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#285738 - 06/16/08 11:50 AM Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
I am a cat owner. I have four of them.

My new Yamaha C-3 will be coming sometime....I really hope....gas prices willing...soon....???

The question has arisen in the past on some threads on this site about keeping the cat(s) out of the piano. This is of course easy when the lid is down but I may want to have the lid up while practicing. One of my cats in particular is eager to 'help' me whenever I'm at the piano (the other 3 seem to avoid the room, which may be a critique!).

I am envisioning a sort of 'cage' that could fit onto the rim of the piano, with dowels going upward to fit on something affixed around the rim of the lid. Close enough to impede cat entry but far enough to allow full sound to escape. Maybe even painted ebony to match the piano.

No doubt something like this will have to be a custom job, and the materials for the rim/lid edges will require some consideration. Having searched the web for such a device and not finding it, it occurred to me I should quickly patent the idea and find my niche market. But I have no fabrication tools or skills so that's that.

Question: Has anyone ever seen or heard of such a thing? If so, how should I go about searching? I've tried "piano/cat/cage" "piano/cat/barrier" "cat out of piano" "keeping cat out of piano" and a variety of other permutations and combinations. Nothing, other than many links to a U-Tube video of a cat playing the piano.

I want something that will be visually unobtrusive, and will not look like it was kludged together with no sense of aesthetics / taste. Please don't respond with "get rid of the cats" or "lock them out of the room." These aren't options for a variety of reasons and I'm not seeking a cat-free home, just a cat-free piano without shocking devices, squirt bottles, sirens, et al.

So - not too interested in starting a pro-feline vs. anti-feline tempest here, but am wondering if anyone has a bead on something like I am imagining? I'm starting to think I may need to engage the services of a local cabinetmaker.

Thanks!
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#285739 - 06/16/08 11:55 AM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
p.s. okay, okay. Nobody owns cats. Shall I say instead that "I serve four cats, who allow me to live in and pay morgtage on their house."
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#285740 - 06/16/08 12:01 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2789
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I own two cats, underastand the situation and have an easier solution. Just completely close up the piano when you're not playing. With the lid down, the top fully closed and the fallboard down there's no way for a cat to get inside. That strikes me as much more aesthetically pleasing than any type of cage.

Good luck.

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#285741 - 06/16/08 12:06 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Thanks, Steve, but the question was not for when I am not playing. The question is about keeping them out when I am playing and need the lid up....
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#285742 - 06/16/08 12:14 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
brenda100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 158
I am watching this thread with interest. We have two cats and a M&H BB on the way soon. Do your cats really have interest to jump inside the piano while it is being played? I would have thought it would be while the piano is quiet that they would be interested, so closing the lid would be the answer.

Where is the piano placed? Is it possible to make it difficult or impossible for them to jump inside by placing the piano differently?

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#285743 - 06/16/08 12:16 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
Even if you made something like what you're talking about why couldn't the cats just jump up right in front of you and get around the music stand? I don't think your cage idea would be able to cover that area.

Couldn't you put the cats in another room or outside while you play?

The best answer, though glib, would be to get rid of your grand and buy an upright. Problem solved.
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Scott

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#285744 - 06/16/08 12:17 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Get or make a string cover, t hen give them holy hell if they try to get into the piano. Perhaps even the squirtgun should they approach it. Conditioning should not take long.

But if you DO follow that approach, amke sure you keep it closed up between uses, lest you find a gift left anonymously.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#285745 - 06/16/08 12:20 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
I have my piano covered with a canvas cover and keep it all closed up when not playing--not the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement, I know, but practical in a house owned by cats.

When I play with the lid up, the cats don't have any inclination to get in the piano. They do, however sit at my feet, or rub on the bench. If I play with the lid down, they WILL get on top of the piano. One of them rolls on the cover and pretends like he's Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
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#285746 - 06/16/08 12:25 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Hi, Brenda100

The current piano is a spinet so there isn't any abillity for Mojo to get inside. I have absolutely no doubt, however, that he will be in there at first opportunity when the grand arrives, if I can't provide some sort of physical barrier (or leave the lid down, which isn't really what I want to do. If I wanted to do that, of course, I wouldn't have needed to inquire about a fixture to prevent cat entry). I don't believe there is any piano placement within the room that could possibly keep a very athletic, inquisitive and not-very-bright Bengal out of or off of anything he wants to get onto / into. And yes, he really is ALL OVER the spinet when I'm practicing. I have no reason to think he won't be all over the grand when it comes, and inside it if he possibly can. He seems to enjoy the sound and even walks up and down the keyboard himself, creating his own "music." I'm not too worried about kitty paws on keys, of course, but where go the cats also goes cat barf and I fear this might happen if he can get inside the grand. Unfortunately when I'm playing, my hands are rather busy so sometimes I don't see what he is about until he is up on the case, or in my lap (which often seems to be his goal).

