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How to stop cats going on kitchen worktops?

(55 Posts)
AnotherEmma Tue 30-Dec-14 11:08:44

Our kitten (who's 4 and a half months old) jumps up onto the kitchen worktops. We don't want her to do it because it's unhygienic. She has also knocked over a case of flowers (spilling water everywhere) and a potted plant (breaking the pot) that was on the windowsill. We have nowhere else we can put things to keep them out of reach!

Her and her brother aren't allowed outside yet. We're waiting for them to be neutered which is booked for a few weeks' time. So I wonder if they're getting bored of being cooped up. They do have each other to play with, and we play with them too (at least once a day).

I'm at a loss as to what we can do. Would it help to buy one of those tall cat towers for them to climb and play with? I'm worried if we buy it they won't use it and will keep jumping up in the kitchen.

We can't shut them out of the kitchen because it's an open plan kitchen/dining area, with a utility room off the kitchen, and we keep their food and water bowls in the kitchen and their litter trays in the utility room.

AnotherEmma Tue 30-Dec-14 11:09:55

PS Forgot to say, when we're there we stop them jumping up (we lift them down and say "No") but we obviously can't do that when we're not there.

thecatneuterer Tue 30-Dec-14 12:00:24

Well all mine practically live on my worktops and it's never done me any harm. While they are kittens I would just give up having flower vases etc around - it's asking for trouble.

I know some people say they have managed to train their cats not to jump on to worktops, but I strongly suspect that that only works while they are actually in the room.

My advice is to just relax about it.

chockbic Tue 30-Dec-14 12:02:22

Teach 'em how to peel a spud and get 'em working?

Seriously though...you won't once they've learned...

thecatneuterer Tue 30-Dec-14 12:04:20

My kitchen grin

KatieKaye Tue 30-Dec-14 12:06:46

cats do what cats want to do, in the main.

All of mine responded to a special whistle/clicky sound that meant "time to come in", but then it was usually accompanied by the rattling of the munchie box...

yes, get them a cat tower, but just accept they are going to go on the worksurfaces and wipe them down before you use them.

And don't keep things on the windowsill where they can get knocked over. Loads of cats love to sit and look out. the dog does too

AnotherEmma Tue 30-Dec-14 13:45:39

"I would just give up having flower vases etc around - it's asking for trouble."

"And don't keep things on the windowsill where they can get knocked over."

Hmmm. I can't help it if people give me flowers or plants when they come over (that's where all our flowers and plants have come from). As I said in my first post I don't have anywhere else I can put them.

If I had to choose between the plants and the kittens, I'd choose the kittens every time, but I'd feel guilty about throwing away plants that people have given us.

5EllipticGoldRings Tue 30-Dec-14 13:46:54

Don't have cats fgrin

AngelCauliflower Tue 30-Dec-14 13:53:10

I have given up trying to stop my newish cat going on the kitchen worktops. It seems to be her favourite place. I have cleared the window sill as she spends a lot of time there watching the birds in the garden.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 30-Dec-14 13:55:27

We put flowers in vases on the mantelpiece crowded in with smaller objects, same with empty vases, those live behind smaller objects on a deep windowsill, if there isn't a bit of empty space to get a foothold onto they tend not to jump up. We found one of ours was using a large pot plant to wee in, sorted that out by covering the compost with twiggy rosemary cuttings.

We do shout them down off the counters but work on the basis that they will be going up there when we're not looking and clean accordingly.

thecatfromjapan Tue 30-Dec-14 14:01:13

I had a friend wh insisted that the cats in my house walked on work surfaces because of my lax, North London liberal-style parenting.
Never had a suggestion as to how I might stop them, though.

AnotherEmma Tue 30-Dec-14 14:02:23

Thanks WhoKnows, useful advice smile
We moved in a few months ago and the rooms have chimney breasts but no fireplaces, I would like to get one not to have a fire but just for decorative purposes... and also so we have a mantelpiece to put things like vases on!
I do think she climbs onto the worktop to access the windowsill as she seems to like sitting on it - although there's no surface space she just sits on the things that are there, lol!

kittykarate Tue 30-Dec-14 14:43:28

The only way I manage is keep the kitchen door closed!

