How can I keep my cat from climbing on my desk?

  • My cat loves to climb on my desk at home. Problem is, he is constantly knocking things off (he broke a cup and a couple other things this week), and messing up stuff on my desk, bumping my monitors, etc.

    I have tried spraying him with water to get off my desk, I have tried scolding him, I have tried putting unpleasant things on my desk, and also bodily removing him every time he gets on it while I am home and can see him. I can't take everything off my desk, either, unlike, say, a table. He's three years old now, and I am getting super frustrated by this behaviour. It only started since he has been the only cat in the house (for about a year now).

    Nothing seems to stop him.

    I know I keep his treats in one of my desk drawers - could this be part of the problem?

    How can I keep my desk cat-free, while still keeping my stuff on it?

    Easy: don't use a mouse :)

    Tell him, "Vamoose, ya little varmin'!" like Data in TNG. It works, apparently.

    @allquixotic, Vamoose = suppletive 1st plural imperative of "to go" : **to depart quickly.** _"It's getting late, so we had better vamoose!"_ First known use of vamoose: year 1859. Origins in Spanish and Urdu. Urdu is spoken in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.

    I just wanted to note: It's not *your* desk. It's his. He lets you keep stuff on it. Temporarily.

  • He gets lonely after losing his companion. Attention seeking adventures on your desk help him a lot. Every kind of attention you give a cat is attention. The cat gets noticed. Be it just a lifting off the desk or whatever, he gets what he came looking for.

    When you know you are going to work at the desk, start by playing with your cat first. After a healthy session of playing, you feed him. If he is on constant food offer, then you feed him those treats. What is important is that after the play he eats something. After eating you should have a satisfied cat lying on the sofa instead of harassing you on the desk.

    First of all, remove the treats from the desk drawer. Put garlic in there instead. The unpleasant smell of garlic should turn the previously interesting hiding place of treats not so interesting. There are a <selection of scents> that cats are said to dislike; for example citrus, lavender, rosemary etc. The smell of garlic has worked wonders for me.

    There is also a technical approach to this. It is a movement sensor actuated spray of odorless liquid that is supposed to scare a cat away from a certain place. In this case you would place the device somewhere on your desk and turn it On when you leave the desk. I have not used this myself, but a cat owner friend (having two cats) tells me it works nearly perfectly. Product name is "ssscat" in Amazon.com and you can order refill bottles for it too.

    ssscat automatic spray
    photo by Maritta Arvilommi, used here with permission.

    If this does not work, I think giving up is advisable. Give up like you own the place: if there is a shelf of sorts on your desk, or right next to it, I suggest to make a bed for your cat up there. You know, something that he finds comfortable to lie on. If you currently have no suitable platform for this, buy something. Your cat should find the platform/shelf a good vantage point from where to keep an eye on you and your business. This leaves only the problem of how he will get there.

    I forgot to ask beforehand, is the cat jumping on that desk all the time, or only when you are working at the desk?

    Mostly when I am at the desk - sometimes he will jump on it when I am not there, like when I am in the kitchen, but usually it is when I am working on something or playing games or whatever at my desk.

    Why the garlic? I thought it was poison to cats? While I appreciate it might deter him, I don't want to risk harming him either.

    @AshleyNunn Unless your cat is getting in the drawer, the garlic cannot harm the cat. Garlic is really only dangerous as an *ingredient* in foods that a cat will eat, since other flavors/scents will mask it.

    The desk drawer is closed, right? No harm to the cat if he has no access to it, but the smell of garlic is unpleasant to cats. So that would go as to make the previously interesting hiding place of treats not so interesting. I don't believe he would eat garlic even if he had the chance, but then again, cats do crazy stuff :)

    @EsaPaulasto I seriously want to upvote this, but the thought of using garlic and the smell of garlic like this, I'd prefer the cat on the desk lol

    @Skippy - no problem :) Garlic is not mandatory, but I'd use it when suitable. The smell won't be so strong as we might think, and the desk drawer is closed. It works more like a sign for the cat _"the treats have gone bad, don't come back"_ and after a while you could remove the garlic too.

    @EsaPaulasto true, I'll give you an upvote.. :)

    I am slightly worried that the stuff in the desk might start to smell like it, though.

    Upvote, especially for giving him HIS OWN PLACE on the desk. With multiple cats and multiple desk-beds, we can usually keep everyone from being super annoying.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM