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How to Keep Cats Away From Certain Areas: 18 Proven Methods

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat sitting on kitchen counter_LightField Studios, Shutterstock

How to Keep Cats Away From Certain Areas: 18 Proven Methods

From kitchen counters, the baby’s room, to your dining room table: nothing seems to be off-limits in a cat’s world. Cats somehow manage to be everywhere you’d rather they didn’t be, and training them to stay off certain areas can nearly impossible.

If you have a cat that’s always in the wrong area of your home or all over the furniture when they shouldn’t be, you don’t have to lock it up or get rid of the precious space permanently.

There are many ways to make your off-limit areas unattractive to cats, naturally or quickly, whether it’s an outdoor or an indoor-only cat. Check them out.

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Items You Can Use to Keep Cats Away

  • Pet Deterrent Spray: Commercial cat deterrents are often in the form of urine, or other predators’ waste, a scent that puts off cats.
  • Natural Deterrents: Fruits and veggies like citrus, cinnamon, mint, lemongrass, orange peels, onions, coffee grounds, and lavender emit a scent that cats hate and can be the best weapon to keep them off of surfaces.
  • Double-stick tape, aluminum foil, and chicken wire mesh have textures that are unpleasant to cats.
  • Water: Cats hate water, and you can use that against them.
  • Loud noises

How to Keep Cats Out of the Bedroom & Other Rooms

There are reasons why you would want a cat out of rooms; perhaps you have a baby, you need good sleep without interference, it’ll destroy furniture, a family member has allergies, or you just want a part of your house to be cat-free.

However, denying your cat access to a room may create stress and inadvertently make the pet shift this behavior to another part of the house. Therefore, only deny the cat access into a room as an emergency measure as you seek other help from a behaviorist.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Shut the Door

cat near door at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Of course, keeping the door shut is the obvious choice and an effective one. You can do this by acting fast and closing the door behind you quickly.

However, though it provides a physical barrier, a cat may not give up easily and may still try gaining entry by scratching the door and meowing loudly.

2. Create a Physical Barrier

Similarly, you can create an alternative barrier if the room has no door. However, cats are agile climbers, and it may be hard to develop a physical gate that keeps all cats out. You can still try to design one according to your specific cat’s agility, though.

3. Place a Deterrent at the Door

If you want your cat not to annoyingly scratch and meow at your door, try sitting a motion-activated spray canister at the door. Once the feline approaches the door, the motion detector picks it up and sprays at the cat, not harming but frightening it.

Your cat will learn to associate the door with an unpleasant experience and keep off the door.

4. Feed & Play With the Cat Before Bed

cats playing_birgl_Pixabay
Image Credit; birgl, Pixabay

A tired and well-fed cat is a sleepy cat. Engage it physically to help it burn off excess energy and feed it well. It may hopefully sleep through the night and keep off your bedroom.

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How to Keep Cats Away from the Kitchen Counter

A cat that ‘counter surfs’ could be at risk for getting burnt and ingesting residue from cleaning supplies. It also exposes you to unsanitary issues when its fur gets into food or when it spreads bacteria from its dirty paws to your kitchen counter and eventually food.

Unfortunately, felines love heights, and your kitchen counter and window sills offer that. Here’s how to keep them off your kitchen counters permanently.

Black and white domestic cat lying on modern kitchen_Sarah McGraw_shutterstock
Image Credit: Sarah McGraw, Shutterstock

1. Place Sticky Tape to the Counter’s Edges

A strip of sticky tape or crinkled aluminum foil to the edge of the counter is the real deal. Cats hate the feel of these materials on their feet, so the tape’s stickiness and the noise from the aluminum foil may discourage your cat after one or two tries. The problem is that this method may disrupt how you utilize your counter and could be wasteful as you’ll have to reapply the tape indefinitely.

2. Keep Your Countertop Clean

Cats are naturally curious, and any set of keys and food crumbs will capture their attention. Therefore, it is best to remove some of the temptations and lessen your cat’s interest in exploring the countertop by keeping it clear of clutter.

You can also simply shut the cat in another room until you finish cooking if it wants to stay around when making food.

3. Address the Faucet

cat drinking from faucet
Image Credit: Sample Stars, Shutterstock

Some cats leap onto a countertop because they like drinking water at the faucet. Investigate if there are stressors around the water bottle and eliminate the stress.

If it prefers cold and fresh tap water, replace its water a few times a day and add ice cubes to maintain the temperature.

4. Use Clicker Training

Positive reinforcement could be an option, too. Throw some of your cat’s favorite treats or other rewards like toys on the kitchen floor once you notice your cat climbing the counter.

It’ll be enticed and jump off, and once it does, pair your rewards with a clicker sound and some petting. The cat will eventually associate the sound with the prize, and you’ll be able to lure it off the counter with the clicker over time.

