Shop cats

So, there is my shop cat. He’s 100% indoor cat with no grass
available to eat. I come in to my studio and find him chowing down on
fine silver shavings at my lathe. What gives with that??? Do any of
you have shop cats that do perplexing things?? Should I send him
directly for refining or have him assayed first?

J Collier

(PS For all those worrying about the cat’s health, he is fine,
remains .999 fine and I’ve eliminated all chances for repeat

Hi J, Dunno. My wife and I have three. One of whom greatly resembles
a furry version of Sheldon from “the Big Bang Theory”. Yes, a cat
with asperger’s. He’s fond of grass, and would probably nibble
anything else I let him at. Given the ‘delicate’ nature of most
silver turning, I don’t imagine the fine silver swarf is likely to
do your cat any harm. You might want to burn his poo for a few days
though. (to get the silver back.)

A machinist friend of mine lived in his shop (in a warehouse
building in Detroit) with his two Cornish Rexes. (Picture wingless
bats with velvet instead of fur.) They really liked perching on top
of the bridgeport’s motor case, because it was warm.

So you’d be working away, and look up to see 2 pairs of eyes staring
back down at you from on top of the machine, up above the lights.

Really got my attention the first time they did it. Not so much
after that, but it was damned funny. They had a pretty advanced
sense of “time to be somewhere else!”, so they were reasonably safe
to run loose around the shop.


Eating shavings has nothing to do with grass availability. Cats are
just nuts. Q-tips, rubber bands, paper, cellophane, but I have to
admit silver shavings is a first. lol That is one expensive taste cat
perhaps fois grais in gold foil?? lol


JL- I have a friend who was a stone faceter. He watched in horror
once when one of his cats ate a gem he had just cut. He had to “mine”
the litter box for a couple of days. Eeewww!!! I wonder what your
refiner would say if you sent in a bucket of cat litter.

For some weird reason my cats seem to find steel guitar strings
delicious too. Go figure.

We buy wheat grass from the local health food store for our cats to

They love it. Me? Never touch the stuff.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

…cats are weird… mine disdains his clean, filled-fresh-daily
water bowl, likes to paddle in the toilet if we forget to close the
lid and drinks copious amounts of Christmas tree water every December
(I think it’s the minerals.)

Silver is anti-bacterial – perhaps kitty was ‘fighting


I have a young altered male that does stuff like that. Aluminum
foil, wrapping paper, and basically anything with a similar texture.
I guess he thinks with his mouth…

Shit happens, send it for refining!

Sorry I couldn’t resist


about this thread, my Vet had told me that it is a texture thing
that cats like under their teeth when they are chewing eating weird
things, one of mycats likes to lick the stone/plaster walls, either
way most pets do get sick or very sick from these things, with out
any complaints, they just accept it as part of life/nature.

even though seems its a great big joke to some, it ain’t no laughing
matter when it comes to our pets health, a Shop Pet is a human
condition that we have placed upon our beloved animals, so we should
also be the ones that get them out of “harms way”. what would you do
if you’re 3-4 year old spend time in your shop? that is exactly what
you need to do for your Pet. “you can tell a lot about a culture by
the way they treat their animals”. Gandhi.


After accidently locking my various cats in the shop (it’s attached
to my house) I decided to make a cat door so that, in case I ever
did lock one up he or she could get out on his own.

It’s worked out really well.

Sometimes in the morning, my tom is sitting (or sleeping) in my shop
waiting for me to get to work.

Paf Dvorak

I raise a rare breed of cat that is why I do not use anything lethal
in my house nor do I have a ‘shop cat’, but your statement is a bit
erroneous after all none of these people is trying to hurt their
pets and it never occurred to them that to a cat some things they
would never think about them eating will smell good.

Do you use or anyone in your house use acetone aka nail polish
remover in your house around your cat? are you careful because they
will try and chew on anything with it on and it will burn there
mouths and tongue and this can lead to death.

Everyone knows about anti-freeze in the garage, but many chemicals
attract cats. Bleach to a cat smells like sex hormones and they will
spray on anything cleaned with bleach.(we use 2 anti virals called
odo-ban and kennelsol safe for pets and humans.

SO before you admonish these people maybe you should try some
compassion. Pets are fascinating and they teach us a lot about life
in general. The best lesson I have learned is patience. WHich i have
not mastered as yet.


things, one of mycats likes to lick the stone/plaster walls,
either way most pets do get sick or very sick from these things,
with out any complaints, they just accept it as part of

Well said, Hratch. My vet said the same thing. She explained that
cats especially are master hiders of pain. In the wild, pain and
sickness equals weakness. Weakness equals death. No cat deserving of
the title will ever willingly admit to pain. Wish we humans could
adopt a little of that cat credo. 'Cause I love cat grace and I love
cat style.

