cat & piano

Posted by: Radio.Octave

cat & piano - 02/14/13 03:04 PM

So I recently adopted a cat and I'm not sure how to "secure" the piano when I'm not around. I'd like to train her to stay off of it, but I don't know if that'll work, especially when I'm not home. For now, I closed the lid, flylid and fallboard, so she's not getting inside, but I noticed little paw prints on it this morning (yeah, my lid was kinda dusty shocked ) I'm hoping she's just in the "exploring" phase now, and will eventually just leave it alone.

I was also thinking that if I left the lid wide open, she definitely couldn't walk or lie on it, but then she might go in the piano. Any suggestions? help
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 04:31 PM

Leave the lid down when you're not at home. Your cat will walk around inside the piano, and it's not good for the strings.

You could perhaps try squirting her in the face with a water spray bottle whenever you see her getting up on it. Cats find that pretty aversive.

My cat pretty much leaves my piano alone, but there are times I have to intervene. It's just what you put up with for sharing your household with a pet.
Posted by: musica71

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 04:45 PM

Yes, DEFINITELY close the piano. I think about all you can do is hope she doesn't slip and put the claws out! Hopefully the novelty will wear off. If she can see out a window from the piano it will be harder!
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 04:53 PM

This is a common topic at Piano World.

When I saw your avatar photo, another solution came to mind.

Just kidding.
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 07:48 PM

I don't like to make my cats neurotic, so I don't try to train them to stay off things. I close the top of my piano when I'm not playing it, and when I leave in the morning I put a cover on so they can play on top of it all they want.

You don't want kitty walking around inside. (But encourage her if she sits on the bench and plays nicely!)
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
I don't like to make my cats neurotic, so I don't try to train them to stay off things. I close the top of my piano when I'm not playing it, and when I leave in the morning I put a cover on so they can play on top of it all they want.


Those that think they can train a cat to not go on things are delusional. You only train them to not do it when you're looking. Better to just save the hassle and close the lid and cover it when it's not in use. wink
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/14/13 10:04 PM

It's sort of odd but my cat loves to hang on the piano. I close it when it's not in use and use a "piano shawl" that the cat lays on. I have caught her inside twice when I was home and banged on some bass clef notes to scare her out of it. I would just keep it closed when it's not in use. What is their obsession with the piano? I wonder...
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: cat & piano - 02/15/13 02:26 AM

Our cat isn't the least bit musical. He never jumps onto the piano, though it would be easy to do from the entry landing. Cat or no cat, it's best to leave pianos all closed up when you're not playing.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: cat & piano - 02/15/13 08:04 AM

Originally Posted By: HalfStep
It's sort of odd but my cat loves to hang on the piano. I close it when it's not in use and use a "piano shawl" that the cat lays on. I have caught her inside twice when I was home and banged on some bass clef notes to scare her out of it. I would just keep it closed when it's not in use. What is their obsession with the piano? I wonder...


My cat will once in a while go inside my piano. I have the strings covered with felt and he really thinks that's a nice box for him to sleep in. When he does that I close it, but he hasn't done it in a while so I can keep it open.
Posted by: StefaanBelgium

Re: cat & piano - 02/15/13 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene


My cat will once in a while go inside my piano. I have the strings covered with felt and he really thinks that's a nice box for him to sleep in. When he does that I close it, but he hasn't done it in a while so I can keep it open.


You close the piano with the cat inside ?!? wink
Posted by: Annitenth

Re: cat & piano - 02/16/13 07:32 AM

Tom jumped on the keys a couple of times and the noise scared him so much he stayed off ever since.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: cat & piano - 02/16/13 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: StefaanBelgium
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


My cat will once in a while go inside my piano. I have the strings covered with felt and he really thinks that's a nice box for him to sleep in. When he does that I close it, but he hasn't done it in a while so I can keep it open.


You close the piano with the cat inside ?!? wink


Yes, that teaches him not to go in it LOL. No, I REMOVE the cat and close the lid laugh
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/16/13 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: StefaanBelgium
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


My cat will once in a while go inside my piano. I have the strings covered with felt and he really thinks that's a nice box for him to sleep in. When he does that I close it, but he hasn't done it in a while so I can keep it open.


