How to Effectively Set Up Your Security Cameras
Frequent Set Up Mistakes
If you set up your camera ineffectively, you are unlikely to get your cat on camera even if they are around.
Frequent mistakes that people make include:
- Having the cat approach the camera head on. This is less likely to trigger the cameras motion sensor. If placed at ground level, it may also scare your cat when the camera does come on.
- Having the motion sensor set at too low a sensitivity. In this case, a cat will not trigger the camera.
Setting Up Wifi Security Cameras
Wifi security cameras are most often used to monitor entrances, humane traps or feeding stations around your home.
However, some people have had luck getting permission to log into other people's wifi and use the camera on their property to monitor a feeding station or humane trap.
Most wifi security cameras have a large motion sensor area (unlike wildlife cameras). This means that exact placement is less critical.
For best results:
- Place the camera above the height of your cat and facing downward at a 45 degree angle. If they are placed at the eye level of the cat, then they are more likely to startle your cat when they come on.
- Place the camera so that your cat is more likely to approach from the side or an angle. Cameras have a harder time detecting motion when approached directly head on.
- Start with the camera set to maximum sensitivity. If set too low, the camera is unlikely to detect cats or other smaller animals.
- Security cameras work best when placed above and angled down. This way they are less likely to scare your cat when the camera comes on.
- If monitoring an entrance, make sure that you can clearly see the steps and/or doorway. Some cats will sneak along the house to the entrance so you may miss them if the camera is facing too far outwards.
- Place one camera near the point of escape. I recommend getting at least two cameras. Other good locations are the door most frequently used by everyone. This will have the most scent. Or a back door to a deck or porch. This is often a quieter location with less human activity.
- Monitoring the garage door is another option. If left open a foot or so, many cats will enter the safety of the garage. This method works best with a humane trap in the garage or a door open into the house. Don't close the garage door as a trap! This rarely works and your cat could be injured or killed.
- Cameras can also be used to monitor a humane trap. Monitoring a humane trap makes trapping safer and increases your chances of successfully catching your cat.
- Turn off all outdoor lights including motion activated lights. Most indoor cats prefer to travel in the dark.
- Make sure that the camera is set to a high enough sensitivity that it will pick up a cat-sized animal. I find a sensitivity of 7 or higher works well on Blink cameras, but this may vary based on temperature and weather. I recommend testing yours once set up.
- Security cameras are less likely to detect movement if it comes head on. Angle your camera across the entrance for the greatest chance of detection.