Training Your Cat To Stay Off Counters And Tables

I’m sure you’ve all seen that meme that says, “Kittens are like buttons they’re cute until they press you.” Cats are such sweet little creatures, and I’m sure every pet owner has had some experience with them.

But just like toddlers, kittens can be hard to handle when they get into mischief. If your cat is doing something on your counters or tables that you don’t want them doing like eating food off of it or using it as a high place then this blog post is for you! 

We’ll show you how to train your cat not to do these things by preventing access to these surfaces in the first place, creating a routine so they know what’s expected at certain times of day, teaching them how to find other things (like their own high places) off-limits areas instead of going there themselves.

How to Keep Your Cat OFF THE COUNTER (Changing Habits!)
Key Takeaways
– Use positive reinforcement techniques to train your cat to stay off of counters and tables.
– Provide alternative surfaces for climbing, such as cat trees or shelves.
– Use deterrents such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil to discourage jumping onto counters.
– Avoid using physical punishment or negative reinforcement strategies.
– Consistency and persistence are important when training your cat.
– If your cat continues to jump on counters even after training, try a combination of methods or consult with your veterinarian or a professional cat behaviorist.

Don’t Let Your Cat On The Countertops

The number one way to keep your cat safe is to not let them on the countertops. Cats are curious and they like to explore, but they can be dangerous when they get on counters and tables. 

They might knock things over or climb up and fall off, which could hurt them or even cause an injury in someone else who’s in the room with them.

Cats also love it when we eat food at the table, so if you have a cat who has been trained not to go near the table while you’re eating–and this is especially true for cats who are just getting used to being around humans–you’ll want them trained not only so that they don’t get into trouble themselves but also so that they don’t scare away guests by jumping onto their laps during dinner parties!

To train your cat effectively, it’s essential to know what works and what doesn’t. As we explain in our guide on the dos and don’ts of cat training, positive reinforcement is key and you should never use physical punishment.

Get Them Their Own “High Place.”

You can buy a cat tree or you can build one yourself. If you choose to go the DIY route, it’s important that your cat has access to all areas of their home and not just one room. 

If they have their own place where they feel safe, they’ll be less likely to seek out other places in the house where they feel uncomfortable (like on top of your clean laundry).

It’s also important that whatever “high place” you provide be sturdy enough for them to climb up and down without tipping over or breaking under pressure from heavy paws landing on them from above.

Product NameDescription
PetFusion Ultimate Cat Climbing TowerMulti-tier cat tree with vertical, sisal-wrapped scratching posts, and a removable cushioned bed
Nylabone Romp & Chomp Treat HolderFillable treat holder with a rugged knot texture for stimulating play and chewing
K&H Pet Products Kitty SillSoft bolstered window perch with sturdy brackets for cats to relax and observe surroundings
Starmark Everlasting Treat BallFillable treat ball with soft exterior and hard interior to dispense treats as your pet plays and rolls
Tucker Murphy Pet Brush & Scratch BoardCat scratcher with a brush attachment and two vertical corrugated cardboard pads for multi-purpose scratching

Create A Routine

The fact that your cat is jumping up on counters and tables may be a sign that they are bored. Cats are creatures of habit, so if you have a routine for your cat, they will feel more secure and less anxious about what’s going on around them. They’ll also learn what to expect when they’re at home or in your company.

Creating a routine can help both you and your pet stay on the same page when it comes to training methods that work best for each individual–and those that don’t! 

You should try different methods until one sticks; this way both parties know what works best for everyone involved (including other humans).

If you’re struggling with litter box issues with your cat, our guide on training your cat to use the litter box can help. From choosing the right litter to finding the perfect location for the box, we cover everything you need to know.

Give Them Something Else To Do

If you’re not able to put your cat on a flat surface and keep it there, try giving them something else to do. Give them a scratching post or cat toy that they can play with instead of jumping up on the countertop. Make sure they have a place in the house where they can sleep, so they don’t feel like they need the extra height of being on top of things (like your kitchen table). 

If you notice that your cat is showing interest in getting up high but hasn’t jumped up yet, give him/her some treats when he/she does not go near those surfaces anymore! 

You could also give yourself attention as well by petting or playing with him/her when he/she does something good such as staying off counters and tables for awhile instead just doing whatever he wants all day long without paying any attention whatsoever which makes him bored which leads back into behavior problems like jumping onto furniture because nothing else seems interesting enough anymore…

Reward Them For Good Behavior!

One of the best ways to train your cat is with positive reinforcement. This means rewarding them for good behavior and removing rewards when they do something bad. A clicker is an effective way to reinforce the behavior you want, but you can also use treats or toys as a reward.

When it comes time to give your cat treats, it’s best if they’re given immediately after they do something good–this helps them associate their actions with getting a treat! You can also use a treat dispenser like GoCat’s automatic treat dispenser , which will automatically dispense food as soon as they push on it (or paw at it).

Dealing with a cat that won’t stop scratching your furniture can be frustrating, but it’s important to handle it correctly. Our guide on how to train your cat to stop scratching furniture offers useful tips such as providing appropriate scratching surfaces and minimizing stress factors in your cat’s environment.

Train With A Toy

Teach your cat to play with a toy. You can use a laser pointer or feather toy, but whatever you choose, it should be something that interests your cat greatly.

Teach your cat to fetch! This will be the most important part of training him or her not to jump on counters and tables — if you can teach them to bring back their own toys instead of jumping up there themselves, then they’ll have no reason whatsoever for doing so! 

Make sure that if there are multiple people in the house who want to train their cats this way (or even just one person), everyone uses similar methods so they’re all consistent with each other.

