How to Keep a Cat Off a TV Stand (What finally worked for me)
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There are some places in a home, we don’t want our cats to frequent. The kitchen counter is one, but a TV stand may be just as important to keep a cat off of, especially if your cat has a tendency to paw at the TV.
Cats may like to get up on the TV stand because they want your attention, to be on a higher surface for a better view, or because they’re attracted to the movement or reflections on the TV.
If your cat is getting too close to the TV for comfort, try the following tips to keep them off the TV stand.
#1 Ssscat deterrent
Ssscat is a can of pressurized air that goes off when there’s motion and has been our best line of defense when it comes to keeping our two kittens away from certain areas.
It gives a short burst of air, which is usually enough to startle the cat and send them running. It won’t hurt your cat and is humane.
We have a longer TV stand, so we use 2 cans of Ssscat; on one each back corner pointing towards the center of the stand. This keeps them off the stand and away from the wires behind the stand.
We’ve been able to move the cans of Ssscat around the house, to teach our kittens which areas they should stay away from. It’s important to keep the cans in the same place for an extended period of time. We’ve used a couple of cans of Ssscat near the base of our living room curtains. After a couple of months, the kittens learned to avoid the area completely, and we’ve been able to move the cans of Ssscat to a new area.
This is the method that’s worked the best and quickest for us.
#2 Sticky placemats
Double-sided sticky tape can be attached to a placemat then placed on the top of the TV stand. Cats don’t like sticky surfaces and will avoid jumping up there.
This is another method I’ve found to be successful. It’s cheaper than using Ssscat and does the trick. The downside of this method is it doesn’t look as tidy and it required all of the placemats in one spot and they didn’t quite cover the entire surface.
What I like best about putting the sticky tape on a placemat, instead of directly on a surface, is that I can move the placemats around when the cats no longer go on a surface, or when I need to clean.
I also don’t want to chance ruining a piece of furniture with sticky tape. Some reviewers mentioned that the sticky tape did not come off a piece of furniture as they expected (especially leather couches).
The mats do start to collect dust, hair, and even sparkles from Christmas decorations. So I have replaced a couple of strips and have found the sticky tape comes off the felt placemats without an issue.
You can also use something bigger, such as a piece of poster board or foamcore and attach double-sided sticky tape to one side. These will cover more surface area and be fewer pieces to move if you have a large TV stand.
#3 Tin foil
Cats often don’t like the sound tin foil makes when they walk on it. This is a similar technique to the sticky placemats, but one I found to be less effective.
It’s the most economical method, but one of our kittens wasn’t deterred by the aluminum foil at all. The tin foil sheets are also much lighter than the placemats and I found the kittens would often move the sheets with their little noses. I also wasn’t fond of the look of tin foil around our living room. When the sun would stream in and hit the tinfoil just right, it could reflect it right into your eyes.
Tin foil is worth a try for you, but if your cat isn’t deterred by it, you may want to invest in sticky tape or a can of Ssscat.
I did also try putting double-sided sticky tape on a large sheet of tin foil. That made the tin foil method more effective.
#4 Scat Mat
Another cat deterrent is a spiky mat. You can buy them in any pet store or on Amazon (here’s a popular one). Many people use them outdoors to keep cats out of the gardens, but they can also be placed on your TV stand to stop the cats from getting on it.
A Scat Mat is essentially a mat with hard plastic spikes. They won’t hurt your cat, but it will be uncomfortable for your cat to walk on, and they eventually lose interest in the area.
Your cat may be jumping up on the TV stand because it takes your attention away from the TV and onto them. To make sure they get enough attention, play with your cat when you’re not watching TV.
Cats need playtime because it gives them a chance to let out their energy. It also helps keep them mentally stimulated and can help prevent them from getting bored, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Playtime with your cat can also be a bonding experience for you and your pet.
This is a really effective method for us as the kittens’ “bad” behaviour is often for attention.
We love having two kittens at the same time because they play with each other so much. But they still love playtime with us.
However, there are times we aren’t able to play when they want to, such as when we’re working or sitting down to watch a movie. We’ve found waving a cat wand around is an easy way to keep our kittens occupied when we’re trying to watch a show, and it doesn’t require too much of our attention.
Battery-operated and/or motion-activated toys are also a good alternative when your cat is in need of playtime but you’re unable to play with them.
