What Can I Put On Counters To Keep Cats Off?

As cat owners, we’ve all had that moment when we walk into the kitchen and find our feline friend perched on the counter, looking smug and satisfied. But let’s face it – counters are not a cat’s playground, and keeping them off can be a challenge.

So why are cats so drawn to counters? It could be their natural curiosity or simply because they want to be at eye level with us humans. And let’s not forget the possibility of finding some tasty treats up there.

Luckily, there are several methods to keep your countertops free from paws. One option is double-sided tape – the sticky sensation is quite unpleasant for cats and can discourage them from jumping up. Alternatively, aluminum foil can make a crinkling noise that may deter your pet from walking on it.

In this blog post, we’ll explore different items you can use to keep your furry friend off the counters. From motion-activated deterrents to citrus sprays, we’ve got you covered in the battle against your cat’s climbing habits.

So, say goodbye to rogue whiskers in your food and hello to a clean countertop.

Double-Sided Tape or Sticky Mats

Unfortunately, their adventurous spirit can lead them to climb on counters and other surfaces where they shouldn’t be. But fear not, there are effective methods to keep your feline friend off of those forbidden zones, including using double-sided tape or sticky mats.

Double-sided tape works by creating an unpleasantly sticky surface that cats avoid walking on. It’s important to choose a strong adhesive that won’t easily come off when your cat tries to step on it. Look for pet-friendly brands that are safe for use around animals.

Sticky mats are thin, flexible plastic sheets with an adhesive backing that you place on the counter with the sticky side up. When your cat jumps onto the surface, they will land on the mat and feel discomfort, which discourages them from trying to jump again.

While these methods can be effective at keeping cats off counters, they may not be a permanent solution. Some cats may become accustomed to the sensation of walking on sticky surfaces and continue to jump up even with the tape or mat in place. Additionally, these products may not be practical for larger surfaces or areas where they could be easily moved or knocked over.

To ensure that your cat stays away from counters, you should use a combination of different techniques. Providing your cat with alternative climbing areas such as a cat tree or window perch can give them a designated space to observe without being on the counter itself. You can also try using citrus scents or sprays on the counter as cats tend to dislike these smells.

It’s essential to keep your cat mentally stimulated and entertained throughout the day to prevent boredom and unwanted behaviors, including jumping on counters. Give your cat plenty of toys, scratching posts, and interactive play sessions.

Aluminum Foil or Baking Sheets

These common household items can be used as a deterrent for your curious kitty.

The reflective surface of aluminum foil can create a loud and disturbing noise when cats step on it. This sound can be enough to scare them away from the counter and onto the floor where they belong. Similarly, baking sheets work in a similar way by producing a loud noise when a cat jumps on them.

To implement these methods, simply cover your counters with aluminum foil or baking sheets when you’re not using them. Keep in mind that leaving some parts uncovered will allow you to use your counters for cooking and other tasks. You can even crumple the foil or sheets to make them more uncomfortable for your feline friend.

However, it’s important to note that not all cats are deterred by these methods. Some may even find them entertaining or see them as a challenge. Additionally, leaving aluminum foil or baking sheets on your counters for extended periods can be unsightly and may damage your countertops.

Therefore, it’s best to use these methods as a temporary solution while you train your cat not to jump on counters. Combine these techniques with positive reinforcement, such as rewarding good behavior, and providing alternative surfaces for your cat to climb on.

Designated Space for Cats to Perch

Fear not, as there is a solution to this problem: creating a designated space for your cat to perch. As an expert in this field, I have researched and compiled information on the different types of designated spaces for cats to perch and how to choose the right option for your feline.

Cat trees are a popular choice among pet owners, as they come in various sizes and designs with multiple levels and scratching posts to keep your cat entertained and engaged. Some even have built-in hideaways or hammocks for them to relax in. If you have more than one cat, consider getting a larger tree with multiple levels to prevent territorial disputes.

Shelves are another fantastic option for creating a designated space for your cat. Installing shelves on a wall can give your cat a high vantage point, which many felines love. You can also add toys or scratching posts to make them more appealing. Additionally, shelves come in different sizes and shapes, so you can customize them to fit your home decor.

Window perches are perfect for cats who love basking in the sun and watching the world outside. These perches attach directly to windowsills and provide a comfortable spot for your cat to lounge while taking in the view. Some even come with suction cups, making them easy to install and move around as needed.

When creating a designated space for your cat to perch, it’s crucial to consider their preferences and behavior. Some cats prefer cozy hideaways, while others enjoy open spaces where they can survey their surroundings. Experiment with different types of perches and observe your cat’s behavior to find the perfect setup that will keep them off of your counters.

Citrus Scents and Sprays

Look no further than the power of citrus scents and sprays. As an expert in feline behavior, I can attest to the effectiveness and natural properties of citrus in deterring cats from areas they shouldn’t be.

Cats are repelled by the scent of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. One simple method is to place lemon or orange peels on your counters to discourage your cat from jumping up. Alternatively, mix a few drops of citrus essential oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to your counters daily. You can also find commercial cat repellent sprays that contain citrus extracts as one of their active ingredients.

But remember, not all cats are the same. While some may find the scent of citrus overwhelming, others may be unfazed. Experiment with different methods until you find the one that works for your furry friend.

