Do Your Cats Jump on Countertops: Why & How to Prevent It

Have you ever been enjoying a good show while relaxing on the couch only to have your peace-and-quiet shattered by a crash from your kitchen? If you’re like so many cat parents, you quickly realize that, once again, your cat is dancing on the countertop and found a bit of mischief to get into up there.

Every cat owner knows that cats love to explore, and countertops are no exception. In fact, the kitchen and bathroom counters are two of their favorite places. So, the question is: “Why do cats need to climb?” We will explain why cats like to jump up in the first place, and how to keep your countertops and furniture kitty-free while providing your feline friend with the necessary enrichment they need.

Why Cats Jump On Countertops

Cats were built to climb and hunt, and they’ve never lost these instincts. The desire to gain perspective and escape ground level remains strongly embedded in our domesticated cats.

It isn’t by chance that these impulses are so strong in our feline friends which is why enrichment is vital for cats to have a full and happy life. Being up above gives them a good view of their surroundings so they can see prey and predators. It’s no wonder that climbing is one of the first things kittens learn, and it is one thing that almost all adult cats simply love.

They Want to Find Food

cat reaching for cupcakes

Cats in nature climb trees looking for food. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone when their cat prowls around countertops, looking for tasty treats. Who could expect their cat to pass up an uncovered bowl of tuna fish left carelessly on the counter, after all?

Anxiety May Be the Culprit

A gray cat nervously sitting on a kitchen countertop

Being above their surroundings gives cats a sense of security. It stems from their instinct to spot a possible meal or to keep from being a possible meal.

It doesn’t matter if your cat has never been outside and needed to avoid predators. Or chased a little rodent around the kitchen looking to make a meal of it–this is a behavior that is hard-wired into their being, and sometimes you just can’t fight mother nature.

Vertical space is a way that timid cats, especially in a multi-cat household, can get their own space. On the counter, your cat is away from the other cats and can nap and play without being bothered.



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