Yet another "explain my cat's behavior" thread

My cat Elvis is 17 – damn, almost 18. I’ve had him since he was 2 months old. There are certain house rules, and he’s pretty good about following them. (The trick to living with a cat is, IMHO, picking your battles, so I try not to overdo it on the rules.) Two real basic rules are “leave the houseplants alone” (he does), and “You’re not allowed on the kitchen counter.” Up until the last couple of weeks, he’s been fine about that – but all of a sudden, he’s hopping up on the counter all the time. There’s nothing terribly interesting up there – it’s the main stretch of open area of the counters (the other end has the dish drainer and a bunch of, yanno, stuff), so it’s where I do things like chop veggies or open cans when I’m cooking, make my sandwich every morning, etc. But I wipe down the counter when I’m done, so it’s not like there’s food up there.

So why is he suddenly jumping up there all the time?

Maybe he feels he’s old enough, and lived long enough, that he wants a different veiw of things? Could he have been getting up there while you were away this whole time? Maybe his inhibitions are lessened, or you’re around during the time that he’s accustomed to being up there? What can he see from up there that he can’t from the floor? A bird feeder or something? :confused: Try putting aluminium foil up on the counter to deter him, or spraying a strong solution of lemon water on the counter to deter him.

Cats, like all felines, are hunters and like a high vantage point to observe the world around them. That way they can see either prey or a threat coming from farther away. This instinct to climb is inbuilt and there is nothing you can do about it.

For this to happen at that age, my guess is he is now too old and stiff to get to his normal favourite high place - probably outside somewhere, you may not even know about it - and this is as good as he can manage.

Hm, interesting theories. You could definitely be right about “too old and stiff,” Askance – he’s definitely got arthritis (or whatever the kitty equivalent is); sometimes the best he can do going up or down stairs is hobble, though at other times he can still scamper. It is weird that he’d do the jump onto the counter, though – in general, most of his jumping up on stuff is in stages anymore (floor to chair to dining-room table; floor to stool to back of easy chair).

Further evidence of his new “getting up high” behaviors – when he curls up in bed with me, instead of curling up next to me, tucked into some bend in my body or another (behind my knees, for instand), he’ll actually get up on me, on whatever part is highest – like on my hip if I’m lying on my side. That can’t possibly be comfortable – he dozes off in an alert meatloaf pose, rather than sacking out in a relaxed sprawl or a comfy tight circle.

Shall I get into “he wants to be on my lap all the freakin’ time”?

Well, it’s good that he’s still spry enough at 18 to jump up on counters.

Does he seem to be looking for food when he’s up there? Does he seem to want to eat more in general? Does he drink more water? Is he looking for water in the sink? If you answered yes to any of those questions take him to the vet to get his blood sugar and kidney function tested.