I'm looking for a way to detect when my cat enters a specific room of the house.

My ideal set up would some sort of sensor in the doorway that triggers a notification of some sort when it recognizes that she has crossed it. I have a dog too, and I don't want him or anyone else to trigger it. Seems like attaching something to her collar that triggers it would work best.

I have a couple of door sensors in my house so that I get an alert when my doors are opened or closed. Something like that seems like it could be a step in the direction I want. But for those, she would have to pass right by the sensor to set it off. I'd want something that would work no matter what part of the doorway she enters.

I've considered pressure mats, doorway chimes like shopkeepers have, just a regular smart sensor, but all of those would result in false alarms. I looked into metal detectors but they don't seem practical. I'm trying to avoid any kind of shock/static collars.

Just curious if anyone has any ideas or knows where else I can look?

  • 1
    Hi Nic, Welcome to Lifehacker. Are you interested in when your cat leaves a specific room or only if she enters? How many doorways are there for the specific room? You mentioned false alarms. What degree of certainty is required? What happens if "Tabby" crosses "the line?"
    – Stan
    Nov 19 '19 at 0:15
  • Does your cat have an implanted RFID chip? There are cat flaps which can be programmed, so there is surely as well a possibility to just read out the fact that she crossed a certain line.
    – glglgl
    Nov 19 '19 at 16:26

This sounds like a job for an UHF RFID sensor and a collar tag to go with it. However, that's going to be quite expensive.

The alternative is going to be setting up two IR (infrared) beams across the door way: one at 10cm and one at 20. Then you can code your software so if the bottom beam is broken, but not the top, then its the cat. If both beams are broken its something else.

If you have any questions about how to achieve this, may I suggest either arduino SE or raspberrypi SE depending on your preference.

  • Software is not even needed. The sensors (with some amplification / relays) will act as switches, controlling a buzzer. And is a lot simpler and cheaper.
    – virolino
    Nov 26 '19 at 9:45

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