I had a pair of shop rabbits for a few years. Springer Softail and
Nitro. Springer was an English angora, Nitro was a French angora, big
fluffy rabbits with really long ears. Springer Softail was white and
light brown, Nitro, black as coal. My wife is into fiber arts (as
well as motorcycles) and they were willing participants. In the fiber
arts, I mean. They didn’t like the bikes. Both had plenty of attitude
and lived up to their names. I used to call Nitro 'Pepe LePew’
because he looked and acted just like the amorous French skunk in the
old Warner Bros. cartoons. Springer did a pretty good ‘girl cat’ from
the same cartoon too. They were totally oblivious to shop noise and
could sleep peacefully through the heaviest forging, but before the
FedEx truck even pulled up out front, they were thumping out a
warning that someone was coming to the door. For critters with no
vocal chords, they sure could make a lot of racket when they wanted
to. Best early warning / intruder alert devices ever created.

Cat people - if you want a little chuckle, look up Sad Cat Diaries
on youtube. Rabbit people look for Spike Jones Ya Wanna Buy a Bunny.
Used to listen to that one on my gramma’s Victrola.

Dave Phelps

Presh, my shop kitty sleeps on her perch over the safes and then
likes to jump in my lap when she thinks it time for me to take a
break. Many times she likes to drape herself over my shoulders while
I work at the bench. She will try to catch the ends of my sanding
sticks when she is on my shoulders. But then, I am usually bopping
her on the nose with one…


Gerald Livings

I have three cats, none of which keeps me company in my workshop.
However, one does occasionally like to make his presence felt. I sat
down at my bench yesterday but it wasn’t until I stood up to get a
drink, that I noticed it was rather slippery under my bench. I
discovered that our boy cat, Sidney had left me a puddle under the
bench. Light was bad but I cleaned up what I couldsee. This morning,
however, I realised he’d done a full on spray job up thespindle of my
wheelie chair!!! The legs and castors are covered in wee! Thanks
Sidney! It’s a good job we love him.


I noticed it was rather slippery under my bench. I discovered that
our boy cat, Sidney had left me a puddle under the bench. This
morning, however, I realised he'd done a full on spray job up the
spindle of my wheelie chair!!! The legs and castors are covered in

Helen, do they sell Zero Oder in the UK? Also I wonder if Sidney has
a bladder infection or a stone…


I just took in a new hedgehog, so now I have two hedgehogs sharing
my studio. New one has a really big cage so I have to figure out how
to put him so I don’t trip over him while I’m working. They don’t
leave much of a mess, althought Spike likes to poke his way through
my stuff on my desks and fall into the occasional box or two. Cody
the new hedgehog has already tried to seize my keyboard. I can see
many bite marks in the future with him.

My dog will occasionally show his displeasure by leaving a gift and
I sometimes step into it. Grrr… good thing I love him.

Joy and the hedgehogs

Our cat, Lola makes a rather nice catch tray when sitting on my lap.
Small stones and beads are much easier to find when dropped on the
cat instead of the floor. The only thing is that she loves to play
with strings of pearls, so much that we actually gave her her own
string of cheap freshwater pearls to use as a toy, maybe the only
cat in the world that owns a string of pearls. :slight_smile:

My workshop inside my house is a total disaster unsafe for human
occupancy. The door to the room is closed always except the few
times I accidentallyleave it open. One of my two cats always know
when the door is open and cautiously enter. They spend a minute or
two checking things out than run fortheir lives.

Lee Epperson, where we are having 70 degree days. Thank goodness
because i am cutting stones on my patio.

I had three cats up until a couple of years ago when two passed on
due to old age. I still have one male cat who just celebrated his
17th birthday and looks like he is a youngster. Anyway, over the
years I found two nice solutions to a cat needing to mark his
territory. One is a good infused scratching post with catnip. Get a
post and nail it to a good wooden base. Or buy a scratching post with
carpet on it. Strip the carpet off the post part. then take some good
sisel/hemo style rope and epoxy along with catnip to redo the post.
The secret is mixing in liberally the catnip to the epoxy. Your cats
won’t want to guard anything else. it will be their favorite place.
The second solution is to get or make a good spray with parsley. As
much as cats love catnip, they hate parsley I’ve always bought my
parsley spray. I have enough left for many years to come. Just google
for it and maybe they have some in England.

Gotta love cats. They train us so well.


If 10am comes around and I am not yet out in the studio, our two dogs
stand at the door waiting. When I open the door, the promptly head
for their spots to lay on the floor in the sunshine and look at me
like “why aren’t you working yet?”. LOL They also make sure I don’t
sit at the bench for too long by asking to go in and out regularly.
I get aggravated about that sometimes when I’m really focused on a
project, but I know it is good for me too.

Donna W
Huntsville, AL

Joy those critters are too cute. I’ll swap you the gator that suns
himself in my front yuard for one of them? You just have to come get
the gator.