Let us preface by saying we're a two cat household. We love our two felines, but as any cat owner knows, felines can be stubborn pains in the derriere once they've decided they're going to investigate something, continually push something of your desk/table...knock over a bowl and cover the kitchen sink drain and then brush up against the faucet handle and accidentally flood your whole kitchen while you're away (no lie!). So forgive us that we laughed a LOT after watching various videos of the Blender Defender, a DIY contraption built to scare cats from chewing/eating house plants using a motion detecting camera, a strobe light and a blender. A video of the Blender Defender in action below...
The camera itself is one of the cheapest network cameras out there, the DCS-900. It can be picked up for about $120 or so. There are a couple network cameras that are a little cheaper, but the D-Link one is pretty rugged and makes it easy to get into the raw feeds, something that cant be said for many other cameras.
As you can see from the videos above, the blender and the strobe light are both controlled by an X10 unit. The unit is sent an on or off command from the computer running upstairs by means of an X10 Firecracker. The Firecracker is just a wireless X10 transmitter that plugs into your serial port. I wont get into explaining it much here, but one thing to note is that is happily co-exists with my CM11A unit.
Don't worry, overly sensitive crazy cat owners...no cat was harmed in the process of these videos and Brian obviously loves his cat, and we actually find this better than using a spray bottle since the cat often equates being sprayed/fear with you. In this case, it just learns to hate your blender and strobe lights. Plenty of more videos and full detail about the Blender Defender here (we're still watching these over and over).