Keeping Your Cats Off Your Counters!
I adopted a 10-12 month old male cat in march 2005. I verbally praise him constantly for good behavior. I have bought the "scat matt" to deter him form jumping on the counters while I am not around and associated with the correction. I have tried the verbal correction, and the water bottle correction together & separate. I know I am supposed to not be around and associated with the correction. All 3 cats know their names and will basically come when they are called. I use the verbal word "no" after there name and basically try to keep it simple. I have never heard of anybody having this food issue problem. I have heard to try tabasco sauce as a deterrent. They were raised & trained as kittens not to bother me while I eat. I know i'll never be able to just leave the house with human food out. But I should be able to leave the room for a minute or so & not worry about turning my back to them. (Shannon Cole - Illinois)
Often when cats (and dogs) have had a difficult start to life they have the learned behavior that food should be eaten when its available. In fact, it could be said this was the natural way of life for any wild animal. However, in a domestic situation, it is far more irritating than people who don't encounter this problem might think.
You are unlikely to be able to train your cat out of eating when food is available. Let's concentrate on stopping him from going on your counters. What you want to do is train your cat that counters are a generally unpleasant place to walk. You don't, however, want to hurt your cat or scare him terribly.
Beth Adelman suggests the use of sheets of aluminum foil and upside down shower mats in her weekly column for us. See the link below.
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