Our NYC Holiday Market is open (!!!) for the weekend. Come on by »
🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

Tips for a cook with a cat??

I just got a cat, and he is VERY CURIOUS. I basically can't leave anything unattended on the counter or table for even a moment. How will I cook Thanksgiving dinner?! Must I stand and guard every cooling cake? Anyone have any training tips or "kitchen hacks" or products they swear by that might help me? Thanks!! =^.^=

asked by UhOhSarah over 1 year ago
19 answers 1154 views
84e04bee 8fc8 4bdc 8199 701c1af83294  image
added over 1 year ago

Keep a squirt bottle handy - it's the only thing that keeps my cats off the counter when I'm cooking seafood.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

My experience is there are two basic options for dealing with a counter jumping cat:

1) eternal vigilance
2) surrender

A spray bottle with water can be used for aversion therapy - zap the cat with a spritz of water whenever he jumps on the counter. A small number of cats get the message and stop jumping up on the counter. The remainder learn to only jump up on the counter when you aren't around.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

You just have to train him that countertops and tabletops are restricted areas. We used a squirt bottle for one cat and loud noise for another. So if they even put a paw on the tabletop, they get a firm (dont yell) "no" with a squirt of water (she doesnt like to get wet) or a loud clap (for the other cat that is ok w water but does not like to be startled). It only took us a couple of times for each cat and if they decide to do anything else they are not supposed to, a firm "no" or just seeing the squirt bottle os enough to prevent any other mischief. They know when they are being bad. Afterwards, they do give the best snuggles

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

I forgot to add that we never leave food out on the table when we're not home. No need to temp them. We are lucky so far with the counters. If you have a cat that likes to jump counters, you might want to invest in child safety locks for your stove knobs. 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.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I was reading on a ASPCA site that squirting cats with water isn't ideal because the cat associates the water with you, not the counter, and makes it afraid of you.
A good solution to associate discomfort with the counter itself is to put a couple of metal baking sheets or aluminum pie pans around the edges of the counter because they skitter and are unstable, and make noise. Also, having a good climbing tree somewhere nearby where they can observe from some height makes them happier. And definitely keep food off the counter when you're not cooking, that they might be tempted to taste.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I was reading on a ASPCA site that squirting cats with water isn't ideal because the cat associates the water with you, not the counter, and makes it afraid of you.
A good solution to associate discomfort with the counter itself is to put a couple of metal baking sheets or aluminum pie pans around the edges of the counter because they skitter and are unstable, and make noise. Also, having a good climbing tree somewhere nearby where they can observe from some height makes them happier. And definitely keep food off the counter when you're not cooking, that they might be tempted to taste.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I was reading on a ASPCA site that squirting cats with water isn't ideal because the cat associates the water with you, not the counter, and makes it afraid of you.
A good solution to associate discomfort with the counter itself is to put a couple of metal baking sheets or aluminum pie pans around the edges of the counter because they skitter and are unstable, and make noise. Also, having a good climbing tree somewhere nearby where they can observe from some height makes them happier. And definitely keep food off the counter when you're not cooking, that they might be tempted to taste.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

This reminded me that we have had success lining the tops of dressers with aluminum foil. They do not like the crinkling. Cat tried twice and gave up altogether. I guess we are lucky in that our cats have associated everything with not being naughty, so they stay off all the places they are not allowed to be even when we are not looking. The only exception we found out was roses. Apparently our cats find roses extremely tasty and they would try to get to them no matter what.

And regarding having a cat tree nearby so they can see things, I agree that might work for some cats. One of our cats likes to see what's going on up on the counter or table. So all we do is pick her up and hold her while she has a good look around and then once she's done surveying her kingdom, she stops bothering us in the kitchen.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Sorry for all multiple posts! Computer having an overheated, sluggish day.

