ISO Small table to replace Keyboard Tray for Cat Comfort
April 30, 2013 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Dayton likes to work/hang out with me. Help us work this out!

His favorite thing is when I pull out the keyboard tray on my desk because he can be directly between me and the computer (ie center of attention). And I love it too. But he's broken 2 keyboard trays. He likes to jump from the keyboard tray to the top of the hutch, or from the keyboard tray to the floor. The force of the jump is too much for the cheap desks I buy.

What I'm looking for is a small table that will fit under the desk when he's not using it, that I can then pull out so that he can lay on. Something with 4 legs that can take the jumps. Having trouble finding something suitable. His great grandparents even searched ikea on their last trip. Price is a consideration, I'm not willing to spend a whole lot. But it's a big part of our bonding time and he's getting more and more reluctant to lay there each time it breaks.

Obligatory cat pic... ignore the mess we're bachelors, but wanted to give you an idea of exactly how this currently works for us.

Approx desired dimensions: Depth 14.5, Width 29, Height 25.5-27

Unless you think this is the wrong direction to go, in which case point me in the right one!
posted by one4themoment to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
what about a wall mounted cat shelf on the wall or end of your desk?
posted by dottiechang at 4:53 PM on April 30, 2013

What about a laptop desk? Search Amazon for "adjustable computer laptop desk" to see what I mean--the height is adjustable, and maybe look for one with wheels that lock to improve jumping stability?
posted by msbubbaclees at 4:58 PM on April 30, 2013

There are some decent cheap adjustable laptop stands. This one from IKEA has held up better than I'd have expected considering price and method of adjustment (haven't used for cats, have used for laptops and to hold a heavy humidifier.) It's probably less sturdy the higher it's adjusted, and while I doubt it would break, you'd want to position carefully to avoid it falling over under cat jumps.
posted by asperity at 5:40 PM on April 30, 2013

Best answer: I just saw a cat-hack that was to put a box on your desk. Is a little box an option? (Not sure how big your desk is.)

Then he can pop into the box next to you and you don't have to worry about the keyboard tray breaking.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:40 PM on April 30, 2013

Why don't you get the Ikea Lack and put it on risers? It's deeper than you want, but you don't have to pull it out all the way.

Plan B: Put something like Styrofoam underneath the keyboard tray so that it is supported by your lap and can take the force of a jumping cat (he's adorable, by the way).
posted by anaelith at 6:08 PM on April 30, 2013

What about a nightstand like this one from ikea?

I have one of those Dave computer stands and it wobbles a bit on carpet. Add 2 fat cats and it tips over all the time.
posted by oneear at 8:04 PM on April 30, 2013

I'm imagining hacking something like this 'cat window perch' to attach like this infant seat?
posted by MeiraV at 9:21 PM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Where specifically does the breakage occur?

If the keyboard drawer setup works well for you, there are ways to improve upon it to prevent breakage:

1. Get a set of heavier-duty keyboard slides (if that's the breakage) - I found some at Lowe's for sub-$20 that support 75 lb dynamic load (jumping) and 100 lb static load (you leaning on it, since I doubt your handsome cat weighs that much).

2. Reinforce the desk with some real wood where the slides attach (to spread the area that gets stressed by the slides). To do so, screw 1x3 (or something) to the existing sides and narrow the drawer by a similar amount - hardware stores will make the cuts for you for cheap if you don't have a saw.

Another option is you could turn the flat tray part into a slide-out cat hammock! Use fleece or mesh fabric (like laundry bag material) over the rails or over some wood/PVC/something mounted to the rails.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:39 AM on May 1, 2013

Response by poster: It is in fact the sliders that keep breaking. Don't know why I didn't think of just rolling my own sliding drawer. I guess in my head buying a small table was easier. I'll make a trip to the local hardware store and see what I can come up with.

Dayton says thank you for the compliments!
posted by one4themoment at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2013

Response by poster: I may also try the box thing. My current desk is L shaped so I could clear a place for him.
posted by one4themoment at 5:54 AM on May 2, 2013

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