If you are a cat owner, you've more than likely run into the problem of your cat jumping up on your desk while you are trying to work. Cats seem to love to rub on computer monitor screens and walk across keyboards.
Because a cat can't understand that he is being disruptive, he may continue to try to get your attention, even if you have put him down off the desk multiple times or told him no, continuously.
From a cat's perspective, there are a lot of interesting items on your desk including a keyboard that does things when you step on it and makes a great place to sit and be at the center of his owner's attention. And most of all there is you. You, his favorite human, just sitting at the desk, needing some attention.
Getting Mad Is Counter Productive
For most cats, their ability to understand that they are being disruptive is limited. Short of closing them out of your workspace, they will likely return, jump on your desk and start knocking items off or playing with the keyboard again in a few hours to a few days.
Despite their reputation, cats crave and need our interaction. To them you are just sitting there with nothing to do so you might as well be petting them.
Invite Your Cat Into Your Space In A Controlled Way
Instead of trying to get your cat to get off your desk and away from your workspace, invite her into the area in a controlled way.
Create a space for her that she will enjoy. Allow her to be with you and to be in a space where she can see you and be seen.
A Safe and Easy Solution To Stop Your Cat From Walking On Your Computer Keyboard
There are some great cat desk loungers and boxes that cats are naturally attracted to for sale online. Most cats will quickly be attracted to the new spot to sit. You can also sprinkle a bit of catnip on it or give her some treats at the cat lounger to encourage her to use it.
This gives her a place to sit and be with you (make sure it's in petting reach if she enjoys that), and still allows you to be productive.
It's important that the cat lounger is sturdy and heavy so that it stays in one place and does not fall off the edge of the desk.
If possible, you might consider either nailing it to the desk or attaching it with any type of strong adhesive.
Why Not Just Close Them Out of the Room?
Obviously, sometimes, you may just need to close your cat out of the room in order to get work done and to be productive.
But, especially if you work from home, your cat craves to be near you and he wants to feel like he is a part of what you are doing. Too much shutting out may cause your cat to exhibit unwanted behaviors such as
- excessive meowing
Some cats, especially ones that are sensitive such as siamese cats, may develop other behavioral issues if they are feeling lonely and isolated. Some may miss the litter box or show signs of depression and reject their food.
Animals are companions. They both crave and need their human.
Until you can purchase a sturdier and more stable area for your cat to be with you while you work on your computer, consider some of these alternatives.
- Get a shoe box or other box that is small enough to fit on your desk but will be big enough for your cat. Place it in a secure spot and check it after your cat has gotten in or out to make sure it is not in danger of falling off the desk.
- Get a blanket or soft bed and place it on the desk or beside your desk. Sprinkle it with catnip to make it enticing for the cat.
If you do have to shut your cat out of the office or workspace, make sure to spend extra time with them later, using cat toys and treats and praises to let them know that they are still loved, wanted, and appreciated.
Cats Crave Attention and Affection In Different Ways From Dogs
Some people, even those that own cats, mistakenly think that cats don't want attention and do not crave affection the way that dogs do.
In fact, cats have just as much need for an owner's affection and attention, she just expresses it in a different way.
She may, in fact, be a more aloof cat and not necessarily want constant petting or even to sit on your lap. But for many cats, even being in the same room as their owner, knowing that their human is there for them, is very comforting.
And It's A Good Stress Reliever
There are many studies that indicate that animals in the work place can reduce stress and boost productivity.
So there is no reason that these benefits can't extend to a home workspace as well.
Among other things, cat ownership has been shown to
- Help Lower Blood Pressure
- Boost Owner's Moods
- Reduce Stress
And who doesn't need a bit of that when either working or playing on your computer?
In summary, instead of trying to get your cat off of your desk and away from your computer, find ways to control the space and invite your cat to join you. Both you and your cat will be happier.
A Funny Look At Cats And Computers
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 L C David
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 06, 2015:
Great tips LCD. This described my cats, then and now. But they like to curl up on my chair. Voted up for useful!
poetryman6969 on December 05, 2014:
I do this the easy way. I don't have a cat! But you cat looks cute on your computer.
Victoria Dubois from Temple Terrace, Florida on October 17, 2014:
Very well written hub. Informative, comical and interesting all in one. Love all of your pictures and graphics. Have been away for a long time now, but will resume writing soon. Your hub inspired me.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 30, 2014:
Great topic for an article! The cat desk lounger is awesome.
RTalloni on September 27, 2014:
The companionship of a cat does come with cuddle issues, but they are well worth the extra thought it takes to find solutions and these are some great tips!
Caren White on September 27, 2014:
One of my cats likes to sit in my lap while I'm working on the computer. I encourage that rather than allowing her to "wander" all over my desk. thanks for the tip about providing a lounging space on a desk. I have seen jokes on Facebook showing cats laying in Inboxes but I wasn't sure if it actually worked. I need a cat lounger because it is challenging to type with a cat in my lap. Great hub! Voted up and shared.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 27, 2014:
Only two of my three cats visit me in my office. They're usually contented with napping on the floor near my feet. One loves to jump up in my lap while I'm typing. They don't get on the desk; they've been told that's a no-no and I keep the door closed when I'm not in the office, so they can't pull a sneaky when I'm not looking. I have my keyboard on a tray underneath my desk top (more comfortable for my wrists), so having the cats walk on it isn't an issue.
L C David (author) from Florida on September 27, 2014:
FlourishAnyway, sounds like you did invite the cat into your space on controlled terms. Perfect for kitty and owner. heidithorne, I love both dogs and cats but cats, with all their demands and funny ways win me over.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 27, 2014:
I'll have to remember these tips when I switch from owning dogs to cats (my retirement era pets). :) Voted up and awesome!
FlourishAnyway from USA on September 27, 2014:
We have a desk with a pull out keyboard tray hitch of course is unnecessary with a laptop. We simply pull out the keyboard tray and the cat lays on that between me and the computer. Everybody wins. Close contact, the cat sleeps right there, I pet him or her between typing spurts, and there is no interference. Meow!
L C David (author) from Florida on September 26, 2014:
Aww! Kittens are awesome. But they definitely do get into everything. I have adult and senior cats. I miss the kitten days...sometimes!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 26, 2014:
We have a new kitten. Tell me about it. LOL