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Thread: Cat training?

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    So... I haven't had a cat in 10 years and I now have one about 6 months old. I am having an issue with her jumping onto the dining room table and the kitchen countertops. This bothers me A LOT and I don't know how to get her to stop. She will not get off with me telling her, yelling at her, nothing until I go over there and make her get off. Several times when I have sat down to eat she has jumped onto the table in a flash, almost into my plate.

    My daughter and her children just moved out and the kitchen and counter are totally clear of any dishes or food for probably the first time in 6 months. That's my only idea about why she is so intent on jumping up there.

    How do I get her to stop?

    Edited: I just realized that might be why she seems to be so fat. I have double checked that I am not feeding her too much but she is chunky. She may be used to eating off the counters when no one is around (or maybe when others were around and I was at work all day).

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Some suggestions:

    1. Maybe she needs some exercise. That would get rid of the fat and make her need to jump around less. Can you allow her out in the yard? Or take her for walks?

    2. That probably isn't why she liks being up on table and counters, though. To discipline her, when she's up there go pick her up, say NO loudly and put her in a cat carrier for a time. 20 minutes? Whatever you tihkn works. Do this consistently and she'll learn that you don't want her up there. Whether she'll abide by that when you're not there is another thing.

    3. Post this question on a pets forum for much better answers - though this one has so many cat owners you ought to get some great ideas here.

  3. #3
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    that's a good idea, the cat carrier time out.

    Maybe she will also learn that there is nothing on the counter or table for her. I don't leave ANYTHING on the counters. I clean and put away or rinse off and put in the dishwasher everything I use immediately and wipe up any spills or crumbs.

  4. #4
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    Take a clean spray bottle like from the dollar store or something and give her a squirt of water. You can reach her from across the room with that, they do NOT like the water. My cats know to quit what they're doing when I so much as reach for the bottle, or just have it next to me.

  5. #5
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I've heard of the water bottle, I'll have to get one. When she jumps on the counter when I'm at the sink I flick water from my fingers at her and she jumps down real quick.

  6. #6
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest the spray bottle of water too! lol!!!
    Our's know they're not suppose to be on the counters table, etc, and will usually jump down quick if we just hiss at them. lol!!!
    My tubby cat Blu also knows she's not suppose to be on a quilt when it's on the frame, and will turn her head away if I see her. Apparently thinking if she can't see me, I can't see her! lol!!! I've been trying to remember to get a spray bottle for her, for this.

  7. #7
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    Definitely try the water bottle; some people also have luck with shaking pennies in a can. What you need, though, is a consistent signal to train the cat. Anytime she jumps on the table, clap your hands loudly and say "Down!" in a sharp tone -- if you have to move towards her and get her down, that's fine (or clap hands, say "Down!", and then spray her with water). Over time, though, she'll understand that if you clap your hands and say "Down!", that she's going to get pushed down or squirted, and she'll start to do it on her own. But it takes time -- cats are a lot slower to train than dogs.

    About the weight gain -- are you free feeding her? If so, I would stop doing that, and just feed her a specific allotted amount at certain times. You do NOT want to have a severely overweight cat (trust me, I speak from experience), as once they put on the weight, it takes years to get it off. Also, are you feeding wet or dry? Wet food is generally better, and helps to keep the weight down, because it's almost all protein, whereas dry food is almost always mostly carbs (corn filler, etc). Wet food is generally healthier, too, as it's closer to what a cat would actually eat in the wild -- back in the day, vets used to say to feed dry food because it helps keep the tartar off the cat's teeth, but that's been discarded lately as not being true (there is a very slight difference in tartar, but the pros of feeding wet over dry far outweigh that marginal pro). If a vet is telling you to feed dry for that reason, I would question their knowledge of the latest research.

  8. #8
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    Yep, it works really well, they learn fast!

    Most of the time, if I see them preparing to jump up or someting, I just go 'hey!' and they know I mean business :)

  9. #9
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    if she's fat, the kids may have been sneaking her food. you'll never know that. does she have toys that keep her active? like a fuzzy thing on a spring hanging from the door frame, that she can do while you're gone?
    or one of those balls in a circular open ring that they bat at but can't get the ball out of. anything that keeps her moving will do. try rolling a wadded-up piece of aluminum foil. the other solution (ALWAYS worked for me) is another kitten. they keep each other occupied all day, every day. nobody gets fat. and nobody gets lonely while you're gone to work.

    i always had good luck with a spray bottle. i only misted, but that was enough. i also said 'no' in a very firm voice. keep the nails short so it's hard to get a grip on tabletops and be prepared for wetness, especially on kitchen floors. very slippery. but they do learn. another thing they hate is when you blow gently in their face.

    edited to say this: she may really only want to be near you. she may need to spend more time with you now that the house is emptier. and some cats are "needier" than others and need more attention, so this may not be a food thing at all.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have used the squirt bottle for years. It works like a charm and after a few times the cats learn not to misbehave.