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

You definitely need to use a remote form of punishment -- like Pegeen said a squirt bottle or loud noise made by you will only work while you're actually around. The thing I've had the best luck with is lining the counters 2 layers deep with large pieces of very sticky packing tape sticky side up that is just barely tacked down on each end. When the cat jumps on the counter and the tape sticks to it, it will freak out like a devil is stuck to it. You will have to catch the cat and remove the tape. The experience is horrifying enough for the cat, that it probably won't want to repeat it. Clearly this needs to be done while you're home. If your cat has been jumping on the counter for ages (especially if it's gotten tasty rewards for doing so) it will be less likely to work than if it's a new habit. Another thing to look into is a product called "SSSCAT" which is a can of compressed air with a motion sensor to trigger it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

Yes on double sided tape. It is a popular form of cat punishment and has the beauty if not being asscoiated with you. Standard joke, what is the difference between a cat and a dog? A dog you can teach to keep off the furniture, a cat you can teach to keep off the furniture when you are in the room.

A0d1fd35 3662 4b6f ad04 e8e728296db7  4453 784693455869 8182922 n
added over 1 year ago

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely try some of these tips!!

C8bd9f4b a7b2 4d54 81bd a765cd081b29  th
added over 1 year ago

For counter tops I have used cat dual sided sticky tape. They hate it.

Dcaf56be 4ef6 4780 84d1 1e354adf4ff9  stringio
added over 1 year ago

Perhaps we were lucky with our cats but simply shouting at them, a quick squirt or spank and removing them from the counters worked. It only took a few weeks before they stopped attempting to jump up and they didn't become afraid of us.

Sure, it only works when you're there but we found if we don't leave anything tempting up there when we aren't there they don't try it then either. If I do have to leave something on the counter when I'm not there (maybe I cooked a whole turkey and need to leave half of it to cool while we eat) then I shut the door to keep the cats out of the kitchen completely.

Our friends' cat was not so easy to train so they bought a ssscat to leave on the counter. It's automatic and goes off when it senses movement so it will protect the counters even when you aren't there. It makes a hissing noise the cats are scared of.

I do find a lot of the problem is just that they want to see what you're up to so, as someone suggested, a cat tree or dedicated cat shelf might be enough to solve the problem.

0236a64a 6089 48f7 8ce6 5b790ad33fd9  0605111238
added over 1 year ago

My cat is not so curious as defiant, but in general I've just given her a perch from which she can survey the kitchen. So if she's trying to get on the counter I just put her on top of the fridge where she's allowed, and try to keep an access pathway for her to get up there.

As for keeping food out with your back turned... try covering with a colander, food screen (they make them for outdoors, for bugs), etc. Hope you have some luck training!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

When I was in graduate school, I acquired a cat from a "Free to a Good Home" box on a local street corner. We had gender identity issues. I finally settled on Mike as his name, short for My Cat. His favorite people foods were raw mushrooms and green olives. He had his own perch on top of my refrigerator. His favorite people foods were raw mushrooms and green olives. A couple of years later, I went home to the East Coast with the eventual husband to meet his mother who was settling into dementia. She and I had a cat discussion one afternoon. When she turned and said to me, as feeding time came around that evening and one of them was not to be found, "Perhaps he would like some green olives." I suggested to my future husband that perhaps their mother wasn't as far gone as they thought.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

The love of our life is an ex-ferral kitten who is determined, feisty, curious and almost impossible to discipline. As a young fellow he enjoyed launching himself onto the counters and running across the peninsula that had the gas cooktop - and he tried this while I was cooking. Nothing I tried worked in disciplining him and it was the vet who really took me to task about protecting him from himself. He suggested - or more like insisted - that I get a scat mat which basically gives animals a little zap when they touch it. I thought it was cruel and inhuman but the vet described at length some of the animals they had tended to who had been injured by 'kind' owners. As a last resort to avoid this form of shock treatment I took to containing him when cooking, spraying him with water when caught, putting noise makers on the counter and basically not letting him in the space. I can say that some 9 years later he is much better and shows little interest in food on the counters (but I make sure to have a bowl over appetizing things) and running across them for fun has just about stopped. I do know he likes to sit on them occasionally when I am not in sight but I generally can leave him without too much panic. So I suggest use several strategies and don't become predictable and I really suggest not allowing him on any surfaces as they confuse them all as allowable spaces. Now I just have to figure out how to keep him from his attraction to bleach.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Michele, very funny. Good job with your rescue kitty.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Am I the only one that keeps wacky parsing this as "Tips for Cooking a Cat"