Do you allow your cat(s) on coffee table

atlcharmDecember 28, 2012

My two cats are not allowed on the kitchen counters or the dining room table for obvious reasons. They are allowed on the sofa. I haven't considered changing that because I love cuddling with them up there. What am I supposed to do, sit on the floor when I wanna rub my cat? Jumping on the sofa can be annoying when I have company (usually cat haters). Not sure what to do about that.

My dilemma is primarily the coffee table. Thankfully, only one of them has interest there. I've thought about training her not to jump there, but when she's there it is only because I'm on the sofa. So her being on the coffee table is directly correlated to her being in my presence. She will jump on the coffee table and lay there looking up at me. Of course, if I happen to have food there she may check it out. I really don't care. My worry is when I have company, if we are lounging in front of the TV, of course we will have food and drink there. I am worried that may cat will embarrass me so to speak. What does everyone else do? I'm thinking I should train her not to jump on the coffee table. I'll have to figure out some other way to keep her occupied and entertained if she can't do that. I'm not sure how to train her without it being punishment since I've allowed it for so long.

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I say let the cat go where they want to. I agree, the kitchen counters are off limits for many reasons, including safety of the cat, but everywhere else is OK at my house. I have found the best way to get rid of my cat is to let her sniff whatever I am doing or eating and then she loses interest in it and leaves.

If your company is that sensitive - and you care that they are - then put the cat in another room for a while. Or they can just deal with it.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 5:20PM
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Train your guests to only put oranges and coffee on the coffee table. Tell them salmon and beer are not allowed on the coffee table.

Really, seriously, it sounds like way too much trouble to train your cat to stay off the coffee table.

Paraphrased from "Cats":
First your memory I will jog,
And remind you that a cat is not a dog.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:36PM
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spedigrees z4VT

My philosophy is the same as oregpsnow's. My old cat can go on any surface she wants.

The only exception is our stack of electronic component parts, so that they do not fill up with hair. It used to be kitty's favorite perch. I solved this with double-sided tape which makes them un-cat-friendly, and placing a heating pad covered with a soft towel on a table next to the electronic parts. It was the heat from the electronics that attracted her, so the heating pad bed is a great replacement.

I also agree, if you have visitors who are not cat friendly, you can just confine your cats to another area of your home until they leave. Your cat in the photo is very sweet. I love calicos!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:39PM
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My cats go anywhere they want to. On areas like the island and counters, I wipe them off often. They really run the house, I just live here.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:58PM
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I adore my cats, and they're allowed on any chair or bed in the house.

They are NOT, and never have been, allowed on ANY surface where we put food--counters, kitchen/dining room tables, coffee tables, end tables, etc. I don't want feet that have walked through litter walking on any surface where I put food. Yuck! My cats (21 and 9 years old) know the rules, respect them, and love me anyway.

Obviously, though, you don't feel that way. As with all the rest of us--it's your house, and you're entitled to run it as you see fit. If your guests don't like the house rules? They don't have to come over, do they? Do what makes you and your cats the happiest.

Oh, and while I know it was said in jest, I wouldn't count on the orange thing--my 21 year old thinks oranges are the greatest treat going. She apparently didn't get the memo that cats hate citrus--LOL!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Our kitties voluntarily stay off the kitchen counters, but go pretty much everywhere else and we don't mind one bit. Cat haters, or animal haters in general, wouldn't be welcome at our house. But just about everyone we know likes animals, which works out great. :o)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:59PM
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We have 7 cats here who mainly live outdoors but all come in during the day on a regular basis. They do their bathroom stuff outside, eat outside and sleep outside. But, I enjoy their company indoors also so they come in for 'lap time'. The first thing I taught all of them from the beginning was that they were to stay off ALL tables and counters. It was a simple training with a spray bottle and all learned immediately.

I don't want them on any surface we might eat from! The great thing about them living outdoors is that they rarely use the litter boxes indoors and don't scratch the furniture. They were never taught not to - I guess they just are used to doing certain things outside.

Personally, I cringe when I go to dinner at someone's house who allow their cats on tables. It just plain isn't sanitary.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:40PM
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I don't like litter box feet on my tables, either. But even if I never saw the cats on the coffee table when I was home, I wouldn't trust that they never explored there.

A cat that likes oranges?! My cats recoil in horror. :)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Amen Lily! My cats are allowed anywhere they want to go, who's to stop them when no one is around to do so? Give up trying to train them to not be on certain surfaces, they don't understand the difference between a counter and a sofa. They own the house, you just live there to cater to their every whim! Enjoy them as they are, you will be much happier in the end.

And as for company, they would be the LEAST of my worries! They are coming to your house, if they don't like the way your pet acts (sans aggressive behavior) they can leave. It is the pet's and your home. If a cat on a table bothers them then you need to rethink your friends!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:39AM
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'they don't know the difference between a counter and a sofa' --- really??? They have eyes, they are smart. They can be trained with less effort than training a dog. Yes, if you have un-covered food on a counter and you are not around they might take a chance but that is because they are willing to take a chance - not because they don't understand.

