How To Stop Your Cat from Jumping on Counters

My Maine Coon cat on the counter

Is your cat constantly jumping on your kitchen counters? If not counters, how about tables or chairs? I know my Maine Coon is constantly making counters around the house her home. Here are a few ways to discourage this behavior.

6 Methods to Prevent Cats From Jumping on Counters

Give Them Options

Get your cat an alternative surface they can jump on, such as cat trees or window perches and teach them how to use it.

You can encourage your feline friend to use these by spraying them with calming pheromones or placing a catnip or treats on them.

Get Them Their Own Platform

Since cats (like my Maine Coon) like to be aware of everything around them and tend to enjoy the view from a raised area, you can get them their own platforms like a barstool or chair.

You can place these platforms near the counter so that they can supervise whatever’s happening.

Play With Them More

Since cats are known to like attention playing with them tends to give them the attention they need, thus deterring them from jumping on counters.

Close Off the Space

One way that you can limit your cat’s jumping is by closing off the space. By doing this, it instills in them that the counters are off-limits.

No Leftovers on Counter

We all know temptations are a massive factor in our decision-making process; it’s also the same with animals. So, remember never to leave food scraps on the counter.

Be Affectionate

You catch more flies with honey, so by being affectionate to your cat by physically carrying them off each time they jump on the counter, they learn that they aren’t supposed to be on the counter.

What Not to Do

Cats do not understand what they are doing is “wrong,” so there’s no need to ever punish your cat.

This is why I also don’t recommend using deterrents like sprays, smelly oils, booby traps, or wrapping the surface in an unpleasant material.

Instead you need to provide and encourage other outlets for their jumping needs, which need to be met anyway.

Why Do Cats Jump on Counters?

Here are some reasons why you might find your furry friend on top of a counter in the house:

Feeling Playful

Since most cats are naturally active and playful, the counter may present an excellent challenge for your cat.

The layout of the counter may make for the perfect cat super highway, which can include numerous pieces of furniture and places, all elevated.


Ever heard of the saying curiosity killed the cat?

This saying isn’t just a made-up phrase; there is some truth to it because cats are super curious, investigative animals. My cat is a constant “supervisor” to any chore or work I’m doing around the house.

So, if there is something that they can’t see and are interested in, they’ll find a way of getting to it, and no counter will stop them.

Security and Territory

While your house is probably safe, millions of years of cat evolution do not just disappear. Cats – as predators – prefer the high ground and will seek these places out to survey their territory from above.

And just like they enjoy scratching their scratching post, this is deep, innate evolutionary behavior.

Attention Seeking Behavior

Your cat loves you, whether you know it or not and whether she shows it or not. They want and need attention. And if you aren’t giving them enough, they simply might jump on counters to get your attention.

Attracted To Running Water

Despite cats’ aversion to water being widely known, cats are different in that running water tends to amuse them! Believe it or not, running water can keep our furry friends entertained for hours.

So, to get to a running faucet, they’ll jump on the counter.

In Search of Food

All cats want snacks and delicious foods! (Like us all) So they could very well be smelling something nice, and jumping on the counter in search of good food.


Has an unfortunate fly, bug, roach, or rodent ever made their way into the house and met their demise at the hands of your fluffy assassin?

When a cat’s hunting mode is on, they move faster and with more agility than you’ll ever see. In these situations, they’ll jump on anything and anywhere to get their prey – including your counters.

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