Lately I've been looking at new speakers, but I'm nervous about some designs that might attract the attentions of our cat. Cremonas have those scintillating strings in front, Vandersteens have the sock extending all the way to the floor, Zen Adagios have a front port that a cat would probably like to sleep in. I hate to diqualify otherwise nice speakers because of the potential damage a 6-pound cat might do...I'd appreciate suggestions anyone might have tried to protect their speakers, or discourage the cat. Or, other speakers to consider?
My wife values the cat more than she values me, so I probably shouldn't try to Velcro the cat to the wall while I'm out, or similar ideas...thanks...
There are actually several solutions to your problem. 1) You can buy two sided sticky tape that comes in strips from your local pet store. It's actually used for furniture, but you can attach it to the grills. Probably not the actual cabinet itself. Very easy to remove and leaves no sticky residue. Cats hate it. 2) The pet store also carries electrified pads that you lay across your furniture. I think they are battery powered. They come 2 feet by 6 feet, I think. Put in front of speakers They hate this too. 3) And my personal favorite, water guns or air guns. A couple of blasts and they learn quickly. 4) But at the risk of being ridiculed, I bought rubber coated wire mesh that comes 2 feet high in rolls of 5 and 10 feet in length and either 1/2 inch or 1 inch squares. I built a cage around my Magnepan's and Clyde has never "meshed" with it. Works great and very easy to remove for listening. But honestly, not really necessary. Good luck.
I wouldn't have a cat in the house unless it's declawed and why does it matter if the cat stays in the house anyway? I tried spraying my cat with the water bottle and she just looked at me, why are you doing that? didn't faze her.
Chain a large, viscious dog between your speakers. That will give you more speaker options and won't interfere with the imaging either. Better make the dog a mute, though, so it doesn't interfere with your listening pleasure.
The "large dedicated scratching post" option does not work for every cat. I definitely have first-hand experience with that one.
Really the main problem is the grills getting snags. In this case, you need to do a quick cost analysis of prevention versus replacement. How much will it cost (in time and money) to prevent the cat from scratching the grills VS how much would it cost to just replace the grills when it's time to sell them?
You really won't be able to see little snags in the grills from your seating position (I definitely can't, and I have perfect vision), and grills are usually very affordable to buy from legitimate speaker manufacturers when it's time to upgrade.
Also, there's the option of clipping your cat's claws. It's humane and doesn't hurt the cat at all. You only need to do it about once every two weeks, and it also prevents scratching on furniture or anything else.
Bob gives good advice, but another consideration would be Merlin VSM-MMs. Grills start about 23" off floor, finish is a studio krinkle like coating which is less likely to get scratched, but smooth enough not to invite clawing, and new SBAM gives quite good bass to about 30 hZ or a bit lower. Legendary customer support and a very well balanced, integrated top to botttom sound. Disclosure- very satisfied customer. YMMV.
The Gallos do not have a metal cage. They have a metal frame with cloth surrounding it. The Dues and the Reference AVs DO have a metal cage.
As for the cat, simply keep an eye on him (her?) and if he claws the speaker grills, shoot him with a mister full of water. I guarantee he'll only do it once or twice before he associates speaker clawing with a very unpleasant wet coat.
I am rational and humane despite having declawed cats. And so is my father-in-law who was a practising vet for about 40 years and has declawed thousands of cats. If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it rather than relying upon moral proselytizing with value judgements that others may not share.
In addition to the helpful and humourous comments above, here is some potentially useful information based upon biological facts, rather than personal values.
Cats will scratch. It is an instinct. Even a declawed cat will knead its paws as if scratching. Scratching is used to sharpen their claws to facilitate hunting and eating, just as a bear or a big cat will scratch a tree trunk. Domesticity has repressed it to a certain extent, but you cannot totally stop it. In order to assist in the sharpening, it is useful for the surface to have a bit of texture to provide resistance to the claw. A particularly good scratching post is one covered with thick rope knots. It feels more "natural" to the cat, like a tree trunk. However, if your cat is domesticated and has never used its natural scratching posts, it will have developed the habit of using something else. It may then become so used to this "something else", that it will not use other things. So even if you bring in a "better" scratching post, the cat may not use it. You can try, but it won't work 100%. Smooth surfaces are less likely to be scratched, but again, if that's what the cat got started on, it will continue to use it. So smooth surfaces are also not 100% effective.
