Cat owner wants speakers

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.
Anthony Gallo Reference 3As with the metal cage around them. Or maybe better yet, take a cage off and set it over the cat.
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.
I like these threads. Very entertaining.

I had a girlfriend with a pug and same isuses (the most useless stupid shedding peeing whining etc dog ever) I had to get rid of the girlfriend!
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.
No rational humane human being would even consider declawing a cat -- amputation is not an option. Giving cats a large dedicated scratching post in their designated space makes random clawing a non-issue.

However, to be safe, there's no reason to own floorstanding speakers. Stand mount speakers plus subwoofer avoid the situation completely.
try horns. the worst the cat could do is rub up against them.
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.
Cats will attempt to jump and land on top of the speakers if they learn that the top is flat.

So you might want to put some kind of objects (like wood pieces) on top of it.

My speakers have a very small top plate of 5"x5" and yet they will get to the top and stand there ...
Teach the cat some manners. It can be done.

I had a cat who would roll over on it's back on command letting you rub it's belly!
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.

Problem solved...

Gallo Ref II's all metal stands and alloy balls. Full range sound and huge sound stage. Totally cat proof.
RW, Thank you for the correction. Maybe the Anthony Gallo Reference 3s weren't such a great idea after all. At least as far as cat proof.
A tall scratching post or board (for horizontal scratchers) wrapped in sisal rope is a lot more fun to scratch than a grill sock.

Provide for that cat's scratching needs in the same room as the speakers and you're not going to have problems from his claws.

Put enough objects on top of the speaker and he won't jump up there either.
Dedicated audio room with a door that locks. Then speakers of your choicd. BTW, wish I had one!
Another cat tip. Set mouse traps upside down in the area you don't want the cat to go. The cat will trip these and they fly in the air. Great for entertainment and cat training.
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).
We've owned cats forever and, after the first one destroyed
$10,000 drapes, they have all been declawed. I know this upsets the PETA folks but it's the only way they are allowed in our home.
Has2be you made me laugh huge!!! Even my wife got a chuckle.
Martin Logan has some pretty good solutions.
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.

You and anyone else can do the research to determine that declawing a cat is amputation of the last joint of each claw. If you consider that humane treatment of an animal, then we have a very different definition of the term.
Has2be, Good one! :-)
My cats would laugh at your scratching posts! De-clawing them was far more humane than what I would do to them if they ruined furniture, cabinets, speakers, etc. Not to mention me!

My neighbors launch into this tirade as well. But they always shut up when I point out what they have done to their Doberman just so it will look "special". :-)
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.
"Tall scratching post". Good description of Maggies.
ohms....but remove the bonnet
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.
More feline behaviorism.

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.