How to Use Clicker Training to Keep Your Cat off the Counter

Use clicker training to help keep your cat off the counter.

Many cats love to get up on counters and tables, checking out what's up there, licking off plates, and maybe knocking something over.

This behavior can be unsanitary for you because your cat's feet might have bits of litter and litter box contents on them, and it can also be unsafe for your cat. Jumping up onto a hot stove, for instance, can cause serious paw burns, cats can start fires by jumping up there, and they might encounter and eat toxic foods or plants.

Why Do Cats Like to Jump on Counters?

There are a few reasons that cats like to jump on counters.

How Can You Keep Your Cat off the Counters and Tables?

First, you'll need to provide alternatives for some of the benefits listed above that your cat might be getting from jumping up.

If your cat loves to jump on the kitchen counters while you're working there, provide him with an alternative way to hang out with you while you work in the kitchen. Give him a sturdy stool or chair from which he can see what you're doing. It can help to give him some food before you work in the kitchen, so his belly is full, and he's ready to rest and chill out.

Be sure that you're always keeping food on the counters covered or put away, to decrease temptation for your cat when you aren't around.

How to Incorporate Clicker Training into Deterring Your Cat from Jumping on Counters

Clicker training can be an effective way to teach cats new things. You'll need to get your cat accustomed to what the clicker means first, which is that the kitty is performing a behavior that you like. It won't take long before you have established in your kitty's mind that the click means he gets a treat. You can learn how to introduce this to your cat here: "Clicker Training for Cats: An Overview."

Never use physical punishment when your cat jumps on the counter and table. Doing so can stress your cat out, result in more unwanted behavior, and damage your relationship with him.



Now that your kitty knows what the clicker means, you can use it to help you keep your cat off the counter by clicking and giving a treat every time you see him on acceptable tall surfaces instead. If he's on his cat tree, click and give a treat.

If your cat is ignoring the alternative tall spots you've given him, you need to make them even more attractive.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Cat Training: Know the Basics

How to Train a Cat to Come

How Do I Get My Cat into a Carrier?

Clicker Training for Cats: Come When Called

Clicker Training for Cats: Sit

Clicker Training for Cats: An Overview

How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

Cat Scratching Boot Camp

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with