Disciplining a cat has long been known as an exercise in futility. These proud creatures will happily ignore scolding’s and other methods to do just what they want. Kitchen counters are like magnets to cats. Cats love high surfaces, and, as a bonus, the kitchen counter smells delicious. Your counter is often full of good things to eat, or at least, still smelling of them, and any self-respecting cat is required to investigate. It may seem impossible to keep your pet from “counter-surfing.” Before kitty drives you to your wits’ end, try a few simple tricks to discourage him.

Cats hate the sticky feeling of tape, so try applying some sticky-side up to the edge of the counter. The sensation of stickiness on your cat’s paws may be enough to keep him off the counter. The disadvantage to this method is that you will have to keep applying the tape as long as you want to repel the cat, and cleaning the adhesive off your counter later can be a chore. Strips of aluminum foil are also suggested, as some cats hate not only the feel of it on their toes, but also the crackling noise. Be careful, though. Some cats find aluminum foil highly attractive and will pull it down for a toy. Make sure that your cat does not ingest any foil if this happens.

Another method of repelling your cat from the counter is to employ a loud noise that will upset your cat when he has done something wrong. A few pennies in an empty aluminum can, shaken when the cat is on the counter, can make him learn that the counter is off limits. If you place a few of these cans along the edge of the counter where the cat will be sure to knock them off when he jumps up, the resulting racket will bring down the cat. Other loud noise methods include a popped balloon, or slapping noisemakers based on mousetraps. The traditional water spray method can also work, though it is important to make sure that the cat connects the discomfort of being wet with the counter, and not with you.

It is also important to make sure that temptations that entice your cat to jump on the counter are reduced. Keep good smelling food off of the counter top, make sure that there are other high places that your cat can sit, and make sure your cat has ample space to roam. These steps, combined with the above preventatives, can help keep your cat off of the counter.