How to Stop Cats From Going Upstairs

How to Stop Cats From Going Upstairs

Cats are curious creatures, and it’s not uncommon for them to explore every nook and cranny of your home, including the upstairs area. However, there may be instances where you want to restrict your feline friend’s access to certain areas, such as the upstairs. Here are some effective methods to stop cats from going upstairs.

1. Install a baby gate: One of the simplest ways to keep your cat downstairs is by installing a sturdy baby gate at the foot of the stairs. Opt for a gate with vertical bars to prevent your cat from climbing over it.

2. Create a designated play area: Cats love to play, so create an engaging play area on the ground floor to keep them entertained and distracted from venturing upstairs.

3. Utilize scent deterrents: Cats dislike certain scents, such as citrus or lavender. Spray these scents near the bottom of the stairs or on the first few steps to discourage them from going up.

4. Provide an alternative route: If possible, create an alternative pathway for your cat to reach their desired destination. This could be a ramp or a set of cat stairs leading to a window or another area of interest.

5. Use motion-activated devices: Motion-activated devices, like air canisters or alarms, can startle your cat when they approach the stairs, teaching them to associate the space with an unpleasant experience.

6. Train with positive reinforcement: Use treats and praise to reward your cat when they stay downstairs and avoid going up. Positive reinforcement can help reinforce the desired behavior.

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7. Block off access points: Identify areas where your cat gains access to the upstairs and block them off with physical barriers, such as closed doors or furniture.


1. Why does my cat keep going upstairs?
Cats may go upstairs out of curiosity, to explore new areas, or to seek a quiet and cozy space.

2. How long will it take for my cat to stop going upstairs?
The time it takes for your cat to stop going upstairs varies depending on their personality and the effectiveness of the methods used. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

3. Should I punish my cat for going upstairs?
Punishing your cat for going upstairs is not recommended. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirect their attention to appropriate areas.

4. Should I block off all access points to the upstairs?
It’s not necessary to block off all access points if you can effectively restrict your cat’s access to the stairs or specific areas.

5. Can I use essential oils to deter my cat from going upstairs?
No, essential oils can be toxic to cats. Stick to safe and cat-friendly scents like citrus or lavender.

6. What if my cat is persistent and keeps finding new ways to go upstairs?
In such cases, consider consulting a professional animal behaviorist or veterinarian who can provide further guidance.

7. Will my cat get bored if they’re confined to the downstairs area?
Cats need mental and physical stimulation, so ensure you provide an enriching environment downstairs with toys, scratching posts, and interactive playtime to prevent boredom.

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By implementing these methods and being patient, you can successfully train your cat to stay downstairs and maintain a harmonious living space.