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Persian
November 22nd 11, 07:22 PM
Q. My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I
think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on the
ground. What can I do?

A. If pressed on the issue, many people will admit that their cats
walk all over them, and that includes walking wherever they choose,
including kitchen counters. And many of those people are just fine
with that. I'm with you on this, however. I don't want my pets to walk
where I eat.

Prevention is usually a better plan than changing an established
problem behavior, which means deciding ground rules before you adopt a
kitten or cat and making sure everyone is on the same page. If you
already have the problem - or just decided it is a problem - there are
a few things you can try.

It's important to understand why your cat is on the counter in the
first place. Getting into the food probably isn't the most compelling
reason, although food certainly can add to the appeal. By nature, cats
like high places, which give them a commanding view of their world and
offer protection from natural enemies. If you're going to ask your cat
to give up your counters, you need to offer an alternative.

The ideal in your cat's mind would likely be something like The Cat's
House, the famous San Diego home of Bob Walter and Frances Mooney that
my daughter, Vetstreet trainer Mikkel Becker, had the privilege of
visiting when she attended the American Pet Dog Trainers Association
conference. The creative couple took an ordinary tract home and turned
it into a feline paradise, complete with ceiling-level catwalks that
go through holes cut into the walls over the doors.

Even if you're not willing to let your entire home go to the cats, you
can add some environmental enrichment with high cat trees with
platforms or cubbies that give your cat an appropriate place to look
down on the world. Additionally, a multistory "catio" can provide your
cat with room to climb along with a breath of fresh air. These
additions are relatively inexpensive to add to your home. Situate
these new high-rise zones near where your cat already loves perching
for the best result and make them more appealing by rubbing catnip
onto them and playing with your cat there as well.

Once you've covered your cat's needs, you can work to deter him from
counters. Make sure you keep food put away and dishes cleaned promptly
to remove food temptations. Since some cats are attracted to running
water, make sure your tap doesn't drip and can't be pawed on by a
clever cat - and offer your cat a feline fountain to meet his desire
for clean, cool running water. (If your cat seems frantic for fresh
water, get in to see your veterinarian, because your cat may be
sick.)

Now, the deterrents. Some people swear by spray bottles, but unless
you are the stealthiest person on earth, your cat will quickly figure
out that you are doing the spraying. That's not great for your
relationship, and it tends to teach your cat to behave only when
you're home. Instead, cover the counters with textures cats hate -
aluminum foil is one example; cardboard covered with double-faced
masking tape or shelf liner is another. No, you won't have your
counters covered forever, but you will need to keep them covered while
your cat learns to use the new perches. For the more determined cat,
you can look at harmless automatic devices that discourage counter
cruising by making sounds cats dislike when they trigger a pressure
pad or electronic eye by jumping up.

The trick is to make the counter experience unpleasant for your cat
without it appearing that you have anything to do with it. Above all,
resist the urge to swat or yell at your cat: It won't teach him
anything except possibly to view you as someone to avoid.

As always, if you find yourself not getting anywhere, ask your
veterinarian for a referral to a qualified behaviorist or trainer.
These professionals can spot where you may be going wrong and get you
and your cat back on track for a happier relationship.

http://catwebinfo.com/

Eddy[_2_]
November 23rd 11, 05:43 PM
Persian wrote:
> Q. My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I
> think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on the
> ground. What can I do?

Interesting question. In my many long and wonderful years with many
fine and wonderful cats I have found you CAN'T keep cats off your
kitchen counters.

But you CAN keep them off when you are in the house.

Cats are just like children in that when they think you are not around
it doesn't matter how well you train them they will trangress!

"When the humans are away the cats will play!"

My cats won't dare to leap up onto the kitchen counters because I have
trained them not to. In the early days this meant some negative
reinforcement. Provided you give lots of positive reinforcement, then a
little negative reinforcement works wonders.

It is always best, with either children OR cats, to have as few rules as
possible. Only have a few rules which are absolutely necessary, and
then stick to them and allow no infringement.

So in our household the cats know that they can ascend onto any surface
in the house at all, but NOT the kitchen counters.

Yes, that includes desk and tables, like the dining table. We are not
concerned that the cats may sit on the dining table because we are of
the kind of human being that does not actually place any food whatsoever
on the surface of the table itself (!). We use plates (!). AND we wipe
down the table immediately prior to setting it before a meal.

