Cats love to be on high places so climbing onto things comes naturally for them.  Having your cat climb onto high places is part of having a cat.  Because the desire to be above the floor is a natural cat behavior it may not be realistic to think you can completely stop it. A better idea is to give your cat her own high places to climb onto. Kitty perches are available in many pet catalogs as well as pet stores. Or if you’re handy and have time, you can make your own.

If your cat has gotten on the kitchen counters and been lucky enough to find something to eat there, it gives her even more motivation to want to explore your counters and tables. You must ensure that your cat never, ever finds things to eat, things to play with, or other good things when she climbs on your counters and other objects. If she intermittently hits the jackpot, it will continue to be worth her while to climb up and see what she can find.

And if climbing up on things gets your attention, it may have become a game for your cat. She jumps up, you yell and come after her, she jumps down and runs, you chase. What a great kitty game she’s invented!

Play more with your cat so she gets her needs for attention met in other ways. Drag toys around for her to chase. There are many great cat toys available for purchase, so find the ones that appeal to your cat. For some great ideas on how to provide enriching toys and environments for your cat, see our program Helping Kitty Be Good.

If you absolutely must keep your cat off of a high surface for safety or other reasons, try placing an upside down carpet runner  cut to size on the surface.  The plastic points that hold the runner in place on the carpet will be uncomfortable on your cat’s paws and may discourage her from getting up there ESPECIALLY if you have provided multiple other locations that are acceptable to you and meet her needs.