Cat's in the layout in the railroad room...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by zeeglen, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Was intended as a dust and little-hands cover, but found it has another use as well.

    This is a real problem - Abby stomps people and trees flat on unprotected layouts. I'm sure others must have a similar problem.

    Has anyone ever tried a Relco or Gaugemaster electronic track cleaner to discourage feline King Kong wannabees? I'm thinking the high voltage generated on an unloaded track might work like an electric fence charger. Let me know if you've tried this and if it works without damage to the cat. -glen

    Attached Files:

  2. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...taste like chicken. Nice sneeze guard tho!

    Just kidding zeeglen.

    Mark:D :D :D

    (P.S. They actually taste like General Tso's Chicken!)
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    My layout's in a seperate room so I just close the door if my nieghbor's fur ball is in the house (which is only about 23 hours out of every 24). Nice looking layout, care to share any pics of it?
  4. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Thanks, Judy did the scenicing. See thread ID 6559 in Photography, Scenery, Books, Video 'Some pictures of my scenery work'.

    Our trainroom (living room) has no door and locking up the critter in any other room is a good way to get the carpet torn up at the doorway as she tries to claw her way out. She's tried jumping up to turn the doorknob, but claws aren't made for that.
  5. jawatkins

    jawatkins Member


    That's my cat!!

    Abigail - bad kitty- get down from there!!
  6. billk

    billk Active Member

    Why not just leave the cover on when you're not working on the layout?
    (And everybody, please don't let this thread degenerate into a bunch of sick comments, as seems to happen to so many 'cat threads'.
  7. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Hi Billk,

    It's the other layouts that are in danger, and don't have covers (yet) for them. Looking at the Relco option, but if that doesn't work then more covers are the only way to go. Was hoping to avoid that; the dust cover didn't keep the rails clean the way it was supposed to (oxide is the major culprit, not dust); and the other layouts were made to be touched under supervision, the dust cover was for semi-unattended public display of the one layout.

    But am worried about the effect of the Relco on wet noses. A dry human finger is not in danger, but a cat getting a shock from wet nose to paw could be more seriously affected even with the small current the Relco generates. Once had a dog that could never learn that biting a 9V battery makes it bite back. Didn't have enough sense to leave it alone, kept getting mad at it and getting a nose/tongue shock - and that's just from 9 volts. I believe the Relco puts out over 100V at unknown current. -glen
  8. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    This may sound cruel to some but it works.
    I placed a bunch of small mouse traps ( stretched the springs first) on the layout. The cat doesn't get on the layout any more .
    And wasn't hurt.
  9. billk

    billk Active Member

    glen -
    If there are little-hands about, I'd be wary of anything that could cause physical harm, especially in this day and age.

    The 'shock treatment' sounds a little drastic, at any rate. Maybe a few stategically placed thumbtacks until the lesson is learned?

    Most cats I have known have some strange phobia - one was afraid of cooked spaghetti (pastaphobia?), another of the sound of paper crinkling. If Abby has something like that, maybe you can use it to your advantage.

    I've also heard tell of spraying them with water whenever they get where they're not wanted, but that depends on how waterproof your layout is, and might not work anyway, another cat I know loves getting sprayed with anything less than a garden hose.
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    last layout was in house with cats found that a liberal amount of fine ground red pepper and dry mustard kept cats off.with no damage to them except maybe there pride.
  11. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    A friend of mine has a layout and two cats. One of them never ever went near the layout, but the other was obviously a train fan. However, she never destroyed anything, marching across the whole layout without even touching one single tree or catenary pole. Strangely only one car, a light grey beer reefer, got her attention - she always kicked that car off the tracks.

    Of course my friend was proud of his Kitty - until the day came, when she decided to have a siesta nap on the layout - right in the middle of his 8 track freight yard! Result: All the catenary was flat on the ground! :eek: :eek: :eek: :mad: :mad:

    Then my friend made exactly what Jim suggested, only with black pepper. He dusted 'her' beer reefer with it, then he let Kitty into the layout room again. She promptly jumped on the layout, discovered the reefer and went after him. Next thing was one hell of a near-explosion, when Kitty started sneezing like mad. She dashed off the layout (thereby doing some more 'tornado damage') and never again reentered that room. :D :D :D

    Since cats are not so much nose-oriented like dogs, it is not that hard or painful to them. Just the same they seem to learn their lesson quickly. But NEVER try this on a dog - for him getting pepper into the nose must be a VERY severe punishment, if not outright a torture. :( :( :(

  12. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member


    This has been an interesting thread. I have some cats who periodically visit to "play with the trains." As I don't yet have an operating layout, the damage so far has been minimal, limited to a couple of cars knocked off their "storage tracks", but really just minor derailments. When an actual layout starts to take place, the danger will probably become worse, so I think I will have to find a way just to keep the cats out of the room. I don't expect it to be a sever problem, however, as they just don't visit that often.
  13. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    I've heard of putting mouse traps upside down so they bounce up in the air and scare them without hurting them, similarly setting the mouse traps and putting a piece of paper over them so they won't catch a paw or nose.

    I've heard of the red pepper too, or trays of water. How about one of those motion sensor or electric-eye alarms that'll screech when they go up there?

    Personally, I just keep the door closed, but since I have three VERY curious cats, including one who's too dumb (but loveable) to be trained, I don't know what I'd do if that wasn't an option.
  14. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Thanks for all these suggestions. I like the idea of ground red pepper (cayenne?) and mustard, maybe that will make good groundcover and shrub colouring mixture too. May not work if glued down, but sprinkled on they should stick to the other materials. Will give it a try. Maybe Woodland Scenics could come up with cat-repelling scenic materials.

    Billk, RailRon - much as I like sick puns, will refrain from making comments on the cat that ate the canary and crushed the catenary ...oops... :rolleyes:
  15. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    This obviously isn't the first cat vs layout thread nor will it be the last:D :D :D Having taken much flack in a previous thread for my "capacitor discharge cat shocker" the last time this came around I shall remain silent on the subject:D :D :D :D :p
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There have been a number of threads on a number of forums (fora?) about this. By far the funniest suggestion was simply:

    Post a sign on the door - NO CATS ALLOWED.

  17. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    That would only work on two of my three cats, the male cat can't read!
  18. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Might I suggest you try black pepper first, before using cayenne. Cayenne is much hotter and as cats clean themselves, they tend to transfer whatever is on their paws into mouth, fur and eyes. If you've ever had cayenne in your eyes (as I have when I took out my contact lenses after preparing curried chicken one night) you would never inflict that on any but your worst enemy.

  19. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    Thanks for the warning, Val. Have sprinkled some black pepper onto the bushes and will try that alone for a few days. If it is effective no need to go stronger. Might also try a few other spices on plates to see what smells cats do not like.
  20. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Glad to hear it. Hope the black pepper works! I'm lucky in that my kitty is rather portly and is unwilling, or flat-out unable to jump up on the layout.

    I must confess I did a sort of mean thing to said kitty many months ago with a cheap train set. I set it up on the floor in the basement/rec room and ran it around for awhile. Pretty soon kitty became very interested in the movement and began stalking the train, albeit a little nervously. I started teasing her by chasing her with the train, slowing it down then creeping forward etc. until she finally pounced.

    When she did, the train jumped the tracks, the cat jumped a couple feet straight up in the air and refused to even come downstairs for 3 days!!!!! I think it's safe to say she has a healthy fear of the little iron horses now, hehehe.


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