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Cats in the cable...

By Merekat in MLP
Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 03:33:41 PM EST
Tags: Hardware (all tags)

You can't keep a cat away from the warmth of a nice monitor or from playing with your coax, so what are you going to do to make sure that the furry fiends don't do any real damage?

In the past, cat hair has done unspeakable things to my printer, and some of the machines have come very close to doing unspeakable things to the cat. Since I note that a lot of k5ers seem to have pets of some kind, I'd like to share this piece of MLP and ask if anyone else has any tips for making their machinery critter-proof.


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I like cats
o because they're predatory. 14%
o because they're cute. 20%
o because they purr. 24%
o with ketchup. 41%

Votes: 134
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this
o Also by Merekat

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Cats in the cable... | 16 comments (10 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
PawSense (3.66 / 6) (#1)
by spiralx on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 08:32:56 AM EST

Can't remember where I got this link from, but there's a piece of software out there called PawSense which is designed to protect your computer from cats jumping on the keyboard.

It attempts to analyze keyboard presses to see whether a cat has jumped on the keyboard, in which case it plays a loud noise and locks the keyboard until you enter a password.

The website is pretty hilarious and looks like a parody, although it's not. There are some great pictures of cats on keyboards too :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

IIRC (3.83 / 6) (#6)
by jabber on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 09:38:34 AM EST

If I remember right, cats dislike natural citrus. Maybe putting a little lemon plant near by? Citronella smells a little like lemon, and might help keep bugs out of your code too.

There are cat/pet deterrent sprays you can use as well.. Get one of those, spray a piece of paper towel or a washcloth, and set it by the computer.

For the record, my cat likes to hide behind my monitor when someone vacuums, but doesn't walk on the keyboard much, so he's not much of a nuisance.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Radical Idea (3.75 / 4) (#8)
by DeadBaby on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:26:14 AM EST

How about a plastic cover?
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Use your roaster (2.55 / 9) (#9)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:52:56 AM EST

Of course you'll need to skin and gut the cat first. After skinning and gutting, rinse the carcas off well and roll it in flour. Put it in your roaster and cook it at 350.

Your cat will never bother your computer again.

Ronco (3.25 / 4) (#10)
by sugarman on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 11:17:43 AM EST

Just curious, but has anyone out there tried the RonCo Rotisserie Grill? I've seen the ads and watched it work wonders on meats, poultry, salmon, and even a Thanksgiving turkey!, but how does it do with the little kitties?

Basically, I;m looking to maximize my cooking potential here. Would I be able to get 3 or 4 of the little buggers in at the same time? Anyone have some real-world info, or should I just post this to "Ask Slashdot"?


[ Parent ]

if your cat is the same size as a turkey... (1.50 / 2) (#11)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 11:22:25 AM EST

...it will cook much the same.

[ Parent ]

it really is mindless (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by no carrier on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 01:18:45 PM EST

and please put the link in the forward. Still, I voted this +1 section because I think it could give good discussion (which is what we're about right?) I have 2 mostly outside cats, but when they find a way into the house, they tend to hide in dark warm spots (underneath the desk where all the wires are) and a discussion about good ways to keep them from this would be somewhat helpful, even if the link isn't.

As deadbaby mentioned, a plastic cover would be a good idea, as long as it doesn't hurt the airflow. Also, keeping wires together with twisties is always a good idea, cats or not. There is no hope of getting things out of reach for the cat, but a spray bottle full of water and a quick spritz usually sends them running and they learn what they can and can't touch, at least while your around.

I stab people.
Er.. minor spelling error.. (3.20 / 5) (#14)
by Knile87 on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 02:22:39 PM EST

They call it "catsup" for a reason. It goes on cats. Just like horseradish goes on horses and French dressing goes on French people.

"We're all on a big ship! We're on a big cruise, across the world!" -- Iowa Bob, in Hotel New Hampshire

Training (4.33 / 3) (#15)
by h2odragon on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 09:11:01 PM EST

Cats can be trained; not as easily or thorughly as dogs but its certainly possible. My living room is also my server room, the animal roster includes 4 dogs and 2 cats; I haven't had a serious problem yet.

My kitten doesn't play with the multitude of dangly wires because when he was first introduced to them, many had bare ends hooked up to a 24vdc power supply. Good for a nasty jolt, when bitten, but no permanent damage. Some of the others were connected to heavy things on the table above which were set to drop with a small tug. The cheap little electric fence chargers might work too, real ones are likely to be too powerful for less than a mile of wire. If you can't bear the pain of holding it for a few seconds, don't try it on small critters.

For keyboards and other non-cat surfaces, either water guns or nerf guns should be useful training aids. Mouse or rat traps with padded bars are good too, none of the 4 cats I've seen tangle with 'em ever got caught but they grasped the idea that they didn't want to risk getting a paw in one pretty quick. Pad the "snapper" part with cloth or something wrapped in tape, else you risk cuts if not broken bones for the furry folk.

Citric based "no chew" sauces have never been effective against puppies or cats in my experiance. One of the cats I know and helped train is fond of orange juice. I use clove oil or homemade cayanne sauce (dried chopped cayenne peppers, soak 'em alcohol for a while, strain and evaporate most of the fluid).

The key to training cats in my experiance isn't even so much getting them early as it is consistiency and immediate reaction. If the kitten ain't supposed to be on the keyboard there should be something bad happen to it every time a foot hits a key, if possible before the foot gets off the key. Tell 'em why they're getting pitched over your shoulder, too: cats don't speak Human (well, most don't) but they understand more than you might give 'em credit for.

Indirect animal effects are harder to deal with, everybody in my house sheds (including me) but I have to clean all the computers and such fairly regularly anyway. A bunch of overfull bookshelves line the hall leading into my living room, so dust is more of a concern for me than animal or people hair.

Cayenne pepper (none / 0) (#16)
by sugarman on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:06:43 PM EST

This is from my brother, who had to ward off his GF's kitty. Gave a light dusting of cayenne pepper to the affected areas, and it seems to keep kitty away.

Apparently it also deters kitty from using flower pots as impromptu litterboxes. Its also probably the cheapest solution your going to find.

Good luck

Cats in the cable... | 16 comments (10 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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