5. Spray Some Natural Deterrents on the Counter Top

woman cleaning kitchen countertop
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

Kitchen counters smell great, thanks to the tempting foods like raw chicken, ground beef, or casserole you prepare on them. Spray it with unpleasant scents from foods like garlic, citrus, and orange peels from your kitchen to prevent the cat from jumping up onto the counter.

6. Provide Alternative Legal Climbing Spots

Invest in cat trees, perches, cat shelving, or build a tower for your furry friend. Climbing higher spots is part of their innate instincts, and providing your cat with its climbing spot can hold its attention.

Pet, praise, and reward your kitty when it uses the spots, and even spice it up by hiding a tasty treat at the top.

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How to Keep Cats Away from the Garden

Image Credit: Diana Golysheva, Shutterstock

Cats may prefer your garden due to curiosity, establishing territory, feeding, or mating. Whether you are training your cat, discouraging a neighbor’s cat, or dealing with a feral feline, keeping a cat out of your yard can be pretty challenging, mainly because these animals have incredible climbing and jumping skills.

These animals can damage the garden if they begin munching on your crops, digging the ground, or worse, urinating or pooping on the plants.

Here are a few approaches to stop cat intrusion in your garden.

1. Plant Cat Repellants

A cat’s nose sensitivity is high, so if your garden has odors that offend cats, you might succeed in keeping them away. Utilize the odor barrier technique by planting cat repellants in your garden as the primary food or alongside your main food to discourage the kitties from accessing the area.

You can grow the crops in the spring to allow you to use the repelling properties all summer long. But in the fall, you can dry the leaves and sprinkle them in your garden.

Rosemary, cucumbers, oranges, limes, citrus, grapefruits, lemons, rue, eucalyptus, lavender, citronella, ground tobacco, and pennyroyals are some of the plants you can utilize.

lavender floral decoration
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

2. Use Water Repellant Technique

Water can be the easy way out for you, especially since cats hate water. Try squirting cats with water using a Super Soaker, water bottle, or water gun once you catch cats in the act to reinforce the notion that gardens are a no-go zone.

But since you’ll not always be on the lookout, get a water device to do the work for you. Motion-activated sprinklers detect a cat’s presence and fire water at it.

3. Use Sound Barriers

wind chimes
Image Credit: Robson veneziani, Pixabay

Cats have a more robust auditory sense than humans and tend to hate sudden or loud noises. For this reason, use sonic devices, which emit high-pitched ultrasonic waves that are inaudible to humans but unbearable for felines.

Install the device facing the garden, and once it senses the intruder approaching, it’ll give off the pitched sound and scare off the animals.

Other materials like marbles and pebbles in an empty metallic can, wind chimes, or a sensitive bell can work too.

4. Try a Commercial Cat Repellent Spray

Commercial cat repellent sprays can also keep cats from your garden because they use odor barrier methods. These sprays consist of urine and waste from predators, namely coyotes, foxes, and bobcats.

5. Remove Cat Scent from the Garden

baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

Cats will mark their territories using their scents and identify with your garden as long as it has the cat scent. For this reason, you should clean your garden and remove cat poop, including the top layer of the soil. It’ll also allow you to get rid of urine.

Getting rid of poop and urine seems like hard work, but baking soda can help. The good thing is that baking soda isn’t harsh on plants, so you can sprinkle a little on your plants and soil to neutralize the scents.

6. Physical Barriers

You can use chicken wire on top of your soil or mulch across your planting plots before planting. Felines hate the feel of chicken wire or bristle mulches under their feet.

Suitable materials for mulching purposes include sharp-edged pine cones, eggshells, holly cuttings, or stone mulch. These rough materials will put cats off and discourage them from lounging, digging, and pooping in your garden.

You can also run a fence around your garden. However, an electric wire fence might be too extreme and endanger the animals. Instead, try a humane option like using the techniques of keeping rabbits out of gardens.

7. Designate a Cat-Friendly Area

Gray Cat Enjoying Fresh Catnip_Anna Hoychuk_shutterstock
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

If you want the cats around but not in the garden, strike a compromise. Provide a better space, a comfortable spot to lounge in like a separate bed with catnip plants, or a sandbox in one of the yard’s small corners.

Most cats go crazy over catnip, so be sure that they’ll make the designated area a private sanctuary and favorite hangout spot. On the other hand, a sandbox can be a magnet for cat feces, so you’ll have to clean it often, but at least it’ll help distract your cat.

8. Keep Your Garden Clean

Make your yard, garden, and property unattractive to cats by cleaning and decluttering. Bins full of food and carelessly thrown pet bowls will attract stray and wandering cats.

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All these methods require patience and consistency, but if nothing seems to work despite the effort and consistency, you may want to call in a cat behavioral therapist. The practitioner will assess your home and devise behavior modification techniques to help keep your kitty off certain areas.

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Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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