You close the piano with the cat inside ?!? wink


Yes, that teaches him not to go in it LOL. No, I REMOVE the cat and close the lid laugh


Haha, I'd lock mine in if I thought it would work. I use the short stick so she stays out but then she likes to still lay on the top! That also freaks me out. I just envision her sliding off off the polished ebony and trying to grab hold ! Gulp...
Posted by: personne

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: HalfStep
It's sort of odd but my cat loves to hang on the piano. I close it when it's not in use and use a "piano shawl" that the cat lays on. What is their obsession with the piano? I wonder...


They probably think that this kitty condo is the best what comes from pet stores smile
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: personne
Originally Posted By: HalfStep
It's sort of odd but my cat loves to hang on the piano. I close it when it's not in use and use a "piano shawl" that the cat lays on. What is their obsession with the piano? I wonder...


They probably think that this kitty condo is the best what comes from pet stores smile


Haha!
Posted by: Radio.Octave

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 12:40 PM

Thanks for the tips, everyone. Well, I've been leaving it completely closed when I'm not playing. She is so new to the house that she still hides most of the time. I do know that's she's been "exploring" because tiny paw prints have magically appeared on the lid. I'm a little worried about scratches on the finish, because I don't have a cover. I could get one, but opening and closing the piano all the time is enough of a PITA. Having yo cover it too would be worse.

I guess if it gets some scratches, it's only cosmetic and won't affect the piano's sound. It would be nice if she would just stay off it, though. I might try one of those motion sensor things, or what if I left some aluminum foil on the lid (just until she learned to stay off)? I've read cats don't like to walk on certain things.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 01:12 PM

I wouldn't put aluminum foil on it, that might scratch the finish. Why not use a heavy blanket on it until you can get a good cover?

I don't see how opening and closing the piano is such a pain. It takes all of what 15 seconds to do? Probably 30 with a cover.

A side note: I leave mine open because the lid is extremely heavy (my piano is over 9') and the lid/hinges were damaged in a freak door/mirror/file cabinet accident. We've repaired it pretty well and it stood up to being moved halfway across the country, but I'm still afraid to move it a lot. Cat hasn't desired to go in it, so it's not really much of an issue anymore.
Posted by: Radio.Octave

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 02:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I wouldn't put aluminum foil on it, that might scratch the finish. Why not use a heavy blanket on it until you can get a good cover?

I don't see how opening and closing the piano is such a pain. It takes all of what 15 seconds to do? Probably 30 with a cover.

A side note: I leave mine open because the lid is extremely heavy (my piano is over 9') and the lid/hinges were damaged in a freak door/mirror/file cabinet accident. We've repaired it pretty well and it stood up to being moved halfway across the country, but I'm still afraid to move it a lot. Cat hasn't desired to go in it, so it's not really much of an issue anymore.


Well mine is a 7' piano and although I don't have to strain to lift the lid or anything, it's not exactly light. Before this, I'd just leave the lid on full stick all the time, so closing the big lid, the fly lid, the fallboard and then also covering it seems like a lot more of a hassle...especially when it gets played frequently.

I would just leave it on full stick all the time, but I really don't want her on the strings. I wouldn't think a cat would like to walk in strings anyway, but who knows.
Posted by: musica71

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 02:55 PM

My tuner said a cat fiddled with the dampers on a piano he worked on and bent them way up, also have had reports of hairballs INSIDE of the piano. Keep the cat out of the piano !!!
Posted by: adamp88

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 03:11 PM

Here's a few good reasons to not let your cats get on or in your piano. This is a 1956 Yamaha G3 that I'm doing some work on (replacing the pinblock, strings, and generally cleaning up and regulating):





Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/17/13 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Thanks for the tips, everyone. Well, I've been leaving it completely closed when I'm not playing. She is so new to the house that she still hides most of the time. I do know that's she's been "exploring" because tiny paw prints have magically appeared on the lid. I'm a little worried about scratches on the finish, because I don't have a cover. I could get one, but opening and closing the piano all the time is enough of a PITA. Having yo cover it too would be worse.

I guess if it gets some scratches, it's only cosmetic and won't affect the piano's sound. It would be nice if she would just stay off it, though. I might try one of those motion sensor things, or what if I left some aluminum foil on the lid (just until she learned to stay off)? I've read cats don't like to walk on certain things.


