Preventing cat-like typing

I was assisting in one of our online workshops from home recently. After my cat’s morning nap, he decided to join me. My laptop had been on for quite some time and was warm. So Bailey, of course, decided that was where he wanted to sit.

When I am working from home, I have a monitor, keyboard and mouse attached to the laptop, so I didn’t really mind that he was sitting on it. However, the laptop keyboard still was active, so the folks attending the workshop saw something like this:

Chat window from Connect with several messages of random characters that were entered by cat sitting on a laptops keyboard.




Luckily he didn’t hit manage to step on enter again after he proceeded to type in an entire paragraph of c’s.

So what can you do about this?

Screen cap from PawSense that appears when cat-like typing is detected. Has buttons for closing the window and changing settings. Text box at bottom of the screen allows window to be dismissed by typing human. Can exit program by typing terminate.There are a couple programs out there that will detect cat-like typing. The most popular seems to be PawSense, available at: PawSense detects cat-like typing, stops further entry and plays a sound annoying to cats. However, there are three issues for me:

  1. There isn’t a Windows 10 version of it.
  2. It costs around 20 dollars.
  3. You still have to get the cat off the keyboard to be able to use the computer.

There are also low tech options like putting the keyboard at an angle. You could try to train your cat not to walk on your keyboard using something like the How to Get Your Cat to Stop Jumping on Your Keyboard Wiki.

I wanted to see if I could do something with just the settings on my computer.

Changing behavior of computer when shutting the lid

It is possible to change what happens when you close the lid of a laptop.

  1. To change the behavior of a windows computer when closing the lid, press the window key and s.
  2. Search for power options, click the item that appear in the results.
  3. In the list of options to the left, click “Choose what closing the lid does”.
  4. Change the option for “When I close the lid” to Do nothing.

This changes the setting for all the power plans. If you want to change it for a particular plan, look at the directions available in this How To Keep Laptop Running With the Lid Closed article.

Disabling Touch Screen

That said, while I was in the workshop I realized I needed to do a bit more if I wanted to let the cat hang out on the laptop. At some point, I put my hand on top of the lid of the laptop, and that accidentally opened a program. The problem was that the touch screen was still active, and my touch on the back side of the screen was registered. I found that I could choose to disable the touch feature of my screen.

  1. To disable the touch screen, press the window key and s.
  2. Search for device manager, and click the link for it that appears in the results.
  3. Click Yes to the User Account Control dialog box asking, “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?”
  4. Find the Human Interface Devices group and expand it.
  5. Look for a device called something like “HID-compliant touch screen,” right click the device, and click Disable.
  6. You then see a window asking if you are sure you want to disable the device. Click Yes to this.

So if you have a cat, you probably know what happen once I had figured this out. Yep, Bailey decided to lay down, away from the laptop, on the blanket I put on the desk for him before I started assisting the workshop.

Cat laying on blanket in front of computer screen with paw stretched out to touch corner of printed documents.


  1. Computer Solutions and Training Center

    Dear Jen Oakes, thank you for sharing excellent post on “Preventing cat-like typing”. I tried this but did not find anything like “HID-compliant touch screen,” It may be my mistake but I can’t find it out. What to do now. Waiting for your reply!

    • Jen Oakes

      Not sure why that would be. The two touch screen devices I have access to both show the touch screen as “HID-compliant touch screen” and from what I can find online that is how touchscreen devices appear in both Windows 8 and Windows 10. What version of Windows are you using?

  2. Beth Nolen

    Jen – thanks for sharing this! It’ll come in handy when my cat, Steve, decides to try assisting me while I assist or teach workshops! 🙂

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