As for the kitchen counters, well, we have never seen a cat on them in
years! But doesn't mean to say they aren't up there! When we come back
from a long day out, for example, if it has been raining then there may
well be muddy paw-prints on the kitchen surfaces! But there's nothing
to be done about this. Cats do not possess "conscience" or intelligence
sufficient for them to weigh up their tempations and arrive at a "No!"
when they are aware that you are miles away and they do not have the
power to realise that they leave tracks or the odd hair in their wake!

Eddy.

Bill Graham
November 23rd 11, 07:53 PM
Eddy wrote:
> Persian wrote:
>> Q. My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I
>> think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on
>> the ground. What can I do?
>
> Interesting question. In my many long and wonderful years with many
> fine and wonderful cats I have found you CAN'T keep cats off your
> kitchen counters.
>
> But you CAN keep them off when you are in the house.
>
> Cats are just like children in that when they think you are not around
> it doesn't matter how well you train them they will trangress!
>
> "When the humans are away the cats will play!"
>
> My cats won't dare to leap up onto the kitchen counters because I have
> trained them not to. In the early days this meant some negative
> reinforcement. Provided you give lots of positive reinforcement,
> then a little negative reinforcement works wonders.
>
> It is always best, with either children OR cats, to have as few rules
> as possible. Only have a few rules which are absolutely necessary,
> and then stick to them and allow no infringement.
>
> So in our household the cats know that they can ascend onto any
> surface in the house at all, but NOT the kitchen counters.
>
> Yes, that includes desk and tables, like the dining table. We are not
> concerned that the cats may sit on the dining table because we are of
> the kind of human being that does not actually place any food
> whatsoever on the surface of the table itself (!). We use plates
> (!). AND we wipe down the table immediately prior to setting it
> before a meal.
>
> As for the kitchen counters, well, we have never seen a cat on them in
> years! But doesn't mean to say they aren't up there! When we come
> back from a long day out, for example, if it has been raining then
> there may well be muddy paw-prints on the kitchen surfaces! But
> there's nothing to be done about this. Cats do not possess
> "conscience" or intelligence sufficient for them to weigh up their
> tempations and arrive at a "No!" when they are aware that you are
> miles away and they do not have the power to realise that they leave
> tracks or the odd hair in their wake!
>
> Eddy.

If you don't keep any food on your kitchen counters, the cats will soon
learn that they are an uncomfortable place to be, and not go there. Our cats
would much rather sleep on the back of the couch where they can look out of
the picture window at the birds and squirrels......

---MIKE---
November 24th 11, 12:58 PM
I have never seen Tiger actually get up on the dining table BUT he
frequently puts his front paws up there. I always tell him firmly to
get down which he does with a verbal "protest". Amber never even gets
up on the bench (she might if there was a step stool there for her).

---MIKE---

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
(44� 15' N - Elevation 1580')

obsidianjg
November 24th 11, 01:31 PM
> Persian wrote:
> Q. My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I
> think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on
> the ground. What can I do?
>

As others have said, don't leave any food, and that includes plates
you have eaten from on the counters.

My husband left a plate where he had eaten a Camembert with jelly from
on the counter. There was hardly anything on it, so he thought it
safe. In the middle of the night we heard a crash. When investigating,
we found the plate in pieces on the floor and a cat slinking away.

I know my other cat loves feta cheese. This one obviously loves
Camembert...

Both cats wouldn't dare jump on the counter when they know we are
close by. But the temptation of the smell in the middle of the night
when they know we are sleeping was obviously too big.

obsidianjg

Bill Graham
November 26th 11, 04:16 AM
obsidianjg wrote:
>> Persian wrote:
>> Q. My cat is always jumping up on tables and kitchen counters. When I
>> think about where those paws have been, I know he needs to stay on
>> the ground. What can I do?
>>
>
> As others have said, don't leave any food, and that includes plates
> you have eaten from on the counters.
>
> My husband left a plate where he had eaten a Camembert with jelly from
> on the counter. There was hardly anything on it, so he thought it
> safe. In the middle of the night we heard a crash. When investigating,
> we found the plate in pieces on the floor and a cat slinking away.
>
> I know my other cat loves feta cheese. This one obviously loves
> Camembert...
>
> Both cats wouldn't dare jump on the counter when they know we are
> close by. But the temptation of the smell in the middle of the night
> when they know we are sleeping was obviously too big.
>
> obsidianjg

Tell your hubbie to try Gorganzola. Its delicious, and the cats probably
won't like it.....