Cats are curious creatures and seem to everywhere we don’t want them to be. Due to this curiosity, many owners find themselves asking the question – “how do I stop my cat from climbing”. This can relate to your feline friend scaling the curtains or making themselves at home on the kitchen bench. Not only can this behaviour be seen as unruly, it can also be hazardous to you and your cat with possible dangers such as hot stoves and chemicals on your bench tops.
Why do cats climb where we don’t want them to?
Before we look into the ways to stop your cat from climbing, we need to understand the reasoning behind what attracts them to climb certain things. As we all know, cats and kittens love heights and will often fight with one another to be the top cat – the one that is the highest above the ground.
When it comes to kitchen bench tops, the smell of food is far too tempting to not investigate. Even after cleaning up the scraps, our curious kitties still love to investigate just in case they can grab themselves a little treat. Along with food, they also love fresh running water so be sure to turn off taps in an effort to not entice them any further. Below are Petplan’s best tips to stop your cat from climbing where they shouldn’t be…
The best deterrent is giving them a more suitable alternative. Buy or create their very own climbing area (cat tree) as a way to distract them from climbing on areas that they shouldn’t. This should include carpeted areas with places to climb, hide, and allow them to be able to see the entire room. The best spot for this is in the corner of the room so your kitten can get a great view of their surroundings.
The placement of your cat tree will determine how much it is used as your cat will want to still be around you but in their own space. To add to the enticing nature of the cat tree, rub a few catnip leaves over it and place some treats in random areas so your cat is rewarded for exploring their new safe place.
Making the surface uncomfortable for your cat to walk on is a great way to stop this behaviour. Place double sided sticky tape to the bench or curtain edges or use plastic carpet runners with the points up to deter your cat. This will have to be kept up for a couple of weeks to make the cat believe that they really don’t want anything to do with that area.
A common way of deterring cats from climbing on to things is making noise as soon as this behaviour occurs or setting booby traps for them. If you know of a common area that your cat often climbs, place lightweight plastic objects in that vicinity so that your cat will knock them over when they begin to climb. This will hopefully come crashing down a make a noise that will make your furry feline think twice about climbing there again.
If this doesn’t work, a more direct deterrent is rattling a noise maker when they begin to climb. Placing some coins or rocks in an empty aluminium can cause quite a racket! Having this nearby at all times will be helpful, as you can grab it and rattle the can when your cat is doing the wrong thing. For this to work properly, you will have to be consistent!
Many owners disapprove of using spray bottles as a negative reinforcement because it can seem cruel. However, if you are going to use a spray of water to stop your cat’s bad behaviours, only use one squirt – do not drench your cat! A quick spray of fine mist will do the trick and hopefully deter the cat enough to stop this behaviour.
This act of spraying the water can associate you with the negative outcome and therefore make your cat resent you. So only use this method after exhausting all your other options that make the cat associate their bad behaviour with a bad outcome without any other outside influences.
Find a solution that works for you and your cat without being directly associated with the negative reinforcement and make sure they have ample of space and other places that they can climb and be safe. If you have any other ways to stop your cat from climbing, let us know in the comments below.