Dear Kate Tilmouth, I adopted a kitten in August from the aspca. The kitten is now six months old and is now jumping on our furniture. I was off all summer and played a lot with the kitty. I notice that this behavior of jumping on the desk and kitchen table all started when I don't play as much with the kitten. I do play with the kitten, but he seems to want to play all the time when he is awake. I have toys out for him to play with on his own when Iam busy watching tv or resting. However, he prefers when I play with him. Since this is not possible, when I catch him jumping on the furniture, I squirt him with water. When I do this he is back up climbing again. I have covered the table with aluminum foil, sprayed with repellent, and used lemon peels on top. Nothing has seemed to work and This behavior is causing me problems with my husband. What else can I do? I have heard that sticky double sided tape might helpbut I don't want to ruin my furniture. I really love my cat and I know he is not being bad, he is just exhibiting normal cat behavior. How can I help my kitten understand that climbing on my furniture is not acceptable and that he needs to climb on his own cat tree.
Unfortunately this is a common problem with cats and especially kittens. you are right when you say they are not being bad, they simply don't understand that furniture is out of bounds.
Squirting with water can cause other behavioral problems some times as it can make the cat become afraid of you as they don't often associate the squirt with the furniture climbing.
Unfortunately all you can do is to pick the cat off the furniture every time you see them do it. Do it quietly and do not give the cat any attention afterwards. Please see my page about cat discipline here
yes sticky pads can sometimes help but it is better to make sure the cat only gets a positive reaction from you when they are playing with there toys and not walking on the furniture (see my page about this)
As the kitten grows older they will start to slow down and not be so active so this frantic period does not last for long. tel your husband not to worry.
best wishes Kate