Loud noise will keep kitty off counter
Question: Is it possible to train a kitten not to jump onto the kitchen counter?
Answer: Yes -- if you have catlike reflexes and patience.
When she jumps onto the counter, create a loud noise. Bang two pans together or jingle a can full of pennies. If you can hide yourself, the kitten will associate the sound with the unwanted behavior, not with you.
As with any other behavior training, you must be consistent. Any time the kitten attempts to jump on the counter, you must provide the negative consequence of the noise. When you are unavailable to train the kitten, make sure she doesn't have access to the counter tops.
Q: What other steps can I take to prevent height curiosity from getting the better of my cat?
A: Cats can be persistent about wanting to be up high -- it provides a natural and enjoyable vantage point. They are not being purposefully disobedient.
Cat climbing frames provide an outlet for this desire. A ledge positioned by a window can offer a perch with a view and might divert some attention from the counters.
Also, keep food off your counters. Always clean up properly by putting unused food away. A cat that finds morsels of food once in a while will continue going back to look for more.
Q: Would toys help?
A: Toys could increase her enthusiasm in what's happening at ground level. Buy some new ones, but don't put them out at the same time. Rotating them will keep her interest.
Cats can also be easily entertained with items that you probably already have around your house. Set up paper bags and cardboard boxes for the old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek. Cats also enjoy batting around balled-up pieces of paper or plastic tops from water bottles.
In addition, provide the kitten with an area that is quiet, comfortable and just for her.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.