Cat Training

How do I train my 7 month old kittens not to jump on the kitchen table or benches?

I’ve tried yelling, 10 minutes isolation, squirting with water… none of these have worked. Last night I walked into the dining room to find one kitten asleep on the table. The other seems to be getting the idea, but she’s sneaky and tends to get up there but not get caught.

How do I train a cat?!

You have to be SO consistent. Discipline them promptly and unpleasantly. But most of all consistently. They will get it eventually.

Hell, I taught my cat to “sit.”

Hissing works well for me. There’s no point in punishing after the fact–you have to catch them in the act. Our cats don’t get up on the table, the counter, or the coffee table…when we’re looking. Mostly I remove temptation by not leaving anything out that might tempt them. I mean, come on.

As far as learning tricks goes, they will climb/jump up on something for a treat, come when called, and play fetch way better than any dog.

Just pile up a bunch of stuff (books, packages, mittens & hats, etc.) on the surface so they don’t have room to jump up on it. That’s what I do, yep. :wink:

There are several things you can try. Probably the first thing I would do, though, is make sure they have a similar place of their very own to curl up and be comfy. Do you have a corner or something where you can put a small table with a couple of cat beds on it? An empty shelf in a bookcase? How about a nice cat tree with a couple of comfy shelves? Your kittens obviously prefer a raised surface to relax and nap on, so providing them with a more appealing alternative will help a lot with your further efforts. Try sprinkling a little catnip in the new ‘lounge area’ to encourage them, and praise and pet them when you see them using it.

Basically you want to make the table an unpleasant place to be at ANY time, so that the kittens just don’t want to be there. A Scat Mat might work wonderfully - this is a mat that delivers a very small electrical shock when it is stepped on. It is NOT supposed to be painful or dangerous - it just delivers an unpleasant tingle. Keep the Scat Mat on the table whenever you aren’t using it. How long you will need to use it will depend on how stubborn your kittens are! Since they ARE kittens, the behavior is probably not really habitual yet, so it shouldn’t take too long - maybe a couple of weeks - for them to firmly fix in their minds that the table should be considered permanently off limits.

Scat Mats are a little expensive, but you may find further use for it - teaching them to stay off of kitchen counters, for example. Several of the online pet stores have them available in various sizes to suit your need.

There are other, cheaper alternatives you can try that may or may not work - a spiky plastic carpet runner turned upside down on the table (unfortunately my cats thought it made a neat back scratcher), or towels hung over the edge where a jumping cat will grab them and pull them off, ‘loaded’ with soda cans containing a few rocks or something to make noise (after the first few times, my cats realized the noisy cans wouldn’t hurt them and just ignored the clatter).

You might also try doing an internet search on ‘feline behavior’, as there are quite a few websites that suggest different ways of dealing with common cat-related problems (which definitely includes jumping on counters and tabletops!).

Hope this helps!

As you can easily see from the above posts, cats have no trouble training their people.
You will only be successful if you give them something they like better than your tables/countertops. Mine seems to like a perch by a window. High up is good.

I think the water spray would work if done enough

The problem with many cat punishments is that you have to catch them in the act and that’s impossible because they are jumping on the table when you sleep, go to work, etc. The scat mat mentioned only works if they jump on it. Odds are that it won’t cover the whole table, so they’ll just go on the part where the mat isn’t. The cat is just curious, so they go up there is check out what’s there.

So, make sure that a) there’s never anything interesting for them to check out on the table and b) there’s something unpleasant up there.

Each cat is different, but mine HATES having tape stuck to her feet or any other part of her body. Solution? I laid strips of packaging tape on the table in random spots, sticky side up. At first, I’d come home from work with some of the strips moved or missing, usually found on the floor nearby, sometimes with cat hair on them. Eventually, the strips stopped moving, and I stopped seeing the cat up there because she decided it just wasn’t worth it and there was nothing up there anyway.

Problem solved…for me anyway. It’s not foolproof of course, but it’s a LOT cheap than those scat mats, and combined with a water sprayer and yelling, it does the trick…

I know when my cat would urinate all over, we’d just put a little black pepper on the ground we didn’t want him near. So try to sprinkle a little pepper on the benches, tops, etc.