Ideas for keeping cat out of the sink!

Twocoastscat

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Jeter lives to eat and constantly jumps up on the counter and into the kitchen sink to scavenge whatever he can. I have never been successful in training him to stay off counters - foil, double-stick tape, etc. - nothing deterred him. He knows it’s “wrong” because if I approach him when he’s there, he moves immediately. Other than the obvious of keeping sink and counters scrupulously clean (unfortunately my housemates, my son and daughter-in-law are not great at this) is there anything safe to spray on the surface to discourage him?
This is more of an issue lately because we are fostering a lovely young Husky who unfortunately isn’t learning that cats (we have two) are off-base. We don’t think she wants to hurt them but she’ll pursue and chase if free. Consequently we keep her leashed in the house if the cats are roaming - otherwise we use a gate to separate them. Jeter is as stubborn as a mule and he is clearly not afraid of the dog so he goes into the kitchen where the Husky is often leashed but then basically corners himself and there is a face-off between them. The Husky is up for adoption and so we haven’t trained her well plus the breed is, so we have heard, pretty stubborn. Any suggestions?
 

susanm9006

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You can try setting a motion activated toy on the counter - something that talks, sings or moves. It shouldn’t take more than a few scares to stop him.
 

iPappy

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Could you maybe keep the sink filled with a little water? This won't help the counter surfing, but it might deter him from going into the sink (unless he likes water!)
Also, it sounds like you're managing the Husky very well. Despite what people will say, I don't believe some dogs can be reliably "trained" against their nature (have you ever seen a Husky protecting a flock of chickens?) and management is key here. I'm sure the future adopters will appreciate they work you're doing with her. :)
 
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Twocoastscat

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The motion activated toy might work - although he’s a pretty fierce cat until he gets to the vet when his fear generates intense aggression. Anyway - it’s worth a try! And yes he DOES like water. Also tries to go in my bathroom sink to lick whatever water has puddled there before it drains out. Have to be VERY careful.
 

Caspers Human

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Whenever the cat goes onto the kitchen counter, gently pick her up, pet her and tell her, "You know you're not allowed on the counter." Take her to another room, put her down on the floor and play with her for a minute or two.

Do that consistently, every time you catch her on the counter, without fail. She'll start to learn the routine in about a week. By the end of a month, you should see less of her counter surfing. By the end of that time, all you should have to do is tell her, "Hey, get down!"
 

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Whenever the cat goes onto the kitchen counter, gently pick her up, pet her and tell her, "You know you're not allowed on the counter." Take her to another room, put her down on the floor and play with her for a minute or two.

Do that consistently, every time you catch her on the counter, without fail. She'll start to learn the routine in about a week. By the end of a month, you should see less of her counter surfing. By the end of that time, all you should have to do is tell her, "Hey, get down!"

This may backfire - I took this approach with my old cat and all he learned from it was if he goes on the counter, I play with him. So then when he wanted my attention, and wanted to play, he'd hop right up on the counter LOL
 

Cat McCannon

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Cats don't know right & wrong. In fact, cats think they're always right. Jeter doesn't know that it's wrong to be on the counter, he only knows that when mom comes around, mom chases him off the counter.

When something is left on the counter, it's permission for a cat to investigate. The problem isn't training the cat, the problem is training the humans. I know if I leave an empty cat food container on the counter or the table, chances are I'll come back to find it licked clean. Explain to your son and daughter-in-law that they have to do their part to keep Jeter safely away from the Husky.
 

Caspers Human

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That's a common thing but stand your ground. The cat is just trying to manipulate you into getting what it wants.
If your cat always seems to be manipulating you in order to get more attention, maybe it isn't getting enough stimulation.

Bored cats do things, on purpose, to pi$$ off their humans.
 

Furballsmom

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Bored cats do things, on purpose,
It doesn't really sound like boredom is the issue here, plus cats aren't emotionally wired to make their humans angry. Angry humans can be frightening.
Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (Including 10 Actionable Tips) - TheCatSite

T Twocoastscat It feels to me like more information would be really helpful.

How old is he? How much are you feeding him?

How is the other cat regarding food? Is Jeter an ex-feral and still food-frantic from that experience?

Have you had Jeter in to the vet recently?

Can you obtain a waterfountain that mimics a faucet--there are a lot of variations of this theme available these days? There's also a product where you can set it up to trigger the faucet to turn on when the cat is near it, then turns off, --thanks to daftcat75 daftcat75
 
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Hi there -
Just as a precaution I and depending what’s in there (anything sharp or unwashed plates) I occasionally very pragmatically still just cover my sink with a big wooden cutting board. But as I mostly live alone (partner there at weekends) this has worked quite well.
My little kitty had never been inside when I brought her home and due to the easily wipeable flooring (and her as yet unknown skills using a litter tray), I made the kitchen her safe room to start (bathroom unsuitable). And I covered the kitchen sink, kept all surfaces empty and consistently discouraged her from jumping up on the counter and the sink.
It was a crazy time and was tough for me to constantly think of all dangers (like having a constantly hungry baby who can defy gravity and get anywhere😱). I consistently had to work with my partner too (proved slightly more difficult than the cat😂😎) - as he was prone to leaving stuff lying around to clear up later. However once he grasped the dangers of kitty accessing not suitable food (more easily understandable at that time as she had been a ravenous little feral opportunist and was suffering from a massive gastro intestinal infection with nasty diarrhea) or possibly injuring herself on a sharp knife, he really pulled his weight and the issue of kitty on countertop just faded. (He actually has been amazingly supportive of kitty❤) So believe me, I totally get what you mean regarding your housemates.
Perhaps there are some non toxic sprays out there to discourage them from leaving stuff lying around? 😂😎😉

