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Are you wondering how to keep your cat off the bookshelf?

You aren’t alone, as I’ve had similar issues with my cats.

Today, I’ll show you a few methods that have worked to keep my cat grounded!

5 Methods To Stop A Cat From Jumping On Bookshelves (And What Not To Do)

tiger cat umping from the bookshelf but how to keep cat off the bookshelf?

Climbing onto bookshelves is instinctive for your feline. But it’s one of the most annoying behaviors a cat owner can experience. 

I can’t tell you how many fragile items have been smashed by my cat climbing these shelves. He managed to flip my entire bookcase once by being his rambunctious self.

So it became necessary to cat-proof the bookshelf from my crazy feline companion. Here are a few ideas that I’ve and others have found helpful to help you do the same.

1. Redirect Your Cat’s Climbing Instinct

Your cat’s instinct to climb is a natural behavior that owners need to meet. So if you aren’t thrilled with them climbing onto bookshelves, there must be an alternative. 

The alternative area will redirect a cat’s scratching and climbing into a more acceptable outlet. One obvious choice would be buying a cat tree for them. 

Cat trees represent an excellent deterrent to stopping destructive feline behaviors. Plus, your cat will end up preferring its many platforms and levels over the bookshelf. 

Another option is purchasing a window perch. These products take up less room than a traditional eco friendly cat tree and offer an easy installation process. 

In most cases, it’s simply using the provided clips to attach them to a window ledge. It doesn’t get much easier than this with cat-related products.

One last thing to try would be a cat shelf. It’s another space-saving option that offers many of the same benefits as a window perch. 

But most of them also allow cat owners to position the shelf at any height on their walls. It makes finding a suitable spot for your cat’s shelf much easier. 

Some owners have even taken it upon themselves to make their own cat shelves. If you have a DIY attitude, look no further than this video.

Make sure to check out our list of the narrow cat trees and other best options!

2. Secure The Bookshelf to The Wall

Some cat owners won’t want to spend money on an alternative. However, I can’t blame them, as these cat furniture products can get outrageously expensive. 

Thankfully, these owners aren’t out of luck. You can put your focus towards securing the bookshelf to the wall.  

As you can imagine, this action will ensure the bookshelf remains stable. It’ll also help avoid damage to the shelf itself, its surrounding areas, and whatever items are on it. 

Securing your bookshelf will protect your cat as well. Falling shelves or toppling bookshelves can be a danger for our feline friends. We’ll dive deeper into the dangers later in this article.

Given this information, fastening the shelf to the wall makes a lot of sense. It ends up being a simple, painless fix to a precarious situation that’ll make your home much safer. 

This video shows how to secure a bookshelf to the wall.

3. Using Double-Sided Tape

One more effective deterrent to keep cats off shelves is double-sided tape. Cats are notorious for hating the sticking sensation on their paws when stepping on it. 

If you don’t believe me, check out this hilarious video. Pet owners can use this to their advantage by placing a “few strips of double-sided sticky tape” on the shelf.

It’ll annoy your cat enough to find a new place for their climbing and scratching needs.

4. Loud Noises

Cats aren’t massive fans of noise. In fact, “cats can hear 1.6 octaves higher” than their human owners’ ears will. 

As a result, these felines are sensitive to sounds. This sensitivity makes loud noises an excellent deterrent for destructive behaviors. 

You could clap, whistle, or shake a water bottle filled with coins to keep them away. But there is a slight hiccup in this plan. 

Owners can’t let their cats notice or see them making noises. If they do, their cats could start resenting and developing mistrust in them.

5. Organizing Your Bookshelves

A bookshelf filled with clutter and knickknacks only asks for trouble around cats. They love to jump up onto these shelves and explore what items are lying on them. 

In fact, it could even be something small, like a pen or key. Cats are very curious creatures, so anything out of place will pique their curiosity. 

But one simple way of stopping this behavior is by organizing the shelves. It’ll take away a cat’s incentive to try and reach whatever is up there. 

Honestly, I was shocked by how much difference a quick 5-minute clean-up session made. It was like the bookshelf no longer existed to my cat.

What Not to Do

  • Cats won’t respond well to punishment. They will continue doing whatever makes them get punished while building resentment towards you. Don’t hit or throw stuff at them.
  • Never push a cat off a bookshelf, countertop, or table. It’ll only make a cat get injured rather than make them second guess jumping onto these areas.
  • Avoid using deterrents unless they’ve got solid reputations for being cat-friendly.

Check out this video on ways to stop cats from climbing on the furniture.

Why Your Cat’s Jumping Onto Your Bookshelf?

Knowing the reasons behind your cat’s love of the bookshelf will help deter them, as well. It usually boils down to four factors: 

1. Easier to See More of Their Environment

Bookshelves represent an opportunity for cats to get a better vantage point. In other words, it lets them see more of their environment without any distractions. 

It’s a crucial ability because it allows them to see when another cat or animal comes into the area. Therefore, your cat will have more than enough to do one of four things:

  • Remain hidden and silence
  • Prepare an assault on the opponent
  • Determine whether this intruder is a threat or not
  • Conduct a plan for an escape if necessary.

2. Getting Away From Another Pet

Indoor cats will need to get away from other pets from time to time. Your bookshelf is a perfect way to get some distance.

black and white cat on a bookshelf next to a succulent under title how to keep cat off bookshelf

After all, it limits another pet’s ability to ambush or sneak up from behind. My cat often took this route when my dogs were getting a little too wild.

3. Keeps Your Cat Out of Reach

Bookshelves are a haven if your cat lives with various children and other pets. It provides them with a comfortable, safe space to retreat from the daily grind. 

Cat owners need to provide some perch to provide this space for them. So if it’s not going to be your bookshelf, look at the alternatives mentioned previously.

4. Staying Warm

Bookshelves are an elevated area away from the floor, producing cold drafts. Therefore, your cat could be retreating higher up to stay warm.

I wouldn’t blame them, either, as nobody wants to sit or lie on a cold floor. I’d much rather be on a more cozy bookshelf if I were a cat.



You can put orange peels, double-sided tape, or aluminum foil on surfaces to keep cats off them. Cats hate the feel of these items on their paws, which will deter them.


Keeping your cat off the desk might be as simple as making it more organized. If there isn’t anything enticing up there, your cat probably won’t jump onto it. 


Vinegar does keep cats off furniture, as they hate the smell. Many cat owners find it an effective deterrent for keeping them off outdoor furniture.


Keeping your cat off the bookshelves should now be a breeze. But if you’re still having issues, please let me know in our comment section.

I’ll make sure to answer each post as quickly as possible. You can even tell me how these methods managed to work out for you. Thanks for reading!

Do you have more tips on how to keep the cat off the bookshelf? Please share below!

a tiger cat resting on the bookshelf
Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts

Ben is an animal lover, blogger, and all around geek. He divides his love equally between his family, his animals, and his video games. In his spare time he is attempting to get a blog off the ground. Boy, are they heavy!