Need Advice from a Kitty or a Cat Parent

Kitty on Stove Copyright 2014 R.A. Robbins
Kitty on Stove
Copyright 2014 R.A. Robbins


This is Callie snugged up around the burners on my stove top. She has always looked for warm places, but since we moved she always wants to be on the stove when it is hot.

I turn my back for a minute and there she is looking like she’s sitting around a campfire. I’m waiting for her to start roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbayah.

But all kidding aside, this is getting to the point of being dangerous. We are afraid she is going to get burned. All our usual training and disciplinary measures  are having no effect. We  turn our backs and she’s right back at it.

So, first, is heat seeking behavior “normal” for cats? Hershey didn’t do anything like this. And of course, any suggestions for getting the dangerous stuff under control?  I know I have kitties and cat parents following me here and I need your help.


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32 thoughts on “Need Advice from a Kitty or a Cat Parent”

  1. My first thought was to put your tea pot and other pots on the burners. You could cover some with foil, since they don’t like foil. I keep a little spray bottle handy when my kitty jumps up on the desk by the computer, so you could keep a spray bottle next to the stove. It might look a little cluttered, but it would be a big change for her “cozy” environment! good luck. 🙂

  2. You received some good ideas. I hope something helps. I saw that picture and my heart just panicked. Simon seeks out warmth even in the summer–he hates a breeze. I saw where you tried rice bags. We use them in the winter but have used hot water bottles wrapped in a sock before too. I use heating element covers on all the burners by the way. Simon doesn’t usually get on the stove but I try to play it safe. He loves to get too close to the oven when it is on. He stresses out easily and must be the center of attention even in the kitchen. I have to use Lysine to boost his immune system. I wish you the best of luck.

    1. Thank you. Hadn’t thought of a hot water bottle, may have to try that. She’s always been a heat seeker but wanting to sit on he stove is new since we moved. Overall Callie moved very well, but she is still adjusting to the new place. Thank you for your comments.

  3. Dudes. My human would put a heating pad on top of the nearest *(safe)* perch near the stove- if she’s seeking heat, that would be warm and safe- try putting it there about a half hour before you start cooking, and so it will have time to warm up before you get the stove on. If she still tries the stove, redirect her to the heating pad with a few treats! *(purrs)*

  4. Thank you everyone for your advice. If anyone else has a comment or advice it is still most welcome. After reading the comments and thinking about this I realize we need to be more proactive and less reactive on this. So far it’s been pretty much cat on stove- danger – get down! So during lunch I let her sit on my memory foam floor mat. It was purchased to help my back when I work in the kitchen — but I’ll buy myself another one. She sat there the whole time and enjoyed a few treats and lots of “good girls.” Not once did she try to cozy up to the burner or my wok. So I think the best course may be to redirect her to a safer place to watch while I cook. I have two other places in mind besides the mat so that gives me something to work with.

    Thanks again everyone.

  5. I have a feeling that if she does get burned she would stop, but I know, I know, you don’t want her to inflict harm to herself unknowingly… I would spray her with a water bottle to deter her from doing this.

    1. I know, but even though we have an electric stove so there is no open blame, I still have visions of a flaming cat running through the house. Not cool.

      Spraying makes her jump down, but doesn’t keep her from trying again. I’ve been reading the comments and thinking about the situation from a different viewpoint and I think I may have come up with something. Will post more or that later.

  6. I have a friend who has a cat just like that and they were afraid he was going to burn himself, so for his own safety they would confine him to their bedroom when they were cooking and until the stove was warm to the touch. They of course gave him food, water, cat toys, and a litter box in the bedroom. I hope this helps. 🙂

    1. I’ve tried that, but I try not to shut her in too much. We have to be careful with how we discipline her. She gets very upset when she thinks she’s in trouble and has trouble breathing. Then I feel bad. We didn’t get much information on her history from the shelter, but she had been there 3 times and was 2 years old, so she has some baggage.

