cats vs. motion sensors

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I have had a Slomin's security system in my home for a few years and have been satisfied. However, my fiancee just moved in with her three cats. Now the motion sensor goes off when they use the stairway (at least.. that's what I have witnessed for right now.. who knows where else they will trip it off..)
I called Slomins and they just said disarm the motion sensor.. Well.. that defeates the purpose of home security, doesn't it? They acted like there was nothing else they could do.
I read about Intelligent Pet Sensors, that are able to tell the difference between an animal or a burgler.. However, that's all sales- pitch. I have also read stuff from people saying they are a big disappointment.
What do people with pets do in the case of having a home security system.. Do they just not use motion sensors and use window and door sensors?
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I'm looking for some action.
What's the over-under on "kill the cats" responses to this post?
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Its no sales pitch Ive had 6 dogs since the 70s, now 3, all big 79-95lb and never 1 false alarm except for a helium balloons, you cant put a pet sensor like on stairs or where ever they get up like on a couch or table. You need quality sensors mine are dual mode hard wire. All it is is a sensor that is blocked below usualy 3ft, the sensors height. I have 3 sensors and dogs roam free under them, sure a burglar can crawl, his face will be an easy meal.
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The sensor has to be Pet Alley upgradeable, mine was from Honywell
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You need to replace the sensors with narrow vertical beam sensors (or sensors with adjustable vertical spread) and aim them better. I have several sensors like this and we have a dog that never sets them off. The trick is to aim them vertically so that all motion underneath is ignored, so only people set it off. Stairs are tricky if your current sensor is at the staircase bottom, you may have to set the aim so that only the top stair is covered but at a height taller than a cat. This will still allow the cat to ascend the staircase but a human being would set it off at the top. Or install a dedicated sensor for just the stairs and aim it down the staircase from the top taller than the damn cats, (your alarm panel should have some spare inputs). And re- point the old bottom staircase sensor into the room away from the staircase. Sorry to hear your future wife has cats, but thats the way it goes sometimes.
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Check out smarthome.com for a good sensor selection and information on animals.
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On Fri, 24 Oct 2008 13:51:04 -0700 (PDT), RickH

You don't actually need spare inputs. If you have normally open sensors, you put them all in parallel. If you have normally closed, you put them all in series. And on all good panels, and many others, you can use both open and closed at the same time, the open in parallel and the closed in series. (Many panels require a 27? ohm resistor if you only have normally closed sensors. By making the normal resistance neither zero nor infinite, it can consider either zero or infinite to be alarm conditions. Quite clever those guys are.)
I don't know how it works with Slomin, where iiuc the equipment is provided free, and they may keep secret what each connection is for.
OTOH, their unwillingness to help the OP means that, it seems to me, he's free to learn about their equipment from them or any other source. Otherwise he'd be forced to change providers, which will cost them all the money they make from him (Unless he had to sign a contract for a certain term, but that term couldn't be more than a year or two.) So maybe they'll tell you what each screw is for if you ask, and you can tell where the sensors are connected anyhow. You can find out if they are NO, or NC (normally closed) with an ohmmeter. Don't forget that sensors like IR also have a 12volt power supply to them, and thus they have 4 wires.. Window and door switches usually only have 2 wires.
The advantage of separate inputs is that the control panel can show what zone had the alarm condition. But I went 20 years with only one zone. Since I never actually had a burglary or an alarm I didn't trigger myself, I never had any occasion to wonder what zone or what sensor had triggered an alarm.

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On Fri, 24 Oct 2008 12:34:02 -0700 (PDT), Chris

If it is a directional sensor maybe you can experiment in pointing it where the cats can't go or get a different sensor. Cats seem to claim every availalble area in a home and can jump several feet up. Good luck with the three cats, though.
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We had that problem in a townhouse apartment. My wife crawled up the stairs while I adjusted the sensor. I had some fun with this.
Jimmie.
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Chris wrote:

The best solution is to get sensors designed with pets in mind.
According to the guy who installed our system, those sensors work by not seeing anything less than three or so feet from the floor. He said we could accomplish that by putting some black tape over the bottom edge of the sensor.
Warning: That advice is >20 years old.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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My systen has a IR sensor with a narrow beam. Adjusted it to hit objects 3' or higher off the floor. One false alarm in many years. One cat was tearing up a bread wrapper and set it off. Three cats, no problem. (With the alsrm:) One of them called 911 one time. That was a problem. Took 911 off speed dial...
Al
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wrote:

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wrote:

Tape might work, many have beam patterns like motion sensor lights, [same sensors?] that fan down and have a lens for low, med low, and horizontal, you cover all but the top lens that is horizontal, mine had a add on plate that blocked the angled beam
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On Fri, 24 Oct 2008 16:09:23 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Only partly. Presumably, the alarm went off when the burglar entered the door.

What do you expect from a company that does free installaiton, iiuc?

Aim the sensors high enough that the pets don't trigger them. If it's the stairs, turn the sensor sideways away from the stairs. If you have to alarm the stairs they sell flat things that go under the carpeting, although that requires running a wire.
This is not to say that one can always succeed. I wanted to alarm my bedroom window, even when the window was open. So the alarm would go off when a burglar started to come in. Unfortunately the occasional wind would blow the curtains and that would set off the alarm. I got a dual tech sensor, that was both infra red and ultra sonic, and requited both to trigger, and it would go off in the wind too. I was supposed to put weights on the curtain, so the wind wouldn't make it flap, but I forgot. It's good to know I was senile 20 years ago also. And I'm an amateur, having only done one house, the one I'm in. Maybe a pro could have made it work the way I wanted it. I still leave the window open all spring summer and most of fall. 25 years and no one has come in.

May I borrow your car? The keys are in the fridge, right?

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On Fri, 24 Oct 2008 12:34:02 -0700 (PDT), Chris

I got the pet safe adapter on my security system and it worked great until a cat burglar came in and cleaned my ass out.
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You may be able to blind part of the motion sensor that sees the area where the cats are. Put some strips of electrical tape, maybe 1/2" wide, either horizontal or (more likely) vertically on the sensor, putting the tape between the sensor itself & the area where the cats are.
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On Fri 24 Oct 2008 12:34:02p, Chris told us...

They work, as least ours does.

We have five cats. Our sensors are activated by both motion and body heat. Unless the cats come within approximately 1.5 to 2 feet of the sensor, they cannot set off the alarm. Since the sensors are mounted at ceiling level, this is literally impossible. At the same time, they easily sense a body as small as a 5 year old child. After installation, we had extensive testing done.
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In some cases, you can mask off parts of the sensor pattern with tape, like black masking tape. You can take the case front off the sensor, and add the tape where it doesn't show. It may not work, but it doesn't cost much to try. Sometimes, removing the front of the case may be tricky.
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doors and windows is the best way to go, with a motion strategically placed inside incase. pet proof motions work great for dogs, not so great for cats that can jump up and get close to motion. if you can find a place where the motion is pointing where the cat can not get on something and get closer to the motion then it will work well. otherwise look out for cats and motions.
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Bob wrote:

rest of the volume belongs to the cats.
Since we don't need to lock our doors yet it's not a big problem.
Boden
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