Motion Detectors if You Have Cats: Things to Keep in Mind

How to effectively leverage security features with a four-legged family member. 

BY LAUREN SLADE

September 7, 2020

2 64 Motion-Detectors-if-You-Have-Cats-Things-to-Know Desktop

Pets can be a great addition to any home, but they can be frustrating when it comes to motion detectors and a  security system. Cats can be especially problematic, because they are more likely to climb things than dogs or other household pets. So, it’s not just about whether they’re being noticed by the motion detectors as they make their way across the house, which can be adjusted for by programming the monitors to detect anything below a certain level. However, this won’t make any difference if the cat jumps up on something.

One of the ways to reduce cat caused false positives on your motion detector is to train them not to jump up on things. However, anyone who’s owned a cat knows that they tend to do what they want; thus this might not be the most logical recourse. A homeowner who has cats can also get IR sensor motion detectors. IR sensors pick up body heat instead of actual movement, and many modern IR motion sensors are designed to ignore the heat signature of pets below a certain weight – typically 40 pounds or so. With that in mind, they can also be set where they aren’t so sensitive, and that will keep the cat from setting them off very often. But a bigger source of heat, such as a person, would be much  more likely to set off one of these detectors  and trigger an alarm.

Do Motion Detectors and Pets Mix?

Motion detectors and pets can get along, but only if you have the right equipment and it is installed correctly. Otherwise, the cats will continue to trigger the motion detectors around the house. Frustrated with that problem, the homeowner might just turn off the detectors. That may solve the problems with the cats, but it renders the security system less effective.

Instead of taking that risk, it’s much better for a homeowner to focus on how to make sure that the motion detectors aren’t being triggered by the cats when they’re away. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to help you reduce the number of false alarms from your motion detectors.

Adjusting a Motion Detector Where Cats Are Present

With any  security system, the motion detectors can be adjusted. They can also be mounted in ways that reduce false alarms. Try to mount your detectors in areas where there are fewer things for cats to jump onto. Also, consider mounting them upside down — though this is not recommended by motion detector manufacturers. This way, they look up for motion instead of down, so they don’t see the cats roaming underneath them. Trial and error will still be important, but this can help reduce problems.

It’s common for motion detectors to be used in rooms with entryways that cannot be efficiently covered with corresponding sensors. If you can’t make your motion detectors and your cats get along, consider committing to the sensors necessary to cover all your entryways. Or, you can place the motion detector in an area that leads out of the problem area where it may be easier to set up the sensor in a cat friendly way.

Brinks Home Security ™

Brinks Home offers 24/7 monitoring with excellent response times, top-quality security equipment, pet-friendly motion detectors, and professional or DIY installations, depending on your preference. Beyond these features, Brinks Home offers everything from monitored smoke detectors to indoor cameras, helping you keep your family, including  your pets, safe around the clock even when you’re away from home.

Lauren Slade is a Dallas-based writer and editor.

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Motion Detectors if You Have Cats: Things to Keep in Mind

How to effectively leverage security features with a four-legged family member. 

BY LAUREN SLADE

September 7, 2020

Pets can be a great addition to any home, but they can be frustrating when it comes to motion detectors and a  security system. Cats can be especially problematic, because they are more likely to climb things than dogs or other household pets. So, it’s not just about whether they’re being noticed by the motion detectors as they make their way across the house, which can be adjusted for by programming the monitors to detect anything below a certain level. However, this won’t make any difference if the cat jumps up on something.

One of the ways to reduce cat caused false positives on your motion detector is to train them not to jump up on things. However, anyone who’s owned a cat knows that they tend to do what they want; thus this might not be the most logical recourse. A homeowner who has cats can also get IR sensor motion detectors. IR sensors pick up body heat instead of actual movement, and many modern IR motion sensors are designed to ignore the heat signature of pets below a certain weight – typically 40 pounds or so. With that in mind, they can also be set where they aren’t so sensitive, and that will keep the cat from setting them off very often. But a bigger source of heat, such as a person, would be much  more likely to set off one of these detectors  and trigger an alarm.

Do Motion Detectors and Pets Mix?

Motion detectors and pets can get along, but only if you have the right equipment and it is installed correctly. Otherwise, the cats will continue to trigger the motion detectors around the house. Frustrated with that problem, the homeowner might just turn off the detectors. That may solve the problems with the cats, but it renders the security system less effective.

Instead of taking that risk, it’s much better for a homeowner to focus on how to make sure that the motion detectors aren’t being triggered by the cats when they’re away. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to help you reduce the number of false alarms from your motion detectors.

Adjusting a Motion Detector Where Cats Are Present

With any  security system, the motion detectors can be adjusted. They can also be mounted in ways that reduce false alarms. Try to mount your detectors in areas where there are fewer things for cats to jump onto. Also, consider mounting them upside down — though this is not recommended by motion detector manufacturers. This way, they look up for motion instead of down, so they don’t see the cats roaming underneath them. Trial and error will still be important, but this can help reduce problems.

It’s common for motion detectors to be used in rooms with entryways that cannot be efficiently covered with corresponding sensors. If you can’t make your motion detectors and your cats get along, consider committing to the sensors necessary to cover all your entryways. Or, you can place the motion detector in an area that leads out of the problem area where it may be easier to set up the sensor in a cat friendly way.

Brinks Home Security ™

Brinks Home offers 24/7 monitoring with excellent response times, top-quality security equipment, pet-friendly motion detectors, and professional or DIY installations, depending on your preference. Beyond these features, Brinks Home offers everything from monitored smoke detectors to indoor cameras, helping you keep your family, including  your pets, safe around the clock even when you’re away from home.

Lauren Slade is a Dallas-based writer and editor.

Share via:

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