Cat Calamity in My Studio

by Phyllis Churchill.
(Deltona, Florida USA)

question-mark-006Goodness ONLY KNOWS I love my cats!! However, recently I have two of them who have taken up permanent residence on my beading worktable.

I cover it ( now) with a tablecloth, attempt to make it (underneath) as uncomfortable as possible, but………. to no avail!!

I am ( LOL) tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to NOT have to put everything away every time I leave the area for a little while….. Anyone got any ideas? Good, bad, I don’t care…… I’M Desperate!

One of the two is constantly beside me whenever I am working at anything. He is content to sleep right near me, but if I don’t reach out and pet him once in awhile, in the middle of creating, stringing, thinking, w-h-a-t-e-v-er……… HE reaches out, and knocks something over, or make beads roll… OYY!

Just thought you might enjoy my latest trial and tribulations……… 🙂

Thanks 🙂

Phyllis Churchill
Uniquely Phyllis

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  1. My 3 cats, like most cats, are like toddlers. Everything is a toy to a toddler. The only ways to keep them from an interesting area is to 1/ lock away the area (which tends to make it even more desirable) or 2/ offer an alternate and MORE INTERESTING AREA. I’m thinking nearby tunnels or box castles filled with rolling, dangling and clanking treasures. Sounds a bit like your worktable, doesn’t it, Phyllis? As for the work surface, shallow and fairly large trays work well, with well-fitting covers, of course. A small investment in organization should protect your precious designs AND your even more precious feline friends. Best of luck 🙂

  2. We once adopted a cat who kept jumping up onto kitchen worktops. What worked for her was to cover them in plastic carrier bags, bit puffed up with air not flattened down. No idea whether she found them uncomfortable or didn’t like the noise or what, but after a while she gave up (took a week or two). Yours may be more persistent, or may not care at all, but it’s cheap and easy to try. Best of luck!

  3. I am fortunately able to have a separate work room. However, I also like to work while we watch TV, that’s where I like to do the boring things like making endless loops on beads, etc. Monique has the right idea — covering the table with trays is great. But sitting on a sofa in front of the TV? She is determined to cuddle next to me.

    I am not so much worried about the cat playing with things — she is ancient (around 23 years old) and doesn’t play a lot. (She does still knock things over for attention.) What really concerns me, though, is the cat hair and dander. So many people are allergic to cats, some severely. Although the craft room is shut off, cat hair floats in there somehow, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution when I’m working in front of the TV. I don’t want to cause an allergic reaction in my customers! My only solution is to keep packaging materials (the pretty little bags, etc.) in a closed container. And I tumble everything possible immediately before shipping. If an item cannot be tumbled, I still clean it. Hopefully that takes care of the problem.

    Hope you find a solution for your problem. There are a lot of us who can empathize with you! 🙂

  4. Hi Phyllis!

    Try swiping the edges of your station with pure oil. (I like peppermint) The smell is very strong to animals and can help keep them out of “danger zones”. You may have to try a few to find the scent that works but it is a great non toxic deterrent – plus the scents can be relaxing or soothing for you!

    Hope this helps,


  5. We too have cats and they love to see what I’m doing while beading. I’ve made beds for them, nope it’s not the same as Moms table. I started saving bits of safe material for them to play with ON THE FLOOR, that works wonders. Another thing I tried was keeping something citrus on the table, cats usually don’t like anything citrus smelling. Now they just come in to say hi, maybe bat around something new on the floor and leave. It’s lonely sometimes without their visits, but there isn’t material flying all over the place. Love my kitties!!