Keep the toy in sight at all times when training; this way they’ll always know where it is and can focus more on learning rather than searching around aimlessly trying find what interests them most!

Use A Spray Bottle

If your cat is the type who likes to jump up on counters and tables, you may want to try using a spray bottle. Fill it with water or lemon juice (if you don’t have any lemons handy), and then use it whenever your cat tries to jump up on those surfaces. 

The sound of the water hitting their paws will hopefully deter them from doing so again in the future! If this doesn’t work for you, try adding vinegar into the mix instead of just plain old H2O–this should help keep them away even more effectively than plain old H2O alone would have done.

Product NameDescription
PetSafe Spray BlasterHarness your household water supply to deliver rapid-fire spray with open, pulsing, or steady settings
Grannick’s Bitter AppleSprayable deterrent with a bitter taste to discourage licking, gnawing, and chewing
Claw Withdraw Cat Deterrent SprayCitrus-based spray that deters cats from scratching surfaces
Pet Corrector SprayUses loud, audible noise to disrupt behaviors such as barking, jumping, or chewing
Marshall Ferret Litter Pan Training SprayHelps litter train ferrets by guiding them to the litter pan

Make Sure You’re In Charge Of The Litter Box, Too!

You need to make sure that the cat has a clean litter box, and you should be the one who controls it. Cats like to mark their territory, so they’ll go outside the litter box if they can get away with it.

If you want your cat to use the bathroom in the house, then keep him or her indoors at all times (and don’t let him or her out without supervision).

You can train your cat to use a litter box by following these steps:

  • Choose a good-sized litter box (at least 1 x 2 feet) with high sides so that there’s no chance of mistakes!
  • Begin by putting some kitty litter inside with your pet present nearby; this way he’ll associate positive things with this new addition later on when he does his business in there himself!

Cat training isn’t always easy, and there are common mistakes that many cat owners make. In our guide on 15 common cat training mistakes and how to avoid them, we highlight some of the most common errors, such as inconsistency and setting unrealistic expectations.

Enforce Your Rules Consistently And Calmly

Now that you know what the rules are, it’s time to enforce them. Before we get into specifics, it’s important to note that consistency is key when training your cat and making sure they understand what is expected of them. Make sure that all family members are on board with these rules so they can help reinforce them as well!

Enforcing rules calmly is also important; don’t yell at or punish your cat if they do something wrong–this will only scare them away from doing anything else in the future! 

Instead, try using positive reinforcement by rewarding them with treats after following through on their behavior (like sitting quietly). 

In addition to this method being effective at teaching good habits for life, it also helps build trust between owner and pet over time which makes enforcing any future rules easier since there won’t be any fear associated with doing so anymore

Rule Enforcement TacticsDescription
Positive ReinforcementReward desirable behavior with treats, praise, or playtime.
Negative ReinforcementDisrupt undesirable behavior with a loud noise or a harmless spray.
Remote Training DevicesUtilize static or vibration collars to enforce rules at a distance.
Training AidsLeashes, clickers, and treat pouches can aid in consistent and calm enforcement.

Teach Kittens How To Act Right From The Start

The best time to train your kitten is right from the start, when she’s still young and impressionable. 

It’s also easier to get started with an older cat if you’re planning on keeping her indoors; they tend to be more resistant than kittens and may need more time before they’ll listen well enough for you to leave them alone in the house without supervision.

Once you’ve decided on a routine for training your feline friend, stick with it! This means making sure that both of you know what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t–and then enforcing those rules consistently (and equally). Make sure your cat knows who’s boss!

There’s more to cat training than meets the eye. In our guide on the science behind cat training: what really works, we explore the principles behind effective learning for cats. From the importance of timing to the value of rewards, we help you understand what drives successful cat training.


We hope this article has helped you understand why your cat might be so interested in the counters and tables, and how to train them to stay off. 

Remember that consistency is key, and it’s important not to get angry or frustrated when trying these methods. You should always be calm and assertive when enforcing your rules! Good luck!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in more information on how to keep your cat off of counters and tables, check out these helpful resources:

Animal Humane Society: Keeping Your Cat off the Counter – Offers tips and tricks on how to keep your cat off of countertops and other surfaces that they shouldn’t be on.

WebMD: Keeping Cats off Countertops and Tables – Discusses the reasons why cats like to be on countertops and how to discourage them from doing so.

The Spruce Pets: How to Keep Cats off Counters – Provides a list of methods to keep your cat from jumping onto countertops and tables, including deterrents and positive reinforcement training.


How can I train my cat to stay off counters and tables?

One effective training technique is to provide alternative surfaces for your cat to climb on, such as cat trees or shelves, and to reward your cat when they use these surfaces instead of the countertops. You can also use deterrents such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil to discourage your cat from jumping up onto the counters.

Why do cats like to be on countertops and tables?

Cats are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their environment, which can include elevated surfaces. Additionally, countertops and tables often provide a good vantage point for cats to observe their surroundings.

Is it safe to use commercial deterrents to keep cats off counters?

Most commercial deterrents for cats are safe to use as they are specifically designed for that purpose. However, it’s important to read the label and ensure that the product is safe for your cat and for the surfaces it will be used on.

What should I do if my cat continues to jump on the counters even after training?

Consistency and persistence are key when it comes to training your cat. If training techniques alone aren’t working, you may need to invest in additional deterrents or try a combination of different methods to find what works best for your cat.

Can I train an adult cat to stay off counters?

Yes, it is possible to train adult cats to stay off of countertops and tables, though it may take some time and effort. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, your cat can learn to avoid these surfaces.