How to thwart cats

A question for cat owners: I just had to send my BAT VK-300x integrated amp back to BAT for what I assumed was a warranty repair after having it for 3 months--it had begun spitting out white noise and then sent sparks out the top grill. It turns out in fact that it was full of cat hair and--putting it as discreetly as possible--other cat-related material, which had caused it to short out. The cats have long used my audio gear as a sort of large, centrally heated cat bed, but those days have now ended. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep cats off your gear?

I keep the VK in a rack , with about 4" of clearance from the shelf above--it would be easy enough to add a piece of nonresonant material underneath it to reduce the clearance and thereby catproof it, but I'm wondering about the other components too.

Any thoughts? And no, throttling the cat responsible is not an option.
1. Fill the space above with something that is open enough to allow air flow but dense enough to keep a cat out

2. Some sort of wire mesh like a little fence they can't get through

3. build a a box out of wood about the same size as the top of the integrated but open on top and bottom to allow airflow, like a chimney

4. a big snake
An friend here uses two of the following devices very successfully to keep his two cats away from his stereo setup:

Scat Automated Cat Deterrent
There once was a man with a cat
who went all over his Bat....
Rushton popped in and said with a grin
dont forget to try some Scat.
Sorry cant help myself
Cheers John
Bradgregg, one time I was buying an amplifier from a guy here locally, so I went there to pick it up in person since it was about a 15 minute drive.
Now, this was about 10 years ago, but I will probably remember it for the rest of my life. This was the weirdest and the funniest crap I have ever seen. The guy owned ML Aries speakers and when I walked in, the 2 parrots that he also owned were just flying around the listening room. When he turned the lights up a bit, the Martin Logan Aries speakers, the panels, were completely covered in bird$hit. And I'm talking about bird$shit that's been there for a while. The old, dry and color-faded kind. The speakers were as clean as the car that's been parked under a tree for about 2 get the picture....
Forget cat litter and hairballs inside your amp. This was way better!!!! I actually bursted in tears from laughing. I bought the amp because it was brand new, sealed in the box, but I had to open it just to inspect it to make sure it didn't have the same "tweak" as the speakers.
I would be interested in any other products that also work for cats to keep them from scratching grill cloth and chairs.
I know him!

I visited that guy and he invited me to watch a movie with him. It was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Absolutely the most realistic rendition of the movie I have ever experienced.

Imagine that Crow replaced with a Parrot sitting on the fence pecking Tippi Hedrin on that long path up to the front door and you begin to get the mental image of how scary it was.

I must admit though, the "Polly Wants a Cracker" remarks did detract from the movie in spots.
This Method will solve your problem on a long-term basis. You don't have to thank me.

A bed of nails would cure the sleeping cats choice of bed
Tin Foil keeps cats away from furniture, maybe lay some at the foot of your gear, it works for some pals of mine.
Alright all joking aside... In order to not Use a SCREEN that will short things out, I have in the past taken Nylon Screen from your local whoever, and you take off the top of the unit and cut sections of the screen to fit nicely over the grates in the unit, attach with a decent electrical tape, the heat would probably dry out Duct tape and Masking tape won't hold anything...

You can get Grey or Black, Grey is pretty cool in contrast to black components looks sometimes.. But if your Tubes or unit run super hot electrical tape should probably hold up fine, but just in case make sure you have nylon or whatever plastic type stretchy screen material they have, cause if it falls a bit or sags it will not short anything out, but could melt a little on a tube I don't know. Currently i have nothing in my system that has anything that can be hairballed so I have not used the method in a few years.
Put some balloons near your components. When the cats are hanging around the 'off limits' area, pop the balloon(s). They'll make the connection and avoid the area. You might have to repeat the lesson. My cat avoided the area like the plague, but sometimes you might have to leave a balloon around the amp to refresh their memory, depends on the cat.
Simple + cheap, just like me.
Funny, my cats never mess with my gear and I never had a problem with them clawing at my speaker cloth.

On the other hand, I was at Dusty Vawter's house once doing an audition of his gear and watched his cat actually climb his speakers on a few occasions.
I have three cats. One never bothers the stereo since he hates R&R so I suggest playing cat-ear-hurting music to annoy and negatively reinforce him/her to the stereo. Of the other two the lighter, more agile one likes to lay on the tube gear when it is on and the other is too morbidly obese to jump up on anything. Soooo, I'd suggest overfeeding the cat in question and hopefully the problem will eventually go away.
Or, maybe spray some CatBegone stuff near the gear to repell the little heat-loving sweetie.

