How To Keep Cats Off Counters

Cats are entertaining to watch but as cute and comical as they are when they jump up onto our space where we prepare food, it doesn’t become so cute.

Cats jumping on the counter seems to be a struggle that cat owners know all too well and has become a constant battle with no clear solution.

Well, that’s if you don’t look in the right places because, in this guide, we will tell you all about how to keep your cat off the counter including different methods that you can try because we understand that all cats are different and what works for one is not guaranteed to work for the other. 

Why Do Cats Jump On The Counter?

Before we talk about how to get them to stop, it’s helpful to get a better understanding of this behavior. Essentially, the urge your cat feels for jumping on the counter comes from their hunting instincts as they like to hunt from the trees.

As climbing is heavily ingrained in them, it can be seen in the same way as asking a dog not to sniff things, so it’s not about stopping the behavior altogether but redirecting it instead. 

Cats also like to jump on counters because it gives them a good vantage point that allows them to see everything that is going on below them.

Some cats get overwhelmed by busy environments such as small children or other pets so creating that distance gives them the space to decompress as well as keep tabs on movement. 

As well as this, your cat may just be a walking garbage can and is looking for scraps of food that you haven’t thrown away in time.

If you have dirty plates or a meal cooling down on the counter, don’t be surprised if your crafty little companion takes advantage of the situation. 

Why It’s Good To Keep Your Cat Off The Counter

Initially, it’s up to preference as some people don’t mind if their cat is on the counter, but there are some things that you should take into consideration as it can cause health problems to both you and the cat. 

Sharp objects such as knives and blenders can pose a risk to your cat because everyone knows how curious they can be and all it takes is for one wrong move and the cat has an injury.

Cats also like to push objects to the floor and if it happens to be a knife, there is a chance that someone below may get hurt. 

Hot stove tops are also very dangerous even if they are electric or gas and if your cat walks across it, their paws will get burnt, or they will panic and dart into another hazard. 

Cats have lots of bacteria on their feet even if they are indoor cats as they still use a litter stray which they stand-in. If your cat is an outdoor one, there is no telling what they have been walking in either, and having that bacteria spread around your counter space can make you ill. 

How Do You Keep Cats Off The Counter?

Now that we know a bit more about why cats do it and the reasons why we should stop them, it’s time to talk about the ways in which you can stop your cat from jumping on the counter. 

Aluminum Foil

This is probably the most well-known trick, but it’s for good reason because it works for a lot of owners. Cats are put off by the noise and texture of the foil which makes them much less likely to go through that discomfort in order to get on the counter. 

This does not mean that you have to cover your whole counter though, you will just need a few thin strips taped onto the edges of the counters.

It may take longer than others but over time, your cat will learn that jumping on the counter is not worth it and will forget about them altogether, then you can take the foil off. 

Sticky Tape

This method is similar to the previous one, and it follows the same idea. Cat’s don’t like the sticky feeling on their paws and will do whatever they can to shake it off.

If you put double-sided tape along the edges of the counter, your cat may try to jump up once or twice but will jump off as soon as they can. 

If sticky tape isn’t doing the trick, you can also try putting down plastic sheets or sandpaper instead as they are other textures that cats are not a fan of. 


Cats are naturally quite skittish when it comes to noises and movements as a way to protect themselves which is why this method is also known to work.

All you need is to make a homemade maraca from something such as a jar of pennies and give it a good shake whenever your cat jumps on the countertop.

The noise will make them quickly run away, but don’t worry, they are not being traumatized, and soon they will associate the loud noise with the counter and will not want to jump up anymore. 

Offer An Alternative

Since cats love to be up high for multiple reasons, they may be jumping up on your counter because they don’t have anywhere else to climb.

There are lots of different places that you can get cat trees from which provide cats with scratching posts, sleeping beds, and platforms to climb on all at once, and it will become your cat’s new favorite place. 

You can also build your very own platforms for your cat to perch on or climb on which you can buy the parts for or make from scratch and will provide your cat with a high place to survey the surroundings.


When cats jump on the counter, they are not doing it out of spite. Both their instincts and the tasty scraps are what’s making them do it, so you can’t really blame them.

But, this isn’t to say that we should not put a stop to it because it is a health hazard for both us and the cat. Once you try out the different methods and give them a better alternative, they will be grateful that you listened to what they were trying to tell you all along. 

Courtney Trent
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