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Trance24's avatar

How do I get my cat to stop going on the table?

Asked by Trance24 (3299 points ) January 9th, 2013

Ok so we have a cat, he is awesome. Yet he has the one flaw of always going on our one table. He gets up on it at night mostly and takes the liberty of knocking all of our things off of it. This is also the table where we leave the laptop. He will always get down when we yell at him, and lately Ill even whack him on the nose enough to where he gets the point. However, every night unless we yell at him of tap his nose he still gets on the table. How do we get him to stop? I have never had this much trouble training a cat to stay off of a surface.

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29 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Throw a tarp covered with two-sided sticky tape over the table at night.

Whacking him will do nothing but annoy him.

snowberry's avatar

Put tin foil all over the table. Cats hate walking on tin foil, at least most of them do. Leave it there for as long as it takes for him to get the message.

bookish1's avatar

The table is where the cool folks hang out. Why shouldn’t he go up there? You have to make it unpleasant for him, rather than hitting him or giving him attention some other way.

Cats hate sticky things on their paws. @gailcalled nailed it with the sticky tape tarp idea. None of my cats ever went on tables or the top of sofas.

gailcalled's avatar

@snowberry: He will forget in a millisecond when the foil is not there.

Construct a clear acrylic bubble to drop over the table at night.

Trance24's avatar

@gailcalled The tarp idea sounds good in theory, but we would have to take everything off the table to do it, or else when he gets stuck to it he will bring the tarp and everything else with him. We live in the basement as Uberbatman has probably mentioned on here, and do not have the space to move all the stuff off the table every night to a safe location out of reach of the kitty in question. Also, the cat is not allowed up stairs because Uber’s sister thinks cats are disgusting. So, we cannot distract him with the idea of being able to explore the whole house at night either.

Coloma's avatar

Cats like vertical space and to be up on high places. Get him a 6 foot cat tree to meet his need to be above it all. Yes, maybe follow the above advice and look into getting him a cat tree.

gailcalled's avatar

I wonder whether he would go so far as to get stuck on the tape. Cats seem to be very clever at sensing danger. Don’t they have vibrissae on the bottoms of their pads? (Doing this from memory as am too rushed to do the research.)

Trance24's avatar

@Coloma The thing is the table is not the highest vertical space in the room there are like three big shelves with no backings that are a cats paradise yet he goes for the table. The table is also level with the bed you would think he would choose the comfy bed over the table!! I also thing he just enjoys knocking all our things over. Cats definitely own the human not the other way around.

@gailcalled This is true but his paws would still stick enough to pull the tarp. I like the idea of constructing a large dome and placing it over the table. Or maybe a large box of sorts. I just wish he would listen rather than just become uninterested lol.

gailcalled's avatar

Here is just one of many Youtube visuals. You may be right, however.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8EQMeiG2Hw

Here’s Simon’s cat

diavolobella's avatar

I don’t know that I’m a fan of this concept, but I have heard that you can use a water pistol and squirt the cat when they approach a spot you don’t want them to get on until the negative reinforcement causes them to avoid it. You’d have to use vigilance for a while to do that though. I personally don’t want to squirt my cat and fortunately haven’t had that issue.

Coloma's avatar

@Trance24 Yes, they also tend towards bouts of OCD, claiming a certain place for awhile and then it changes again. My 2 shift around from certain favorite spots about every 3 weeks.
Yep, cats rule the roost. haha
Maybe get a cardboard box and cut some holes in it, something new to divert his attention.
My guys are still having fun in a big box full of tissue paper that has been in my living room since Xmas.

Trance24's avatar

@diavolobella Yea we thought about that except this is the computer table. So we took to using a dust off can which scares the crap out of him, but he still gets on the table again until you spray him.

@Coloma Yea we have had him since August and he has forever claimed this table. We constructed him a cardboard box fortress to distract him, but alas loss interest after three days.

gailcalled's avatar

Not helpful but will cheer you up after surveying the damage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=vv0OUdQNVM0

(Or cover Uber’s sister with a tarp at night and let the cat upstairs?)

diavolobella's avatar

Maybe soaking a paper towel or something in one of those “No” type cat sprays and putting it on the table?