Another alternative is conditioning. Like a rat or pigeon in a Skinner box, you train it not to use the speaker as a scratching post by negative reinforcement. You need not harm the cat, merely provide an unpleasant stimulus. For example, bang a tin plate or shoot it in the back or haunches with a water pistol when it attempts to scratch the speaker. This can be effective, but it requires constant negative reinforcement until the behaviour is extinguished. This is not practical. You cannot be with the cat 24/7. Remember, they're nocturnal so while you're sleeping, kitty will be downstairs scratching up the speaker to sharpen its claws in anticipation of a night of mousing.
Placing the speaker higher up on a stand will do nothing to stop the cat from scratching. It will just cause the cat to scratch the stand instead of the speaker. This may be fine but also consider that cats like to climb. They feel safer higher up. For example, leopards live most of their lives in trees. They even drag their killed prey up if they can. They do this so they don't get killed by lions. Lions, which do not climb too much, live in the same habitat as leopards. Lions view leopards as competitors and will kill a leopard if they get a chance. Domestic cats have this climbing instinct and may try to get up on the speaker. It may even use the speaker cable to assist or jump from nearby furniture such as a couch or an equipment rack. If it does try to jump on the speaker, it will naturally use its claws to grab hold of the speaker while it climbs on.
There is always the possibility that you have a cat that has no desire to scratch a speaker, as opposed to something else. However, the odds are that it will want to explore something new brought into its environment and it may give the speaker a test as a scratching post.
The only 100% effective method is to keep the cat away from the speaker. Do not give the cat access to the room unless you are there and within arm's reach to grab it. Or have it declawed. Anything else is a gamble that you will lose at some point. Declawing is the compromise cats have to pay to live with us. Or scratched furniture is the price we have to pay to live with cats. Take your pick. Your values, not somebody else's.
Just don,t do what a friend of mine did . After 2 pairs of damaged speakers by his live in girlfriends cat he had enough . Gave her an ultimatum .... either the cat goes or he does . He got his wish .... he has his own apartment.... and she has the house .....and the cat is the envy of all the other felines in the neighborhood as the owner of the most expensive pair of scratching posts . Thats why I own a dog , even if she insists on sitting in the "sweet spot" !
Wow !!!!!!!!!!!! I read these post's to read other peoples experiences and knowledge with audio products and have a few entertaining chuckles along the way . A lot of good AUDIO knowledge here from good natured guys and gals . I never thought that I would also be getting a free lesson in both domesticated and wild feline behavioural patterns ! Markphd , hate to tell you this ..but your claws are showing !!!! Lighten up man !!!! Maybe Bob_reynolds just loves his pussy wild.... over the tame domesticated version that is .
Get a scratching post for your wife's cat, and let kitty get used to it, before you get your speakers. Once the cat get used to it's scratching post, chances are it'll leave your speakers alone. btw, I have a cat and a Siberian Husky (who enjoys lying on the couch and listening to music - Allison Krauss seems to be one of his favorites).
My cat is declawed in the front only, with no problems. I have always made some kind of commotion when she goes near the front of my room, and she has learned not to go near them.
There is a cat supply catalog (I can't remember the name) sells air canisters (similar to the computer cleaners) that have a top with a motion sensor. If the cat investigates, they let out a blast of air.
Google Fosters and Smith a large animal supplyer. I am sure you will find something that will work for you and your cat. My cat sits with us and jams to rock and roll. Shes a reformed Hippie what can i say.
In addition to all the above, cats are opportunists. They will scratch at whatever is available when the mood strikes them as well as their favorites. That's why speakers get scratched despite trainig.
My solution is placing those 18"x18" hard rubber floor mats that are sold in 4 packs at home centers in bright colors or kids designs in front of the speakers.
Kitty loves to scratch them and by now they have become her primary for claw excercising. The rubble produced easily vacuums up.