How to Keep Cat Off Counters With Foil?

how to keep cat off counters with foil

Both the feel and noise of the aluminum foil underneath a cats their paws can keep it away from counters. You can do this easily by taping strips of foil on the edges of your countertops.

For other ideas to prevent this and facts on why cats do what they do, keep reading!

How can I keep my cat off the counters with foil?

Place a few sheets of aluminum foil onto the spot your cat jumps to most frequently and see how it reacts when it lands on the aluminum foil. Cats hate the rustling sound that the foil makes when they walk on it. Chances are, the second they jump on the foil and hear the sound, they will jump right back down to the floor. Keep the foil on the counter for a few days until your cat associates the counter with the strange sound.

Why does my cat like to jump on the counter?

Climbing comes naturally to cats. They like to seek higher ground whenever they feel stressed because a high vantage point allows them to observe the world  from a place of safety. Cats also want to feel secure knowing they have an escape route if needed. When your cat feels nervous, it may choose your countertop as a high enough place to feel safe.

Other cats jump onto counters just because they can. Cats’ bodies are very agile and athletic. They are built to climb up trees and all sorts of surfaces in the wild. Cats have large muscles in their hind legs that allow them to extend and lengthen their bodies. Their spines are equipped with a flexible, shock-absorbing disc that makes them land gracefully no matter how awkward their fall is. For cats, jumping onto the counter is simply their way of exhibiting their innate athletic abilities.

Kitchen counters also have a host of inviting smells for a cat. They are often full of tempting things to eat. If you are not careful, your kitty is going to help itself to the roasted chicken you just put on the countertop. Even tiny crumbs and spills from foods are enough to entice your cat to jump up and start nibbling.

Cats may also jump on the counter to get to your sink. Some cats love fresh running water and actually prefer it to the water in their bowl.

What are other ways to keep my cat off the counter?

  • Try double-sided tape- Try placing some double-sided tape on the corners and places where your cat jumps on the most. Cats hate the feeling of the tape’s stickiness on their paws and they should be repelled immediately. Make sure you choose a brand of double-sided tape that does not ruin your countertop. Do not worry- the tape will not hurt your cat’s paws, but it will be very effective in preventing them from jumping onto your counter.
  • Use scent repellent– Cats have very sensitive noses, and they are especially sensitive to citrus-y scents. Try leaving a lemon or orange peel on the counter and observe how your cat reacts. Scented oils like orange, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, or citronella can also be effective.
  • Get rid of the sun and the view from the counter-  Your cat might be hopping up on the counter to catch some rays of sunshine or to look at the birds on the trees outside the window. You can try closing your blinds or curtains to obstruct your cat’s view so it will no longer be tempted to jump on the counter.
  • Use a spray bottle- Most indoor cats do not like to get wet. Try keeping a spray bottle of water near the counter so the next time your cat jumps up onto it, you give it a quick spray. Keep doing this until your cat learns to associate the spritz of water with the act of jumping on the counter. Hopefully, they will quit the habit. Just make sure you only give them a quick spritz; do not soak them until they are drenched.
  • Place something noisy on the counter- Use a jar of pennies, a bell, or anything that makes a lot of noise when your cat touches it. The objective is to place the noisy object where the cat usually lands when it jumps on the counter. This is to make sure that the cat will knock the object down and get frightened, which will hopefully teach them a lesson.
  • Try clicker training- You can try to train your cat through positive reinforcement. When you see your cat jumping onto the counter, get them used to one cue word like “off.” If your cat follows your command, click the clicker and give your cat a treat. Keep repeating this until your cat learns that not being on the countertop will result in them getting a treat.
  • Remove any food- If your cat is food-motivated, make sure that you do not leave any food on the counter that will tempt your cat to jump up and eat it. Also ask your veterinarian about how to correct your cat’s food-motivated ways. Make sure you feed your cat on a schedule so they are not constantly looking for food elsewhere, because as long as they know food is going to be given at a specific time, they will be willing to wait for it.


Keep your cat off your counter by placing aluminum foil sheets on the corners and on the areas where your cat usually lands when it jumps. The sound the foil makes when they step on it, as well as the feel of the foil on their paws, should be enough to scare them into jumping right back down to the floor. Keep the foil on the counter for a couple of days, until you notice that your cat no longer jumps on the counter, meaning it has learned its lesson.

Image: / Maksymowicz