Trance24's avatar

@diavolobella Yea I was thinking about one of those. Im going to look into their effectiveness.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Is this a cat or a kitten? If he’s a kitten, these ideas will probably work. It’ll take consistency and patience, but he’ll catch on.

If he’s a cat, you’re going to have a hard time. They say “you can’t teach an olds dog new tricks” an the same applies to cats – probably even moreso.

Also, I agree with @Coloma. Not only do cats want vertical spaces, they need them. Keeping a cat on the floor at all time can actually cause behavioral problems.

Good luck with your kitty!

Judi's avatar

Sprinkle it with cayenne pepper for a few nights. He won’t like it and REALLY won’t like it when he licks it off. Eventually he will associate the table top with the hot stupo and stay away.

Trance24's avatar

@livelaughlove21 He is not a kitten, we found him when he was probably between 6 months to a year old and that was in August. We never allowed him on the table and have been battling this since the beginning. Honestly I think he just wants our attention because he always knocks things off the table and he knows we hate that. But its not like we can ignore it because he is going to end up breaking something.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I broke my cat of that habit whenever I caught her up there I would take her back to the scene of the crime, and douse her good in the face with a squirt bottle with water. Soon she associated the kitchen table with a soggy wet muzzle and stopped doing it.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Trance24 Hopefully you’ll be able to break the habit. Cats tend to run the house. Our cat feels free to walk all over every surface on our house, but we don’t mind. It may come to the point where you just have to move everything off the table.

Trance24's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yea I have had cats all my life and usually broke them of habits like this way easier. He is just stubborn. And I would move everything off the table if there was some where to put it all. We only have the one table and all the shelves are taken.

gondwanalon's avatar

Don’t try to train your cat by hitting him. He will not likely associate the hitting with the table and will only lead him think that you are not a nice human to be around. You could use a squirt gun, but use it in a way that your cat doesn’t realize that the spray is coming from you that way he will perhaps associate the spray with the table and stay off it.

snowberry's avatar

Try this: Blow up some balloons. Play gently with them so the cat will investigate. When the cat comes near, pop the balloon in such a way that the cat doesn’t see you do it (use a pin in your hand).

Once the cat knows that balloons are scary things, place a few balloons on the table top, or hang a couple from the ceiling so they float just above the table.

This just might do it.

Buttonstc's avatar

You need to make the table very unattractive to him and mainly when you are NOT present so squirting him is unlikely to do much since that only works when you catch him in the act. Right now he regards it as a playground with fun stuff to knock off. A cat’s paradise.

You can try the product at the link or figure out a low tech version of it for yourselves (like sticky tap or precariously balanced pots and pans which fall off and scare the living daylights out of him when he hops up there.

If you can afford it, go the electronic route. It really works and can be used for other areas in the future. And you don’t need an active mat for each location either. They have dummy mats which are identical in appearance and cats are smart. Their paw bottoms are VERY VERY incredibly sensitive and they hate any discomfort to them. That’s the key to taking the fun
out of that table for him especially in your absence.

www.scatmat.com

Buttonstc's avatar

I just went over tithe website and noticed that theyve added other products since the last time I was there.

But I was specifically referring to the medium (or small) size mat which runs by small battery. They also used to picture the dummy mats which are a whole lot cheaper. But maybe call the toll free number and ask about them.

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drouleau4885's avatar

I have 2 house cats. One is still young. But, neither get on the tables or counter tops. Try smacking to table top to scare the cat off. Or you can try taking and pushing the cat off the table in a very quick manner. After that try doing both at the same time, or using a fly swatter to smack the table. This way when they see you coming with the swatter they will quickly learn to run when you see them..Worked for me, hope it works for you too.

snowberry's avatar

Unfortunately that just teaches the cat to not get on the table when you’re in the room or awake to scare him off.

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