I have a small-ish desk/lab workbench at my house with basic gear (meter, scope, PSU, etal as well as probes for same) as well as my PC and project stuff (boards, mostly, although a few parts-on-cut-tapes, boxes of parts, and loose wire bits too) on it. I rely on wrist straps (often used as improv ankle straps, but that's neither here nor there) for ESD protection (mostly when soldering or working directly with ESD-sensitive components) as I do not have ESD matting down, though. Also, I do not have any high voltages exposed on my bench, nor do I solder on it as I keep my soldering iron packed up as I have to use the kitchen table for that job in order to not defeat the grounding on my iron.
My family is looking to acquire a cat, as well -- this won't be our first rodeo, but one hard rule I had with the last cat was "no cat on workbench" partly due to my concerns about cat fur and ESD (I've seen said cat get sparky with a bed comforter).
However, I was watching some of The Signal Path (i.e. Shahriar)'s YouTube videos and he lets his cat, Pooch(?), have free reign of his workbench! So, how is it possible to make an electronics workbench feline-compatible? Or, being a digital type (vs. Shahriar being an RF dude), am I best off sticking with "no cat on workbench" as a bright-line rule? Are my concerns about feline ESD damage to boards misplaced?