  6. Have you tried sleeping bags? Seriously – our cat loves sleeping in them and demands that we tuck her in. Keeps her happy and I can work. Noise is another strategy. She is not fond of my new pasta machine motor – it’s very noisy. Hope you find a satisfying solution. I adore cats 🙂

  7. When one of my cats ate about a foot of ribbon while I was not looking, and cost me $700 for surgery, I decided to simply keep both of mine out of my workroom. I did changed out my wood door with an old screen door so they can at least peek in at mom. I know not everyone has a dedicated space to do this but it was what worked for me. And I don’t feel claustrophobic in there like I would when I shut the wood door. 🙂

  8. When my kids were little I used those table cloth weights that are great for picnics to keep your tablecloth from blowing away. They clip on to the corners with an alligator clip. I got them in the clearance section at Target or Wal-mart years ago, but I think they could be made with small sand bags or something like that. With a tablecloth on the table under the beads and one covering them you can clip them together. Hope this helps. My cats think crocheting is a game, so I understand your frustration. 🙂

  9. You’re exactly describing what happened to me with my two cats, Phyllis. They simply would not allow me to work at my workbench. In the end they won – of course! I gave up my silver-smithing and instead took up stringing which they would allow me do anywhere else in the house – jut not on my workbench!

  10. I understand! I put two baskets with polar fleece blankets (one for each kitty) in my work area. They love it, I love it. Win-win! Good luck!

  11. Elizabeth Collins says:

    Cats and dogs do not like aluminum foil. I line foil on my bed, sofa, cabinets, etc. – can be folded and put away when “company” there. It really works. Don’t know if it is the shine or noise they dislike, but it works!

  12. Tide together has the right idea. I have had the experience that animals do not like the fragrance of peppermint. Don’t know about other fragrances. But if one does not work, then try another.

  13. I’m a bit disturbed that nobody seems to think of the effect on customers with allergies of having cats around jewelry. I know it’s difficult. But if you have cats, please do be sure all possible steps are taken to thoroughly clean away any possible cat hair, dander, or whatever immediately before packaging your jewelry. I have known people who react even shaking hands with someone who has been petting a cat! Sometimes the allergies are quite serious. I have one friend who can’t enter our home because we have a cat, and another one has to take allergy pills first.

    Blessings …

  14. I have 2 cats and I use a squirt bottle filled with water to keep them off of certain things. There are basically three places that I don’t allow them on, the dining room table, the kitchen counters, and my worktable. I started out by gently taking them off of the forbidden surface and telling them it was not a cat place. After doing that a few times I used the water botlle to give them a squirt. Now I keep a squirt bottle prominently displayed on the corner of my worktable. I also ‘provided’ a pile of boxes for them to climb on and a few empty ones to climb in.

    My work shop is in the basement and I always have stuff on it and since I don’t find everything on the floor they must not be getting up there when I’m not there either.

  15. I recently adopted my daughter’s two cats, and love them to pieces! But I gave up, moved my work area out to the garage! Lol!!!

  16. Hi Phillis! I just noticed that you live in Deltona. I would love to know a neighbor beadaholic. There are no cats at my house but I do have two very loud macaws and two very old dogs. I just close them out of my studio. Please contact me if you would like to get together in Deltona and create some jewelry!

  17. Essential oils are completely natural and made from plants. Oils like citronella, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and orange are nontoxic and tend to repel cats when they smell them. To make a solution of these oils, mix one part essential oil with three parts water, then spray it over your work area as needed to keep cats away.

  18. My girl cat doesn’t bother my desk, but the 2 boys are another problem. They now have a bed at the foot of my desk. They also have some toys nearby, including a “finger box”. I took a box big enough for me to put my forearm into and cut holes for me to wiggle my fingers through. They go nuts for this activity (be sure their claws are trimmed) and it reminds me to give my neck and shoulders a break as well. Once they are both worn out I can get back to work undisturbed.

  19. Dana L.R says:

    Just simply keep them out of the area… a lot of people are allergic to pets, if you’re selling something to the public, you could make them very ill.
    Keep this in mind, plus the pet could eat something in your studio and it could end up costing you a great deal of cash to get it removed.

    Working with pets is not easy.
    I do hope you can solve the problem.

  20. Catherine says:

    Oh Phillis!!!! Where to start!!! I know exactly what you mean. I’m a cat lover, but all my cats are outdoors, except one ,…Thomas. Somehow I got lucky and knock on wood he gets on and in everything except my table where I do jewelry, BUT I still get nervous so when I go to bed I put it all away. There are times when I’ve got beads on a beading palette and hopefully he’s off sleeping, but as soon as he wakes up I panic so if I need to take a break I carefully move the bead pallette on a high shelf temporarily. I’m sorry I’m not much help, but I know what you mean. 🐱

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