Ah, serendipity! On the same day I spoke with Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a post appeared in the Facebook group, CatCentric, asking if the members allowed their cats up on counters and if it’s an acceptable behavior.
As it turned out, the question drew over 265 comments within 24 hours, so clearly it’s a hot topic. The comments covered a broad spectrum of opinions from “Never, Gross, Unsanitary” … to “It’s their home and they do as they please que sera, sera attitude” … and all points in between. (My personal favorite was: “My cat doesn’t care what I think.”) Some people said it wasn’t an acceptable behavior to them, but their cats did it anyway. Others were nonplussed and said they always clean the counters before cooking, so it isn’t a big deal.
A handful of people mentioned that they provided their cats with acceptable space, including cat condos, “catios” (enclosed cat patio spaces that provide a safe outdoor experience for cats), and that their cats are allowed on other surfaces within the home. Others expressed frustration that nothing they had tried kept their cats from jumping on the counters. A few said their cats don’t jump on counters due to age, weight or disinterest.
Some people had greater concerns in the kitchen, such as keeping cats out of the dishwasher or refrigerator. At least one cat could open the refrigerator door and climb in!
Along the way, folks added humorous memes of cats on counters featuring snappy captions. Some people posted pictures of their cats in various poses on the counters, in the sink, in the dishwasher, and yes, the tuxedo cat in the fridge.
Regardless of the person’s attitude about “acceptable” behavior, the one constant is that jumping is a natural feline behavior. Perhaps we humans should just accept it. And kudos to the group for respecting differing opinions; it was an enjoyable discussion.