Deeper probing on cats

Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 11:50 AM

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!
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 11:55 AM

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."
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:01 PM

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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:06 PM

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....
Posted by: brenda100

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:14 PM

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?
Posted by: ScottM

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:16 PM

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.
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:17 PM

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.
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:20 PM

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."
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:25 PM

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.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:25 PM

Just teach them to play

http://www.pianoworld.com/piano-playing-cat.html
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:26 PM

Yeah, that's the video that kept coming up \:\)
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:31 PM

ScottM:

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

Why not?
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:32 PM

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!
Posted by: ScottM

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:38 PM

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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:44 PM

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.
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:46 PM

 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:
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 12:46 PM

 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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:08 PM

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.
Posted by: cah77388

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:09 PM

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.
Posted by: ProdigalPianist

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:26 PM

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.
Posted by: TEHunter1

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:32 PM

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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:37 PM

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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:54 PM

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.
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 01:56 PM

 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.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 02:30 PM

You have dogs in your piano?
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 02:46 PM

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.
Posted by: werner

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 02:49 PM

Would draping a net over the lid work? You could stow the net when the piano is closed.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 02:55 PM

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.
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 04:34 PM

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.
Posted by: whippen boy

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 04:40 PM

 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.
Posted by: mikewu99

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 04:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:
 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. [/b]
But then you'd have to put in a lion to keep out the dog, an elephant to keep out the lion, a mouse to keep out the elephant, a cat to keep out the mouse and you're back where you started...
Posted by: Kugelis

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 05:36 PM

Thanks for the ideas! I too have four cats and have thought about this issue myself, while I wait for my Estonia to complete its leisurely sail across the Atlantic. At least one of the cats liked to sit on top of my old upright while I played and this is the one I suspect may have a keen interest in investigating the interior of a grand! Maybe a few "bad" (but not harmful) experiences may change his mind, if he tries anything!
Posted by: kluurs

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 05:48 PM

Get one of those Chinese screens that are several feet high...I've seen some that are done somewhat open in design - so as to not interefere with the music - but would interfere with a cat trying to get to the piano.

Posted by: ProdigalPianist

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 06:03 PM

The Shakey Can of Doom (SCoD) does not work on my dog. To the contrary - it just spurs her on to new heights of exhuberant naughtiness. And she loves to freak out the cats with it.

A cat's first introduction to the SCoD generally comes along with a liberal dosage of "No! NO! NO!!! MAMA SAID NO!!!", so the cats get the point.

Even a Bengal should figure out that it's a cease and desist order. ;o)

I have only told one person about the SCoD who could not get it to work, she told me. She was the "now, honeyyyyy, don't do that....no, no, no sweetie" type (so am I, generally, but not when I want to correct bad behavior). When I was visiting her house and the aforementioned "impervious" cat jumped up to get inside the box with the freshly delivered pizza, I very quietly picked up the SCoD and snuck up on him and launched a surprise attack...he vaulted several feet in the air and went several directions at once.

One strong correction is worth several hundred feeble attempts. =)
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 06:41 PM

Kugelis - you'll have to let me know what issues arise with your inquisitive one \:\)

Hmmm, a Chinese screen. Kluurs, that gives me a different train of ideas....or maybe one of those Middle Eastern ones with the wood filligree. There's a thought, if I could get it close enough to the piano body to make the logistics difficult for the cat.

The shakey can might be worth a try as well. It (or some variant thereof) has been discussed for years as a standard piece of training equipment, although I can see where a dog might be more pleased than perturbed (new toy! New toy!! Woof!).
Will let you know, Prodigal, if my Bengal 'gets it.' I don't think Bengals as a breed are particularly dense, I just think this one isn't the sharpest knife in the block. Big, sweet, handsome and dumb.

Think I'll do without the whole elephant in the piano thing, Mikewu99. Besides, where would I find a mouse? They seem to avoid my house for some reason. I've never paid attention to whether the elephants stay away.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 06:49 PM

I might have missed a response, but did you consider Mikhailoh's string cover suggestion? It doesn't stop the cat getting in, but limits the damage if it does.

I'd keep the cat out when playing, but that's not the answer you wanted, is it \:\) .

Depending on the size of your room, you may find you are not always playing with the lid up. Another thought.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 11:22 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by cah77388:
I own cats, and would be surprised to see them get into the piano when you are playing. [/b]
Well, this has actually happened to me on more than one occasion. Really gets me going, too. The cat, sadly, doesn't seem to care how mad I get. \:D
Posted by: brenda100

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/16/08 11:45 PM

What an educational thread! We are already deciding how many SCoD we need at our house. I think they will work rather well.

We have cats who are scared to go outside because I have done the extreme "NO, NO, NO, MOMMA SAYS NOOO!" at an earsplitting level just a few times. They must have good recall.

I was going to suggest a large piano shawl to cover the opening, but then I pictured the ones I have seen, and they usually have fringe. That's nothing but a cat magnet. So scrap that idea.

