How To Keep Cats Off The Table

Curious kitten looking over the table
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Is your cat constantly trying to get on your kitchen table? You're not alone. Cats, our favorite weirdos, are almost magnetically drawn to tables. Although it's cute, it's also annoying. If you're looking for a way to keep your cat off your table, here's how.

Provide Alternatives

Cats probably like being on tables because they have an instinctive need to climb. One way to assuage this need is to buy them things they can climb on. You can get them a cat tree or build a couple of shelves on your wall, and those are just the basic options. There are all sort of cool cat climbing apparatuses these days, so get creative.

Reward

Make your cat's designated climbing furniture as attractive and rewarding as possible. Adorn it with toys and catnip, and when she gets on it, pet her and give her lots of praise. You can even feed her dinner on it, to further encourage her to spend time on the new furniture.

When your cat does revert to old habits and jumps on the table (which she probably will at first), don't yell or punish. Simply pick her up and place her on the designated climbing furniture. Then, once she's on it, give her praise and pets.

Kitten standing on the dinning table
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Deter

Once your fabulous, appealing new climbing option is set up, make your table as unappealing as possible. The Humane Society suggests buying cheap plastic placemats and covering one side of them with double-sided tape (or you could use a product like Sticky Paws). Since cats don't like sticky surfaces, this should create an unpleasant (but painless) sensation that will make your cat want to jump down.

You'll probably need to keep your placemat setup in place for at least a few weeks while you train your cat. It's a pain, but know that the scenario is temporary. Once your cat has gone a few weeks without jumping on the table, you can begin removing one placemat at a time.

Remember, teaching your cat to stay off the table is a process and will take time. Be patient, try not to move too quickly, and use lots of praise.