In the beginning when training, you will see them jump off the counters when you walk in a room --- hmmm --- why do they do that if a counter is the same as a sofa? A simple squirt bottle of water is an excellent training device along with a fierce NO.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:35AM
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I don't understand the paranoia about cats on tables or counters. I scrub my counters down. I prepare food on chopping blocks where cats never walk. I eat on a plate on a placemat where the cat never walks and I WIPE down the tables and counters many times a day. We are healthy as horses and never have had a disease passed to me by the cats who never leave the house.

I do draw the line at them sleeping with me as well as the dogs.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:53PM
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I agree. I let my cat go most places except for the kitchen counters and dinning b/c that's where I eat and prepare food. Other than that the cat can go almost everywhere. The only time I object to my cat going on a surface though is when I'm working on something and him jumping on the surface might knock over whatever it is I am working on, but for the most part my cat has free reign.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Damn, RyseRyse_2004, you may have well put that all in caps! Back off a bit, I guess what I meant to say is that they don't CARE if it is a sofa or a counter. At least mine don't, and I don't mind either.

Unless you are a dirty person and you aren't going to clean your counters and table daily and especially before you cook, I wouldn't want them up there either. I guarantee nearly everyone's cats get on the counter/sofa/table when you are not around to squirt and say "NO". Trust me, you are not as smart as your cat.

Now let me ask you, have you ever set your purse down on the floor of a public toilet, shopping cart, or any other unsanitary surface? Then have you come home and set your purse on the table/counter? I would rather eat/cook on my counter after cleaning it from the cats than on someone's who does any of the above.

I have clients (I run a pet sitting business) who swear their pets don't get on the counters, and I have had them record them at night or while they are away. About 80% are surprised by what they see.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:02PM
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You got that right. Cats are way smarter than their owners. When the owners are away, the cats will play. Many years ago I gave up.My cats love to lay on my island. Their food dishes are there too because they can't be on the floor because of the dogs. They leap from counter to island to table. But I have anti bacterial soap, and it all gets washed many times a day.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:11PM
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I am so sorry Lily. I didn't mean to sound abusive. This is probably the subject most brought up by people who hate cats --- whether you know it or not, anyone coming in your house who does not have a cat cringes when he/she sees it walking on your counter top. You can say you don't care but I don't really believe you want people to look at you or your cats as 'unclean'.

My cats are outdoors at night so I don't worry about what they do when we are sleeping but they are disciplined when inside to behave appropriately.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Easy solution: if you don't approve of the way people run their household, don't visit them/go there for dinner. As a side note, I have never understood how anyone can put their cats out at night and sleep soundly. Predators (human and otherwise), cars, inclement weather, etc. No way would I be able to sleep, I would worry all night.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 12:41PM
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RyseRyse2004, I don't know if your apology was directed at me as well since Lily wasn't abusive in the least, but apology accepted, you just came off really strong! I am sorry for my strong words as well.

As for those visitors who hate cats and voice their opinion, remind them that this is their home and as welcome as the guest is, the cat has the run of the place.

Petra, I agree. Except for farm cats, I don't think any cat should be an outdoor cat. You are dead on with the predators and other dangers that can become a cat. One night I heard a scream from our backyard, it sounded like a baby being tortured, but I couldn't see anything and didn't want to investigate farther than my porch. The next day I found one bunny foot and entrails, the work of a coyote in our 6' block wall and a jackrabbit. If a rabbit can't get away from a coyote, our cats would have no chance.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:37AM
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FYI, our cats are farm cats --- WORKING farm cats. All farms need cats - they are necessary to control the rodent population which is extremely destructive. Our cats would be very unhappy if they were kept indoors at night - nighttime is when the food is on the run!

They are also very much our pets. All are neutered/spayed and wormed. And loved.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've been really lucky with my cats over the years. Not a counter jumper among them. I can leave food on the counter, thawing or cooling, and not worry at all about a cat. Ever. Even if I am away from the house or in another room.

They have also known the meanings of "no" and "get down" when they jumped up somewhere I didn't want them to at the my lap when I'm eating or working, or the dinner table when we're eating.

Our present cat loves to sprawl on the table, because there's a bank of windows where he can observe his kingdom in several directions. When we get ready to eat, I shoo him away, wipe the table, and set it. He won't even try to jump back up until the table has been cleared.

But he won't go far! He sits in on a dining chair, watching us the whole time.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Again I say - yes, cats can be easily trained to live among humans and it is definitely easier than training most dogs. Once they know what is acceptable they are happier living in your home and so are you.

Kudos rhizo! It isn't luck, it's discipline.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:34AM
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"I don't understand the paranoia about cats on tables or counters. I scrub my counters down. I prepare food on chopping blocks where cats never walk. I eat on a plate on a placemat where the cat never walks and I WIPE down the tables and counters many times a day."

