catDoes your cat have a bad habit of jumping on inappropriate surfaces? Maybe she leaps onto the counter while you’re cooking, or she hops onto display shelves, threatening to damage your collectables? What can you do to keep your cat away from unwanted surfaces?

Determine the cause of the behavior

When you reprimand your cat with your voice or squirt bottle, your cat associates the bad behavior with you, not the environment. Therefore, she may continue to do it when she’s seeking attention or when you’re not looking.

You should make the surface that you want to keep your cat away from as unrewarding as possible. If your kitty likes to cruise for food on the kitchen counter after you go to bed, be sure to wipe away all scraps after every use. You may also want to use a timed feeder at night, just in case your cat’s hunger is what’s causing her to prowl.

Make the environment unrewarding

Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of “Think Like A Cat,” recommends placing down mats covered in double-sided tape on the surface that you want to keep your cat away from. Cats have very sensitive paws, and the sticky sensation is enough to keep them away.

You can also try balancing baking trays and cookie sheets on the edge of the counter when it’s not in use. For some cats, simply viewing an unstable surface can be enough of a deterrent. A cat who is adventurous enough to leap onto the counter will find unstable footing, knock the trays over, and cause a cacophony that will scare her away.

Likewise, Ssscat sensors release a puff of air when your cat comes within range. The air creates a hissing sound that’s enough to startle kitty (and most humans), decreasing the likelihood of her jumping onto the same surface again.

Offer healthy alternatives

A bored cat will become destructive and lash out. In the wild, cats like to hide in trees as a way to relax and stay safe. Providing a lofty cat condo will give kitty a chance to climb up high without getting into trouble. If your cat likes to hop up on display shelves, consider mounting floating shelves designed especially for cats along your walls.

Do you worry about your cat getting into mischief while you’re gone? Our pet sitters give cats as much attention as they need to steer clear of trouble. Request a quote today!

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Douglas O’Brien on flickr