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Old November 6th, 2006, 03:05 PM
MyBirdIsEvil's Avatar
MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Location: Missouri
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The thing with cats is even if they are trained not to go on counters they will still instinctually want to get up there sometimes (they like to be in high places), so there should be nothing valuable or messy on the counters that could be knocked down. Put these things AWAY, it is not the cats fault if you leave things out to be broken or knocked on the floor. Just like with a toddler - if you leave them unsupervised with interesting things that can be broken, eatin, dumped out, etc. whose fault is it?
You would also benefit from either making something they can climb on, or buying one. A very tall scratching post with plenty of holes for them to go in, and plenty of things for them to climb on would probably deter them from getting on your counters quite a bit. If you put treats in it and catnip on it every day they'll learn to play on that instead.
HOWEVER, if the reason they're getting on counters is because you're leaving something edible out or something that smells good, nothing is going to deter them. You need to put all foods they may see as treats away, seal your garbage can, etc.
There should be no need for a squirt bottle, and at this point since they've already seen you use it it's useless. Squirt bottles only work if the cat doesn't know where it is coming from. All I ever have to do with my cats if I don't want them somewhere anymore is pick them up and put them on the floor while saying "down". After a few times they learn to stay off. This also teaches them the "down" command which will help if you see them on things they shouldn't be on. Just because cats aren't dogs doesn't mean they can't learn words and behaviors, not EVERYTHING should be negative reinforcement like squirting them.
Like I said though, they DO need proper outlets to keep them from finding the counters interesting. Scratching posts, things to climb on, and toys. You should also be playing with them yourself, it's a good way to bond and let them know that you're not just there to scold them. When you say down and they get down they can be rewarded with treats and play, which is one of the best methods to actually teach cats. Cats are smart, so when you only use negative reinforcement there's no incentive for them to behave when you're not there.

Last edited by MyBirdIsEvil; November 6th, 2006 at 03:09 PM.
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