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When I am using my computer, my cat often walks across the keyboard. Sometimes she renames files, selects and deletes text—once, she replied to an email. This became such a problem that I had to unplug my keyboard whenever I left my home.

But then, I developed CatNip—a program which, while running, detects “cat-like typing” and locks the keyboard, usually in under a half second. Optionally, CatNip will fade your desktop and display a warning message to your cat (which is of dubious value, since if your cat can read, your cat can probably type, too).

CatNip requires at least Mac OS X 10.4, and CatNip 2.2 will work with Mac OS X 10.6.

Download CatNip version 2.2

Source Code

How does CatNip distinguish my cat from me?

Your cat likely types very slowly, and tends to hit many neighboring keys at once. CatNip identifies this distinctive “cat-like” typing.

What happens when CatNip sees a cat?

The keyboard is locked, preventing further cat-like typing; optionally, the desktop fades, the computer beeps, and a message is displayed, like this:

Screenshot of CatNip having locked the screen

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