Keeping Cats Off Kitchen Counters: Sanitation Around The Home

While cats are extremely popular pets and are cherished as companions and family pets, cats are also notorious for spreading germs and parasites to humans. For this reason, it is extremely important that your cat be discouraged from jumping onto kitchen surfaces. This isn't necessarily easy, cats are incredibly curious and if they are indoor cats, they are keen to explore every nook and cranny.

Why Should I Keep My Cat off The Kitchen Counters? 

The answer is two-fold: hygiene and safety. Yes, your cat appears to keep herself very clean by continually washing and preening, however, that doesn't prevent her from being a possible carrier for a great number of bacteria and parasites. When a cat uses her litter box she gets small particles of urine and feces between her claws. Toxoplasmosis, a disease that is known to be potentially harmful to humans, is carried in cat feces. For this reason, fastidious hygiene should be practiced by anyone who owns cats. Cats can also carry parasites including tapeworms, heartworm and fleas. If your cat goes outdoors, she can pick up parasite eggs along with soil bacteria between her claws. Because of this, cats should never be allowed on kitchen counters or anywhere that food is prepared or eaten.

Another reason cats should be kept out of kitchens is basic safety. Should your cat jump onto a surface where a pan of hot water or sharp utensil resides, this could result in injuries to both you, your family and your cat.

Keeping Cats Off Kitchen Counters
Don’t leave food where a cat will find it!*

Unfortunately, cats are not renowned for appreciating boundaries. Shouting at your cat when she enters an unacceptable area rarely acts as a deterrent. If anything, it may compel her to explore "forbidden" territory. So, how can you keep cats away from your kitchen?

1. Never leave food out on an open kitchen surface. Try to feed your cat as far from the kitchen as possible. The garage or porch might make an ideal option.

2. Keep a water pistol full of water handy. If she jumps on a kitchen counter, immediately spritz her right in the face with cold water. Do this enough times and she should get the message.

3. Try taping double sided sticky tape to the edge of your countertop. Cats hate the feel of sticky tape on their paws and will quickly avoid places with sticky footing.

4. Cats are also not crazy about the feel of tin foil against their feet. If the foil is lightly crumpled, that crunchy sound is also a deterrent for cats. Try lining your counters with lightly crunched up foil until your cat learns to avoid them.

5. Take some empty soda bottles with screw caps and fill them up with things like dried pasta and beans. Place them along the outer rim of the kitchen work surface. The bottles may work as an obstacle on their own, but, should your cat jump up and knock them over, their loud noise should scare her. She should then associate jumping onto kitchen counters with unpleasant and frightening sounds.

6. Should your cat jump onto the counter right in front of you, clap your hands swiftly and loudly to scare her. If you're inclined, find an app containing frightening sounds and keep your smart phone handy.

Try keeping your cat busy with appropriate activities. Provide her with a scratching post, her own cat climbing center and plenty of cat toys. If your cat is otherwise occupied, she won't be as eager to climb around your kitchen.

*Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club