I own both a cat and a set of vandys but I do not let the cat in the listening room for your exact concerns. I have seen a number of vandersteen speakers on audiogon for sale that are treated as scratching posts...I would recommend that you either make sure the cat is declawed or you keep them in separate rooms. Im not sure how much Richard charges for new socks....maybe this is something worth looking into?
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I have three cats and a year ago moved my Vandy's into the living room where they can now get to them. I feared the worst but the most that they have done is laid down on the top of the speakers where the fabric makes a soft place to sleep. None of the cats are declawed. I did nothing to discourage them. After all the bad press I had read for cats and Vandys I was pleasantly surprised. YRMV. Good luck!
There is no definitive answer.
I've had one grill cloth clawed "one time" in the past 21 years (total of 8 cats/3 still with us).
Many of our cats being feral rescues (one was both feral and bi-polar).
This said, they damaged a leather sofa (both arms ripped to shreds), one leg on an old Monterey dining table was used as a scratching post (one out of four isn't bad), various rugs, carpet, bedding (during the last stages of their lives), a few paintings (worth more than the stereo) and one sprayed the coffee maker while it was in the process of brewing (the bi-polar one:-).
All in all they have been very well behaved, IMO, when compared to all the things I've screwed up over the past 56 years.
As your speaker socks are replaceable I'd start him/her out with the Vandies.
1) Most cats would rather scratch a sissal scratching post and one near enough the speakers will get used preferentially.
2) Most cats will avoid things that get them sprayed with a water bottle (while they're actually in the process of doing something undesirable).
3) Grill cloth doesn't cost a lot of money to replace if somehow that fails.
I had 6-7 years of overlap between having my cat (and my sister's cat when she moved in) and speakers with grills without issue.
My cats have coexisted nicely with speakers, one of them going on 19 years now with only one incident. One day while listening to music she just up and decided to jump on top of my speaker. She gave me that look like she knew it was not the right thing to do but did it anyway. I calmly got up, went over and picked her up off the speaker, then gave her a pretty good lecture. For further emphasis I put the water bottle on top of the speaker.
No need to declaw or even change speakers. Cats don't inherently find speakers attractive and they can easily have their attention diverted to other toys that will aid in trimming their nails or giving them some feline pleasure.
My cat, Renfield by name, NEVER went near my Maggies. When Renfield was gone a few years and I replaced him with a pair of littermates, THEY never went near 'em, either.
One of the sofas was the worse for wear, however, and the big orange one liked tearing up the trees in the back yard. I made the orange one a scratch post, which was HIS. I could never get his sister to stop picking on a small but nice area rug.
Do not declaw, under any circumstances. It's mean. Cats should have some space of there own....a raised platform with a view outside is nice. Regularly scheduled playtime is almost mandatory, too. My wife used to sing to 'em which they enjoyed.
My friend had Vandy 3a and a pair of Paradigm subs. There were no problems...until one day he came home to find one of the speakers and both subs "clawed." Though the cat was probably not aware of what was going on, it is now buried behind his house. He said it was an old cat anyway and the speakers had many years to go.
I posted a similar question a few months ago-- wanted to protect my ARs. Haven't found the ideal answer, but you can get "hardware cloth" or chicken wire, and curl it around each speaker with enough space to allow for long claws. Anchor the base of the wire to a large stand for stability.
My kitty LOVED to claw the spines of my record collection too. More wire here if needed. Soon enough, you'll be living outside in a chicken coop and meowser will be listening to "environments" records on your sofa. Smart little buggers.
I was worried about my Vandersteen's also, but the cat has very little interest in them. She tried to use the cloth on my Altec floor-standers as a scratching post just once. I got up quickly and yelled "NO!" and she's never done it again. You could try playing some modern classical music through them when you aren't home (you know, the screechy atonal kind) when you aren't home for a few days. That should put her off music equipment for a good while!
Thanks for the responses. I enjoyed getting to hear about everyone's personal experiences with their pets. It sounds like people have had mixed success at least with the Vandy's. Your training advice will surely be of great help, even if I do decide to change speakers first. In the meantime, the success stories have given me hope that maybe the two can coexist peacefully. Lots of food for thought. To those concerned that I might declaw a cat, once I understood what this entailed for the cat I knew that it wasn't an option for me. If anyone has additional stories to tell, or cat v. Vandy advice, I'm sure that I'll be both enlightened and entertained when I hear it.