Good luck.
The family moaned for a kitten when ours died last summer after being with us 20 yrs. I resisted for a year but guess what? I brought home two kittens. They have proceded to piss me off and climb the planars. I've tried everything to no avail. The socks are ruined and I've basically given up. Anyone with real hope out there?
First--I like animals and have had a cat that enjoyed music and liked to listen and never was a problem with any of the gear. But this might be a solution for some of you with problems.
(I am kidding of course)
Cat Solution
a squirt gun......get em while they are young, and they stay away
I have 3 dogs and 2 cats and they are not allowed in my audio room. The dogs will all stand outside the door looking in, but never come into the room. One cat likes to come in and take a look around, so I got a spray bottle and filled it with water. When he comes in I shoot him with the water, which makes him retreat quickly. After a few times, all I have to do is show him the bottle and he leaves instantly. He rarely comes into the room anymore, let alone think he is gonna take a siesta on my gear.
I've seen a few postings about cats that like to sleep on electronics. Here is a unique solution.

1. Obtain a piece of heavy paper about the size of your component.
2. Buy a roll of duct tape and tear off a piece about 6 inches long. You'll probably need about six pieces for each piece of electronics. Make a loop out of it sticky side out by attaching one end to the other. Place the duct tape loop on the paper. So you should have one sticky side of the loop on the paper with a sticky side up. Do this with all 4-6 tape loops (depends on size of your component.)
3. Place the paper tape side up on your component when you are not playing your system. (You don't want to overheat your amps!)
4. The kitty will unsuspectingly jump up on your amp for a nap, and find itself on the duct tape which they detest and immediately jump back off.
5. After a week or so, the cat no longer even attempts to rest on your stereo equipment with or without the duct tape paper. (If the kitty forgets, you can always do this again. I used black contruction paper and store it under my mono block ampstands for use when needed.
6. Now you've solved this problem without ever fussing with the cat. You might want to provide a small box with a towel next to your listening chair so the kitty can have a warm, comfortable place to listen.
Theo above was surely just joking - but was actually not too far off. I have seen in catalogs Plastic Spikes that are used by gardners to keep cats out of flower beds. They are long skinny spikes which are made of soft plastic that won't harm kitty, but will keep them away.
try this, go to petsmart and ck out a bed called Snoozzy snuggle up by Precision, get the mid size, its like $42. Get the faux fur and not the swede.
My cats love it.
The label says Xsmall, but its actually the mid size. its like 24 X 12.
Our cats are our buddies.
Joey my point exactly. Once they associate the pain with the equipment they will move your listening chair
Jaybo, A squirt gun???????

Spraying water at my stereo doesn't seem like an ideal solution.
My cat, a beautiful and ebullient Maine Coon, once jumped up on one of my small towers, and knocked it over. I picked the tower up, then picked the cat up, and let her again place her paws on the tower, at which point I doused her repeatedly with a squirt bottle. I have *never* had stereo trouble with her again. This is a striking fact, since the animal runs the house, and this is the *only* "rule" she observes. I think she must recognize, at some catty level, that I am serious about this in a way I am not serious about, say, the kitchen counters. I guess this is a longwinded testimonial to (well aimed) squirt power . . .

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm using my old Denon home theater receiver while the BAT is in the shop, and I'll probably try Sgr's construction paper/duct tape idea on the Denon and see how it works. If no luck with that, I'll probably just put the BAT on a platform to reduce the headroom above it in the rack.

Thanks again,
Get some big dogs.
Your story reminds me of this guy in Vegas who thought he was cool walking around with his Parrot on his shoulder. He didn't know that the bird had crapped down the left side of his back.
If they aren't "Show" cats and you live in a house, put them outside when you're not home.
There's more than one way to skin a cat ------ use them all.
You need to find shelves that can be elevated out of the reach of pets and children. Audiav Furniture does this. There is only one manufacturer that actually lets you do this. I had to figure a way to keep my daughter, Audia, from getting into my gear and developed a line that coincided. I am suprised there are not more designs out there to solve this problem. Good luck!
cats hate the smell of citrus. try laying oranges or spraying orange-flavored furniture polish on teh floor around your gear, and then use catnip in the areas that are ok for them to frequent (use scent as a negative / positive deterrent).

prior posts on duct tape, foil, squirt bottle, balloons (or other jarring loud noises, which cats hate) will also prove very effective.

and try to keep things out of their reach
Rhyno nailed it: >>CITRUS<<
How about a Rotweiler:^)