If there’s one thing about having a companion animal for a roommate, it’s the fact that he or she will always love you no matter what. Loyal, cuddly, cute, and furry, it’s obvious why humans often spoil their furry companions. But there is a good and a bad side. As much as you love them, it can cause some frustration and anger, much like a real human roommate could if you were to disagree about chores, bills, or some other household matter.
Companion animals sometimes don’t respect your boundaries because they do not know any better. You could go to bed one night and wake up the next morning to chewed-up shoes. You could turn around for one second, and there goes your new ceramic display on top of the fireplace’s mantel crashing to the floor. One problem that plenty of pet owners have is keeping their otherwise lovable pets off of their counters and tables. Visit any pet forum, and you will see that this is an ongoing matter that happens more with cats than with any other animal.
Cats don’t mean to disrespect you, although they might give you the stare down after shooing them off of the counter. They simply do not know their boundaries, even if you do yell at them time and time again to get off of the counter. While some pet owners allow their cats to roam freely across the counter, there are concerns about letting them do that. The obvious concerns are cleanliness and sanitation. Food is prepared on kitchen counters, and having traces of feces, urine, and litter scattered all over the counters is definitely unsanitary and a health risk.
To take the attention off of those oh-so-attractive counters, make sure you give your cats a place that they can climb up. They love high places, and a tall cat tree by the window can do the trick. To ease the familiarity of the tower, sneak in little treats at the very top perch or tuck them in corners. Keep in mind that you should keep your counters as clean as possible at all times. Part of the reason why they may be so attracted to the counter is because they smell food. Wiping down with a disinfectant or Pine-Sol should do the trick.
Depending on how stubborn your cats are, you might have to go the extra mile to keep them off. Try spreading pieces of double-sided tape across the counters or tabletop. Cats absolutely hate stuff stuck to their paws and will, in time, associate that moment with their counter-hopping. Another trick is to set a “barb wire” that runs across your countertop or table. At the end of the wire, there should be empty cans that will make a shocking clattering noise when the cat trips it.
If worse comes to worse, then consider investing in other cat deterrents, such as motion sensor devices that will emit a spray when your cat is near. There are also mats that carry a small electrical charge, which will give a little shock (much like the static shock during the dry winter months) when your cat hops on.
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