If you have cats, it may be a losing battle to keep them off the kitchen counters all the time, but you definitely don't want them there while you're cooking. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do the job without resorting to a spray bottle of water.
Photo by Lawrence Simon
Apartment Therapy has a great roundup of tips from sources such as the ASPCA, This Old House, and the Humane Society for keeping cats off the counters while you're working with food. For example, the ASPCA suggests that you set up the environment to punish the cat so you don't have to:
You can dissuade your cat from entering banned areas by using "environmental punishers," which punish her remotely, without you being present. Cats are sensitive animals, so it's never a good idea to shoo a cat away with your hands or threaten her with a spray bottle. Too often, your cat just learns to be afraid of you. Instead, arrange for the environment to punish your cat directly. For instance, if your cat likes to jump from the floor onto the kitchen counter, balance some lightweight cookie sheets on the edge of the counter. When your cat jumps up, she'll land on the sheets. They will move and possibly topple over, making some unpleasant noise while she leaps back onto the floor. Your cat shouldn't be harmed by this experience, but she'll be unlikely to risk jumping on the counter again.
Similarly, the folks at This Old House suggest that cats hate the gritty feeling of sandpaper under their paws, and suggest using it as a way to deter cats from scratching furniture or carpet where they have shown an interest. Apartment Therapy suggests putting some down on the counters when you're not cooking as an environmental deterrent. Hit the link below to read more.
Tips for Keeping Cats Off Kitchen Counters [Apartment Therapy]