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cats and keyboards

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by snowleopard, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    What is it with cats and keyboards? Inquiring minds want to know, and some minds are even attempting to do something about it. I haven't tried this, but am considering it:

    http://www.cyberwalker.net/reviews/pawsense.shtml

    Any other suggestions? I have tried tilting the top of my laptop down so low that I'm typing blind, and the cat will stick her nose under there and attempt to push the top open so she can walk on the keyboard. This is not random--as soon as she crosses over the keyboard, she turns around and recrosses, repeating until she is distracted by toes under the blankets or I get up and let her out, feed her, or feed the fire.

    At first I thought she was trying to communicate, and based on this suggested that we name her Rabnu7; my daughter nixed this, but I still think it suits her. I have decided instead that it's all about the keyboard, and the ability to type, or delete large swaths of typing, or sending of mysterious emails is simply a desirable by-product. All of this is covered in the cat manual, which is, unfortunately, typed in cat.

    Insight (from humans) appreciated.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking of using face recognition in conjunction with the onboard camera to 1. temporarily disable the keys and 2. generate a hissing sound from the speaker.

    If you want to manually deter a cat, just get a spray bottle and put some water in it. A small misting is all it takes. Small puffs of air with your lips work well too. If you can't do it without spitting or you don't want to spray water, get a can of air (duster) and give them a quick little blast. Not too much and don't inhale.
  3. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Has your cat activated sticky keys yet? Be prepared because once activated it's he!@#@ trying to figure out how to turn this "feature" off. Look up the deactivation sequence now before it is too late. My cats also like to reset my Outlook viewing style to something that drives me to distraction - all unintentional, I'm sure :roll: One of them has taken to programming, which is a scary thought indeed :bug:

    Sorry, got off track, you asked why they do this, didn't you? Near as I can figure, they are bored. We do not provide enough mental stimulation for them, so they have to take matters into their own paws. I've often wondered if the cats of the great minds of all time were similarly bored, or if said great minds were able to keep them better amused? Or, mayhap, that is why they were great minds, because they possessed a sufficient level of intelligence that they could grasp a tiny portion of what their cats were willing to impart...
  4. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Well it is not just cats, Snow. My parrot Freeway likes to sit right in the middle of the keyboard on my laptop. Oh yeah, the laptop that is still waiting for Mr Gamma to "clean up." >:-(
    The little bugger loves to run up and down the keyboard, and sometimes tries to do a lil poopie action but I usually "interject" with a paper towel in the nick of time. :smirk:
  5. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Same problem here, except I've long since forbidden my cats to walk on the keyboard. They're actually very good about it now because, I guess, they value their peace and quiet and my good will (same thing). It took a while, but they now step very carefully around the keyboard when they're trying to get my attention. And that's really the only reason they do it. It's not the keyboard per se, it's that in order to get in front of your nose, they pretty much have to step on it.

    Just politely but relentlessly and insistently push them away and say firmly but not too loudly "No," and eventually they'll get that you mean it.

    I would strongly recommend against using a spray bottle. Cats receive a squirt in the face as being as violent as a slap, and don't react well to it. I want my cats to respect my wishes on things like keyboards, but I don't ever want them to ever be afraid of me or experience serious unpleasantness from my hands.

    It does take a while, especially if you've tolerated it in the past, but the behavior will decrease over a period of weeks and then eventually mostly (mostly, they are cats after all) stop. Just be sure they get lots of intense attention from you at other times, and they'll be OK with it.
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    My shih tzu does it. I think she sees me paying attention to the keyboard and thinks that she could be getting attention instead. She also tries to get attention if the wife and I get amorous.
  7. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    my cats used to do this...I stopped them by touching their feet whenever they would try. they very much dislike this. I torture them by giving them foot rubs...get in there, between the pads, between the toes..gentle circles..swedish style. Oh how they struggle to escape my grasp when the foot rubs begin....this does not seem to keep my wife away. She keeps coming back for more foot rubs...she could just ask, she doesn't need to get on the keyboard.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Cats are the funniest people. Just when you think you understand them they go all "hairball and sneeze" on ya.
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Sorry snow, I don't read cat.
  10. rover47

