With so many people working from home or using their computers in their free time, people have realized just how much cats love laptops and keyboards. You’re probably wondering why your cat keeps walking on your laptop or keyboard. The most common theories are that cats enjoy the computer’s warmth, want to be close to you, and try to steal your attention away from your laptop. Luckily, there are several ways to stop your cat from sitting on your laptop.
You don’t necessarily need to use all these tips to keep your cat from walking or sitting on your laptop or keyboard. Just find the solution that works best for you and your furry friend.
Keep Laptop or Keyboard Stored Away
While you are using your computer, it can be easy enough to shoo your cat away. When you’re finished, there is a good chance that your feline will take the opportunity to enjoy a stroll over the keyboard or settle in for a warm nap on your laptop. The easiest way to prevent your cat from getting on your computer is to put it away.
Use a drawer to store your keyboard or place your laptop upright when you are done using them. If you don’t want to worry about rearranging your desk whenever you’re not working, just keep your cat out of the room where you work. This doesn’t always work in small spaces though.
If you have a standalone keyboard, consider purchasing a catproof keyboard cover. This can easily be placed over your keyboard when not in use. Since it is made of clear acrylic, it will blend in nicely with the aesthetic of your desk.
Use a Keyboard Cover
An elevated keyboard cover will make it much easier for you to get your work done with your cat hanging out. This clear cover sits above your keyboard, giving you room to work underneath. Depending on how high your monitor is placed, you should have plenty of room for your nap to lap on the cover while you work away the day.
If you have a laptop, then you’re probably used to finding cat hair and debris in between the keys. You can purchase a keyboard skin to keep dirt and hair out of your keyboard. This won’t prevent your cat from being able to press the keys, but it will help keep your laptop cleaner.
Elevate Your Laptop on a Stand
Laptop stands elevate your computer above the top of your desk. There are plenty of options, but the best laptop stand can be angled. When you are not using your laptop, this angle makes it impossible for your cat to comfortably sleep on top. The stand also gives your cat a place to lay or walk underneath the computer, so they are still close to you while you work.
The downside of using a laptop stand is that you’ll most likely need an external keyboard and mouse to complete your work. There are plenty of affordable options though. Plus, the mouse and keyboard can be stored in your desk when not in use. That way your cat will not have access to them.
Use Deterrents on the Desk
When it comes to keeping your cat off your keyboard or laptop, the first step is keeping them off the desk. If you allow them to hang out on the desk while you are using the computer, they are going to be tempted to interfere. By using things that cats don’t like on the desk, you can teach them not to jump up. It will take a few times for your cat to experience the deterrent before they learn not to get on the desk.
Sticky Paws or double-sided tape can be placed on the edges of the desk to discourage cats from jumping up. Cats do not like the sticky feeling on their paws and will move away from the tape. Once your cat learns not to jump on the desk, you probably won’t need to use double-sided tape anymore.
Another option is to put tin foil on the parts of your desk that you aren’t using. While this isn’t an attractive solution, it is affordable. Cats do not like the sound of the foil crinkling when they walk on it. Cats are intelligent enough to see when the tin foil is or isn’t on the desk. That means you would need to use the tin foil frequently to keep them at bay.
Scents cats don’t like
You can also try to deter your cat using scents. Most cats hate citrus and strong herbs, like rosemary and thyme.
Try using a diffuser with essential oils, burning a candle, or lighting incense to keep your cat away.
Cats also hate lavender. You can have a lavender plant nearby or sprinkle some lavender scent oil around your work station.
Although its not recommended to spray a cat with water, just the site of a plant mister might be enough to deter your cat.
A few squirts of the mister in his face while while on the laptop might make your cat think twice before trying it again. Seeing a plant mister again on your laptop will remind him of water and getting squirted.
Clutter your desk
If there is not much space on your desk, then your cat won’t bother trying to sit, lay or jump there. Consider adding pencil/pen holders or a speaker and books.
If you tend to work on your computer at set times (like a normal work day), you can plan to distract your cat while you work. Feed your cat when you sit down to work and have their favorite toys available in the room. You may even save their favorite toys and treats to only be used when you are on your laptop.
Slow feeders, puzzle toys, and lick mats can keep cats busy for a long time. Feed your cat their usual diet or add treats to these devices. Since most cats are food-motivated and intelligent, they will enjoy the challenge of working for their meals. Catnip is another favorite item that can be saved for use as a distraction while you are working on your computer.
Train Your Cat
Cats are typically not as easy to train as dogs, but it is still possible. Use the same positive reinforcement that you would use to train a dog. If you don’t want your cat to get on your desk or get on your laptop or keyboard, you’ll need to reward them when they are not on these items.
If you have a place where you’d prefer your cat to sit or sleep while you are using your keyboard, reinforce the behavior with a treat when your cat is in that location. Positive reinforcement training can take longer than punishment, but the training is more effective in the long run.
Keep small training treats with you when you are working on your laptop. Periodically, offer your cat a treat when they are doing the correct behavior (aka not sitting on your laptop or desk).
Give the Cat a Place to Lay
Whether it is for warmth or to be close to you, your cat wants to lay on your keyboard or laptop. Therefore, you need to provide a place to sleep that is just as enticing. Keep a comfortable bed, heating pad, or cat house close to your working area. It should be as close to you as possible to help the cat feel comfortable.
If you are happy with it, your lap could be the best napping spot for your cat. Just like a laptop, you are warm and comforting.
Get Your Cat Its Own Laptop
If your cat just won’t leave your laptop alone, maybe you need to get them their own laptop. There are great options for miniature or toy laptops for cats. Check out these great fake laptops.
You can also find scratching pads shaped like laptops.
However, the best way to mimic your laptop is to use an actual laptop. Get an old laptop or find one that you don’t use anymore. You can open it up and turn it on so it warms up. Place the laptop near you but a good distance away from your computer. Now your cat can enjoy the warmth of the computer and the closeness to you without getting in your way.
Don’t Allow Your Cat on the Desk
Even if your cat isn’t on the keyboard or laptop, being on the desk makes it more enticing to scoot onto the computer. It can be difficult to teach your cat not to get on your desk, but it may save your computer (and your sanity) in the long run.
Every time your cat tries to come up onto the desk, move them off. Even if you aren’t currently sitting at the desk or using your laptop, they need to learn that it is off limits. Make sure that they have comfortable and fun alternative places to hang out instead. In time, your cat will learn that they are not allowed to be on the desk and therefore the computer.
Every time you see your cat jump, sit, or roll around on your laptop or keyboard then fire off a sound deterrent.
These can include whistles, airhorns, can or glass jar with coins, and simply using your voice.
You can say words like “no” or “ah” in a loud and higher frequency to startle your cat.
Use cat hammocks or mounted cat seats
You can place cat hammocks or mounted cat seats around you laptop. With so alternative places to perch they are more likely to use those places instead of your laptop.
For example, consider a cat hammock on amazon. Its dead easy to setup, you just need to attach it to a window. From there your cat can enjoy the views and be less likely to explore your laptop area.