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In all of my years with cats, ONLY the cats who regarded the counter tops as 'uninteresting' would stay off of them. If you react when the cat jumps on the counter, they will learn to do that to get your attention. It's best to make them realize there is nothing up there they want to see. When you are preparing food, or cooking in the kitchen, allow you new cat to see what you are doing. Either place a chair nearby so their eyes are at counter top level, or just lift the cat up to see there is nothing they are interested in. If you are cooking something they like, throw tiny tidbits or kitty treats on the chair for them. This will teach them to stay on the chair to get what they want, and it will keep them out from under your feet.
However, there are those cats who are willful and must be trained to not jump on the counters. For those cats, you can use one of those motion activated holiday decorations that make a noise and move around. We had a Jack O Lantern that would jump around and moan and groan with flashing eyes. That would startle Kitty into not wanting to go up there. Your goal is to associate jumping on the counter with something unpleasant, so add the Spray Bottle technique to this.
DON'T YELL AT KITTY OR SPANK HIM; that will only cause other more serious behavior problems.
When training a cat, you must remember that they are very curious. By short stepping that curiosity, you can easily train your pet to stay off the counters.
I'm sorry, but I can't imagine a cat who sees you prepare food, will willingly wait to be given some, especially since much of the time, the food you are preparing wouldn't be good for your kitty. I think it would encourage the problem. I know my kitty wouldn't just sit in a chair. She'd be all over the counter! I agree with your other comments, however.
I have taught my cats to stay off the counter by covering cardboard with double-sided sticky tape and then putting the cardboard on the countertops. Since cats will often decide to jump up onto the counters when you're not there to stop them, this works wonders. You can then judge how often and which cat (depending on the color of some hairs that will get caught on the tape) has been jumping up on the counters. You will then be able to tell when the cat(s) has/have stopped jumping up because there will be no evidence of it. This method doesn't take long to convince a cat it doesn't like that area and I've never had any complications because of it.
I also used this method to stop cats from jumping into the baby crib starting a few months before the baby was born. Worked like a charm!
I used to rely on a squirt bottle of water until I found out that the hissing noises made by spraying canned air or air freshener into the air, not on the cat! work even better to convince cats to get off countertops, stop pestering you while you're eating, stop a quarrel between two cats, & to stop a cat from doing other things you don't want the cat to do. However, cats are always going to be CATS so they usually will still hop up on countertops etc when you're not there to see them do it. This isn't all bad however. I once had cats too well trained to stay off of countertops--resulting in the situation of a mouse sitting on the countertop eating peanut butter off a butter knife watching three cats who sat on the floor watching the mouse, none of them making any attempt at all to jump up on the countertop to get the mouse. After that, I only insist cats stay off the counters & out of the way when humans are present & I simply quickly clean the countertops with disinfectant spray & a paper towel before preparing foods.
After the cats become accustomed to the canned air//air freshener discipline method, I usually only have to show the can to the cats & verbally scold them for them to all immediately clear the area. When I'm lying in bed reading & don't want the cats mobbing me for attention, I'll just show them the spray can, say "I'm not in the mood right now" and the cats immediately clear off the bed & give me 15 minutes or more of cat-free reading time before they come back to see if I'm ready to put a hand on autopilot for petting cats while I read!