  11. #11
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I had luck with putting wide tape, sticky-side up, where mine was not to go. She would systematically smack off all my little treasures, and I swear she gave me the finger over the spray bottle. Somehow, the YUCK of having sticky catch on her paws cured her in no time. I did not have to be there to catch her in the act, and she did not associate it with me being bad to her.

  12. #12
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    You can also lay a sheet of tin foil on the counter and table she won't like it when she jumps on it. My husband would make me get rid of a cat that got on the counters. The only time my cat got on the table was when I had a bird in a cage hanging near by and she loved to torment it. But she always stayed in the same spot on the corner.

  13. #13
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    SHe could be pregant too. Some friends got a kitten who was 6 months old when they took her in to be fixed she well, was with kittens but they did the proceedure anyway. Oh and squirt bottle works great.

  14. #14
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    The sticky tape sounds good too for when I'm not here, maybe double-sided even. I was thinking of setting up my video cam (I believe software on my laptop can do the motion detection) and see what she does during the day.

    She's not pregnant. I've had her since she was a tiny kitten and she's never been out of the house. I DO need to get her to the vet for shots and spaying though.

  15. #15
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    If she hasn't been to the vets yet, but looks tubby, she may have worms. I'd get her checked out.

  16. #16
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    or place some bubble wrap on the counters.
    but do have her cked out if she's been outside. we took in a mamma cat and her two kittens but she surprised us with a second litter. we just thought we were feeding her well!
    two years later she is getting fat but she's been fixed! and she is an inside cat and only goes out for a walk on a leash.

  17. #17
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    Cats don't like tin foil either, you could lay some on your counters where you don't want her jumping up. I've used the tape and they HATE it!! Cats have an aversion to anything sticking to their paws.

    Mine love water so the spray bottle was a game for them! lol

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I hadn't hear of the tape before. I'm going to try that.

  19. #19
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I think maybe she is improving after a couple of days of a sharp "NO" and clapping my hands whenever she jumped up or started to. I made a turkey sandwich from a roasted turkey breast and while I was eating she walked over to the cupboards, sat down, and stuck her nose in the air smelling it. I had the cutting board with bits still on the counter.

    I told her "no" sternly a couple of times and she didn't do it.

  20. #20
    Member Aileen's Avatar
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    My vet told me to use a spray bottle with water but add a bit of lemon juice to it. The cats really hate it. Now I just say down and they are GONE! If they go into my quilting room and don't want to come out ( I keep my bottle next to to the door and all I have to do is spray it in their general direction and they are out the door in a flash!

    I have a problem with one of my cats scratching my furniture. I use tape to cover up the sides. She has a scratching mat that she uses and a cardboard one with the catnip under it that she loves but she still does it. I keep her claws short but she drives me crazy! She even will scratch up magazines. papers and books so I have to keep those away from her.

  21. #21
    Super Member adrianlee's Avatar
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    I bought a toy squirt gun and it shoots pretty far. Kitty doesn't like water and most of the time she doesn't know where it comes from because suddenly she is wet and on a place she shouldn't be. She'll learn not to go there otherwise she will get wet.

  22. #22
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Squirt guns are wonderful trainers for most cats. Some are just more needy than others and will endure the water to be close to you.

  23. #23
    Super Member adrianlee's Avatar
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    Shemjo, you are correct. My friend, Pat, she has a cat that likes to take showers with her. The cat will get right into the shower and then after Pat will towel the kitty off. Pat has couple cats that think it's ok to get on the counters.

  24. #24
    Member spooky's Avatar
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    Cats like being up from the ground, whether it's a tree, countertop, on top of kitchen cabinets, wherever, it's just the way they are. I've had cats for over 40 years, and I have found 2 ways to break them of things I don't want them to do. One is to use a child's squirt gun, and just give them a quick squirt at their face (won't hurt them) when you catch them doing it. The other is to give them a quick flick of the finger on the bridge of their nose (not hard, just enough for them to feel it). Both these methods kind of startle them, and evenually they associate what they are doing with something they don't like. Once they learn, all you usually need to do is snap your fingers at them and call their name.
    Hope this helps!

  25. #25
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Okay -- all good suggestions. But we have 2 cats for 3 yrs. We also have had cats all our life....now let me give you a BIG lesson:

    CATS DON'T GET TRAINED....THEY TRAIN YOU!!!!

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