Hello, I’m Dr. Lauren! Read my introduction to study extra about me and my two adventurous cats, Pancake and Tiller.
Do you could have a Kelly Slater at dwelling? A feline Kelly Slater?
Cats on counters. It’s such a standard incidence within the feline world that it’s even garnered its personal time period: counter browsing. And it’s apparently so interesting, that even some dogs are joining in on the fun…
Should you personal a cat, counter-surfing is usually all too frequent. Cats, in any case, are nonetheless thought of lately domesticated, and retain a lot of their pure instincts. These instincts embrace retreating to totally different heights for sleeping and enjoying, which may present a way of safety, whereas additionally permitting a greater vantage level, and rising energetic behaviors.
Research on choice for scratching posts present that cats choose vertical posts to horizontal scratch pads.1 And present developments in environmental enrichment promote vertical areas, as they successfully enhance a cat’s territory, particularly inside restricted areas, similar to for pet cats which can be housed predominantly indoors.2 This will embrace elevated beds, cabinets, ropes, cat timber, and climbing poles.
However, such feline conduct isn’t essentially congruent with our trendy existence, on the subject of co-existing. As an example, neither of my cats is allowed on the kitchen counters or kitchen desk, which emanates from early coaching once they have been kittens. (It actually took me every week and a variety of coaxing to get a photograph of Tiller on the desk particularly for this article- presumably why she seems to be so irritated!) So, what’s the deal on why it’s not advisable, and the place is the glad medium?
Counter Browsing: Why Not?
I’m personally a powerful believer that (1) cats will likely be cats and you may’t change their inherent nature; (2) regardless, cats shouldn’t put their ft wherever I don’t put mine; (3) cats positively shouldn’t put their butt the place I wouldn’t put my ft (e.g. my breakfast toast).
It could sound pedantic, however as a lot as I really like cats, I don’t need ANYONE’s butt on my breakfast toast. And, there are zoonotic dangers. Zoonoses are ailments that individuals can catch from animals, simply as reverse zoonoses are ailments that animals can catch from individuals.
For people, parasitic ailments similar to tapeworms, cryptosporidium, and salmonella are all potential considerations from issues tracked onto the counter from well-intentioned cats. True, counter browsing isn’t a well known type of zoonotic transmission. However the dangers don’t finish there.
Cats, themselves, are liable to risks on counter tops. Sizzling stoves, that curious cats step on, can result in extreme paw pad burns, with subsequent ulcerations and vital ache. I see it no less than a number of instances a yr, when working in clinics. Cats leap onto a range, burn two or 4 ft, and are in ache for a number of weeks, afterwards, requiring remedy. Equally candles on counters typically appeal to heat-seeking felines, and result in melted whiskers, hair, and even burns. If it’s a cooking floor, sharp gadgets like knives and breakables like glasses will also be unsafe for curious kitties.
Various Methods for Cats to Dangle Ten
So how do you retain a cat off a counter? Or cease them from Kelly Slater-ing?
Tricks to maintain cats off the counter:
- Begin younger! Don’t wait till your cat is an grownup to implement cat-free areas, and provides them different locations to exchange what they search. Kittens are most pliable for studying boundaries and good (and dangerous!) habits, particularly earlier than 1 yr of age
- Train your cat the “No” command and be according to it
- Add vertical areas to your home: cat cabinets, cat timber, cardboard towers
- Noise aversion methods DON’T work on cats (e.g. clapping, key shaking, cash in a tin can)
- Squirting water can be a behavioral no-no!
- I’ve personally discovered smells to be a good deterrent: spicy gadgets wafted underneath the nostril of a wayward cat (e.g. chilli flakes, or Frank’s Purple Sizzling) instantly after they leap up may also help implement a no-go zone
- Substrates (similar to tinfoil or double-sided tape) may also deter some cats from stepping onto locations they aren’t welcome
- Give them their very own devoted out of doors viewing area to counterpoint their surroundings: a window suction mattress, chair by a window, and so forth. Many counter surfers are merely concerned with a greater vantage point- not a lot the counter itself!
- Including vertical shelves or cat trees for energetic play and leaping behaviors, to exchange leaping onto a desk or countertop
- Don’t depart tasty meals gadgets out on the counter, which may encourage curious cats to analyze
So, it’s solely doable to hang around along with your cat, whereas offering them with options to “hanging ten”. Tiller and Pancake live proof! Despite the fact that those toe beans are lovely, they belong wherever however the desk or countertop!