It is normal for cats to jump and climb to high places as they explore their environment and in many homes, the highest surface from the floor is the kitchen counter or table.
However, there are some instances where it could be downright dangerous (physical injury through contact with sharp kitchen utensils, burns and fires through access to the stove, and poisoning by getting into toxic foods and substances) and when your cats do their business in the litter box and step over the prepared food, forcing you to imagine the hair and litter they are leaving behind.
It is best to set up the feline equivalent of a "Keep off" sign. Here are a handful of things you can do to keep your cats off the kitchen counter.
Keep food and other enticing items off the counter and rinse off any dishes in the sink so there are not food pieces. Also, avoid storing your cats' food and treats in above-counter cabinets. If they like to lounge on the sunlit counter or table, block the basking sun by pulling down the blinds.
It is best not to stifle your cats' normal jumping and climbing behaviour. Provide an alternative elevated space for your cats. To make the space more appealing, place it near a window. As well as getting a good spot to take a siesta in the sun, your cats will be able to see the outside world.
Cats are repelled by citrus odours, so using a citrus-based cleaner may be enough to discourage your cats from jumping on the counter.
Cats do not like sticky surfaces. Lining the edges of the counter with double-sided tape may irritate your cats when they jump up.
Cats generally do not respond well to punishment. If you spank your cats or hit them for getting on the counter and table, more likely your cats will just become frightened of you.
If you can not keep your cats off of the counter, make sure to clean before food preparation and clear the surfaces promptly so that your cats do not eat anything they should not and it is important that you be patient, loving, and understanding.
Cat on Counter Funny Birthday Card - Greeting Card by Oatmeal Studios
Featured image by Magda Ehlers