‎Pets tripping motion sensors | SimpliSafe Support Home
carrierdenise17's profile

Monday, August 2nd, 2021 2:12 PM

Pets tripping motion sensors

I have not set my new simply safe system "away" yet while pets are home because I am concerned they may trip the system when jumping on their favorite chair which is below the motion sensor  in corner of a 9 foot ceiling.  The pet directions are sparse and only say flip sensors if animals are larger than 30 lbs.  My dog is 22 lbs and my cat is 8 lbs. but I cannot control them jumping on chairs in kitchen/sunroom when we are away.  The total feet off ground when on a chair is 2 feet.  Any advise?  Thx

Community Admin


5.5K Messages

3 years ago

Hi carrierdenise17!

I answered a similar question in a different thread, but I'll post the same advice here:

Our Motion Sensors are the passive infrared type, which just means they're looking for sources of heat moving around in a room. Ours happen to be calibrated to ignore smaller heat signatures, so individual pets on the ground shouldn't be a problem. But if they like to hang out together, are very active, or are able to get right up close to the sensor, they might appear larger.

The other thing is that the Motion Sensor has very specific angles - think of an invisible beam that projects left and right at a 45° angle (so 90° total horizontally), and also 45° down, but not up. It just projects straight out from the top.
What this means is that normally the sensor is not able to see above its own level. If you turn it upside-down, so that the button is on the bottom), it will no longer be able to see below its own level. You can then lower it to about 4.5ft, so it's still able to catch people that are walking by, just not any creatures below.
That is, of course, assuming that your pets aren't able to get up higher than the Motion Sensor. You probably want to consider what else is 'in view', like counter tops, shelves, and staircases, and point the sensor away from them.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

175 Messages

3 years ago

We couldn't have motion when we still had pets.  even set upside down like recommended by SS.  

We have them now but still don't trust them even without pets so they are all set on secret alert.  just the other day one of the INSIDE motions secret alerted while we were out.  obviously checked cams... but none of the entry sensors had triggered... so just simplisafe safe motion detections NOT working like they are supposed to!  would have had the folks calling it we didn't have then on secret!

49 Messages

3 years ago

We have multiple in our house, flipped and set to low (test them periodically so we know they pick up humans still).  In 3 years our 50 lb dog nor our 8 lb dog have set them off.  Point them in areas where they will no view a couch or area the animal jumps.  Also make sure not to point them at windows as sunrise/sunset could be enough heat to set them off.

1.3K Messages

3 years ago

Unfortunately there is no absolute guarantee against no nuisance triggers (except, of course, having no motion sensors).

As you experiment to optimize position you can set them to alert only. That way an alarm won't be triggered but you will get a notification if you have interactive monitoring (and had set up notifications). The drawback about alert only is you get notifications even when the system is disarmed. In some regards that's OK, but not if there is frequent motion as you could get a lot of notificatjons.

Frankly, due to a couple nuisance alerts I have the motion sensors at a remote property set to alert only. If I get a notification I can quickly check video both from SS cam and from an second, standalone security camera system.

13 Messages

3 years ago

We have two cats. The only way to stop having false alarms was installing the motion sensor upside down and making sure they were not "seeping" ANY spot reachable by the cats. We have never had a false alarm triggered by the cats after that (12 months of use).

(also, installing multiple sensors in different locations can help identifying false alarms. I doubt a real break in would ever trigger only one sensor in one room)

1 Message

2 months ago

We got a false motion sensor alarm while away (in away mode -- we never use the MS with home mode due to two dogs).  It was not at all obvious what could have triggered the gen-1 sensor until we found the remains of a recent demised bird (about robin-sized) under a cabinet.  The alarm occurred around 0445, so the heater's been off, the house is @ ca. 50° F, so I'm guessing if the poor bugger was flying near the sensor, there'd be a clear thermal delta in motion.

Please advise if this is a plausible explanation.


Community Admin


2.9K Messages

Hi @simpli_spam​, 

Yes, if that bird was flying close enough to the Motion Sensor it certainly could have detected its heat and triggered that false alarm.

New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.