are brilliant on windows to because ours get nose prints all over them from when he's watching the birds.

£10 for a pack of 5 in tk maxx or £17 (!) off the e cloth website.

Burmillababe Fri 14-Jun-13 20:16:28

I don't, I'm afraid! My lot aren't too bad but my parents cats are always doing it. I am a flaky cat 'parent' - my idea of discipline is to ask them nicely not to do something! It's easier than having a battles of wills as they will ultimately win! grin

Hassled Fri 14-Jun-13 20:18:12

I shout "DOWN" very loudly at them. It's possibly the only thing my cats have ever managed to learn.

I don't. they are not allowed up there when im cooking that's it, one jumps from work surface to fridge then onto the top of the cupboards to get to the top of the boiler and sleep. They are not allowed on the shelf's in the living room but I know they get up there when im not in, when im here though wont go near them, been shouted at to many times for knocking over my photos.

hugoagogo Sat 15-Jun-13 18:21:53

I must have been really lucky-the two rescue cats I have had never even tried to go on tables or surfaces.

I don't remember any of the ones I had at my dms doing it either.

I wonder if people get them into bad habits when they are kittens-giving them food up there or something?

QueenStromba Sat 15-Jun-13 18:33:40

Wait 10-15 years until they're too old to jump that high.

Ruralninja Sat 15-Jun-13 18:35:43

I hiss at them in a demonic fashion & they hop down sharpish.... doesn't last long

cozietoesie Sat 15-Jun-13 18:40:35

You do have to train them young, hugo - when they're too small to make a really easy jump. (When they start to look interested, sniff, or wiggle their backsides in a preparatory fashion.)

cozietoesie Sat 15-Jun-13 18:41:03

Having said which, Seniorboy was trained pretty quickly when I got him at 13.

tabulahrasa Sun 16-Jun-13 11:21:13

Mine are still too small to make a really easy jump (I for some reason have two mini cats) and one's a Siamese and I've only managed to train them not to do it if they think I can't see them.

cozietoesie Sun 16-Jun-13 11:59:56

Yes. The trick is to get them to do it when they think you can't see them - but with Siamese, anyway, that boils down to them not looking at you. (I can't see her so she can't see me etc.....)

It's patently obvious when they're thinking of a jump (from body language) and a firm NOO...OOOO.....OOO to a kitten who has his back turned to you leaves them thinking you're omniscient. grin

tabulahrasa Sun 16-Jun-13 12:36:19

My computer's in the kitchen, so I'm in there with them a fair bit when they think I can't see them, it's made no difference catching them at it, lol.

To be fair, I'm a failure at cat training anyway - the only 2 things I can get the Siamese to do (the other one does nothing, she seems fairly oblivious to my existence most of the time) are...

1 Come when I call her, but she also comes when I call the other cat, the dog or the DC - so actually I think it's more a case of, ooh she made a noise, she must want ME

2 She meows when I say 'say meow' but, getting a Siamese cat to meow isn't exactly an accomplishment is it? rofl

Oh Oh - she used to jump into my arms on command from the floor, but she can't do that since she got arthritis sad

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 23-Jun-13 10:29:53

We were really strict about it when our cat was a kitten because at the time we had one of those flat electric hobs that take ages to cool down. She would get a very firm telling off. She is a hellcat in so many ways but she doesn't like being told off so got the message eventually.

A couple of times over the years she has tried it out again to see if the rule still stands and has been told off big time. I then don't give her any attention at all for a couple of hours, so she knows it's a complete no no.

She will then come up to me all cute and apologetic and it will all be forgotten. smile

I am constantly wiping down my kitchen sides so it's not the hygiene bit that bothers me, I'm just terrified she will hurt herself. Like I said she is a complete nightmare in so many ways but she seems to have really got the idea that counter surfing is a definite no no. I never find cat hair on them or anything so I assume shes not going on there at night either.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 10:39:18

Not going on work surfaces is one of my few house rules so I'm equally strict about it and it works. The Siamese boys don't even try to test the envelope after a short while.

The Lodger, who was a street cat previously, used sometimes to forget himself while in hot pursuit but one sharp 'OI' from me and he would be down and away in confusion. I think you just have to mean what you say to them - and I'm so laid back on most things that genuine disciplining really hits home.

frogwatcher42 Sun 23-Jun-13 10:48:06

Ours don't. I couldn't cope if they did. I can even leave chicken or ham on the worktop and they will be miowing on the floor but if I leave the room wont jump up to get it.

Mind you we were very strict from the word go. Stop reading this now if you don't believe in being a bit mean to animals....

As soon as they were old enough and jumped on table or worktop, we picked them up, shouted at them and gently threw them off the work surfaces each time they went on. Or if too far away we screamed and charged at them!!. The result is that they don't get on the table, side table, coffee table or any surface except the floor in the kitchen.

My parents two cats don't either and they did similar.

But all of them are spoilt rotten in other ways - sleep on beds, clothes, and seem to rule the household. They repay us by waiting for us to get home and welcoming us like a dog would, and playing games with the dc such as hide and seek, and IT. They are almost as good as a dog and seem to love us to bits so we cant be that mean !!

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