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Are they just going to be on the counters?


Savannah Teenager
We don't have a SV yet as I am still in the research phase (i.e., waiting for the DH to decide we should get one). I'm using this time to gather information since I have tons of questions, so here goes the first one.

Are they just going to be on the counters? Is it a battle even worth fighting? I read here someone saying that you can train them to stay off of counters while you're looking at them but all bets are off when you leave the room. My impression is that if a specific SV decides it wants to be on the counters then it's going to be on the counters. Has anybody ever had one that wanted to be on the kitchen counters but you managed to keep them off?

I've always had a no-cats-on-the-counters home and I'm wondering if that's something I will be able to maintain, or if Savannah on the counters is something I will just need to accept as part of being owned.


Staff member
Whatever methods you used with previous cats to keep them off the counters is what you should do with your SV. SVs are intelligent and capable of learning boundaries which is not say that they will always respect them. Mine have learned that they have to stay off the counters when I'm preparing food but that's the extent of their cooperation. I think that how well trained an SV is depends on the endurance of the human training it.

John Popp

Site Supporter
Our boy jester, a dsh wouldn't stay off the counters his entire life. None of the other cats have followed suit, including our SV. A week with a scat mat in place and training complete.

Green eyed kitty

Mystique the dog/cat;Seraphimah spunky kitty
Mystique is a counter cat, no matter how many times we told her no, and set her back on the ground. That is the one thing we could not break her of. She likes high spots, even though her perch is high and near the counters. She can easily see everything from there? She has decided that she will keep to one corner when we are in the kitchen. Every time I prepare food, I have to pre-wipe the counters with a disinfecting wipe. My other cats over the years, were not like that, and they were not SV's. You will have to be persistent with your future Savannah.

I don't think Mystique is trying to disobey. She is just such a smart and curious cat who loves to be close with us and observe everything. But everything else we have said no to, she listens and we have been able to redirect her energy.


Site Supporter
Jarvis stays off of the counters.
Diablo stays off of the counters most of the time.
They both stayed off of the counters all the time until rule-breaker Mickey came to live with us.

Mickey hasn't figured out his name yet, so he also hasn't figured out that when we say "Mickey, Down!" we are talking to him. So he gets on the counters almost every day. We have yet to figure out a way to motivate him to stay off the counter.

Diablo and Jarvis are much easier to train than Mickey is. We think this is because Mickey isn't so bright (the kitten ate a dime people), and because our training tricks just don't work well on him. Loud nosies are ignored, water is fun to play with, so that leaves compressed air. He yawns at that. And apparently being thrown off a counter is FUN.


Mace's Mama
I think that how well trained an SV is depends on the endurance of the human training it.

That is the truth! Unfortunately for me, I find that I'm much easier to train than my SV. At first whenever I was determined to keep Mace off the tabletop, he'd listen. Eventually though, when he knew he was about to get in trouble, he'd flip over on his back and give me those eyes like "Mommy aren't I cute? You can't be mad at me, but you CAN rub my belly now." And it worked, and now I just end up giggling, giving his belly a rub, and setting him back on the floor. I'm sure if I put more work into it, I could have gotten him to comply, but he's just too darn silly sometimes. :in love:


Embarking on new and exciting territory
our girl is impossible to keep off the counters but its all food motivated. no matter what i do she gets up there after i cook eggs. but our boy has never been motivated to do that even if hes watching her. so i think each one is different and you can hope to get one of the cats that has no desire to be all up in there.


Chirps & Massive Headbutts
Are they just going to be on the counters? Is it a battle even worth fighting?

Short answer, probably yes at some point. My F1 occasionally does the F2 no. But if you keep your counters clean and tidy this lessons the chance IMO - curiosity factor. And of course, never leave anything soft, small and chewy for them to eat up there (e.g. like earplugs, small headphones, etc). Anything to avoid unneeded trips to the vet (I've not had this but have heard the horror stories). dj


Savannah Super Cat
Nyah learned to stay off the counters. She sits on the bar stools and talks to us. If there isn't a free bar stool for the cat, a human ends up having to move, so we could argue about who really was trained in this process.


Animal Communicator
Zeddie does the barstool bit too lol...but she is ALWAYS on the counters :cautious: Mostly looking for food she can get into (in the sink) or out of boredom