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Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: PianoFran] #1554206
11/09/10 09:11 AM
11/09/10 09:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
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crogersrx  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by PianoFran
Find yourself an old pillow case, a few heavy rocks and a nearby river. Problem solved.


SICK


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
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Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: Dave Horne] #1554208
11/09/10 09:14 AM
11/09/10 09:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member
crogersrx  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Go to a pet store and ask the owner what he would suggest.

We've bought synthetic pheromones that we sprayed on our furniture (cloth sofas) to discourage our cat.

If I have a question about plumbing, I ask a plumber; this really isn't a piano question per se, this is a pet question and should be answered by someone who is an expert with pets.


I agree with this. Animal behavior is the issue, not so much the piano. But, there are probably things we can answer that will help the OP make his piano safe against the forseeable cat-piano calamities like scratches from them jumping up on the lit\d, or getting inside the piano..


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: kellypiano] #1554229
11/09/10 09:44 AM
11/09/10 09:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member
crogersrx  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
This topic comes up frequently, and you can probably gather lots of good suggestions by looking for old threads - there are plenty - and jotting down some ideas. But since I have cats and a grand, I'll give you some information and suggestions that may help your piano and your cats coexist wihtout you being a nervous wreck.

First, DECLAWING: it always comes up. Declawing is mutilation to your pet’s “hands” and being a pianist, you might well appreciate how much hands mean to a being, whether human or feline. They don’t just do some magic that makes the nails go away like a seedless grape or watermelon. They AMPUTATE the last digits of each finger (carpal bone) so your cat now doesn’t have the end of their finger. The front claws are not usually the ones that do skid damage to the lid, it’s the rear, and they don’t amputate those. Cats rarely scratch piano legs, they don’t feel like the stuff they want to scratch on. So, talk to a few vets before you consider declawing. My guess is that most won’t even do it – mine absolutely refuses, and so do many others in the area.

SCRATCHING in general: Cats prefer to scratch on something like a tree, something they can really sink their claws into; old wood, or rough, none finished wood are targets. Give t them some preferred scratching items. Get several scratching options and rub some catnip into them so that the cat goes to a scratch-friendly item rather than your furniture, or the glass smooth legs of a piano. I have a natural wood finished piano, and the cats never do anything more than rub up against them. There are corrugated cardboard scratchy-pads, posts with short-nap carpet (a favorite for most cats) and posts with rope around them. I have some of each and they’re near the things I don’t want the cats to scratch. I put a short-nap Persian rug under the piano and the cats have a preferable scratchy surface right under their paws instead of thinking about the piano legs.

Keeping the cats off the piano: GOOD LUCK!! Cats nature is to get a high vantage point where they can see around the area and be inaccessible to other potentially harmful animals. A piano is perfect for a cat. I gave up on trying to keep the cats off the piano and bought a thick padded cover. Didn’t keep them off, but there are no landing skids or jump skids. Amazingly, they don’t like to scratch on it like they do on a scratchy pad or post. They will actually jump down and go scratch on their post, and then jump back up on the piano. When I have the piano opened up, I keep the bright green squirt bottle in plain sight on the music desk so that they don’t even think of jumping up. One or two times of them planning out their trajectory to jump up and getting a squirt in the face, they decide that sitting in the cat-tree is a better option.

Don’t leave the piano open. When you’re gone, I can assure you that you will have cats in the piano, and they love to sit on the strings. Ammonia on their paws will quickly cause your copper and even steel strings to corrode. So just resist the urge to leave the piano open. Until you can get a good cover, just use a thick bedspread or quilt (keyword THICK).
Cover the piano bench if you get a padded bench. I paid a fortune for a custom Jansen Duet bench, and the cats didn’t touch it for a couple years. When I moved and the piano was near to the front entrance, the cats found the bench to be a good place to sit and wait for Daddy to come in the door, and meanwhile they enhanced my leather’s ability to breath by adding perhaps a thousand or so needle perforations. Put a cotton bathmat on it, and then drape something over it like a throw blanket so it doesn’t look really trashy (not that they throw blanket isn’t already headed there) and they won’t damage your padded bench.