I totally agree lilly. It doesn't bother me if my cat gets on the counter because it gets wiped down multiple time a day, and I don't put food directly on my counters anyway, it goes on a chopping block or a plate or some type of dish. What about all those groceries and packets you place on the counter from the store? Those type of things are very likely to have things like ecoli on them from people handling them because there's a surprising number of people out there who don't wash their hands properly after using the bathroom, then you touch them, put them on your counters etc.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:54AM
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gogwmos, that sounds terrible. Of course, coyotes have to eat too, but poor bunny. A few years ago, we had owls in our backyard and would find pellets of fur and bones on the ground, which I've been told they regurgitate after eating. Thankfully, didn't hear the critters being hunted/eaten, but owls do pretty swift kills anyway.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Petra, I agree, no way could I sleep if my cats were out all night (or out in the day too).

I couldn't believe it when I saw the horrible story on TV of a local grey cat named Mack who was shot thru the head with an arrow a few days ago. The poor thing survived but there were graphic pictures. The owner took him to the vet where the arrow thru his head was removed. A followup story she said...Mack doesn't want to go out any more, I have to push him outside ,and he wants back in. ..You stupid woman...keep your poor cat inside from this day forward.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:12PM
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I married a butcher/meat cutter. I am a very clean cook, but I also am a cat lover. I could not believe my spouse when we married to his objection to cats, and it all came down to the counter issue in a nutshell. He is an animal lover, and we've been married over a quarter of a century now, and he also loves the cats.

I don't voluntarily let my cats on or near the counters or tables, but I have to laugh because I've done the squirt gun routine for years, but I also know that they find their way there when I'm not about, and occasionallly 'forget' to jump down and hide when I come into the kitchen. My beloved little siamese/tabby mix was particulary fond of my advent wreath and would curl up inside the ring of it, with candles and bulbs all around her. She was an inside only kitty, and I suppose it reminded her of the great outdoors with the scent. I have to admit, that neither I nor my husband removed her from her throne.

As for people who do not 'like' cats, I don't trust them because I suspicion they are likely control freaks who can't abide animals who don't drool and slather at them in worship and who can't respect personal space, mine or my cat's. LOL. Cat haters will also be quite open about your animals with a look of distaste on their faces and a smirk. Anyone who can sit in your house and rag on your beloved cat would just as easily tell you your kids are ugly and they don't like them either. ;-) As the old saying goes "love me, love my cat(s)" However, I do respect people with cat allergies. I warn them beforehand and we often visit in our gazebo, instead...or at least I keep the kitties in another part of the house, so they're not jumped on or smooched. BTW, as for clean counters, I just 'assume' a cat has been on mine, whether I see them do it or not. I use a cutting board I keep put away, and I also bleach/sanitise my counters before I cook. I have a picture somewhere of my siamese on my puter counter with her head submerged in my mug, drinking my iced tea. I tried not to think about that, says the lady who keeps her cups of tea parked all over the house.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Ryse, you again misinterpreted my post. I said "Except for farm cats, I don't think any cat should be an outdoor cat." And I didn't say that farm cats are not pets.

Don't jump to conclusions that I think all cats should be indoors.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:04PM
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" BTW, as for clean counters, I just 'assume' a cat has been on mine, whether I see them do it or not. "

I think that's probably the difference in attitudes, when you know or assume your cat is at times getting on the counter you act accordingly so that you don't get food contamination. But many people don't even think about how much unseen contamination there is out there in public places that they bring home with them on a regular basis.

I also agree with you about cat haters calliope, I've never heard anyone admit to hating dogs, but cat haters seem to proudly proclaim it like a badge of honor. I think some people are irritated by cats because they are so independent and unable to be truly controlled. I've had people openly admit to me that they hate cats and I've never understood why they are so proud of hating an animal of any kind, and anyone who can hate an animal is just not my type of person.

This post was edited by trancegemini_wa on Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 0:57

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:39AM
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I had a co-worker who proclaimed "I hate cats", to which I replied "I hate people who hate cats". He was stunned. :o)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:30AM
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lol, that's a good come back petra!

Years ago there was a guy I was really interested in, he was a customer of where I worked and he used to drop by all the time just to talk to me. Eventually he asked for my number and I was so excited, but when he called and we were talking, he decided to brag about shooting his neighbours cat! I asked him why he would do such a thing and he said something like "I don't know, it kept coming into the yard so I shot it". Needless to say that shut down any chance he had with me, I was so disgusted and I wasn't interested in dating someone like that. I really liked this guy up until that point, but I saw him in a whole other light after that and to me it was just repulsive what he did. That was my first experience with a cat hater.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Yes, the one time I actually had a good come-back at the time I needed it. Usually, I don't think of them until after they are useful.

As for your potential suitor, shame on him, and timely escape for you.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:51AM
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