Arguing why it is okay to allow your cat on the kitchen countertop

What are the reasons why it is not okay or okay to allow your cat onto the countertop? I have presented two arguments. In the first we see the reasons why it is not okay to allow a domestic cat on the kitchen countertop. In the second there are the reasons why it is okay. I have highlighted the difference and discussed this difference in the third section of the article. Please share your thoughts. These are mine. This topic polarises people.

Cat interacting with their owner while on a kitchen countertop. I discuss the pros and cons and come out for the pros!
Cat interacting with their owner while on a kitchen countertop. I discuss the pros and cons and come out for the pros! Image: Bind DALLE-E 3. Brilliant.
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What are the reasons why it is not okay to allow your cat onto the countertop?

Allowing your feline friend to roam freely on the kitchen countertop can be a contentious issue, sparking debates among pet owners. Here are some reasons why some people choose to keep their cats off the counter:

  1. Hygiene Concerns:
    • Cats can contaminate food preparation surfaces with bacteria and other contaminants on their paws.
    • This poses a risk of foodborne illness if you prepare food on a surface that has been touched by your cat.
  2. Unwanted Behaviors:
    • Allowing cats on counters and tables may lead to undesirable behaviors, such as:
      • Stealing food: Cats are curious creatures, and they might snatch a tasty morsel when you’re not looking. Whether this happens or not depends on if there is food on the counter to steal and whether it is of a type that a cat might like.
      • Knocking items over: Cats love to explore and play, which can result in accidental spills or breakage. This is unlikely as cats are incredible and avoiding objects when walking.
  3. Alternative Solutions:
    • To satisfy your cat’s desire to be up high, consider providing alternative elevated spaces, such as cat trees or shelves.
    • These alternatives allow your cat to perch comfortably without compromising kitchen surfaces.

Remember, the decision ultimately depends on your personal preferences and how you balance cleanliness with your feline companion’s happiness! 🐾🐱

What are the reasons why it is okay to allow your cat onto the countertop?

Here are some reasons why some people find it acceptable to allow their feline companions onto the kitchen countertop:

  1. Curiosity and Exploration:
    • Cats are naturally curious creatures. Allowing them on the countertop gives them a chance to explore their environment from a higher vantage point.
    • It satisfies their need for vertical space, which is essential for their mental and physical well-being.
  2. Bonding and Interaction:
    • Sharing the countertop with your cat can be a bonding experience. It allows you to interact with your pet while you cook or work in the kitchen.
    • Cats often seek attention and companionship, and being close to you on the counter fulfills that desire.
  3. Warmth and Comfort:
    • Countertops are often warm, especially if they receive sunlight. Cats love warm spots and may choose to nap there.
    • Providing a cozy spot on the counter can be a way to make your cat feel comfortable and secure.
  4. Alternative Elevated Spaces:
    • If you don’t mind your cat being on the counter, consider providing dedicated elevated spaces for them.
    • Cat trees, shelves, or designated areas can serve as alternatives, allowing your cat to enjoy height without interfering with food preparation.
    • Within the kitchen there may be a part of the countertop where the cat is allowed to go but where food is not prepared. A nice compromise.

Remember, every cat and household is unique, so the decision ultimately depends on your preferences and how you balance cleanliness, safety, and your cat’s happiness! 🐾🐱

The difference discussed

  • Hygiene: the essential difference between the against and for argument is ‘hygiene concerns‘. This is the main reason why cat caregivers bar their cats from jumping onto the countertop. Is it a good one?
  • Interactions: cat caregivers cuddle their cats. They are in contact with their cats all the time. They allow them onto their lap or their bed often. There are numerous opportunities for bacteria to be transferred from cat to person and to the mouth of the person in these interactions which occur away from the countertop. So why ban the cat from the countertop?
  • Cleaning: also, it is very easy to clean a kitchen countertop as it is designed to be cleaned quickly and efficiently. If you are concerned about acquiring a bacterial infection from the countertop, you can use an anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner after your cat has been on the counter. It’ll take about 20 seconds, which would leave all the benefits listed for your cat to take advantage of.


I feed my cat on the kitchen countertop as it is much easier to keep the food area clean. This is another plus point in allowing a cat on the counter. If the floor around the food and water bowl becomes a bacterial hot spot there is a hygiene problem there.

Just a thought. These are mine but I accept the thoughts and beliefs of others. And this is not a black-and-white discussion. Sometimes there are fine points to take into account such as the owner having a weakened immune system.

But it comes down to attitude at the end of the day. It is probably fair to say that some cat owners might be a little too concerned with hygiene and keeping their home perfect to be entirely happy with sharing it with a feline friend.

Sarah Hartwell called her cat website:

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P.S. Dr Karyn writing for Catster also allows her cats on the countertop. She does not provide the reasons in the same logical way as I have but it is nice to see that allows it. She has a large companion animal family and does a lot of cleaning 😉.

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