Cat Discourager - Keep Cat Off Furniture

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About: I've been taking things apart since I was 10. My mother wasn't impressed, even though I told her I knew how to put it back together... I've been making things since I picked up my first soldering iron (By Th...

Despite evidence to the contrary, cats CAN be trained... Sometimes it's
not easy. Remember when you were a kid, and your mom or dad told you, "Don't let me catch you doing (Fill in the blank)?" Well, my cat seems to have absorbed that lesson very well. I can't catch her on the kitchen table any more, but I know she's been there...

I started looking for some way to discourage her. After trying several things that didn't work, I accidentally saw a product that looked promising, but I thought the price was too high.

The product design was pretty simple, though, so I decided to have a try at designing something similar myself. Like the guy (who shall remain nameless) that famously said, "I have a pen and a phone, what more do I need?" I have design software and a 3D printer! What more do I need?

This is a really simple idea: all you need is a 3D printer and the filament of your choice, plus a few inches of small bungee cord material for each device.

In case you're curious, I used 123D design to design this. It's great free software, although hard to find now, since the creator has discontinued it.

Supplies:

Printer filament

3/16" bungee cord material

Step 1: Scare the Cat Into Obedience!

The design of this gadget works something like a mousetrap, except it's designed to not injure the cat, just startle him.

It consists of two identical pieces joined together by a piece of stretched bungee cord. When the device is set, a very light touch will cause it to spring up into the air with a clattering sound, startling the cat and causing him to vacate the premises at a high rate of speed. (I named this cat "Blur," because she seems to do everything at a high rate of speed!)

It can be made out of any kind of rigid plastic; I used PLA, but ABS or anything else that's not flexible will do.

The video explains how to set the "trap." You stretch the bungee and place the two narrow ends of the device together, with the stretched bungee on top.

Step 2: No More Paw Prints on the Counter!

This prints easily on almost any 3D printer, even the mini versions. I've been told that cats see bright colors well, but not reds, so bright green or yellow might be a good color choice. I just used white, since that was what I had. It should be printed in the orientation given, and support needs to be turned on, just for the bungee attachment tab. I used about 30% infill; you don't want these parts to flex when under tension. Don't forget to print two!

You'll probably want to make several of these; I wound up making 3 and distributing them to the problem areas.

To assemble, thread the bungee through one of the attachment holes from the bottom (the top is the side with the tabs; it prints upside down) tie a good knot in the end, stretch it so it's almost completely stretched out when the 2 pieces are together end-to-end, then mark that spot, thread through the other tab from the bottom, and tie. That's all there is to it!

WARNING! Do not use a bungee with hooks! They could injure the cat!

It should now act like the one in the video.

If you want to make it more sensitive, you can slightly mis-align the two parts top-to-bottom.


Step 3: The Verdict:

Well, the cat is now staying off the kitchen counter! She didn't trip these things very often, and I'm sorry I have no video of her reaction, but they certainly helped, along with the usual "NO!"

Now, of course, she's finding other creative places to hang out!

Of course, your mileage - and your cat - may vary, but it might be worth a try!

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    3 Discussions

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    sbrown9578

    24 days ago

    I thought I had the only cat that did this sort of thing. One day I opened the freezer to get ice shut the door sat down and heard this scratching noise. It was her in the freezer!! Then another day she did the refrigerator, then the microwave, the closet, the dishwasher and last but not least the washer. This one was a particularly messy problem. I turned the clothes washer on put detergent and softener in and I could find my baby girl anywhere. So I went to the washer stopped it and removed everything to try and find her. Thankfully she wasn't in there but found another hiding spot that I have yet to discover. She is going to be the death of me yet. Even after all this I wouldn't change her for anything in the world. I decided to change me and be real careful and know where she is before i shut any doors or turn on any appliances. LOL. It is true, you can't own a cat, they own you.

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    LydiaT2

    26 days ago

    Interesting. But, how do you train your cat to step exactly in the center of the trap (where you pushed it with your finger in the video.)? :) ..... I easily trained my cats to stay off things by using a spray bottle of water set on "stream". I would hide and wait for them to get on the counter, then shoot.

    1 reply
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    gizmologistLydiaT2

    Reply 26 days ago

    Unlike a mouse trap, a light touch almost anywhere will set it off. Water works fine, too, but the problem is, I said "off!" but my cat heard, "Don't let me catch you on the table," which made it harder.