      1. They can have anxieties just like us. The picture of the cat that’s in my gravatar is 20 years old and she is just like your cat except she was never drawn to the heat of the stove, but over the years if something has frightened her she goes into hiding and sometimes into the most dangerous places. Good luck

  7. She’s beautiful! My first cat was a heat seeker but she sought the furnace, my current cat Bella does not seek heat. I would suggest getting a good solid piece of plywood the size of your stove and putting it on top of the burners each time you’re done cooking. That will protect her and keep her safe. Good luck, Deborah

  8. I’ve read that cats hate citrus smells. My little guy Oscar doesn’t mind them, but he could just be an exception to that. You could try using a citrus scented cleaner on the stove to see if that stops her doing it? Or maybe you could put a box with a towel in it near the stove in the hope she’ll go there instead? Good luck with it, it sounds super stressful for you 🙁

    1. I have a bottle of citrus scented cleaner I use on the floors, but haven’t been using it on the appliances and counter tops. Will give that a try. When you suggested a box I got out the cardboard box we brought her home from the shelter in. It can be used as a carrier or taken apart and made into a double decker bed. It was her bed at the shelter and she used it a lot when we first brought her home. She had stopped using it before we moved so I put it away when we got here. My bad. She went right in when I got it out. The top has a soft bed in it and the bottom has a dark place to hid. Might not keep her off the stove, but she has “her” bed back. Thanks for your suggestions Julia. I think you do a great job with Oscar.

      1. That’s great about the box/bed! It sounds super nifty. Glad at least one good thing came out of it! And hopefully you’ll find a way to keep her away from the stove :-/ Thank you, that’s very nice of you to hear. I do my best, but sometimes there’s just no stopping those crazy cats, right? 😛

    1. Thanks Michael! We had a long haired cat that would put up with brushing till we hit a sensitive spot on her back. She would hiss and it was all over. Unfortunately it was a rather large spot. 🙂

  9. She’s probably looking for comfort. Moves are very hard on kitties; there whole little world has changed and they have no idea why. I’m not sure how to keep her from doing it, because if a kitty wants to do something, they are pretty much going to do it. You could try buying metal burner covers to at least cut the chances of her being severely burned.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. There is much more counter space in my new kitchen so it’s easier for her to get to the burners now. There’s a lot more room to explore here and new ways to get in trouble, but overall she’s doing well with the move.

  10. Thankfully, Sam Wise(my Aby) seeks (human) body heat! I don’t know what to advise, but I share your concern. Would maybe a heated wheat bag tempt her away from such a dangerous area??

    1. I’ve tried heated rice bags with her, but they don’t seem to stay warm long enough to keep her interest. She has figured out a way to get under the covers on the bed on her own, so sometimes there’s this little lump in the blanket. I guess instead of just chasing her off the stove I need to take the time to redirect her to another warm place. Thanks Maureen.

      1. I’ve just realised that it’s SUMMER where you are Gene……It’s what passes for Winter in South-east Qld, so my Sam (who is pulling out his fur because of stress. .I’ve been hospitalised and there are two dogs in HIS space for another month or so)
        Have you thought of activated mouse traps on the stove surface? The snap oftrap going off may condition her NOT to use stove. Then again, maybe if she has her bed box back?????
        Dogs have masters.Cats have servants!

        1. At least it’s supposed to be summer. 🙂 It’s been unseasonably cool and rainy this year — at least where we live.

          Poor Sam. Between the intrusion on his space and you being sick his little world’s really been turned upside down. Years ago when Bob was in the hospital Hershey would sit by the front door and howl all night.

          Last night I was baking cookies and caught Callie sitting around her “campfire” again. I think I’m on the right track with this, but it could take awhile.

          Hope you are doing better health wise.

    1. Okay Don, you had me stumped. Had to Google Jackson Galaxy. He just moved to a new website, so it’s a little hard to navigate and search. Might check with Animal Planet later to see if they have episodes available to view online. I imagine he’s dealt with something like this. Thanks!

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