Get rid of the cats :)
Buy a dog. :)
Buy a dog. :)
On the floor in front of and behind each panel, place a square of cardboard with carpet tacks sticking up from the bottom. Not the most attractive, but effective. Another possibility (expensive) is the use of the indoor version of the Invisible Fence. I would keep the juice turned off while using my system however.
Or, see Slappy's response:)
Your cats can learn by Pavlovian conditioned response. Get a squirt gun and fill it will VERY dilute ammonia and water--enough to annoy the cat but not to hurt it. When the cat touches the Maggie,squirt it(the cat,not the Maggie). Cats are clean and the odor will anoy them. Soon they will not scratch them anymore.
When I had Maggies I had a local seamstress make me a set of custom heavy vinyl slipcovers for the speakers. It had two benefits - it kept the cats from clawing the speakers, and it kept UV light off the speakers.
I simply removed the slipcovers when I wanted to listen, and put them back on when I didn't. Cost about $100 for some very nicely-made covers.
Once upon a time we had cats and Maggies. Sometimes I would come into the living room to find a cat perched on top of a Maggie. I have described my cat training method as "shock and awe", and it worked. The cat quickly learned that the Maggies were a no-no. Fortunately no damage was done...there was enough clearance between the grill cloth and the mylar. (But this was the old style cloth...woven not knitted like the new ones).
If the cat decided to use them as a scratching post, you would have a problem. I have seen a spray can of pet repellant in Petco. Try that.
And now for a serious answer...put poster board on the floor around the Maggies. Place cocked mousetraps under the poster board. When the cats walk on the poster board it will spring one or more of the mousetraps. The poster board will keep the cats from being injured but the sound will be like a small firecracker. The cat(s) will likely do a back flip. After this happens a few times, it will not be necessary to keep the mousetraps. As time goes on you can cut the size of the poster board down, little by little. The cats will always associate the poster board with that scary sound and stay away. Basic behavior modification. Thanks to B. F. Skinner
There is a product that allows you to place a perimeter around the speakers (or any other object), the cat(s) wear a special collar, and if they approach the speakers, they hear a tone that increase in pitch & frequency the closer they get, if they cross the perimeter, they get a shock. You can vary the shock intensity with a variety of plug in resistors. You should be able to find these at major pet discount warehouses, Google searching, etc.
You can also make a perimeter of upside down mouse traps that will scare them from the speakers (but you need to keep resetting them as snapped in order to be effective).
I have a pair Quad ESL63 speakers and 2 cats. What I did when I got the cats was spray cat repellent on the speakers and the cats stayed away. I keep spraying them once a week for about a month and after that the cats seems to know not to get cloase to the speakers and now I don't have to spray them any more.
I have VR4 GenIII's, which are covered in cloth & look like giant scratching posts. I was a bit concerned that the cat would tear them up, so when I hooked them up for the first time I cranked the system up to almost max volume & left them like that for 100 hrs.
It's been over two years & the cat has never touched them that I've noticed, although being a cat, probably scratched them once just to prove she could.
Duct Tape to the rescue! Make duct tape rolls, sticky side out, place the duct tape rolls on a piece of poster board or manilla folder, place the "land mines" around the perimenter of the speakers. Cats hate duct tape on their feet and will soon avoid the area. The methed is less expensive than mousetraps, won't hurt the kitty, and highly effective. But if this doesn't work. . .
Grab the offending kitty. Hold him next to the speaker and wind duct tape around the cat and the speaker. After a couple of days you can untape the poor kitty, and believe me, that cat won't go near your stuff again!
For added effect, play the Telarc 1812 Overture nonstop at high volumes while the kitty is attached!
Just kidding, but the duct tape on poster board works very well.
What worked well for me (cat repellent spray and a lot of other things failed miserably) was buying a battery-powered motion detector from RadioShack. When I first installed the neat little alarm, after retiring for the evening, I heard the alarm go off a couple of times. It scared the cats away, no problem. Now, I never hear the alarms go off anymore because the cats have been trained to avoid the area. But I still leave it in place just in case; and every once in a while I set it off myself, just to keep those rascals in line. I forget what it cost, but it runs on a 9-volt battery. I'm sure it was less than $20. Happy Listening. :)
I had a similar problem with my two cats when I bought a new rear projection TV in January. I didn't want them to claw the speaker grills (my hi fi gear lives in a seperate room not accessible to the cats). I found a nifty solution.
A company called Contech makes a product called the Scat Mat. It consists of a grey plastic pad with a small battery powered electronics package attached. When the cat steps on the pad it shocks the bejesus out of it. One or two encounters wih the pads teaches the cats to avoid them.
If my cats are running through the house and happen to come upon the pad they stop on a dime before touching it. I think I could actually remove the pad and they would avoid the area, though I haven't tried this yet.
The Scat Mat costs around $60 each, and is avaialble with different sized pads to fit your needs.
I bet that a pair of these will solve your problem.
