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Your Tips for Dealing with a Curious Cat When Cooking

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.

Today: How to deal with curious cats in the kitchen. 

We here at Food52 love cats—like, really, a lot. Behind most every adorable meow or purr, though, lies a curious cat ready to pounce without a whisker of thought (or a flick of its tail). Playfulness isn't usually a problem—except in the kitchen. If a cat's interested in what you're cooking, they're usually up to something fishy.

Over on the Hotline, UhOhSarah has a cat conundrum. "I basically can't leave anything unattended on the counter or table for even a moment," she says, and wants to know what training tips or kitchen hacks you have to fend off hungry felines. Here are your suggestions for stopping cats from going ham on ham—or anything else. 

  • Jilhil concedes there are only two options for dealing with a jumpy cat: eternal vigilance or surrender.
  • Meaghan F finds a squirt bottle to be “the only thing that keeps my cats off the counter when I'm cooking seafood.”
  • Garlic Fiend suggests investing in child safety locks for stove knobs, saying, “I have a friend whose cats climb all over the place when she's at work and actually turned on the gas on the stove.”


  • Pegeen suggests placing a couple of metal baking sheets or pie plates around the edges of the counter. When the cats step on them, they will skitter at the noise and the surface's instability. Garlic Fiend says aluminum foil will also do the trick, too.
  • Line the counter with large pieces of packing tape, sticky side up. When the cat steps onto it, “it will freak out like a devil is stuck to it,” hardlikearmour says. You then have to, of course, catch the cat and remove the tape.
  • ClaireSmith suggests using SSSCAT, an unscented spray can with a motion detector that deters cats with an odorless and stainless spray.

How do you keep a curious cat from causing kitchen peril? Tell us in the comments below!  

Tags: Advice, Your Burning Questions