U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 02-06-2010, 05:28 AM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,246,556 times
Reputation: 9611


Does anyone out there have pets and a motion detector? We'd like to get a home security system but we've got 2 cats and a dog and I'm afraid they'll set it off a lot. I know a salesman and installer could give info and tips but they'll also make it sound like less of a problem than it really is, I'm sure. I'd rather hear from people who have tried it first.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 02-06-2010, 08:00 AM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,828 posts, read 56,039,834 times
Reputation: 19025
They can adjust it for the animals. I have 3 big dogs and 3 cats but never had problems. I do not have any really high places the cats can jump up on. I think what they do is set the field of "vision" high enough that the animals don't enter it but a person would.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2010, 08:08 AM
1,688 posts, read 6,917,344 times
Reputation: 1988
Dogs are the easy bits - they can just set the sensor higher than the height of the dog. Cats are slightly more problematic seeing as you can hardly ask them politely to stop leaping up onto a favourite perch.

We just didn't just motion sensors in the room(s) the animals would be at night/when left alone - I know my animals a lot better than the alarm salesman and there was NO way MonsterCat wasn't going to set it off. Those rooms all had inertia (i.e. window & door) sensors only. Places we could shut the animals out of when we were out or at night had motion sensors.

A lot just depends on the animal(s) in question. Highly active/good climbers are just going to be that much more likely to set it off.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2010, 10:01 AM
Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
1,778 posts, read 3,755,616 times
Reputation: 3108
I had one about five years ago and had many false alarms with my two Maine Coons. I stopped using the motion sensor. You can generally bypass pieces of the monitoring so don't avoid getting a security system because of the motion detectors. If you do have problems with them you can still use the door and window sensors. Salespeople tell me the motion detectors are much better now but I'm not sure I'd trust that either after my previous experience.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 08:29 AM
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 7,757,515 times
Reputation: 8256
I was told by a security system salesman two years ago that the motion detectors are better these days than they use to be. (My dogs used to set them off all the time.) He said since they're infrared they require a certain amount of heat (body heat), as well as motion, in order to set them off and not enough is generated from an average dog or cat.

I still don't trust them. I have motion detectors, but bypass them. The only time I use them is when we're all out of the house - including the dogs. I do not lock the dogs up when we're not home in order to arm the motion detectors. Besides, our dogs are a much better security system than the motion detectors are
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 12:39 PM
Location: NH Lakes Region
351 posts, read 1,418,093 times
Reputation: 442
How big is your dog? I have a motion sensor in the areas of the house where the pets do not go, but I have pressure sensors under the floors for the main house. These can be set for the weight of the animals plus a little wiggleroom. (i.e. not just the weight of the animal, but if you have a jumper - what the "weight" would be if they jumped off a table or counter or whatever.) Once adjusted, I've never had those go off as a false alarm.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 07:53 PM
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,038,595 times
Reputation: 1908
We initially had problems with our loves-to-perch-as-high-as-he-can-get cat setting off our motion detector and triggering the alarm system to the point that we were going to pay a fine with the next false alarm. The alarm company technician put in a newer model sensor and was able to adjust it so that it ignores the cat and the dogs but "sees" anything that has the mass of a human. We haven't had a problem in over two years, and we use the alarm all of the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2010, 09:12 AM
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,246,556 times
Reputation: 9611
Thanks, everyone. Leorah, what system do you have? I have built-in shelves near the front door and there would be no way to block them off at night except to shut them in a bedroom all night. No way am I doing that to them (It's their only "down time" from the dog.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2010, 10:23 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,239,059 times
Reputation: 5742
I used to work as the head of the department that did self installation for our security systems and while much of what they will tell you is complete BS... lol, there is something you can do to filter it for pets.

A motion detector (hmm, I should've drawn a picture) internal light projects straight out, and down diagonally in several lines. Got that mental imagine in your head? All you have to do to adjust it for your pets is turn it upside down, and position it (instead of a top corner mount, towards the floor, turn it upside down and position it lower to the grond, that way the lights extend straight out, and upwards) - and they can adjust how many little lazers inside are being projected, because the more lines you have feeling the air out, the smaller a mass will take to trigger its distruption - does that make sense? So a dog's mass won't trigger a detector that only has 10 beams projecting, while a human would set it off almost instantly. Ohh, think of it like an oldfashioned water sprinkler - you've got what, 12 lines rotating? well, it's easier to slip through without getting soaked if you plug up a few of those lines then jump through.

Some of the best thieves out there know to crawl on their bellies if they're breaking into a home with large animals that has a security system. Because if you can get past the door and window magnet release triggers... all you gotta do is lay low to avoid the motion sensors, just like the animals do.

FYI - your standard applicant for a motion detector will not pick up anything under 20 lbs, in general.

Boy I hated that job.. I'm so glad the knowledge from it is being put to good use! lol
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2010, 12:03 PM
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 36,890,389 times
Reputation: 22101
You can have the motions turned off as we have. In our last home, the system was so sensitive, that a spider crossing the "beam" set it off one time. It was just easier all the way around to have the motions disconnected.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top