Cat Training: Don't Go There

You love your cat and your cat loves you. But you don't eat out of your cat's dinner bowl, and there's a good chance you don't want her eating off your table. Not to mention surfing your counters. Teaching a cat to stay off these desirable perches can be tricky, but the following cat training tips should help.

The Sport of Counter Surfing

There are several reasons that cats love roaming countertops. The view from the top is a fantastic feline viewpoint. From there, your cat can scan a large portion of her territory, making her feel like the queen of the hill.

In addition to the good view, surfing the counters may also lead to finding a "tasty treat." Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a healthy or safe treat. It's perfectly normal for cat's to scavenge for dropped food under the dinner table, but most people don't want a cat that thinks the food sitting on the counter is their own private buffet.

Better Alternatives

One way to keep your cat from roaming the counters and dinner table is to give her a better lookout point. A vertical climbing stand will give your cat a fun alternative. Putting it next to a window with a nice view will make it even more interesting for your kitty.

Cats instinctually enjoy stalking just about anything that moves. Like a lion on the top of a hill watching a herd of antelopes in the valley below, cats love having a perch to scan for potential prey - if only in their feline minds. A vertical stand serves this purpose, and helps keep your cat off of less desirable lookouts.

Breaking Habits

If your cat is already accustomed to trouncing on your counters and dinner table, there are a couple of simple ways to curb her enthusiasm for doing so. One way to break the habit is to leave pots, pans and cookie sheets on the areas. Another simple solution that serves much the same purpose is to line the surfaces with aluminum foil. Cats do not like the feel of metal on their feet, plus the sounds pots and pans make when bumped are also very unappealing for cats.

Once your cat has it in her mind that these locations are undesirable, and there are better alternatives for finding a high perch, the counter-surfing problem should become a thing of the past. Cat training takes time, so just be patient and remember to see things through the eyes of your cat as to why she's so fond of these areas to begin with.