Got to get an audio-cat. Mine just likes to sit on the corner of the couch and listen. Scary part she sits in a human position, rear feet out and on her butt and upright like a human front leg leaning on the arm of the couch.Even keeps pefect time with her extended tail on the cushions. Although much hairer! Only sits like that when the tunes are on. If I make a change or tweak I and the cat usally agree. Dosen't talk and better behaved than most people I know. Never tries to put a drink,leave ashes,talk smart or mess with my turntable.Also prefers redbok upsampled to 24/192 and anolog the best. she knows something is not in phase or time coherent. I would take her to my dealer when reveiwing possible new equipment but he won't put in a couch. Does like to stick her head in my horn speakers if they need dusting. Don't solve your problem sure helped me get things right. Although we do sometimes disagree on interconnects. Trained not to like speakers to close or on them with a squirt gun. But you hve Manx's there just a bit crazy to learn much and are vertical and high place loving to learn. The spray on the carpet NOT on the speakers will work most of the time and is available at most pet stores. Well got change the record someones not happy!
A lot has to do with how old your cats are & how you discipline them. I have no doubt that you know these cats well, and if some part of you suspects they will use your speakers to sharpen their claws then you can have some confidence in your ability to predict their behavior. Of course, making your system unaccessible would seem to be the best solution- the less negative attention given to these cats via your speakers the better. The less verbal interaction the better. I agree that the spray bottle- water, with or without added odor, is the best solution. The effectiveness of this really has to do with how dilligent you are, how consistant, because this is how they will make the association between the unpleasant sensation and your speakers. If you can manage to make yourself neutral in all this then the effectiveness is all the more. Even saying "no" may make this a source of attention and confuse the issue.
I used this approach with my cat. She was all over my speakers to begin with, but over a period of time she learned to stay off them. At this point I do not even have to watch her. Now, she will come and sit with me when I listen to music. She loves the attention she gets and I like her company.
I got a pug that sits in the same position on the end of the sofa while watching TV. She makes little noises whenever she sees an animal. She's trained not to bark. And, she remembers which commercials have dogs in them. She'll be in another room and here said commercials and come running to make her noises at the TV.
If your having cat problems, you can try playing Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" loudly though your system (like a burn-in cd) and I'm sure they'll stay far away.
Plato's idea's a good one, or you can try placing (don't laugh, it works but doesn't look too pretty) some orange peels (a few) around the speaker area on the floor, won't hurt anything, but cats HATE citrus !!!! Guaranteed
You can rent our Bullmastiff, Diesel, for a day (see my system page). He'll take care of your cat problems for sure. If you live outside of the Pacific Northwest then I bet there'd be some willing dog-owners in your own region.
The duct tape idea is great, but for better holding power go to a photography or cinema supply shop and as for Gaffer's Tape instead. Lill' precious won't doesn't stand a chance with Gaffer's!
Wil'E'Coyote might suggest an(Acme Brand) anvil placed strategicly atop the edge of each speaker. A spatula may come in handy there too.
Ask Magnepan for some of their plastic slip-0n covers (the ones that are used when the speakers are initially shipped). Several years ago they sent me several pairs at no charge.
I use the covers whenever I'm not listening to the speakers, and my Cornish Rex has never even paid any attention to them. Plus--using the covers keeps dust off. My speakers (3.5Rs) are seven years old and still look like new.
Scat Mats don't work. As soon as the mat is moved, the cats come right back. They will even jump over the mat to get somewhere else and we had a little bugger who learned to push the mat out the way. Despite what some may say, cats are not dumb and learn quickly to associate the slight electric jolt with the mat. Remove the mat and they understand that danger is gone. Oh well.
Assuming that you have two cat carriers (used to transport the cats to/from the Vet) try placing one near each speaker.
Our cats shy away from the carriers.
Sticky tape completely covering the floor area around the speakers would seem to be effective (doubt they would leap over it to cling/hang from the socks).
Tin foil may also work, but "some" cats spray/pee it.
I'm currently refurbishing a pair of SMGa's, but due to having 5 cats in the household I doubt that I'll be keeping them (the SMGa's that is).
Someone here (TubeGroover/SwampKiller maybe - I forget) used chicken wire barriers around their speakers. Kind of a cross between "Green Acres" and the "Blues Brothers" if you can handle it.
Currently have vintage floorstanding cabinets in the living room with the cabinets/grills being untouched by the cats in the past two years, but a third/duplicate cabinet, stored in the guest bedroom, has been shown no mercy. Go figure.
I found that my Vandersteens were cat magnets after I had them awhile. They pilled the fine grille cloth a little so I got one of those things to shave pills off of sweaters and that took care of that damage. Then I had some black vinyl covers made with velcro attachments. Protects them from damage It is a PITA to take them off to listen but until I move somewhere that I can close off the listening room from cats, I will have to live with it. Declawing is kinda inhumane but the little B----ds can wreck anything fabric covered in no time. Get them a scratching post wrapped with sisal rope that is at least 4 feet tall or so and that can distract them from other stuff. Ignore the cat hating posts!