I close my lid and slide the music desk over the dampers so my cat is not tempted to mess around with them. Otherwise, she just lays on the top. She's actually very careful and has never left a scratch. She just lays there... you can use anything for a cover, I use a silk shawl.

I bought my cat off of a breeder in Boston, she was sort of a crazy breeder! I remember she had a grand piano, a Mason Hamlin maybe, it was covered with scratches. That was likely due to the 75 cats she had in her house. I was slightly nervous but it's like any animal, keep them groomed and the house clean and there shouldn't be any issues. Cats are usually pretty smart and know what is expected. My bulldog on the hand... ugh
Posted by: Radio.Octave

Re: cat & piano - 02/18/13 11:12 AM

So I've been thinking about it more, and I'm debating between leaving the lid on full stick and getting a string cover vs closing it up tight and getting a piano cover. What do you think would be better?

My concern with leaving the lid closed (without a cover) is the accumulation of scratches, if the cat decides to keep walking on it. My concern with leaving the lid up, is her walking on the strings, which in turn could cause corrosion.

A piano cover seems like the safest option, but it's a shame to cover up such a beautiful instrument.
Posted by: Lakeside

Re: cat & piano - 02/18/13 10:46 PM

Piano when my wife, my cat likes to jump on the piano to accompany her.


Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 02:03 AM

Ok, I've really got to figure out how to upload pics here! Cute cat!
Posted by: PNO40

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 04:13 AM

My eight month old kitten politely asks to leave the room the minute she sees me sit down at the piano and lift the lid ... She'll follow me around the house, climb up on my shoulder, play games with me until one of us drops, and sleep on my head at night, but listening to me play the piano is just a step too far ... Maybe your cat will be similar ... grin
Posted by: malkin

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 08:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
A piano cover seems like the safest option, but it's a shame to cover up such a beautiful instrument.


If the cover keeps the instrument beautiful, then it is not a shame.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 04:06 PM

Radio.Octave, the cat may train you, but I don't think you are going to be able to train the cat; that is just the way it goes with cats. Bottom line: keep the lid closed, and put some kind of cover on it when you are absent. Better yet, lock the music room and forbid it to the cat altogether. A soft, 100% cotton fabric cover is your safest bet to avoid scratching the lid yourself--- and watch out for the thread used to sew the seams: it is often poly (not cotton, even if the cloth is) and putting it on and off, on and off may put some light scratches on the finish. My tech calls them 'dust scratches.' As careful as you can be, it's almost impossible to avoid--- think of it as those little scratches a new car is bound to get, simply from existing. After you get the first couple or three, you stop noticing.

Waxing it every so often with a product intended for piano finishes (Cory's is what my tech likes) can give it a measure of protection.

With five dogs, I have given up, and now keep mine closed, except when I'm recording. It's not too heavy to open (though not lightweight), but there's also moving the piano lamp, the music, the music desk, etc. Those photos of the dust and cat hair in the action are pretty scary! My tech keeps that stuff policed up, but I think minimizing it is worthwhile.

This thread and link will tell you how to post a photo, HalfStep... and I hope you will find something better to share than an action full of animal hair and house dust.

Malkin, I rememberd why your screen name has been nagging at my subconscious--- not that I think this description applies to you, personally:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimalkin
"...A grimalkin (also called a greymalkin) is an old or evil-looking female cat. The term stems from "grey" (the color) plus "malkin", an archaic term for a cat, derived from a... baby-talk... form of the female name, Maud. Scottish legend makes reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands.

"The... name may first come from the 1570 novel, "Beware the Cat" ...by William Baldwin...
[Described as 'the first English novel;' still in print as of 1995.] ...a story of talking cats, and part of it relates the story of the Grimalkin's death. According to its editors, the story, and thus the name, originates with Baldwin in terms of being the earliest example known in print. It is also spelled Grimmalkin or Grimolochin.

"...The name grimalkin – and cats in general – became associated with... witchcraft. Women tried as witches in the 16th-18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin...."
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 07:42 PM

I know that one of the techs (BDB?) once said that the danger in cats walking around inside a piano involved the fact that their paws are contaminated from the litter box and that can tarnish strings pretty badly.

As for cute pics, my all time favorite cat on piano photo is this one floating around the web:

Posted by: bennevis

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 07:51 PM

I love cats but don't have one, because it's not practicable.

