My Cat Won’t Stay Off the Counters

Your cat Chloe must have belonged to a feline high-wire troupe in another life. Sweet little Chloe hangs out on the couch all day, and she can barely be bothered to occasionally walk over to her food and water. However, Chloe somehow summons the energy to hop on the kitchen counters several times each day. You’ve caught Chloe patrolling her domain after you shredded a cooked chicken for a casserole, and while you were making sandwiches with some tasty turkey breast. Chloe’s an equal-opportunity counter surfer, though, as you’ve also caught her nibbling on your just-baked chocolate chip cookies. Since Chloe walks on the counters with the same feet she uses in her litter box, this unappealing practice has to stop. While Chloe doesn’t know it, she’s off to a behavioral counseling appointment with her Ludington veterinarian.

Tackle Those Crazy Food Cravings

Perhaps Chloe thinks she’s been placed on a starvation diet, and she’s trying to get enough food any way she can. Switch up your feeding schedule, and allow Chloe to chow down on several small meals daily, instead of eating one giant portion and staying hungry for the rest of the day. Since Chloe gets plenty of acrobatic exercise, she’s probably a fit and trim little cat. If that’s the case, ask your vet if Chloe can have unlimited food access all day. However, you’ll still be smart to remove the temptations that lurk atop the counters.

Provide Some Unwelcome Consequences

Make Chloe’s counter-hopping trips less enjoyable by giving her an unpleasant surprise when she hops onto her stomping grounds. Once you figure out where Chloe lands, balance several lightweight baking sheets at that exact spot. Watch Chloe’s surprise and shock – and better yet, film it – as the baking sheets go rattling to the floor when her little feet hit them. She’ll probably jump down to the floor along with them, giving her something to think about the next time.

Challenge Your Champion Climber

Chloe was a great hunter in several of her past lives, so she’s probably patrolling the counters to give her a better vantage point for stalking her prey. To discourage Chloe’s counter hopping behavior, buy (or build) a multi-level cat tower covered in claw-friendly carpet. Include a few roomy platforms where she can recline while she surveys her domain, and even tuck in a sleeping cubbyhole or two. If Chloe likes to stalk the backyard birds from a favorite window sill, attach a nice wide kitty shelf to her preferred perch.

When Chloe next visits her Ludington vet, you can report that you’ve taken back control of your kitchen counters – at least for now.

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