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How do I keep her off the counters!


Savannah Super Cat
My 17wo F2 Sabrina has started walking the counters in our kitchen. She can't jump up there directly yet, but she has the moves to get there by other means. I've cleared off everything that I possibly can to make the area less interesting (my 10' long bar is absolutely bare now), but that just means that the most interesting thing to investigate is the sink of clean dishes!

I've tried using a squirt bottle on her. That worked. At first. Now I think that she thinks its a game. She'll run around back and forth until she is pretty much soaked and then leap off the counter like a flying squirrel (that does look pretty funny). She'll hop onto the bar stools and pop her head up and down and wait to be squirted moving randomly among the three chairs (kinda like whack a mole).

Obviously just ignoring her up there won't work because I know that she gets up there when we're not around (by evidence in the sink). I think if she thought it was only game fodder, she wouldn't get up there when we aren't there.

And: yes, she has other vertical spaces -- most higher than the counters. And, like I said, the only interesting things up there now are the freakin' sinks. I can't exactly remove those.

Am I just screwed and I just have to let the cat have the counters? Or is there something else that I can try? I already let her have the kitchen table. Its totally bare now too. I just wipe it down before we use it.


Site Supporter
I tried the usual, tinfoil, make a loud noise, squirting...nothing worked for me. When I was somewhat resigned that they would jump up there, it seemed to lose interest for them. They do still jump up there if I bring in grocery's or something. As we speak there is a fly that got in so nothing is off limits. Got to go catch it.


Site Supporter
I'm dealing with that right now with Tojo too. I try to pick him up and tell him "no" and put him on the floor repeatedly but it has turned into a game for him as he runs from end to end of the counters trying to escape me. He then mockingly swats at me like a two year old tantrum! The best thing I have found to do so far is to distract him with something else on the floor, etc. until he loses interest. I'm sure though that he's all over them when I'm not home so I don't leave anything out.
Lol I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you as Abu goes nuts when I'm cutting up his dinner and I can't keep him off the counter either ... We have compromised as long as he sits on the raised "serving" area, sit up there and not on counter, but close enough to keep him happy, he can supervise my prep of his meals.


Savannah Super Cat
I cleared off everything they could break or knock around and so soon as I did that, Vakai and Erra lost interest- maybe try and pretend you don't care, then they won't do it? Have you tried that Off! spray on the counters, or at least the area you suspect they jump onto it on?

X_X. They've been going nuts over this fly in the room now, destroying the blinds in their frenzy to kill it. Guess it's time for vertical blinds...

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Be aware that you can train them to stay off the counters when you are in the same room but they WILL jump up there when you are not there!

What I do is make sure they have somewhere to perch that gives them a good view of what I am doing, in our new kitchen you can see at the end of the center island there is a cat tree. Once the kitchen was finished we started firmly saying "off" when they were jumping onto the island and picking them up and putting onto the cat tree. If they were perching on the cat tree on their own I'd make special mention of it by going over and petting them and telling them what a good cat they were. Now if they step from the cat tree to bench I quietly push them off the edge. They know they are not allowed there now. But now when I am cooking they will cluster on the tree and watch from there.

Some kitties are definitely more persistent than others, but if you calmly do it over and over they get it. They're smart kitties!


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Staff member
That is a brilliant idea, Brigitte! And the tree blends in nicely with your island! Love it!


Savannah Super Cat
Simba was alway on the counters. Would never do it in front of me because he knew he didn't belong up there. As soon as I went to bed I could hear him jump up.
I bought a couple cans of Ssssscat. Actually 5 cans. One for behind the tv, one on the bar, one for the island, two for the counter. In one day he stopped going on any forbidden places. The Sssscats are turned off now and he doesn't jump up any more. I even texted him a couple time by putting his favorite toy on the island when I go to bed and it's still there when I wake up. Also I could never keep the kitchen sink spong out or it would end up in his water dish EVERYTIME.
Now it's back in the sink.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
That works sometimes...but if he ever works out how to knock over the Ssscat that is the end of it. I love those things and use them every year to have a Christmas tree but am reluctant to over-use them in case one works out how to kill I have heard happen in many other households. Always make sure they are positioned so the cat can't sneak up behind it...