Let me encourage you that you are not alone in struggling to keep your cat off the table. It's going to take a little bit of persistence. Cats are stubborn and they can make you feel like they're never going to cooperate when really they're just testing you.
It looked like my cat was never going to stay off the table, but with some time and persistance, it did work and I was able to eat my supper in peace.
Here's how it went:
- Technique 1: Simply remove the cat from the table. With great enthusiasm, Grace would jump up on the table and try to stick her cute little face right into my dinner. I picked her up and set her back on the floor. This was quite a fun little game for Grace to keep jumping back up on the table and it gave her a lot of exercise.
- Technique 2: Bring out the squirt bottle. Surely, getting wet will teach my cat to stay off the table already. Grace had many showers that night and was pretty angry.
- Technique 3: Cover the table with aluminum foil. Since cats don't like loud noise, they will run away from the table. Grace looked scared but stood her ground by laying down on top of the aluminum foil covered table.
- Technique 4: Put peeled oranges on the table. Since cats don't like the smell, they will stay far away. Grace was too stubborn. I needed more oranges.
- Technique 5: Be obnoxiously noisy. I shook a piggy bank with gusto whenever Grace jumped up on my aluminum foil and orange peel covered table. Poor Grace backed away, and gave me a look. But, she couldn't let me know I had something that might work, so she once again layed down on the table.
- Technique 6: Remove them from the room. This will at least give you some peace to eat while you're working on 'training' your cat. Honestly, I've found your attention can be the best motivator for a cat's behavior. When they stop getting that attention, it can make bad behaviors seem less fun.
Now that she's older, Grace rarely tries to eat my food and she runs far away whenever she hears the sound of aluminum foil. If Grace jumps on the table to get at food now, I just have to lightly push on her back end a few times and she gets the hint to get off the table and I'm able to actually eat dinner!
I did, however; make one concession, I stopped trying to get her off the table when it was empty.It was too cute anyway when she'd hug the chair in an attempt to keep from being removed from an empty table. I decided I won the war, I could let her have a small victory in that battle. If it's important to you that the cat stays off the table at all times, by all means, keep up your persistence and don't give in.