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Cats and Computers are Not a Good Mix!

Sep 23, 2012
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Flickr User dougwoods

Cat lovers will attest to the pleasure of having an affectionate kitty snuggling up to you while you answer an email, or post to face book. However, that cute little pussycat can be causing your computer all sorts of difficulties! Lost data or the loss of productivity due to computer problems makes cats and computers not a good mix.
A recent computer cleanup was urgently required largely due to pet hair. The householder had two different cats, as well as an elderly dog. The fan that cooled the computer was so blocked with cat hair it caused the fan to shut down and it resulted in a fried computer. A periodic cleaning behind the computer would have made a great deal of difference.
It is also not advisable to have the sweet bundle of fur walk across your keyboard. The hair that is shed, gets lodged in the keys, and can cause a variety of difficulties. If you use a mouse pad with a rolling ball, you may also find pet hair plugging it too. As well, cat urine is not a good lubricant for your computer, and it happens more often than you would like to think.
Having your LCD screen covered in scratches because your cat attacked the critters on the screen is frustrating. So try to keep your kitty away from the work area around your computer, for dust free, and cat hair free results.
There are software utilities that can be used to discourage cats from walking on your computer. When a cat-like typing pattern is detected, it emits a sound that is unpleasant to cats. One source quoted the number of cat owners that are backing up their data daily, as being at less than 10 percent; while the number of cat owners that should be backing up their data daily is 100 percent! Cats do have a way of ‘pouncing’ when we would rather they hadn’t. Set your computer to auto save frequently and don’t lose your data.
Another good practice is to not place a computer directly on a carpet. The fan will suck up the pet hair and lint which will require the cleaning of the fan area on a much more regular basis, or risk the overheating problem.
Keep the printer paper tray retracted as much as possible, to prevent accidental breakage.
You can keep your keyboard covered when you shut down, or you might store it by standing it upright. If you want to prevent a cat from chewing on cords, they can be sprayed with a commercial cat repellent, or a mixture of Tabasco and water, but be sure to unplug the cords before you apply the protective coating.
When you leave the room, remember to turn off the computer. This will allow it to cool down, and make it less appealing to your feline friends. Have a cover over the computer will keep stray hair and dust out too.
One last tip for when you clean the cat hair and dander off your monitor: do not spray a liquid directly onto your monitor. This can lead to liquid dripping down the screen and causing malfunctions. If you would like to use a damp cloth on your monitor, spray the liquid directly onto the cloth instead.
Many people are now deciding that cats and computers don’t mix, so despite your mutual enjoyment of sitting together, keeping the computer room door shut, might prove to be the best method for keeping your computer problem free.
This post is from Susan Brooks, a Nerd living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. You can find her on twitter (@susanthenerd), or email her susan.brooks(at)nerdsonsite(dot)com.