Cat owning knitters, how do you keep them away from your yarn?
By - sonicVroom
Start putting your yarn away and use closed project bags. Any cat unless you're really lucky is going to see yarn and think 'toy', I know mine does.
Best you can do is keep your project safe by putting things away when you're not knitting on them. Is safer for the project even without cats.
I agree that keeping things out of reach of your cat is your best bet. I got pretty good about putting my yarn and projects away after my cat unraveled a ball of yarn - it was wound around all my living room furniture, took hours to untangle.
You'll have to keep it put away, and be firm about not allowing kitty to attack strings while you're knitting. It's best to not use string of any kind as a toy, because they can't tell the difference. Feather toys and stuffed mice or whatever are better.
Also, unless you want the cat sleeping (shedding)on your yarn and/or project, keep that put away too.
I was visiting my mom once and left my knitting project out overnight. The next morning I discovered that one of the cats had vomited on it. All the surface area in the entire house and it made a beeline for my sweater. So thoughtful.
Always put your projects safely away. Always!
It's a rule with cats, I'm sure of it, that they must vomit where it's most inconvenient
In addition to everyone else's great ideas about putting it away (mine lives in a cabinet with glass doors so I can stare at the pretties), train your cat. Yes, it's possible. They understand "no" and "stop". Start them early, and keep consistent. Mine don't touch my yarn now.
This! When we got our two furballs, I told my wife, “do not ever give them yarn to play with, they won’t know the difference between play yarn and your projects.” She didn’t listen. She also often thinks leaving her projects on the couch and tossing a blanket over them is adequate protection. It has cost her at least 3-4 projects and a few more skeins of yarn over the last two years.
I have four cats. I’m very careful to make sure I clean up all my yarn scraps when I’m finishing a project so they don’t eat them. Luckily mine aren’t interested in my knitting unless I’m actually working on it (the moving yarn is irresistible) so I can leave it out without them bothering it.
Apart from keeping it out of reach, train your cat to respect your no. Yes, it is possible. We have 9 cats. (Blame the husband).
My cat understands no and it’s lovely. She still likes to make sure I really mean no and tries a couple of times lol.
Lol, of course!
Agreed, respect the stop command. We had our kitten named before he came home, because it was a perfect fit: Norrin. There was absolutely a discussion questioning if having a name that started with "No" was a good idea. We instead chose "Hey!", which still seems to work (moreso for my husband). I think whatever word you choose will be fine, as long as it's only used in context.
How do you teach the cat no? I understand clicker training and rewards for positive behaviour, but nothing for negative. Do you just say "no" sternly and physically move the cat or object?
Yup, and be consistent.
If those don't work, giving them a small fright or using a spray bottle with water works too.
I won the cat lottery. My cat has zero interest in playing with my yarn. He does, however, get incredibly jealous when I'm knitting and tries to crawl up my torso anytime I'm working on a knitting project. It's as adorable as it is annoying, but I'll take it over a tangled mess of yarn balls any day.
Long before I had a cat, I got into the habit of keeping my projects in a drawstring bag because I'm a klutz and tripped over a WIP and ripped it off the needles one too many times. I keep the yarn I'm not actively using in a big clear plastic tote so it's easier to find what I'm looking for and keeps your stash relatively organized. I think both of those methods would lend themselves well to keeping a yarn loving cat from messing with your yarn.
Same. My cat doesn’t care and I have a nice big open basket I keep my WIPs and on deck yarns in.
ONE TIME he stole a freshly wound ball and took it downstairs to the basement with him. It was still in perfect condition. He didn’t even bat is around. Just picked it up and dropped it downstairs. Once I found it and put it back in my basket he hasn’t bothered it. I think he just liked the color or the way the light hit it at the time.
My cat is obsessed with yarn unfortunately. If I turn my back for a moment, he'll slurp it up like ramen and swallow it. Once I had a pretty $1500 vet bill from him finding a long scrap of worsted acrylic behind a shelf and swallowing it whole. Still he didn't learn his lesson. I keep all my yarn in bags in a room he isn't allowed in. I used to keep them in bags in closed drawers, but he learned how to open every drawer in the house with his paws and would tear through the bags with his teeth to reach it
I keep my yarn in plastic comforter bags with lavender soap bars, cedar blocks and various bags of herbs to keep moths and other creepers away.
Our cat has learned not to bother me while I'm knitting and he just watches me now unless he has an incredible urge to jump on me and try and grab the yarn. That only ever happens very late at night though (not kidding) so I don't worry about kitty and the yarn too much.
Yeah, just train your cat to respect a no. It's definitely possible. You might have to run them off things consistently - or PUSH them off things you don't want them on. Gently, of course, but the point is you will need to physically reinforce the no until they learn you mean it when you say it.
The other half of it is environmental managements. So putting your projects away securely when you're done with them, every time. And possibly shutting the cat out of the room when you block.
It's also very common for cats to like *plastic* and *wires* so watch out for those as well. My cat is like this and doesn't particularly care for yarn, so I'm able to protect wires by knitting covers around them, lol.
I second using boxes or zipped bags to store yarn.
I also make sure to keep a spare ball of yarn to distract my kitty every time I pull out an actual project, so he doesn't play with my working yarn.
Mine does not respond to rules very well. (We got him as a nervous shelter cat, so he gets defensive easily)
I'd have to stop knitting completely to enforce a rule like that :/
We had a smart cat once, and not only did she understand rules, she made some and expected us to obey them. My current cat, like yours, is cute as a button but also about as smart as a button.
I have a wicker box that use to store all of my supplies and my current projects. When I'm done knitting for a while I put all of my things in there. When I'm knitting but have to get up for a minute to use the restroom or get a drink I set my project on the couch next to me and cover it with a throw blanket. I have 4 cats and none of them have beaten this system. The only time they have gotten ahold of yarn was then they got a scarf I made with long tassels and chewed up the tassels. So be sure to securely hide your finished projects, too.
Mine is on a high surface that she was
trained not to jump up to (used to keep gerbils there!), or locked away in a suitcase. She is only ever really tempted when I put the yarn on the back of the sofa and it moves around, but normally if move it away from her and firmly tell her not to she's fine.
I can’t. To be honest, he stays away when they are our away. I have some plastic bins from target that are the perfect size and height for my projects. I try to avoid letting skeins fall on the floor, because then it becomes playtime.
I have a little swatch of pure wool with a lot of sheepy smell that my cat loves, as long as she gets that she is completely unbothered with what I'm using, my friends solution is a small ball of scrap acrylic that the cat is allowed to play with, whenever the cat gets her eye on the working yarn she throws the scrap ball to redirect