In addition to using citrus scents and sprays, provide your cat with alternative places to climb and explore. Investing in a scratching post, climbing tree, or window perch can redirect their energy away from your counters and onto more appropriate surfaces.

Providing Mental Stimulation and Playtime

However, there are simple ways to discourage this behavior while providing your cat with the mental stimulation and playtime they crave.

Toys are a cat’s best friend. They love toys that encourage jumping, pouncing, and chasing. Feather wands, laser pointers, and crinkly balls can keep them entertained for hours. These toys not only provide physical exercise but also challenge their minds as they strategize how to catch their prey.

Designated play areas are another great way to keep your cat mentally stimulated. Scratching posts, climbing trees, or other structures that allow them to explore and climb are perfect outlets for their energy and curiosity. By providing these areas, you’re less likely to find them on top of the fridge or other off-limit surfaces.

Social interaction is crucial for cats too. They thrive on attention from their owners. Spend time each day playing with them using their favorite toys or simply cuddling with them on the couch. This not only provides mental stimulation but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

These sprinklers work by using motion sensors to detect when a cat is in the area and then spraying water at them, which startles them and encourages them to move away. But don’t worry, the water spray is just a gentle mist that won’t harm your furry friend. In fact, it’s a safe and effective way to keep cats off counters and other areas where they’re not wanted.

One of the great things about motion-activated sprinklers is their ease of use. Most models simply attach to a garden hose and can be set up in just a few minutes. Plus, they come with adjustable settings so you can customize the spray distance and duration to fit your specific needs. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a customizable solution?

It’s important to consider the size of the area you want to protect when shopping for a motion-activated sprinkler. Some models have limited ranges, while others can cover larger areas. You’ll also want to make sure to choose a model with adjustable settings so you can fine-tune it to fit your needs perfectly.

But why choose motion-activated sprinklers over other methods like double-sided tape or citrus sprays? For starters, they have a wider range and are more consistent. Unlike human intervention, motion-activated sprinklers will always work when your cat gets too close. Plus, they’re completely safe and won’t harm your cat or any humans in the vicinity.

Air Horns

Before you rush to the store to buy an air horn, it’s important to note that this method should only be used as a last resort and with caution. While they can be effective in deterring cats from jumping on counters, excessive use of air horns can cause stress and anxiety in cats.

Here are some important tips for using an air horn to keep your cat off the counters:

  • Use it sparingly: Don’t make it a regular habit to use an air horn. Save it for those moments when your cat just won’t listen.
  • Never aim it directly at the cat: This could cause harm or injury, which is not what we want. Instead, place the air horn nearby and activate it when your cat jumps on the counter.
  • Consider alternative methods: Using deterrent sprays or providing alternative surfaces for your cat to climb on are other ways to discourage them from jumping on counters.

Cat Deterrents with Scent and Sound

However, their curious nature may lead them to jump onto counters or tables where they don’t belong, posing hazards to their safety and health. Fortunately, scent and sound deterrents can be an effective solution to keep your cat off counters.

Scent deterrents are a great way to discourage your cat from jumping onto surfaces they shouldn’t be on. Cats have a strong sense of smell and tend to avoid certain scents like citrus. Essential oils or fresh citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange can be placed strategically on the counters to deter your cat.

Peppermint oil or vinegar can also be used as alternatives. You can spray or dab these scents onto surfaces or use a diffuser to keep your cat away.

Sound deterrents are another effective method to keep cats off counters. Motion-activated devices that emit loud noises when triggered by movement startle the cat and discourage them from jumping onto the counter. Alternatively, cat-specific ultrasonic deterrents emit high-frequency sounds that cats find unpleasant.

However, it’s important to note that not all cats respond to these methods in the same way. Some may become accustomed to certain scents or sounds over time, making them ineffective. To redirect their behavior, provide alternative areas for your cat to climb and play like cat trees or designated play areas.

Using an air horn should be avoided as it can cause stress and anxiety in your cat. Instead, use scent and sound deterrents sparingly and never aim them directly at your cat.

Also Read: How To Keep Cats Off The Stove?


In conclusion, keeping your feline friends off kitchen counters can be a daunting task. However, with a little creativity and persistence, you can train your cats to steer clear of your countertops. Double-sided tape or sticky mats are a simple yet effective solution that creates an unpleasantly sticky surface that cats avoid walking on. For those looking for a noisier option, aluminum foil or baking sheets produce a loud noise when stepped on that will deter even the most persistent of cats.

Providing designated spaces for your furry friends to perch is also crucial in redirecting their energy away from the counter and onto more appropriate surfaces. Cat trees, shelves, or window perches are all great options to keep your cat entertained and happy while keeping them off the counters.

Natural deterrents like citrus scents and sprays are also worth considering as cats dislike the scent of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Motion-activated sprinklers are another excellent option as they startle cats with a gentle mist of water when they get too close to the counter.

When it comes to training your cat not to jump on counters, positive reinforcement is key. Providing mental stimulation through toys and designated play areas can prevent boredom and unwanted behaviors like jumping on counters.

Using a combination of these techniques along with positive reinforcement can effectively train your cat not to jump on counters while strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.