In a recent poll, 97% of cat owners said their cat has deleted something by walking across the keyboard! Our feline friends just love to dance around our desktops and lay on our laptops – either to be near us or to enjoy the warmth. However, it’s not good for our computers and, sometimes, it can be unsafe for our cats, too. Take these measures to protect your cat, protect your computer, and protect your files:
Protect Your Cat
How many phone cords and earphone cables have you replaced because your cat chewed them up? Cats love to play with wires, and if they chew on your computer cords it could cause a major meltdown – electrocuting your cat or destroying your computer!
Make sure your cat doesn’t have access to your computer wires by tying and bundling any loose cords. Enclose your cords in some split tubing, or spray them with cat deterrents. Just be careful not to spray your computer!
While you’re at it, remove any peripheral devices that you aren’t using. Less devices (and cords) means less risk to your feline friend. And, beware of things on and around your desk that have moving parts – like a fan that kitty can swat with his paws, or a printer with exposed rollers that could pinch a curious cat’s tail.
Protect Your Computer
Let’s face it, our computers are really inviting to cats. They’re warm, we’re paying attention to them, they make funny sounds…what’s not for a cat to love? Turn your computer off when you’re not using it to keep it cool and make it less inviting to curious kitties.
We all know dust is a danger for the sensitive inner workings of a computer. Well, guess what? So is cat hair! It can cause your computer to work harder and overheat. Cut back on fur by closing your laptop when not in use, keeping a dust cover over your desktop, and cleaning the fan, vents, and openings regularly with compressed air.
Protect your keyboard tray, the letter try on your printer, and your CD drives by making sure they’re retracted and closed when you’re not using them. These are parts that are easily broken when cats climb on them!
If you’ve ever spilled a drink on your keyboard, you know you don’t want to do it again. Prevent spills by using spill-proof cups if you’re going to allow your cat nearby while drinking. Or, discourage your cat from climbing on your desk by providing a better alternative – like a cat tree or cat bed next to (but not ON) your workstation.
Protect Your Files
Have you ever had a cat step on your keyboard and send out a mass email to every one of your contacts? If that’s the worst that happened, consider yourself lucky! It’s a good idea to start practicing these techniques to keep your files safe from cat paws:
Close applications before you walk away from your computer. Files can’t get deleted and emails can’t be sent if they aren’t already open on your machine!
Set your programs to auto-save frequently. That way, if you do walk away with an important document open on your computer, you can easily undo any damage your cat does while walking across your keyboard in your absence!
Back up! Only 9% of cat owners back up their computers daily. You can use an online backup service or back up your files to an external hard drive. Then you’ll always have a saved copy in case kitty accidentally edits or deletes something important!
Install paw recognition software, like Pawsense, on your computer. It senses when a cat is walking on the keyboard (based on how many keys are being pressed at once) and will make an unpleasant noise to train kitty to stay off the keyboard. It will also block those paws from entering any information onto your document. So – no more emails from the cat!
At the end of the day, we love to have our cats around – even while working on the computer. As long as you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to enjoy having your furry friend join you while you’re working. Do you have any additional tips for cat-proofing the computer? Share them with us!
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