6 Steps to a Cat-Safe Computer Work Area
It's no secret that cats love computers. Case in point: Catster has over 223,000 members, many of whom spend long days and nights at their computer keyboards, socializing with their online friends.
But computers aren't always safe for cats, and cats aren't always good for your computer and other office equipment. Here are six steps you can take to ensure both your cat's and your computer's longevity:
Desktop "In-Box style cat bed
(right) is a popular choice, as are window perches.
Don't fight it. Most cats are social creatures who seek your proximity. If you spend a lot of time in your office, they will, too. Rather than fighting them to keep them off expensive equipment, provide a spot or two where they can relax without endangering your computer. The
- Discourage cord chewing. Spray cords with cat repellent (or a Tabasco/water mixture)*, secure them to walls or under the desk, or run them through plastic conduits to avoid electrocution.
- Keep your equipment cat hair-free. Use dustcovers for your equipment when not in use. Periodically rid your keyboard of cat hair using compressed air, and, if you're comfortable doing so, remove cat hair that ends up inside your computer as well. Clear cat hair from your computer's fan screen weekly.
- Turn off when not in use. If your computer or other equipment can be turned off when your cat walks across an on/off button, unplug it when you're not using it.
- Close DVD and CD-ROM trays when not in use.
- Save. Save. Save. Set your applications to auto-save frequently so that you don't lose work when Fluffy decides to sleep on your keyboard. Always remember that your cat is most likely to hit the delete key when you're working on your thesis or an important presentation that you haven't saved in a week.
*Before spraying, make sure all cords are unplugged.