But if I do get one, it will have to be a very musical cat. Like this one: http://youtu.be/TZ860P4iTaM ..... grin
Posted by: malkin

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

Malkin, I rememberd why your screen name has been nagging at my subconscious--- not that I think this description applies to you, personally:


Jeff--
Why in heaven and earth would I use this screen name if (at least some of) it did not apply to me personally?
wink

(at my house, it generally seems that the cats are the ones with the supernatural powers and I am their familiar.)
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 09:29 PM

Oh My!

I wonder if there's ever been an exorcism at PW.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 09:59 PM

Felt 'String Covers' usually will keep cats out of the piano.
Posted by: malkin

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Oh My!

I wonder if there's ever been an exorcism at PW.


The moderators do a fine job casting out demons as needed.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: cat & piano - 02/19/13 10:20 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Oh My!
I wonder if there's ever been an exorcism at PW.

The moderators do a fine job casting out demons as needed.

With Rick, it would be a boogie woogie boo booting!
Posted by: HalfStep

Re: cat & piano - 02/20/13 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Radio.Octave, the cat may train you, but I don't think you are going to be able to train the cat; that is just the way it goes with cats. Bottom line: keep the lid closed, and put some kind of cover on it when you are absent. Better yet, lock the music room and forbid it to the cat altogether. A soft, 100% cotton fabric cover is your safest bet to avoid scratching the lid yourself--- and watch out for the thread used to sew the seams: it is often poly (not cotton, even if the cloth is) and putting it on and off, on and off may put some light scratches on the finish. My tech calls them 'dust scratches.' As careful as you can be, it's almost impossible to avoid--- think of it as those little scratches a new car is bound to get, simply from existing. After you get the first couple or three, you stop noticing.

Waxing it every so often with a product intended for piano finishes (Cory's is what my tech likes) can give it a measure of protection.

With five dogs, I have given up, and now keep mine closed, except when I'm recording. It's not too heavy to open (though not lightweight), but there's also moving the piano lamp, the music, the music desk, etc. Those photos of the dust and cat hair in the action are pretty scary! My tech keeps that stuff policed up, but I think minimizing it is worthwhile.

This thread and link will tell you how to post a photo, HalfStep... and I hope you will find something better to share than an action full of animal hair and house dust.

Malkin, I rememberd why your screen name has been nagging at my subconscious--- not that I think this description applies to you, personally:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimalkin
"...A grimalkin (also called a greymalkin) is an old or evil-looking female cat. The term stems from "grey" (the color) plus "malkin", an archaic term for a cat, derived from a... baby-talk... form of the female name, Maud. Scottish legend makes reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands.

"The... name may first come from the 1570 novel, "Beware the Cat" ...by William Baldwin...
[Described as 'the first English novel;' still in print as of 1995.] ...a story of talking cats, and part of it relates the story of the Grimalkin's death. According to its editors, the story, and thus the name, originates with Baldwin in terms of being the earliest example known in print. It is also spelled Grimmalkin or Grimolochin.

"...The name grimalkin – and cats in general – became associated with... witchcraft. Women tried as witches in the 16th-18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin...."


Thanks Jeff, I usually peruse while on my iPad. I'll try to upload from the desktop smile
Posted by: nrajack

Re: cat & piano - 02/20/13 07:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Leave the lid down when you're not at home. Your cat will walk around inside the piano, and it's not good for the strings.

You could perhaps try squirting her in the face with a water spray bottle whenever you see her getting up on it. Cats find that pretty aversive.

My cat pretty much leaves my piano alone, but there are times I have to intervene. It's just what you put up with for sharing your household with a pet.
My cat loves water (that's why we named him Phelps) so the squirting won't (and doesn't) work for him. A sharp NO! and a little swat on his backside and he's off. He's also smart and we usually don't have to discipline him more than a couple of times until he learns not to do something.

Jack
Posted by: Radio.Octave

Re: cat & piano - 02/20/13 07:15 AM

Thanks all! I'm not to worried about minor scratches, I just would like to avoid major ones (forgive the musical pun, haha). In fact, there are already some little scratches on the piano, probably mostly from me, or from the showroom.

Now, the possibility of corroded strings does bother me. At this point, I'm really leaning towards trying a nice string cover, like the Edwards. It seems to be the least intrusive way or protecting the instrument. The question is, is it enough protection from a cat? The lid would stay on full stick to keep the cat from lying on it.