Cob and Luna are the sweetest cats you could ever meet. But . . . they won’t stay off the kitchen counters or the dining room table. Believe me, Danny and Ashley (my son and daughter-in-law, the cats’ owners), have tried EVERYTHING! No matter what they do, the cats will not stay off.
I was sure that something could be done, so when David and I moved in with Danny and Ashley and the kids while we looked for a house, we tried, too. And lost.
I was especially frustrated since I was the one doing the cooking (Ashley graciously allowed me to). Trying to cook dinner and keep them out of the food was a nightmare. Then keeping them out of the food after dinner was a nightmare, too – like the morning I woke up and discovered the zip lock bag holding the homemade bread was covered with holes.
So I considered myself beaten and set about figuring out how to deal with it. Here’s what I came up with:
1. If the cats are bugging me while I cook, I trap them on the screened porch. Then I can cook in peace. If we didn’t have the screened porch, I’d find somewhere else for them to stay for a little while.
2. Don’t set the table until it’s time to eat. The first time I saw that my freshly set table had a cat as the centerpiece, I knew it was time to stop setting the table until we were ready to eat.
3. Never set the food on the table until we’re ready to eat or someone can guard the food.
4. Never put food at the edge of the counter. If it’s further back, the cats aren’t as apt to notice it. I don’t know why – you’d think they’d smell it. But it seems to work, at least for these cats.
5. Cover the food with a lid or towel. That’s not foolproof but it has definitely helped.
6. Anything in a container that cats could rip goes in the counter.
7. And finally, I purchased some plastic storage containers so I could keep certain foods on the counter (like bread) without fear of the cats ripping open the container.
All in all I’ve been really pleased with how I’ve managed to keep the cats out of the food and stay sane all at the same time.
Do your cats get on the counters or table? If not, how do you keep them off? If so, how do you protect your food?