How to SAFELY Get Your Cat to Stop Counter Surfing
Mom says the most annoying thing that us kittys do is counter-surfing, particularly when she is cooking or washing the dishes. That’s too bad because it is one of our favorite things to do!
She says it is very frustrating because her hands are messy with one thing or another and she can’t pick us up and put us down unless she washes and dries her hands, etc – and she doesn’t want to just push us off the counter either – which is tempting, but in fact dangerous to us cats…Meow!
Even though you think we always land on our feet, if you just push us off the counter unexpectedly, we can actually get hurt both physically and mentally…the act of being pushed off the counter can be shocking to our sensitive spirits and also cause a sprained or broken leg or dislocated joint. Meow-ouch!
The Benefit Of Saying, "Get Down"
So one of the first “naughty habits” she worked on was to train us to voluntarily jump down from the counter by responding to mom’s verbal command coupled with a hand motion. Since the first week we were adopted, mom worked on training me and Beau to “get down” from the counter.
Her verbal command is “GET DOWN” – said in a strong but medium tone (no shouting) while she points down to the floor with her finger.
In the beginning, she would say the command and pick us up and put us on the floor every time we counter-surfed. The repetition of the GET DOWN command said in a stern voice and the act of her lifting us off the counter and putting us down on the floor all started to connect in our kitty brains especially since she would end it with “GOOD BOY” said in a very sweet voice. And you know how us kittys like praise!
Today both Beau and I know it’s time to get down when we hear the command and see mom’s finger point to the floor…and off we go voluntarily. It has even gotten to the point that when mom sees us getting ready to launch ourselves up on the counter, we get mom’s “stink eye” and a stern “NO – Stay Down” – and mom’s hand “palm down” directed at us to “stay down”…we get the message!
Mom says that there are so many resources on this topic all giving you a variety of ways to discourage your cat from jumping up on the counter besides training us to respond to verbal commands:
Placing sticky tape on the counter edge
Placing a flat metal baking sheet on the counter (will make noise and sift – startling us)
Have an empty soda can filled with pennies and shake it loudly when we jump on the counter
Just remember, we want to do what you want us to do – so train us gently and consistently…and you will see how smart us kittys can be!