Cats don't really care about pleasing their owners, but they can be trained. As with any animal, you have to find what motivates them, what discourages them and what the most effective way to apply these is. Most of the time I find that it's a matter of persistence.
A good example is my Jack Russell. She has a crate she sleeps in at night. I let her in early, but I have to take her out before bed. She's warm and knows that it'll be cold out, so she pretends not to hear me, takes her time getting up, or even hangs back and tries to sneak back to bed. This frustrates me and makes me want to snap, but I look at it from her point of view and realize that every time she obeys, something negative happens (E.g. going out in the cold).
Along these lines there are several options. You cannot have food in a reachable spot, but almost any spot is available to a cat. You could do like one poster suggested and try to trick her into thinking it's nasty, but she already knows it's been good before. Another option is to deter her from getting up there in the first place. Two good methods of doing this are:
- Getting one of those plastic car mats with the little plastic cleats to keep it from sliding on the carpet and turning it upside down on the counter. They don't hurt the cat, but it's uncomfortable on their feet.
- Using double sided sticky tape. Supposedly, it only takes a few times with either of these before they don't want to get on the surface. The mat works on couches, beds, or anything else and always works, where the tape may lose its stickiness.
The important thing in any training is to be consistent. You'll lose weeks or months of effort if you let the cat win once, because it bolsters the idea to keep trying in the face of not getting a treat, because you might get one every once in a while. You see people do this on purpose when weaning trained dogs off treats. One way to be continually consistent is to get a device off Amazon that attaches to the top of a can of compressed air. It has a motion sensor on it, and when it senses motion, it sends out a jet of air, poofing the cat off the surface. It works whether you're paying attention or not, or even in the room. I also saw something like that is good from the Cat Daddy. He said that cats don't make the association the way dogs do and that if you punish a dog for trying to get your food, he understands that trying to get the food caused the correction. If you, for instance, spray a cat with a water bottle for getting on the counter, he doesn't think that getting on the counter caused the spray, he just thinks you're a butt hole. I hope this helps you.