Is Your Computer’s Keyboard Cat-Proof?
Veterinarian Approved on June 18, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
A new computer software has been developed that will help ease your cat walking troubles: PawSense!
PawSense is a novel computer software program that has been specifically designed for cat (and dog) owners who use a computer at home. The idea behind this software is to protect your work from being deleted, or re-written by your cat’s little paws.
It seems that all cats are literary critics and will pounce on your computer whenever they feel the urge to either delete or edit whatever it is that you are working on, regardless of whether you are sitting at your computer or have walked away for a minute.
When a cat walks across the keyboard, they can inadvertently (or intentionally, as the case may be) enter random commands and data, thereby damaging your files and causing your computer to crash.
In case you are wondering how your cute little kitty can do so much damage, it’s simple really: their little paws on pressing down on the keyboard shortcuts that are already configured on your keyboard!
Most fast typists use the keyboard shortcuts to enter menu commands instead of using their mouse. This is fairly easy as most of today’s popular software have keyboard shortcuts that have been built into the keyboard for almost every command imaginable.
Such keys include the ALT key, the CTRL key, and the function keys F1 – F12. One major shortcut that is used by almost every computer owner is the ALT key. By pressing the ALT key you can then press almost any other key on the keyboard to trigger a command from the program’s main menu. In fact, any random key sequence can launch a variety of commands in different software programs. Microsoft Word, for example has over 200 different types of keyboard shortcuts!
By simply walking across your keyboard and stepping on these shortcut keys, your cat will have the ability to delete the files you have been working so hard on, change the data that you have just entered, and even be able to reconfigure your entire computer.
So how does PawSense help prevent this all from happening? PawSense is a software utility that is able to sense the difference between your articulate typing skills and your cat’s critiquing attempts. As soon as the program senses that your cat is walking over the keyboard, it will immediately pounce into action and stop any cat typing from ruining your document.
Whenever you start your computer, PawSense will automatically begin in the background and will keep a watchful eye over the ‘goings on’ of your computer, even if you are using other software programs. PawSense has the ability to analyze keypress timings and combinations to help distinguish between your typing and your cat’s typing. Most times the program is able to sense a keyboard walking cat within one or two paw steps.
Another great aspect of this utility is that is also sounds an alarm that is designed to annoy cats and scare them off of your keyboard. This has the added benefit of teaching your cat not to jump up on the computer whenever you are not around. You’ll have the ability to choose what sounds you want your cat to hear or even record your own voice if you’d like.
As soon as paw steps of a cat have been identified, PawSense will quickly block any input from the cat’s keyboard antics. This saves your data from being damaged or deleted.
PawSense can be purchased online at their website for $19.95.
If downloading and installing software on your computer makes you nervous, you can try out the Kitty Keyboard Kover. It is a simple design incorporating clear acrylic that is placed just above your computer’s keyboard. It is strong enough to withhold a 16lb cat and will, thus, allow your cat to be right in front of you as you attempt to type away at your computer, without actually getting in your way!
Photo Credit: le
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan