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How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Top 10 Ways

If you have a cat, you likely know the struggle to keep him or her off the kitchen countertop. There are some simple things you can do to make the countertop a no-go zone. Here are 10 DIY ideas to try.

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cat on kitchen countertopBrady Barrineau/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Use Sticky Tape

Cats don’t like anything that’s sticky. Buy some double-sided tape and place it on the edge of the countertop. This will keep the cat away, but you may need to reapply it often to keep it sticky and it may leave a little residue.

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How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Make Noise

Loud noises make cats scamper away. Keep some coins or dried beans in a glass jar, aluminum can or even an old peanut butter jar. When the cat gets on the counter, shake the container to make some noise.

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spray bottlePhil McDonald/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: The Spray Bottle

You can use a spray bottle to keep the cat off the countertop. One squirt of plain water should do the trick, just be sure not to overdo it.

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aluminum foil tinfoil anmbph/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Aluminum Foil

Both the noise and the feel of aluminum foil underneath their paws will keep cats off the countertop. Just tape some strips of foil on the edges of your countertops.

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cat-furnitureANUCHA PONGPATIMETH/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Offer an Alternative

If your cat likes the countertop because it’s a sunny spot, is there space for a cat tower nearby? Give your cat an alternative to his regular kitchen countertop sun spot.

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plastic wrapSwapan Photography/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Plastic

Like aluminum foil, cats also seem to detest the sound and feel of plastic. Try putting some plastic sheeting over the counter when you’re not at home. It should keep the cat at bay.

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How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Sandpaper

There’s a good chance your cat won’t like the feeling of sandpaper. Try putting out some sandpaper sheets when you’re cooking to keep your cat off the countertops. Keep your kitchen organized with these 41 brilliant ideas.

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Cat-staring-out-window-at-bird-houseSteve Heap/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Ruin the Fun

If your kitchen countertop is next to a sunny window, try pulling the shades or closing the blinds to block the sun. If your cat watches birds at the birdfeeder from the kitchen window, consider moving the birdfeeder. Make it less fun for your cat to be on the countertop.

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How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Use Peppermint

Some pet experts believe peppermint will detour cats. Try using a few drops of peppermint essential oil in your kitchen cleaner. The minty smell on the kitchen countertop may be enough to keep your cat away.

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hungry catSheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Off the Counter: Remove Food

If your cat is food motivated, make sure you don’t leave any food on the kitchen countertop that would tempt him to jump up there. In addition, talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s feeding schedule to see if there’s something you can change to make your cat less food focused.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.