How To Play Board Games When You Have A Cat SupervisingApril 19, 2019
Instead of shutting your cat away when you host board game events, try training them to not jump on the table. This won’t be easy, but it can be done.
There are two things you need to do.
- Give them somewhere else to go.
- Make the table undesirable.
Step 1: Give them somewhere else to go.
Why does your cat want to be on the table? Your cat ends up on the table because they are curious and they love to climb. Higher vantage points are better for resting and safely observing their home.
Your cat could simply be curious about what is going on. They are familiar with the dining room table, but now there are new elements to explore. They want to investigate.
A cat tree or some strategically-placed shelving would be a great alternative for your feline friend. They can use that as their vantage point. Hopefully, this will allow them to satisfy their curiosity from afar.
Once you have established a suitable alternative, make it a positive place for your cat. Leave treats. Perhaps begin feeding them up there. You know your cat. Why do they love to chill where they chill? Treat and praise them when they land on this new spot.
Step 2: Make the table unattractive.
It is unwise to make the table unattractive until you have accomplished step 1. Cats are naturally unpredictable. This is their home too, you don’t want to make the whole room unwelcoming.
There are two things to keep in mind.
- Your cat cannot find out that you don’t want them on the table.
- Do not leave any unsupervised food on the table. Be vigilant about dishes and leftover snacks.
Your attempts to make the table undesirable must be stealthy. Here are a few ideas.
- Make the surface of the table sticky. — Remember when we mentioned that this requires a little effort? You can buy plastic table runners that are sticky, get creative with double sided tape, spread strawberry jam all over the surface of the table and, for fun, offer no explanation to guests or the other members of your household, or use Sticky Paws for Cats. This product was created for this specific purpose.
- Make the table loud. Cats are stealthy creatures by nature. They are startled by loud noises. For the most part, they avoid them at all costs — unless you are sleeping. A few cookie trays placed around the edge of the table would make for a louder landing when your cat jumps on the table.
The idea is to startle, but not harm your feline friend. You could also use jingle bells, a picture of the outside cat, a motion-censored music device, or something else noisy. You may need to think outside the box. It is important that your cat does not associate this startle with you. The trap needs to be set without their knowledge, and ready to trigger when you are not around.