If they manage to sneak in they are doing a tap dance in the butter dish.

InanimateCarbonRod Tue 30-Dec-14 14:45:59

We gave up. Before we use the counter tops we give a quick spritz with antibac. It would have driven me demented trying to stop them. Never done any of us the least bit of harm.

chockbic Tue 30-Dec-14 14:55:03

Ours jumps up now he's found his springy legs.

He likes to watch food prep and washing up, so he can put his paws in the bowl.

gamerchick Tue 30-Dec-14 14:58:31

I just keep a spray bottle of milton on hand and spray the benches before making meals.

I did have a problem with the snake tank though where she kept jumping on the ends of the cabinet and staring in till the snake refused to eat. I've put piles of paper on each end overhanging the edge with clattery stuff on top so she misjudged when jumping up and pulled the lot down and left the room like a bullet. But I doubt you want to faff on like that.

TalkinPeace Tue 30-Dec-14 15:00:39

Water pistols.
Or plant sprayers set on jet

I have never EVER in 25 years allowed my cats on worktops. I think its disgusting.
I do not allow cats on any food prep or serving surface

Have the plant sprayers dotted around the house.
Aim to get the cat, from a fair distance, on the side or shoulders
a decent squirt

you'll only need to "get" them about three times
then have the squirter to make the noise as a warning

you can train cats to obey all sorts of rules : including not touching plated on the floor until tapped - with a plant sprayer

We nailed a length of dowling across the window about 10cm above the level of the window sill, so that there was a rail across, stopping things falling off. Never bothered about cats on table or work surfaces; when I was first pregnant I had a test for toxoplasmosis and was negative, inspite of my whole life spent with cats on tables ...

CatCushion Tue 30-Dec-14 15:35:28

Firstly, we kept food and water in a bathroom away from the kitchen, so they had somewhere they could be shut in away from the counters.

Then, we got one of those cat alarms that releases a little jet of air and a loud beep if a cat walks on front of it. We placed it in front of the entrance to the kitchen. We stepped over so didn't set it off, but the cats did. We let them sit by the door and windowsill and look out, but not on the counters, and closed them out of the kitchen when not in there. Kept that up for about 6 months. 4 years later, dcat still doesn't go into the kitchen area or jump on the counters.

SuburbanReindeer Tue 30-Dec-14 15:43:50

I know having cats on the work tops is minging, but I just loved thecatneuterer's photo!

I'm sure mine jump up when I'm not there so I always wipe the surface down before I prepare food on it.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Dec-14 17:02:59

I just wipe down before I cook. Which you ought to do anyway because of all the bacteria & funghi in the air.

Strictly speaking, fluff cat is not the worktop.

OddFodd Tue 30-Dec-14 17:14:18

I suspect your cats still go on the worktops when you're not there TalkingPeace. Well I'm fairly sure mine do, despite not daring to when I'm actually in the room

DulcetMoans Tue 30-Dec-14 17:15:25

I think it is possible for them to learn. We have two - one that's been with us 6 yrs and another that is just 1 yr. the older one doesn't do it and knows not to. She did when she was a kitten and we gradually got it out of her by telling her no. We had an old boy that died just over a year ago and he knew the rules too.

The younger one however is refusing to learn! She has got to the stage she knows it's bad and she doesn't do it when we are in there but we hear her jump down as we approach. But she still does it!

Same with going upstairs - they don't go up there as a rule but only older one seems to obey it. Little one again, knows it's wrong, but will sneak up when she thinks we aren't looking. She wears a bell though so it's obvious where she is!

No real tips other than consistency and perseverance!

TalkinPeace Tue 30-Dec-14 17:17:14

Oddfod
only VERY rarely - I check for footprints
and actually less and less now because I give them no reason to go up there
and a very damp reason not to
No food is left out on the worktops, the best windowsills are elsewhere in the house.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Dec-14 17:18:21

One of the Persians used to freeze when caught on the worktops with a "oh fuck she's seen me" look in his eyes.

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