    rover47 Member

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    When I saw this thread I thought piano. We have one that loves to walk up and down ours making "music" With the lap top they want the attention you are giving the computer. I have one cat as soon as I start to read the paper he all over it.
    Delta-T ooooo cat toe jam :eek:hh:
  11. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    My cat always seemed most interested in the laptop when it was on, whether it was "in use" or not. Like electronic catnip. It wasn't specifically to walk on it, but to somehow be in contact with it, most especially to rub her face against. You could almost "call" her with it-she nearly always showed up when one was turned on-much like opening a can of tuna. never understood it.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It's an attention things. They will do the same thing when you are using a mouse. Butt their head wanting that hand on them, not the mouse.
  13. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Or the book or newspaper you're reading, or the stove you're trying to reload, and on and on. Damn cats. :)
  14. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Yep, same thing with the parrot. Everytime he sees me put on those big red welding gloves....he screams like he is gonna lay an egg..
    Or, if Mr Gamma comes anywhere near me.... :mad: Some parrots are like cats and dogs believe it or not.
  15. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Freeway probably considers those superhero gloves Very Attractive. Now if you could be persuaded to don the rest of the giant parrot costume, you could find out if that is indeed the case.

    I tried the gently/firmly approach to the keyboard today. Cat jumped off the bed, up on the windowsill, where she appeared to nurse a major case of the kitty blues for the afternoon. Back to me, watched the snow falling on poplars, tail curled around her paws. I felt rebuked.

    As far at cats and great minds, I have read of both philosophers and musicians whose cats were their first and firmest critics. Perhaps this is how they became great.
  16. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Of course she sulked. No cat likes to be kept from going someplace they want to go or doing something they want to do. But she can learn to live with it if you enforce it 100 percent consistently all the time and give her lots of attention and petting at other times. But it really does have to be 100 percent, no exceptions ever. A cat can adapt to a new rule it doesn't like or understand, but what they can't deal with emotionally is sometimes being allowed somewhere and other times not allowed. What seems to them pure randomness really does undermine their trust in their people as loving safe havens.

    It took me about four months, I'd guess, before my Marco grasped and accepted, not happily but resignedly, my refusal to let him parade in between me and the keyboard when I'm at my desk. I'm nice about it, but insistent, and when he does occasionally try it now, I don't usually need to do more than give him a gentle push on his furry backside and a quiet "Off" and he does what I ask. Sometimes he does get stubborn about it, in which case he gets lifted quickly off the desk and placed gently on the floor. (Because I insisted on his not stepping on the keyboard from his first days with me as a kitten, he never lays a paw on the keyboard but goes to great lengths to find a way to step around it when he's misbehaving by parading on the desk.)

    Cats are often said to be "creatures of habit," but in my experience, what they want is for us to be creatures of habit and keep consistent routines so they can feel safe to freelance around that routine and still keep their bearings. I try to have as few rules as possible for my cats, but implacably enforce the few that I do have.
  17. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Some years back we had a cockatiel who liked to pluck the keypads OFF my laptop. She could grab a key and with one flick of her head off came the key! One day I left my laptop open, went in the other room for something and was gone only around 5 minutes, came back and she had at least 10 keys plucked off. It took me days to find my "E" key. :)
  18. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    any suggestions for a St Bernard and a Rott
    they both love the laptop
    jump up and lay across it
  19. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Cats would do that, too, if they had the tools.

    My mother had a very shy cat who liked to party at night. She'd sneak small things off my mother's nightstand while she was asleep (her BFF was a tube of Blistex, and she had a very fond relationship with a single raisin for a while, but she'd also take pens and pull individual cigarettes out of the pack), and my mother would find them scattered around the living room floor downstairs in the morning.

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