The other cats seem completely indifferent to the piano while it is in action, and two of them will occasionally jump onto it simply for a visual vantage point, but they have never done this while I am playing. The fourth, bless her, is too fat, old and arthritic for such undertakings.
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#285747 - 06/16/08 12:25 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
Piano World Offline



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#285748 - 06/16/08 12:26 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Yeah, that's the video that kept coming up \:\)
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#285749 - 06/16/08 12:31 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
ScottM:

"I don't think your cage idea would be able to cover that area."

Why not?
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#285750 - 06/16/08 12:32 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Squirt gun risks squirting inside the piano, which I'm unwilling to chance. Of COURSE I already figured on leaving it closed when not in use. That's not the question.....and yes, to forestall the obvious, I have already obtained a cover to also employ when it is not in use. I wish the piano would arrive as fast as the cover did!
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#285751 - 06/16/08 12:38 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
A cage could conceivably cover the area by the music stand, but the geometry of the area, especially with the stand upright, would be a bit hard to work a shape around. Maybe if it was a separate section from the rest of your cage it wouldn't be as difficult.
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#285752 - 06/16/08 12:44 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Hi, Scott. I'm assuming some thought will need to go into the design for confident cat-proofing, but I'm sure this can be got around. Apparently from what I'm seeing in the way of replies, no such device has been found by anyone, so it wasn't the inadequacy of my search. This is a little surprising, because, although admittedly it would be a relatively small niche market, I can see that I'm not the only person who has considered or experienced this problem. Usually you can find just about ANYTHING that you can think up, someone has thought of it before you and obtained the patent! Which in this case would be fine with me, assuming they are producing the thing so I might be able to get one, irrespective of making my fortune and retiring on the proceeds.
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#285753 - 06/16/08 12:46 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
Squirt gun risks squirting inside the piano, which I'm unwilling to chance. Of COURSE I already figured on leaving it closed when not in use. That's not the question.....and yes, to forestall the obvious, I have already obtained a cover to also employ when it is not in use. I wish the piano would arrive as fast as the cover did! [/b]
SantaFe, you don't squirt them when they are IN the piano.

And what I was suggesting was a STRING cover for the inside, not the outside. It would limit any damage should they get inside, and I doubt they would much like it in there anyway.

Sorry for making such OBVIOUS suggestions. Perhaps a more refined forum would be more to your liking. :rolleyes:
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#285754 - 06/16/08 12:46 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2789
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
Thanks, Steve, but the question was not for when I am not playing. The question is about keeping them out when I am playing and need the lid up.... [/b]
My cats aren't interested in getting in the piano when I'm playing. They prefer to hang out by the window to listen. I suspect even under the piano is a bit louder than they prefer. I think if your cat were to jump into the piano your reaction alone might be sufficient deterrant to keep it from ever happening again. Just bang a really loud cluster and he'll jump out for sure.

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#285755 - 06/16/08 01:08 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Steve,

" I think if your cat were to jump into the piano your reaction alone might be sufficient deterrant to keep it from ever happening again."

Something sincerely to be hoped! You may be right for this particular cat. One of the others doesn't give a rats about my reaction (as evidence, the kitchen counter....right in front of me when I actually am holding the squirt bottle....defiant little schmuck) but THAT one is not all over the piano when I'm playing, so I will keep my fingers crossed regarding Mojo. I would,however, prefer to find a way to simply make it impossible (without giving up my open-piano sound).....just in case hystrionics don't do the job. Moreover, I'm likely to forget to close it up (despite my best intentions) if I leave in a rush or to answer the phone, etc., and that could be just the time he chooses to explore.
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SantaFe_Player

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#285756 - 06/16/08 01:09 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
cah77388 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 85
Loc: Spring, Texas
I own cats, and would be surprised to see them get into the piano when you are playing. If I make the mistake of leaving the lid open, one does get inside and lay on the strings, but as I soon as I start to sit down at the bench, he tries to get out as quick as possible. When playing the piano with the lid up, all the cats avoid the piano, I'm assuming because its too loud, or I'm that bad, but they are never in the piano when I'm playing it. Just keep the lid closed when you are not playing, and if they get in, well let them do it once, play as loud as you can, and the probably won't do it again.
_________________________
1976 Kawai KG-2C
1949 B. Shoninger Spinet
2003 Casio Privia PX100

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#285757 - 06/16/08 01:26 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
I live with Maine Coons so squirt bottles are only useful as toys.

