Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping cats out of the kitchen

Eamon the cat looking at the Cat Scram
"Damn! She has the Cat Scram set up!"
In the months since Eamon's back injury, he's been taking a low dose of predisone. While this medication has helped his back improve, it has also boosted his appetite and he's become a total chow hound. If I am eating food, he wants a bite. If I am cooking food, he's willing to jump on the counter to steal a bite.

Obviously, I don't want a cat with a back injury jumping on and off the kitchen counters. Yelling didn't work, scolding didn't work and keeping the door shut 24/7 wasn't realistic. So, I invested in something called a "Catscram."

I think this invention is pure genius.

A Catscram has a motion sensor attached to it, and it can detect movement up to 6 feet away when sitting flat. When the motion sensor is activated, the device emits a high-pitched series of beeps that simply drives most cats wild.

I set up the device and all of the cats immediately left the kitchen. Maggie and Lucy have never come back.

Eamon will occasionally run past, but he is less and less likely to enter the kitchen these days. He only comes in now when he is desperate. In addition, I can hear the alarm go off (apparently, I have dog hearing) so I know when he has moved past the alarm. For me, this is an added bonus.

Dogs like Liam can hear the beeps as well, and Liam doesn't like the beeping, but he's not overly concerned about the alarm, either. Now, he'll set the alarm off and simply keep on walking as if nothing has happened.

Cats don't adjust to noises, but apparently, dogs can learn to ignore noises they dislike. Other motion sensors I considered shoot out bursts of air when an animal walks by. I didn't think Liam would ever adjust to that, but he has certainly adjusted to the beeping, and I'm glad for that. Since Liam doesn't ever get on the counters, he's allowed in the kitchen and I didn't want the device to keep him from moving about freely.

Now, a Catscram is far from cheap. In fact, it's a little bit expensive. But for me, it's worth the expense. It keeps my cats out of the kitchen, and it keeps me from yelling at them all day long. I'll gladly pay for that.

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