My cat did use the dark of the night to explore that area for a time (little kitty footprints on the countertop now and again gave her away), but there has been nothing for the last year or so. Interestingly I recently heard my kitty loudly beckoning me to the kitchen to find her sitting on the floor screaming at a large spider on the wall above the sink. 1.5 years ago she would‘ve just teleported up there, disregarding all obstacles in her way..😎 . I still do use my board though once in a while, - just as a precaution.
Good luck! :)
 
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Twocoastscat

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He is 13. He was fostered from birth with his litter and adopted by us at 12 weeks so never feral. He gets 1/4 can wet and 1/4 cup dry in am and then 1/4 can and a little dry in pm. Plus treats. He has always been an eater. Other cat (originally a feral female) is just as bad but a bit more particular - prefers baked goods and will chew through a plastic bag to get them. Dinner time is at 5 pm and they start whining at 4:00. Stopped Jeter from bothering me early in am by using an automatic feeder which worked like a charm within two days. He just wakes up whenever and sits by it until it opens. Had him at vet 3 weeks ago - always a nightmare because he’s so aggressive that they have to sedate him to even examine him - and all labwork was fine. Good weight. Nothing of concern at all.
 

Furballsmom

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Would the vet consider gabapentin to help him with the transport and time at the clinic?

He gets 1/4 can wet
These are the 3 oz cans?

I'm giving FeebysOwner FeebysOwner credit for this thought, but depending on whether they're getting enough calories (realizing you said they're a good weight), can you take the dinner meal and feed part of it earlier in the day, or maybe add a small meal?

These might be useful;

How Much Should I Feed My Cat? Tips, Advice & FAQs | RAWZ.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? [Answered] - TheCatSite

Body Condition Scores | VCA Animal Hospital | VCA Animal Hospitals

Say Goodbye To Water Dish Drama - Why Your Cat Needs a Water Fountain - TheCatSite
 
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Twocoastscat

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I will definitely take a look at the recommendations for feeding and schedule. The cans are 5.5 ounces. He’s not heavy but he’s solid so I feel as if he’s eating enough. As for meds - oh yes, he gets gabapentin the night before a vet appt and then again along with a trazodone the morning of the appt and he’s still too aggressive to handle without being further sedated. We have four cats and I’ve had cats before. I have never seen one like this who was in a home as a kitten and never feral. He’s the most territorial and defensive animal I’ve ever had. Yet he, over the course of a few months, adjusted to the female cat that we integrated into the house - they’re not besties but they can even be on the same bed without an issue now. She’s very docile and easy to handle but was initially a street cat. Go figure!
 

Furballsmom

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Are you able to take him for walks or buggy rides, to help engage that mind? Would he use a cat wheel?
 
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Twocoastscat

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Have never tried walking him and he’s not much for toys but will consider it. Thanks!
 

Furballsmom

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There are some discounted prices going on this week, and sometimes there are wheels that come up for sale on Craigslist or Nextdoor

Amazon.com
 

iPappy

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It doesn't really sound like boredom is the issue here, plus cats aren't emotionally wired to make their humans angry. Angry humans can be frightening.
Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (Including 10 Actionable Tips) - TheCatSite

T Twocoastscat It feels to me like more information would be really helpful.

How old is he? How much are you feeding him?

How is the other cat regarding food? Is Jeter an ex-feral and still food-frantic from that experience?

Have you had Jeter in to the vet recently?

Can you obtain a waterfountain that mimics a faucet--there are a lot of variations of this theme available these days? There's also a product where you can set it up to trigger the faucet to turn on when the cat is near it, then turns off, --thanks to daftcat75 daftcat75
Goofy was a bad counter surfer as a young cat. And 9 times out of 10, if he got on the counters or stove, he'd find crumbs or something to nibble on, so, he continued to investigate the counters!
I look at it this way. If I went to the ATM machine and it randomly spat an extra $20 bill at me, I'd be pleasantly surprised. If in the next 10 trips to the ATM machine, I got 8 or 9 more free $20 bills, I'd be spending a LOT more of my time hanging around ATM machines, because it pays off. It works. If he gets on the counter and finds something to snack on, getting on the counters "works", and why not do it again?
The only real solution would be to keep everything scrubbed down 100% of the time, and I know that's almost impossible in a house where other people live. Just make sure there's nothing there that can harm him.
My cats seemed to "surf" more after dinner (all the kitchen smells I imagine), so after I was done cleaning things up, I would take a cup of water and lightly spill water on their favorite spots. Your cat likes water, so this might not work, but mine don't and when they'd jump up onto a wet counter, it deterred them.
 

Caspers Human

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...cats aren't emotionally wired to make their humans angry.
My answer didn't come out the way I thought it would. You're right. Cats don't try to upset their humans on purpose.

I was trying to say that, when cats get bored, the things they do often annoy humans. The classic example is the cat that pushes things off tabletops, onto the floor. The cat does it on purpose but the purpose isn't to annoy. They are just doing it to occupy themselves but it also annoys us.

I just didn't say it the right way.
 

Caspers Human

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little kitty footprints on the countertop
I remember when my first cat, K.C., left paw prints all over the place! I had been doing an art project in the kitchen and I left a plate of purple dye on the counter. I stacked my stuff of the counter then went to bed. I thought I had put everything out of the way but, when I woke up in the morning, there were purple footprints covering almost the whole counter, going down, onto the floor and all around the kitchen.

I was just like, "Oy-VEY!" :doh:
 

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This may backfire - I took this approach with my old cat and all he learned from it was if he goes on the counter, I play with him. So then when he wanted my attention, and wanted to play, he'd hop right up on the counter LOL
Or that they get you to get up when they do this. that's why Magnus jumps on the tv stand... 😿
 
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