However, I will share my 'patent pending' Cat Deterrent - The Shakey Can of Doom.

As spoiled and catered to as my cats are, there are things I won't tolerate. This handy-dandy device will not damage cats (or anything else it makes contact with), can be tossed at an errant cat who's giving you the "you gonna get up and MAKE me???" look, and makes an ungodly racket when it lands. As a bonus, it can be left on surfaces you'd like to pretend that the cats stay off when you're not around.

Take a common aluminum soda can. Wash all sticky residue from the inside, rinse and let dry. Put pennies inside (how many depends on personal preference, a half-dozen should do). Tape up the hole. It can be shaken at naughty cats. It can even be tossed at particularly criminal ones, without risk of hurting them or damaging things. Soon even *reaching* for it does the trick.
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My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#285758 - 06/16/08 01:32 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
TEHunter1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 51
Honestly, I highly doubt that your cats would jump into the piano while you are playing, but one thought I had is that you could just hand a thin bed sheet of some sort off the edge of the piano so that it drapes over the open side. If a cat can't see where he will land, or at least where he can jump into, he won't try to jump. IE, if he doesn't know that there's anything beyond the sheet, then it won't ever come up. Also, the sheet would be easy to remove if you want.

Though if it were me, I probably just wouldn't worry about it, just keep an eye out for the cat when you have the lid up. Also who knows, you may even decide that you prefer to not have the lid up most of the time.

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#285759 - 06/16/08 01:37 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
TEHunter1

And here before completing my reading of your post, I though it was about to head towards: "....who knows, you may even decide that you prefer the cat inside the piano." \:\)

In most likelihood, I might not have it up most of the time. It depends on what state the pieces are in. For learning notes and metronome practice, not necessary. For more advanced refining work, probably necessary at times.
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#285760 - 06/16/08 01:54 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Prodigal -

I've heard of shake cans, never thought they'd be very effective but your post suggests otherwise, especially for noise-averse kitties, which, alas, Mojo has already demonstrated he is rather noise-philic by his apparent love of the piano noise (oops I mean music).

It's sounding like nobody has heard of such a device as I have envisioned and that most think it will be unnecessary. Having never before had a grand piano - just a spinet that gets walked all over no matter how loud I'm playing - I simply assumed this was going to be a problem. I'll hope for the best, I guess, and it doesn't sound like my idea would have much of a market after all.
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#285761 - 06/16/08 01:56 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
 Quote:
Originally posted by ProdigalPianist:
I live with Maine Coons so squirt bottles are only useful as toys.

However, I will share my 'patent pending' Cat Deterrent - The Shakey Can of Doom.

As spoiled and catered to as my cats are, there are things I won't tolerate. This handy-dandy device will not damage cats (or anything else it makes contact with), can be tossed at an errant cat who's giving you the "you gonna get up and MAKE me???" look, and makes an ungodly racket when it lands. As a bonus, it can be left on surfaces you'd like to pretend that the cats stay off when you're not around.

Take a common aluminum soda can. Wash all sticky residue from the inside, rinse and let dry. Put pennies inside (how many depends on personal preference, a half-dozen should do). Tape up the hole. It can be shaken at naughty cats. It can even be tossed at particularly criminal ones, without risk of hurting them or damaging things. Soon even *reaching* for it does the trick. [/b]
Great idea. Works with dogs too.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#285762 - 06/16/08 02:30 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
You have dogs in your piano?
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#285763 - 06/16/08 02:46 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
No.. but our Sheltie, Mojo (imagine that), loves to lay by me while I play.

The noise can breaks a dog's focus really well, and they come to see it as a cease and desist signal.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#285764 - 06/16/08 02:49 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
werner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 41
Loc: Texas
Would draping a net over the lid work? You could stow the net when the piano is closed.

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#285765 - 06/16/08 02:55 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Werner - I thought about a net, but I wonder if he would just consider it to be a fun, new jungle gym.....I'd need a strong one because he's an extremely sizeable cat. Not wide - in fact I call him my "string bean" but big (long and tall) and heavy.

Michael - Mojo! Imagine that. Maybe the name inspires in quadrupeds something to do with music.
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SantaFe_Player

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#285766 - 06/16/08 04:34 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Nahh. He just has great taste in humans. \:D

Seriously, though. If i am playing he will come from anywhere in the house to be there and stretch out on the loveseat nearby. If I play 2 hours, he's still there.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#285767 - 06/16/08 04:40 PM Re: Deeper probing on cats
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
You have dogs in your piano?
That would be pretty effective way of keeping cats out of the piano.
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