Advice – November 2012

Dear Sparkle,
I like to be where the action is, so naturally my favorite place to hang out is the kitchen counter. The only problem is I get yelled at whenever I am up there! You have no idea how annoying this is. If I am not up there, how am I going to find out important things, like what my human has brought home from the grocery store, or what’s for dinner, or if there are any used dishes with food still on them? As the de facto head of the household, it is necessary for me to know all these things, so I do not appreciate these interruptions. How do I make them stop?
Aggravated Aby

Dear Aggravated,
What was your human thinking, bringing home an Abyssinian kitty like you and then getting upset that you are all up in her kitchen stuff? Abys are the micromanagers of the cat world. I know because being a Somali, we share this trait. I’m not sure, however, if there is a way to get your human to stop the vocalizing whenever you get up on the kitchen counter. Some humans just have issues with it, while others actually feed their cats up there, and unfortunately you wound up with the former. But, I am glad to say, there are workarounds. In fact, you might even be able to make it work to your advantage. But the workarounds first. The most logical one is to do your counter surfing, exploration and quality control when she is either not around, or at least far enough away from the kitchen so that she won’t hear you up there. That way you can at least keep an eye on things without being disturbed. You can also use your feline talent for persistence. If you think you can actually wear you human down, and that she will give up and just let you be if you keep jumping on the counter, go for it. It is true that humans have far less staying power than we kitties.

But this is my favorite way of dealing with a human who constantly disrupts kitty business — turn it around and use it as a training tool! Is there something you want out of your human, such as more playtime, or you want dinner at an earlier hour? Jump on the counter! When you have her full (loud) attention, jump down and run to your favorite interactive toy, or to where the food cupboard is and paw at it. At first she probably won’t know what you are getting at, but after a few tries she will start to figure it out. And once she does, she may even think you are smart for asking for what you want (which is pretty funny, because it is really the same thing as admitting that she is not as smart as you). Then every time you jump on the counter, she will be ready to do your bidding. The side benefit is that she will probably stop yelling at you for being up there, and just do whatever it is you have trained her to do — a double win!

* * *
Having problems with your human or the other cats in your house? As the internet’s “Dear Abby With Claws,” Sparkle had answers to many annoying problems in her two award-winning books! Visit her author’s page on Amazon to buy one or both of her awesome Dear Sparkle books!

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  1. says

    Sound advice, Sparkle!
    luckily my human never yells when I’m on the kitchen counter. In fact I live up there (I even have a blankie in the corner). Hope Aby’s Mom learns fast!
    many purrs,
    Sammy =^..^=

  2. says

    We can’t understand why we get told “Get Down” when we get up on our counters – why have them at window height if you’re not meant to look out?!?!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  3. The Kitties of Purring Pines says

    We’ve finally convinced mommy that food tastes better on the counters, she needs our supervision, & it’s the best place to feed the less-secure cats wet food! Have a good Furday eve.

  4. says

    Mom knows that MY place to be fed is on the counters. It helps us to have a woofie who will eat our kitty food if it is on the floor so I guess we should consider our Grete as an asset.

  5. says

    We are pretty good about not getting on the counter. But usually the counter is so full of stuff, that there isn’t room for us so we don’t bother. And we know our dishes are on the floor and that is where the food appears.
    That was great advice Sparkle. Just sneak in there when the Human is busy with something.
    Take care.

  6. says

    Great advice. However I do think either Audrey wrote that letter to you and disguised herself as the Aby, or she has some hidden Aby blood. She is ALWAYS on the counters!!

  7. says

    Our daddy tried the no-counter rule around here but our persistence wore him down so now that’s where we eat our stinky goodness although it’s in a corner away from where their fun stuff happens.

  8. says

    Mom tried to train us not to get on the counters or the kitchen table. MOL! We outlasted her. Now we get treats on the table and have our own tablecloth. She changes it out for when people come and then puts ours back after they eat. We also go on the counters whenever we want, and use the counters to get up on top of the kitchen cabinets.

  9. says

    Our humans gave up long time ago trying to keep us off the counters. It was a losing battle…for them! Do you know that now one of us gets fed on the kitchen counter?? Now we know who’s been trained!!

  10. says

    When I jump up on the counter and the mom is around, I look surprised, like I’m not sure what happened and how I got up there. That makes her laugh and I don’t get yelled at.

  11. says

    I have the same problem – oddly enough the humans don’t mind me jumping on the office desk. Funny things aren’t they?
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I am planning my revenge when I am old – there will be lots of the real McCoy then, if my predecessor is anything to go by.

  12. Sass says

    I live on the counter…there are even extra placemats up there for me to sleep on. After dinner I come over to the table to get RUBBBBBED….There are placemats there too for me to sleep on…I purrrrrr very loudly and lick noses as a reward for good behavior…

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