I keep my printer up on a high enclosed shelf, out of the way of the kitties. But my cat Bear, being a jumper, could probably easily reach it if he thought it was fun to play with. So that may not work for you. I have read, however, that cats do not like the feeling of plastic wrap or aluminum/tin foil under their feet.
When I tested this with my cat in order to solve a problem with litter box accidents, he was cautious about the plastic wrap but did walk over it, and completely avoided the foil. (he had no problems with parchment paper, btw.) So depending on your cats, taping sheets of foil or saran wrap on the surface around your printer might keep them away from it. Also, cats have an incredibly strong sense of smell and they don't like the smell of vinegar, so soaking a towel with the stuff and keeping it near your printer might create an effective cat repellent. Many humans don't like the smell of vinegar either, so either go with apple cider vinegar (which doesn't smell as strong) or let the towel dry so it isn't as vinegary-smelling. The cats should still be able to detect it, and may avoid the printer. Good luck with the little feline marauders!
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About the litter accidents, how exactly did you put that together (we've got a cat with accidents as well)?
My cat tended to have accidents in the same places, so I used double-stick tape to tape the foil to those areas on linoleum and wood floors, and duct tape around the edges of the foil on carpet. Also, when I'd catch him in the act, I'd gently pick him up, carry him over to the litter box, and set him in. He was not happy about that, but I think he's gotten the message because accidents aren't as much of a problem anymore. We also changed his food, because he is an older cat and has digestive problems. Good luck.
Thanks! I put down some foil in the spots he'd made number 1 in most.
It worked! We found claw marks that look like he just couldn't get comfortable. Thanks for the tip!
Sweet! Glad it worked for you. I've found it also helps to praise my cat when I see him using the litter box. I feel ridiculous saying "good kitty" as I pass by my cat using the bathroom, but I figured, hey, why not, and there have been fewer accidents since I started reinforcing the good behavior also :)
I second the laundry basket idea.
I suspect that if you glue thumbtacks to the tray, the paper will still slide in properly.
Keep your cats away from the printer and computer, that's the best way.
If you must insist on letting them climb on your expensive electronic devices, put a laundry basket or a large plastic tub over the printer while they're around.