My cats (5 in the house now) have never destroyed any stereo equipment, but I do admit that one does like to sleep on the turntable cover.
However, I had a Golden Retriever that once ate both cones out of both subwoofers during the day. Then, after I replaced one cone, and went into the garage for the other, the dog ate the one I just replaced.
Never touched either one after that. dont know why. It had been exposed to those subwoofers for a couple of years before the meal, and many years after.
My Vandy 1Bs bought new in the early 90s were THOUROUGHLY enjoyed by myself and various cats. The "cat trampoline" tops were particularly attractive to the cats and declawing was not an option (I think it's lame, and since we lived on several rural CT country acres the cats needed the claws to harass wildlife and defend themselves). I couldn't stand it anymore so I sent 'em back to Vandersteen for new covers, and then sold them. When I sent them back I made the mistake of asking if they could be "updated" and they put Richard Vandersteen on the phone...he basically scolded me for even suggesting such a thing ("Newer tweeters? DO YOU REALIZE EVERY COMPONENT HAS BEEN MODIFIED OR CHANGED??!!!")...pretty funny. I prefer less "cat tempting" speakers so no more Vandys, although now we have zero cats so anything is possible...hmmm...
Unfortunately, I would often return from work and find my new kitten hanging from one paw on the sock of my Vandys. It was quite a sight, both funny and disturbing. I had no money at the time to fix them, so I just watched him put multiple snags in the sock. As he got older, he stopped doing that. A few years later, when I finally got some money, I had them "resocked" , at a mild cost.
As I think I mentioned in another thread, one of our cats likes to chew on cables. A far costlier problem than speaker grills, but to be safe I have never installed the grills on my Dunlavys. In addition to wrapping the cables with various materials in strategic places, I've had success keeping little Spencer away from the equipment rack by laying down carpet protector upside down. Not ideal but it's cheap and portable.
What idea, Palsar? Banana scented insense in the listening room?
The ONLY safe to thing to say about cats is that they are ALL different. I've even seen pictures of cats that'd go into a swimming pool voluntarily.
My big orange one would see the flee comb and come over and wait. His sister? GONE. She'd find a new place to lay and hide...HE'D take it away. HE'd open my sock drawer and make himself at home.
I think cats are kind of a crap-shoot. I've never been able to clock what they are going to do next, at least when kittens.
Indeed...disposal of unwanted children who mess with your speakers is similar to a heartless cat murderer. I hate it when a human embryo tears my speaker grills. Who wouldn't? I might try the banana defense against the next assault on my hifi by a wave of destructive fetuses (feti?) as it seems to work with cats. I learn SO much in this forum!
Manituc, an interesting thought. I would suggest that one's definition of what "basic humanity" is would dictate whether they agree with your sentiment. A Humanist and a Theist will have radically different conclusions as to what constitutes "basic humanity", from which each will derive their accepted vs. unaccepted behaviors and mores for society. It would also, I suppose, determine how inflamed their conscience might be by a given act considered to be against their worldview's standards.
But as to the presence of a cat in the home, not for me. We have a Shi Tzu, a smaller non-shedding, quiet tempered dog which has been ideal. I saw the lead up question, "Can we get a dog," forming in the minds of my wife and kids, so I beat them to it and told her I would get her a dog for her birthday. It's 8 years later and she still thanks me! Of course, the dog has ruined the kitchen lino with his nails running in the house, but narry a mark on anything connected with audio - truly a good dog! :)
I dont think that killing your pet for damaging your speaker grills is an accepted response in most societies. I dont even want to go into how the cat met its demise. I doubt it was euthanized by a professional, but maybe.
I just think that if that is your response to a pet damaging your speaker grills, then you probably shouldnt have a pet. We have made certain animals our companions over the years, which I think creates certain mutual obligations. They dont bite us and we feed them. They stay at our homes and we dont eat them.
Funny though, how cats have a different effect on people than dogs. I know people in the rural areas that would shoot a cat for fun, but never a dog. Lots of people, mostly men, dont care for cats, but like dogs.
Ah, but I digress.
agree on the smarmy side smiley face.