Need some kind of alarm to keep NAUGHTY cats off counters

There’s a long story behind this so I’ll try to kee it short. Hannah, our 12 year old cat nearly died in March. Couldn’t eat or keep anything down. We fed and provide fluids via eyedropper for days, she spends time in hospital. She takes a long time to recover.

Fast forward to 2 months ago. She’s more active than ever and is sniffing at everything, always meowing for hunger. Her love for food changed when we went from dry food to wet food. She can’t have dry food as she will always barf it up. We’ve always fed them 3x pre day, on a rigid 8 hour schedule.

Fast forward to now: When she’s not on my lap she is hunting for food. She’s now muscular, athletic, wide-eyed, and on the prowl. As soon as we’re out of the room, she’s on a counter, stove, or table… OR sneaking behind our backs to pull food off our plates to drag somewhere else and eat. This is the same cat mentioned in the “S.O.” thread who likes to snuggle on my lap while I play games.

So the problem with normal methods of deterrence is she loves sticky stuff. So we can’t use double sided tape to make going on counters not fun. We used foil, but she got used to that sound. What we need (if it exists and is cheap) is some kind of laser or infrared beam I can set up so when she crosses it on the counter it will send off a alarm.

Something like that exist? Any other ideas?

We’ve never had any success with it. If the cat wants to be on the counter, it will be on the counter. They don’t care what your opinion is. :)

My wife is OCD. Which means she freaks out like you wouldn’t beleive when she sees a cat on the counter. She feels the cats have always just come out of the kitty litter and are dragging their poopy/pee-ridden paws & tails all over the place we prepare our food. It’s really driving Jen to the wall.

So we’ve got to find SOME kind of solution. Even if I could make something… like an LED light, or IR beam, or laser beam beam that gets broken when the cat hops up on the counter, which then sets off a loud klaxon alarm.

Something like this?

Also, they have little motion sensor air blasters, like this one.

No idea how well they work though, and they may be inconvenient on the counter.

I can’t offer any advice, other than to say we have three cats and I only just realized even when we leave food up there, they never ever go onto the counters. They go on every other damn surface in the house, I wonder what we did (completely by accident) to prevent this issue from being an issue?

I have had some success in the past (and my sister has been quite successful) in keeping cats off unwanted places with a product call a Scat Mat. It is plastic sheet with an electrical charge (uses 9V batteries) which puts out a mild shock when the cat touches it. It requires a fair amount of diligence moving it from one location on the counter to another otherwise the cat will just avoid that particular area on the counter. I did successfully keep my cats of the dining room table for several years using it, but eventually the scat mat died and gave up and realized that I’d live with a cat hairs on the table.

I simpler solution is to use a squirt bottle every you see the cat on the counter squirt it.

Make a dog scarecrow and place it on the counter.

Sorry, I got nothing. Cats will do what they do. There may be a dog whisperer, but there ain’t no cat whisperers.

Auto targeting water gun sentry?

I was wondering if something like this existed:

Good options. The first won’t work since I need to be able to hear it to know what’s going on and see if it works. The second will work, but as shwon in the vidoes, for very short distances and it only springs into action 50% of the time.

Cats are trainable, (example they can be trained to use a toilet) but it take more work and persistence to train a cat than a dog or a kid.

Frankly most cats are better at training humans than vice versa. Mine sure are.

Going from that paint diagram – I couldn’t find anything quite right, but I think you could find something.

To update your diagram – you wouldn’t be looking for a mirror – you’d have a laser (typically IR - quite cheap and invisible) pointing at a detector. If the beam is interrupted (the sensor doesn’t see the beam) you’d trigger the alarm.

If you like electronics projects, it’s a pretty easy thing to do yourself.

EDIT
Actually found something on amazon. Plus, it has related stuff that might give more ideas.

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-StayAway-Motion-Activated-Pet-Deterrent/dp/B000DZFFN4

Ahah! Yes! I would love to do that. No idea where to look or what to type for a DIY kit. The devices listed so far are not what I’d want. I’d like a thin straight beam so my wife and I will be able to easily not set them off. The stayawat cat thing has a way too wide FOV for our purposes.

http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Planet-70278-Lazer-Tripwire/dp/B0024UJIJ8/ref=sr_1_6?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1347395749&sr=1-6&keywords=motion+alarm

Its not infrared, but here is something that might work too

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3453

Problem I can see with most of those kind of standalone units is the battery life, not sure how often you’d need to replace them.

Our friends in Japan have devised an absolutely ingenious solution.

A friend uses orange scent to keep his cats off his work table.

I use small cups or bowls of water, strategically placed on the counter(or tabletop). They hate jumping up there only to land in water or land in a spot where they can’t move without stepping in water.

A motion alarm sounds useless to me for this purpose. No matter how annoying the sound, the cat will get over it. Useless you want the alarm to let you know when a cat is up there so you can come running, but then isn’t it too late at that point?