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: crogersrx] #1554291
11/09/10 12:19 PM
11/09/10 12:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
gryphon  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by crogersrx
This topic comes up frequently, and you can probably gather lots of good suggestions by looking for old threads - there are plenty - and jotting down some ideas. But since I have cats and a grand, I'll give you some information and suggestions that may help your piano and your cats coexist wihtout you being a nervous wreck.

First, DECLAWING: it always comes up. Declawing is mutilation to your pet’s “hands” and being a pianist, you might well appreciate how much hands mean to a being, whether human or feline. They don’t just do some magic that makes the nails go away like a seedless grape or watermelon. They AMPUTATE the last digits of each finger (carpal bone) so your cat now doesn’t have the end of their finger. The front claws are not usually the ones that do skid damage to the lid, it’s the rear, and they don’t amputate those. Cats rarely scratch piano legs, they don’t feel like the stuff they want to scratch on. So, talk to a few vets before you consider declawing. My guess is that most won’t even do it – mine absolutely refuses, and so do many others in the area.

SCRATCHING in general: Cats prefer to scratch on something like a tree, something they can really sink their claws into; old wood, or rough, none finished wood are targets. Give t them some preferred scratching items. Get several scratching options and rub some catnip into them so that the cat goes to a scratch-friendly item rather than your furniture, or the glass smooth legs of a piano. I have a natural wood finished piano, and the cats never do anything more than rub up against them. There are corrugated cardboard scratchy-pads, posts with short-nap carpet (a favorite for most cats) and posts with rope around them. I have some of each and they’re near the things I don’t want the cats to scratch. I put a short-nap Persian rug under the piano and the cats have a preferable scratchy surface right under their paws instead of thinking about the piano legs.

Keeping the cats off the piano: GOOD LUCK!! Cats nature is to get a high vantage point where they can see around the area and be inaccessible to other potentially harmful animals. A piano is perfect for a cat. I gave up on trying to keep the cats off the piano and bought a thick padded cover. Didn’t keep them off, but there are no landing skids or jump skids. Amazingly, they don’t like to scratch on it like they do on a scratchy pad or post. They will actually jump down and go scratch on their post, and then jump back up on the piano. When I have the piano opened up, I keep the bright green squirt bottle in plain sight on the music desk so that they don’t even think of jumping up. One or two times of them planning out their trajectory to jump up and getting a squirt in the face, they decide that sitting in the cat-tree is a better option.

Don’t leave the piano open. When you’re gone, I can assure you that you will have cats in the piano, and they love to sit on the strings. Ammonia on their paws will quickly cause your copper and even steel strings to corrode. So just resist the urge to leave the piano open. Until you can get a good cover, just use a thick bedspread or quilt (keyword THICK).
Cover the piano bench if you get a padded bench. I paid a fortune for a custom Jansen Duet bench, and the cats didn’t touch it for a couple years. When I moved and the piano was near to the front entrance, the cats found the bench to be a good place to sit and wait for Daddy to come in the door, and meanwhile they enhanced my leather’s ability to breath by adding perhaps a thousand or so needle perforations. Put a cotton bathmat on it, and then drape something over it like a throw blanket so it doesn’t look really trashy (not that they throw blanket isn’t already headed there) and they won’t damage your padded bench.
Or you could just find yourself an old pillow case, a few heavy rocks and a nearby river.

Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: gryphon] #1554428
11/09/10 05:03 PM
11/09/10 05:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,930
El Cajon, CA
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member
88Key_PianoPlayer  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,930
El Cajon, CA
Originally Posted by gryphon
Or you could just find yourself an old pillow case, a few heavy rocks and a nearby river.

Would you personally like to test that and see if it works? (and I don't mean on your cat.) Then maybe we could learn if it'd be an ethical way to keep cats off pianos.

