In a perfect world, cats wouldn’t be attracted to inappropriate surfaces like the tops of routers or desktop computers, but here we are, and I have a project to help. I’m calling this project a tech protector, but in reality it’s more like a cat scatter! In case you’re living in a feline-free household, let me explain. Cats adore warm areas off the ground. That makes desktop computers, external drives and routers prime targets for cat lounging. And it makes life difficult for cat lovers who happen to admire their tech gadgets too. Just read this hilarious post on Reddit about a guy who received a decoy router for his cat from his Internet provider so that his connection could be restored.
Who Needs Sticky Tape?
To keep cats off of computers, you can try double-sided sticky tape near the area, or motion detectors that scare cats away with loud puffs of air. And you can simply keep your office door closed, or beg for a decoy router! The problem with all of those approaches is that they can be a big inconvenience to you, and may be costly.
A more permanent solution for keeping cats off tech gadgets is to build a custom shelf, or tech protector, above them using an old cabinet door. In the DIY world, cabinet doors are gold! They can be used to make headboards, serving trays, chalkboards, coat hangers, and even art desks for kids as on Ucreate! But for now, let’s focus on this tech protector.
Get on Your Way to Cat-Free Technology
The goal with this DIY project is to build a tech protector that’s high enough to allow proper air circulation for equipment, but low enough so that cats can’t squeeze in and lounge on the items you’re protecting. The total space between the desk and the underside of my tech protector is 5.25 inches, with about 2 inches of free space above my gadgets. My tech protector is sheltering a Mac mini desktop computer, a LaCie drive and an Apple AirPort router.
As you can see, this tech protector has handles on the sides at the top. That’s not at all necessary, but can be rather handy! (And it allows you to reuse old cabinet door handles.) This project isn’t that complicated, but it does require a table saw, and it’s helpful to have a nail gun too. If you don’t happen to have a table saw or nail gun collecting dust inside your garage, chances are you know someone who has these tools, and they’re just dying to use them. Ask around.
Nail gun or hammer and nails
Felt or rubber feet
Two cabinet handles (optional)
Steps to Transform a Cabinet Door into a Tech Protector:
Step 1: Using a table saw, carefully cut the cabinet door down to the desired size of the top of your tech protector. (The dimensions are up to you, but if you want to use a cabinet door, you’re somewhat limited in size. The pictured tech protector is about 23 inches wide on top, 10 inches deep on top and 6 inches tall when put together.)
Step 2: Using the remaining wood, cut two leg pieces slightly shorter than the depth of your tech protector. Cut so that the pieces are the desired height for your tech protector. My leg pieces are 9.50 wide and 5.25 tall.
Step 3: Use a router to round off the edges of the top and bottom of the shelf (optional).
Step 4: Sand down the pieces to remove any splinters or rough edges.
Step 5: Place legs at equal distance from the outside edge of the shelf. Mine are 2 inches inside. Secure legs in place with wood glue and nails.
Step 6: Protect your desktop by placing felt or rubber feet on the bottom of the legs.
In closing, I’ll just go ahead and admit that it’s possible your cat can decide to sit on top of the tech protector. Quite possible. However, wouldn’t you rather have a cat shelf instead of a cat using your computer as a bed? Plus, you can always place objects on top of the tech protector to hinder your cat.
How do you keep your cat away from your computer and other tech gadgets? Have you made other projects reusing old cabinet doors?
Make a Desktop Tech Protector for Keeping Cats Away by Tim Eyre