I don't often work at the art table. I sit and gaze at it from my favourite armchair, where I spend most evenings with a lap-desk, a sketchbook and a pail of Prismacolour markers. (My idea of heaven!)
The cats used to annoy me by trying to drink my paint water. Finally I bought a narrow-mouthed flower vase. (You can see it next to the spray bottle.) It's too skinny for cat-noses or paws, and it has a wide base that keeps it from tipping over. Now, if I could just keep them from "tasting" my tea every time my back is turned . . .