This battery-operated bee toy has been the most popular toy in our home, and the kittens haven’t been able to rip it apart (most toys lose their feathers or wings in a matter of days, but we’ve had this one for months and it’s still in good shape).
#6 Positive reinforcement
Find an activity you want your cat to do in the TV room and reward them when they do it.
That may be hopping up on a cat tree, laying in a designated spot, or even just walking near you instead of the TV stand.
We have a cat tree close to the TV stand. When a kitten hops up on the TV stand, we say “no” then place them on top of the cat tree and say “yes” while giving them scratches, pets and other forms of positive reinforcement (that might include some kisses).
Give as little attention as possible when they are on the TV stand. A stern “no” and gently picking them up and putting them on the ground is all that’s needed. When they do something good, go overboard with attention and “good boy/girl!” in a loving tone.
This method has been helpful for us when training the kittens, but when they’re determined, they head back to the TV stand multiple times.
#7 Use a tablet
TV shows are interesting to cats because of the movement. A tablet is a perfect distraction for your cat in this case. Just pop open the tablet and let the kitty watch a nature show about birds on YouTube.
You can purchase tablets for a low price these days, or perhaps you have one you no longer use.
A show running on a tablet off to the side of a TV may keep their attention away from the big TV and its stand.
Our kittens like to watch the TV, but that’s not their intention when they get up on the TV stand. So we haven’t had to try this method.
#8 Try a pheromone spray
Your cat may be behaving badly because they feel stressed or anxious. Try a scent that will help soothe them.
They aren’t harmful to your cat, but the scent may help ease your kitty’s anxiety and prevent them from jumping up on your TV stand.
Our kittens aren’t exhibiting signs of being stressed, so we haven’t tried this method in relation to keeping them off the TV stand.
However, our late cat Joshua was very stressed during car rides and we tried a pheromone collar on him, as well as a spray in his carrier. It didn’t seem to help. However, his situation was pretty extreme. So a pheromone collar may be effective if your cat is just slightly stressed.
#9 Clicker training
Clicker training can work wonders with a cat. It’s a way to train your cat using positive reinforcement. You click a little device every time your cat does something good and then give them a treat.
The cat should eventually associate the clicking sound with a reward but no longer require a treat. When they hear a click, they complete the “good” action. That good action may be going to a “good” spot, close to but away from the TV stand.
We haven’t quite gotten there with our kittens, as it’s taking more time since they must be separated and worked with one on one. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it can work well.
Try to understand your cat
The key to correcting a cat’s behaviour is to first try and understand them. What is it you think they need?
Although it may not seem like an obvious connection, cats will exhibit bad behavior, such as jumping on a TV stand because they want something or are unhappy about something.
For example, your cat may get up on the TV stand because they’re hungry or thirsty and want fresh food or water. Or, their litter box may be dirty (it should be scooped a minimum of once per day). If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, they may want to go outside.
They’re hoping by getting your attention by exhibiting a certain behaviour in hopes you’ll feed them, play with them, clean their litter box, etc.
Try to think about what they might want. They’re fairly simple creatures. It’s usually, food, water, a clean litter box, or love and attention.
Worst case scenario, they may be trying to tell you that they don’t feel right.
If the problem persists, a vet checkup is a good idea. The veterinarian can rule out any health issues and offer some guidance on how to correct the bad behaviour.
Why does my cat climb my TV?
Your cat may be climbing your TV to get at the moving creatures inside of it, to get to a higher level for a better view, or to escape a child or dog.
Cats also love to jump on things, climb, and explore for fun. What’s even more fun for them is if their action gets you up off the couch and chasing them around the house 😉
Try placing a cat tree near the TV, where they can watch the movement on it, or be high enough to get a good view of the space and any “predators” on the ground.
Why is my cat obsessed with my TV?
Your cat may be obsessed with your TV because they love the movement they see on it when you’re watching TV. They may also like the reflections on it when it’s off.
If your cat seems to be obsessed with the TV, and that’s why they’re jumping up on the TV stand, consider keeping your cat out of the room when you’re watching TV or investing in a tablet that they can use as their personal cat TV.
Remember to have patience with your cat. They are trying to tell you something with their behavior. And in most cases, they’re trying to tell you that they want more of your attention.
It will take time to break their habit of getting up on the TV stand, but it can be done.