How to Keep a Cat Off Desk and Keyboard

by pat | Last Updated: May 7, 2020

Whether your working from home or just trying to do something for fun on your computer at home, you know your cat has to always be there. And when I say “there,” I mean right on top of your desk or keyboard. Cute indeed, but at some point you got to get stuff done, so how to keep a cat off your desk and keyboard?

To keep your cat off your desk and keyboard, use aluminum foil near on the unused parts of your desk or near your keyboard. Cat’s dislike shiny and crunchy surfaces so they will stay away from the foil.

Why do cats love sprawling out on our keyboards and desks?  As well as why exactly they love our desk space. There are some reasons that could account for that but cats are an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a question, so there may be no reason at all for your cat to do these things. 

How Can I Keep My Cat Off of the Desk/Keyboard

Knowing why is only a very small part of the battle.  We still need to keep them off of the desk and keyboard so they don’t ruin our computers or mess up our workspace. But how do we do that and are any of the methods actually effective?

Part of the effectiveness will solely depend on the personality of your cat and the other part will depend on how consistent you are with the methods you try.  If you only try once and it doesn’t work so you give up, then you are unlikely to have any success.

Make sure whatever method you choose, you try repeatedly before calling it quits. 

Double-sided Tape

While this is not our favorite method, it does seem to be effective at keeping cats from jumping up on the workspace and getting on the keyboard. Cats don’t like to be sticky or have anything stuck to them so a few times of leaping onto tape and they will likely stop doing it.

There are some words of caution with this tip though.  Don’t use a very sticky tape and if your cat has medium to long fur, we really don’t recommend trying this.  The tape could get wrapped up and become very painful for the cat and need to be cut out.

Ideally, the tape won’t completely stick to the cat and come off easily or stay on the desk or workspace.  This is really to just annoy the cat so we don’t want them injured. 

Aluminum Foil

Shiny and crunchy surfaces are not a cat’s best friend so this a great way to keep them from using your keyboard as a bed.  This is a method that needs to be employed when the computer is not in use, for the most part.  Lay aluminum foil on and around your keyboard when you aren’t working to discourage any furry visitors.

When you are working, if you don’t want your cat on the desk, then you can put aluminum foil on the unused workspace to help keep them away.  This may or may not work since they love being near their humans. 

Loud Shaker

This is something that requires more constant effort because you will have to know when the cat is coming.  Any time your cat is approaching or has already jumped on your desk grab your ready-made loud shaker and shake your heart out. 

This will startle the cat and send them on their way. This method doesn’t require anything shiny or sticky but it does require some dedication. 

Decoy Keyboard

Who doesn’t have an old keyboard lying around?  We don’t but that is beside the point.  If you do then now is the time to use it again.  Lay the keyboard on the desk near you and the keyboard you are using.  Your cat might take the bait and lounge happily on the fake while you get some actual work done.

If you don’t have an old keyboard then you can head to your local thrift store.  I can almost guarantee that they will have at least one laying around for less than a dollar. 

Why Do Cats Jump on Desks and Keyboards?

When dealing with any undesirable behavior in any species knowing why they behave this way will be extremely helpful when looking for a solution for the problems caused by the behavior. 

Maybe you don’t want to stop your cat from jumping on your desk and keyboard because you just love being close to them and think it is the cutest thing.  We don’t believe that is the case though since you are reading this article. 

It is Close to Their Favorite Person

Once a cat bonds with a person said person becomes their favorite human on the planet.  Some cats may be aloof and make you work for any affection or closeness you get but that isn’t always the case.  

When a cat likes you, they will want to be close to you all of the time especially, it seems when you are working. This is one of the main reasons that will be all over your desk and keyboard.  It smells like you and it is likely you spend quite a bit of time at your workspace, so clearly that is where your cat wants to be. 

They Will Get Attention

Another and somewhat more sinister motive, okay maybe sinister is a strong word but you know what we mean,  for invading your desk space is because they know they will get attention. You can’t possibly ignore them when they are tip-tapping on your keyboard with their tail in your face. 

Even if the only attention they get from it is being removed from the keyboard, which is unlikely because they will at least have a little pat and scratch behind the ear, they are still getting the desired result.