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What are some effective ways of keeping cats off the TV counter for a long term? My cat loves to climb my TV counter, which it probably shouldn't because it can cause him some serious damage with getting tangled with TV wires, or worse, possibly a minor electric shock.

I have looked around and found using an aluminum foil sheet or double-sided tape as easy way to get around the problem, and my cat doesn't really look keen to be climbing the TV counter at present with all the double-sided tape and foil there.

But is the above a good strategy to go by? Will my cat avoid the TV counter even after I remove the foil and tapes after a week or so? Also, if yes, how long should I keep the tape applied and foil placed at the spot?

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    I answered these type of questions countless times. These should be good for you too.
    – C.Koca
    May 21 at 22:37
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    In my experience, if the cat realizes the foil is gone, they'll return to the space (or in the case of my cats, try to remove the foil themselves). If you don't like the look, a scat mat might be a better solution.
    – Allison C
    May 24 at 13:06
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Your cat loves to climb. You stated that when you said

My cat loves to climb my TV counter.

Maybe you could consider getting him a cat tower/tree for him to climb on? It will prevent him from getting shocked and distract him from the counter.

According to Armarkat.com,

Cat trees are a great way to distract felines who would rather climb and scratch the furniture, but they also offer a host of health benefits.

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    Good answer, cats absolutely need to have ability to reach up and down the vertical space because it is their natural need, they feel much more safe if they have a high ground.
    – lila
    May 21 at 13:34
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    It could be a bit longer, though.
    – lila
    May 21 at 13:39
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    I do have a cat tree in my room and many other vertical climbable spaces all over in my room. The question though asks if there is a way to teach/distract cats to not go into some particular spaces/counters. It's a fairly popular question among the pet community, and has a lot of articles/blogs written towards it over the internet, but some aspects have not been touched in these articles as described above. It may be something which is not possible with most cats, but I would be interested in someone's opinion who may have tried something around what I've asked
    – 95_96
    May 21 at 13:57
  • Is the cat tree higher than the TV counter? The cat may want to get as high as possible. May 21 at 14:08
  • Yes the tree is significantly higher
    – 95_96
    May 22 at 14:14
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What to do

As C.Koca pointed out in their answer to a similar question, you could try to scare your cat away at the exact moment when it climbs up there (it's important to catch your cat in the act of doing wrong, not earlier or later):

  • If you're sitting on the sofa, you'll be too far away to blow air in its face.

  • As you're dealing with electronics here, a water spray bottle might not be the best idea, but you can use classical conditioning to teach your cat a water-spritz-by-proxy (if you're using one at all). Read below.

  • Scaring it might work, too, if you manage to put something on the counter that you can activate from afar and that scares the cat.

How to water-spritz-by-proxy

Every time you're using the spray bottle in another incident, make a unique sound (something you can do easily with your mouth like hissing, a plain NO in a specific tone). Over time the cat will associate the sound with the act of getting sprayed/punished and it will act like a deterrent as well. You'll need to "refresh" that association every now and then.

Then if your cat climbs on the TV counter, you can use that sound instead.

Notes

Our cats learned pretty quickly to not jump on the kitchen table/counter... when we're in the kitchen. Unfortunately it doesn't stop them from jumping on there, when we're not around, though. Be prepared that it won't keep your cat off the TV counter at all times.

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