How to Stop Your Cat from Jumping on Counters and Tables

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Most people don‘t want their cats on their kitchen counters, and it makes sense. Litter from the litter box gets caught in the pads of their paws and they can track that up where you prepare food. However, even if you have no personal hygienic reason for not wanting kitty on the counter, he still shouldn’t be there. After all, your can doesn’t really know what he is going to land on when he makes that big leap from floor to counter. Do you really want him to land on something hot that could injure him, such as a hot stove top or food that is just out of the oven? A cat could get severely injured paws this way. So, how can you stop him?

The trick is to use something he hates to discourage this habit. Most cats hate sudden, loud noise, so if you make a loud noise in his face when he jumps up, he’ll quickly jump back down. Soon he’ll begin to associate the loud noise with that particular activity and he’ll stop. So what can you use to make a loud noise?

An empty soda can with a few pebbles or marbles in it is one good idea. Shake it in kitty’s face so it rattles loudly and startles him. He won’t like that. If you also say no several times very loudly he may soon stop jumping as soon as he hears that command. Some people believe growling is a good idea. This is how your cat’s mother would teach him what is allowed and what is not. It’s cat communication at its most basic and easiest to understand.

A bottle filled with pebbles could also be used, but the noise is slightly muted by the plastic or could be dangerous in glass. Another idea is to roll a few sheets of newspaper up and slap the counter right in front of him with it. Then if he does not jump down, pick him up by the scruff of the neck and place him on the floor. Never scoop him up from the table and cuddle or kiss him, as this is a positive reinforcement and will encourage him to jump up next time he wants some attention.

Spraying kitty with a spray bottle full of clean water is another method of discouraging the habit of jumping onto the counter. If kitty simply won’t stop jumping, try doing several things at the same time. Keep a child’s horn – the sort you can blow into – nearby. As soon as kitty gets to the top of the counter, blow the horn and spray him with the water. If you can do this behind his back so he doesn’t see you doing it, that’s best, because he may learn to distrust you if he sees you doing these things. But if you can startle him with noise without him seeing you and do it every time you see him up there, he’ll soon get tired of all that noise and stop.

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