There is something about painting that attracts cats and especially kittens. They are unexplainably drawn to the event. Even if they are curled up in some unknown space, sound asleep, all it takes is to dip a paintbrush into a can of paint and cats appear, as if out of the woodwork. Not only do they have to be in the same room that you are working in, they have to inspect every aspect of the project.
They check out the open can of paint. You scoop them up just before they walk over the paint can lid. If you happen to get through a painting session without painted cat paw prints, they invariably end up with a paint spot on them somewhere. They develop a compulsive need to rub up against the newest painted surface.
Kittens are especially adept at appearing out of nowhere, high-fiving the woodwork you just put a fresh coat of paint on, and dashing back out of the room before you have a chance to react. The logical and most obvious solution to keeping cats out of painting projects is to lock yourself in a room without them. That is not always possible.
Here are a few tips for managing those painting projects that involve cats who have a compulsive desire to project manage.
- Keep project supplies organized. Gather everything you need ahead of time and keep them nearby, preferable up off the floor. Not only do cats have to inspect your tools, they like to play with them also.
- Close or cover paint containers even if you are leaving the vicinity for a few minutes. Cats like touch everything with their paws. They have a compulsive need to poke things, presumably to see if they are alive or dead. If it moves, it is alive and requires further poking.
- Let phone calls go to voice mail. They will call back if they don’t leave a message. Animals have a knack for getting into things when you are on the phone.
- Clean up when you are done. This includes not only paint brushes, paint trays, and other tools but the cats also. Cats are fastidious about cleaning themselves. Check your cats for paint spots and clean them up also.
- Stay calm. They will soon be bored and wander off for a nap. If you act like it is not a big deal, they will act like it is not a big deal. Cats are very sensitive to what you are thinking and feeling. If you are afraid they will rub up against the wall where you just painted, that is exactly what they will do!
Keep these simple tips in mind the next time you start a painting project. You and your cats can enjoy whatever project you are working on and still be safe.