Despite how cute it may be, pets and tech usually don't mesh. Sure there are gizmos out there designed to be used with pets, but we've found that most puppies and kitties like to play with tech that isn't designed with fur and claws in mind. Here's how to keep your gadgets safe from catastrophe (sorry, couldn't resist!).
Don't get mad. Your furry one just wants to hang out while you compute. You should be flattered! Instead of punishing them for coming up, why not create a space at your desk just for them? The Kitt-in-Box, lets your pal sit with you without splaying out all over your stuff. DIYers can use an old wine box and wooden wall brackets to make a similar cat bed that attaches to the wall.
Avoid paw prints. Cats love walking across keyboards, causing garbled emails to be sent, documents to be deleted, or your screen to go haywire. At your desk it's easy to avoid -- shoo! -- but when you're not there you need a plan B. If your tech is in another room, such as a home office, close the door. If that's not an option, download Deep Sleep. This Mac OSX widget puts your system into hibernate mode so that it can only be awoken by pressing your computer's power button. When it wakes up it won't have to do a total restart, but rather it will be in the exact same state -- same apps open, same tabs open in your browser window -- as when it fell into its coma. Similar to sleep mode, but harder to wake up!
Windows users can download PawSense. This app works in the background, monitoring your keyboard strokes. When it senses a cat is typing, rather than a human, it will emit an annoying sound that will hopefully spook your cat and get them off your desk.
Tackle fur at the source. When we asked Moderncat blogger how she keeps a handle on the fur from her six cats she touted the Furminator. The pet brush does wonders for grabbing all the loose fur under your pet's coat before it starts to fall all over your apartment. Whatever fur you collect can be donated to oil spill clean-up efforts (no joke!)
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. You can try to get all the loose fur off your pet with the Furminator, but we guarantee you're still going to find follicles on your goods. If you can afford it, get a Dyson. If you can't or if you don't have time to suck up as much as you'd like, look into an automated vacuum like the Roomba pet series. If you have fur embedded in your adorable iPad cover or camera case, try one of these easy and inexpensive solutions for getting follicles out of fabric.
Discourage cord chewing. Kittens, puppies, and bunnies all like to play with cords. To ensure you don't come home to a fried pet or lose a few USB cords to teething pets, spray cables with repellent such as a mixture of Tabasco and water -- make sure cords are unplugged when you spray them! Also, try to secure loose wires to walls, under desks, or under rugs.
Protect from fur. You'll never be able to completely combat shedding, so protect computers, printers, and scanners from fur jams by covering them when not in use. You can place a dustcover on them, but to keep your pet from laying on the dustcover, stack books or other hard items that aren't as enticing to sleep on. Keep hair out of keyboards by using a protector, such as iSkin's keyboard covers, but if hair still gets into your keyboard, mouse, or other tech, use compressed air to push it out or follow one of these helpful tutorials.
Do you have any ingenious ways to geek out while living with pets?
Images: Kitt-in-Box, Furminator, Roomba, bunny wire, all others Sonia Zjawinski