I thought that was already brought up earlier in this thread, anyway. For me, though, drowning my cat (I don't have one right now but when I did she WAS allowed on the piano even when I was playing it) is not an option I will ever consider.

If I really wanted my cat to get off the piano, I'd maybe play a couple sFz FFFFFF chords during a PPP passage.


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer] #1554523
11/09/10 07:11 PM
11/09/10 07:11 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 124
Placerville, California
M
Moe Howard Offline
Full Member
Moe Howard  Offline
Full Member
M

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 124
Placerville, California
I second the use of ssssCat (or however many sss's are in the name). It's worked keeping our five cats disinterested in the piano. I keep a can on the music desk and have found the only time it went off was when I sat down to play and had forgotten to disarm the thing. The can is fully discharged now but the cats don't know that. I don't think there were be a need to buy the multi can sets I see for sale on line. If the cat doesn't get the message after one can, then another method will have to be tried.

Also, I have my can aimed towards the keyboard where I figure they would attempt to "mount" the piano. Since the range of detection is something less than 180 degrees, I also keep my lid on the short stick as the slanted surface discourages any of them from jumping up on the tail of the piano.

I guess we're lucky with our cats as we don't have the furniture scratching problem - we have scratching posts at both ends of the house that are well used.

I also second the disgust at even the mention of declawing a cat. It is the equivalent of amputation of the fingers at the first knuckles. I don't know of any vets that do it up in my corner of the country (but then I haven't asked any).

Anyway, I would recommend ssssCat as a first try. It isn't really that expensive when compared to what your piano is worth.

Good luck.


- Moe

Mason & Hamlin Model A #91743
----------------------------------
Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: kellypiano] #1554569
11/09/10 08:19 PM
11/09/10 08:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19
Minnesota
J
JaydWoods Offline
Junior Member
JaydWoods  Offline
Junior Member
J

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19
Minnesota
My family was barbaric. We used the end of a blow dart to keep our cat off our counters. Not sure that would apply here as well though.

Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: kellypiano] #1554765
11/10/10 07:51 AM
11/10/10 07:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member
crogersrx  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
If people have pets, they ought to take a bit of time to learn about pet behavior and how to humanely discourage unwanted behavior. Would you put your child in a pillow case with some rocks and find the nearest river because you brought home a new piano, or a new big screen tv (some probably would), no, you'd realize that certain behaviors are to be expected unless preventive measures are taken. Learn about cat behavior, take the necessary actions to protect your instrument and discourage certain behaviors, and you will be able to enjoy your piano and your pets. My cats love to sit on top of the lid or on the bench beside me when I play. It's the only audience that seems to frequent my performances, so I guess I should be thankful for their patronage -- LOL.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer] #1555169
11/10/10 06:50 PM
11/10/10 06:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
gryphon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer
Would you personally like to test that and see if it works?

Oh, it'll work.


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: kellypiano] #1555655
11/11/10 01:56 PM
11/11/10 01:56 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 37
Long Beach, CA
C
CharlieVictor Offline
Full Member
CharlieVictor  Offline
Full Member
C

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 37
Long Beach, CA
I use a heavy cover on my grand to protect it from the inevitable "visits" when I'm away. My sister, a vet, suggested laying contact paper upside down (sticky side up) on surfaces where I didn't want the cats to be, such as counter tops. The cats don't like the sticky feeling on their feet, and learn to avoid those areas. It's not completely fool proof, since a strong breeze through an open door or window can blow the paper off or stick it to something you wish it wasn't, but I found it reasonably effective.

Re: How do I keep the cats off my new grand? [Re: kellypiano] #1555661
11/11/10 02:01 PM
11/11/10 02:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
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Orange Soda King  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted by kellypiano
I'm getting a new SK3 (yippee) and I have two cats. How do you protect your instrument? Skat mat? cover? Thanks.


Keep cat nip in the OTHER room.

And crogersrx, those are some of the cutest pictures. ^_^

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