Cats don't like being told what and what not to do, so before doing any workings upon it, it is best to sit down and try to reason with them, when it comes to asking them to refrain from getting up onto a space reserved for ritual. This orientation effort sometimes works best after burning pure frankincense. If you are doing the right prayers, they almost always heed, as their spirits do understand, at a deeper level. One cool thing that Shinto folks do is to put their spirit shelf onto a wall, and I sometimes like to use a corbel shelf for a votive area when the cat in the house is not so good with respecting the altar. I know a pyramid shaman from a Jewish family who once remarked about "good cats". He could tell by the body language of the cat that it was the type to almost never tamper with an altar. I knew one cat who took to sleeping on a Bastet altar. He died within a few weeks. I guess he just wanted to be closer to his goddess as his time grew nigh. Years ago, I had a cat who could levitate and once told me that he was Ra, as he used a drapery to make an Egyptian headdress for himself. At the time, Thoth had His own room in the house. The cat was making noise, and I was reading a book that was talking about cats in Tibet and Egypt being trained to help in ritual. I read this out loud to him and asked him why he couldn't help me with that. His eyes got big, and he almost immediately fell over into a deep sleep. He never made a fuss in the temple room, again. Sometimes, you just have to ask nicely.