There are a few ways to deter the behavior.  

By Corey Williams
July 24, 2019
Nimrod Shlagman / EyeEm/Getty Images

Full disclosure: My cats like to hang out on the kitchen counter. I have no intention of forcing them to stop because I do not want to hurt their feelings—I work for them, after all.

But this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” situations. The truth is, letting your kitties have full reign of the counter can have dangerous repercussions for you and your pet.

WATCH: How to Make Homemade Cat Treats

Their litter-covered paws could put you at risk for serious bacterial infections (this is especially important if you live with someone with a weakened immune system), while the cat might unintentionally land on a hot stove or eat something that negatively affects their health. Also, you could end up with fur in your food, and nobody wants that.

There are plenty of reasons your cats want to hang out on kitchen counters: They like heights, running water, and being wherever the action is. But there are a few ways you can deter the behavior.

1. Move your barstools.

Some cats can jump to great heights on their own, but others rely on nearby barstools to help them make the leap. Removing that middle man will probably be frustrating for your furry friend, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

2. Put double-sided tape on your counter’s edges.

Cats don’t like how tape feels on their paws—and can you blame them? Once they’ve experienced the stickiness a few times, they might be less inclined to jump on the counter. This also works well when you’re trying to keep cats from scratching your furniture.

3. Line your counters with aluminum foil.

Cats also aren’t fans of the way aluminum foil feels on their wittle baby paws. The crinkly sound isn’t pleasant for them, either. Make sure to tape it down so the foil (and the cat) don’t go flying off the counter.

If you’re cat isn’t responding to any of the above methods, it might be time to consult a vet or a behavioral specialist. It is important to note, however, that you should never resort to spray bottles or scare tactics. Frightening your cat is not only damaging to their mental health and your bond with them, but it’s also ineffective. The animal will start to associate you with the bad behavior, and they’ll likely continue to misbehave when you’re not around.

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