The SCoD seems the best option, and we will be making several. Ours may be afraid to go outside, but indoors they think they own the place.
Posted by: gabytu

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 01:27 AM

Well, I am desperate enough to try the can thing recommended by Mikhailoh. I have a stubborn, obstinate cat that really allows me, as a special favor, to feed and care for her. She doesn't get inside my grand, but does leap on top of it. In order to protect the finish, I have it covered with a --shudder, shudder, shawl. Hate the thing, but it does protect the lid from minute scratches. I rush to get it off the piano when anyone is coming, but really have not come up with anything better to keep her off the lid.
She is very obstinate, and independent and decided to let me know that she is in charge of where she chooses to sit. So, as soon as she found out I considered the piano "off limits," she immediately challenged me.
So,off to the store to get a soda can, and hopefully to establish that it is I who make the rules. Gaby tu
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 12:47 PM

\:\) In my house the lid cover will likely be a saddle blanket or serape - a shawl just WOULDN'T go with my pueblo/southwest/rustic decor. Of course neither does a shiny, black grand piano but that's beside the point. Of course I have an actual quilted piano cover that I bought - which arrived what looks like twelve weeks ahead of the piano - but I may only need that on the days the cleaning lady comes, to convince her to leave the piano alone (por favor, no limpia aqui'!). Unfortunately serapes also have fringe - the saddle blanket has a tassel at each corner but it isn't a complete row of cat-attracting fringe.

Currawong, no doubt I will often play with the lid down, as I said in earlier posts, but on occasion will need it up. The cat that is the most obstinate (similar to the one gabytu describes) is not the one who is all over the piano when I'm playing, but the one who IS right in the thick of it is a slow learner and seems to just tune me out most of the time unless I'm ripping up raw meat for him (or trying to play the piano).

All four of mine are indoors-only, but not for lack of trying to get out. Except the fat, arthritic, toofless calico, who does get backyard priviledges because she couldn't get over the wall if she wanted to (nor onto/into the piano). As a five-year veteran of volunteering at my local animal shelter, I'm too aware of how many cats become coyote food around here and I'm not willing to take that chance....although the mountain lions and coyotes need to eat, too. They can eat someone else's cat.
Posted by: flya750

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 01:19 PM

I don't think loud noises is a way to teach a cat anything.

I have two cats and each of them had two major butt spankings after each of them jumped up on the piano.

I have had the piano now for three years and the cats stay away from the piano. I have NEVER ever spanked my cats before...there was no need...but just a few times for the piano training.

Cats can be trained people... at least my cats can.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 04:23 PM

Spanking isn't something I would do to a cat (or dog). I'll hope that the shake can, a couple of really really strong hisses or total disinterest on their part keeps them out. In all likelihood the hiss will be most effective since it's what they naturally understand. In the meantime I'll continue thinking about my cage since clearly there isn't such a thing available on the market.
Posted by: JeanieA

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 06:11 PM

To control our dog's barking at the door (yes, I know this is about cats) we invested in a sonic bark collar. When worn by the animal and she barks, the collar emits a really irritating, high-pitched squeak Pickles just hates. She WILL NOT make a noise when she's wearing the collar.

My point: these collars come pretty small and lighweight: http://www.americas-pet-store.com/details/prodid/100.html
and are adjustable for sensitivity. Why not try applying this to the cat? If worn (by the cat, I know what you were all thinking!) while you practice, and it is set to the proper sensitivity, it might provide enough deterrent to keep kitty away and out of/off the new piano! And no carpentry needed. Just a thought.
Posted by: kluurs

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 06:43 PM

There you go - the invisible fence around the piano... ;\) Cat goes near the fence - zap!!
Posted by: JeanieA

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 06:45 PM

Well, we could just electrify the strings... ;\)

I didn't make the above post too clear: the sensitivity on the collar would need to be set so that the sound of the piano would set it off if kitty ventured too close.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 06:47 PM

I don't have cats or dogs (just fish and kids). I just wish someone would change the title of this thread. It messes with my mind every time I see it.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 07:09 PM

Wouldn't that make it into an electric piano, though? \:\) I've heard of the training collar for cats and there are some websites that tout the 'invisible fence' for cats, I found them when I was searching for 'cat enclosure' 'cat restraint' and other things, none of which, by the way, included a kitty straitjacket (which typing 'cat restraint' made me think of just now).

I started the thread....is there a way for me to change its title? I'll look at the "move topic" button and see what that does.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 08:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
I'm too aware of how many cats become coyote food around here and I'm not willing to take that chance....although the mountain lions and coyotes need to eat, too. They can eat someone else's cat. [/b]
We keep our cat indoors at night, but it's not to protect him from the wildlife, it's to protect the wildlife from him.
Posted by: DragonPianoPlayer

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/17/08 08:19 PM

Well, if Don Gilmore's tuning system takes off, maybe he can add in the circuitry for an "electonic fence." Tune the piano and chase the cats away all with one button!
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 06:40 AM

How about a pie tin full of marbles for a cat (or dog) who gets on top of a (closed) piano? Put a shawl on the piano, and a pie tin of marbles on top of the shawl. If the cat, in leaping up, dislodges the pie tin, the marbles will ATTACK him or her, and they will never try it again.
Posted by: brenda100

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 11:20 AM

Dear Rank,
What? You've never heard of the "Shaky Can of Doom"? \:D

Check out some prior posts in this thread for a humorous lesson on building cat training devices. My favorite is the SCoD. \:D
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 12:22 PM

"add in the circuitry for an "electonic fence." Tune the piano and chase the cats away all with one button!"

Now, there's efficiency at work.

Rank Piano Amateur - I'm not concerned about the cats getting on the closed piano. They'll be welcome up there if they really want to be there. It's getting inside the open piano that is the concern. I sure don't want to be chasing marbles all around the inside of my piano \:\) .....although there are worse things one might have to chase. Happily, I've seen no evidence of need for an exterminator in my house, but the thought gives me the creeps. Say, I've read that glue is a component of piano parts - I know that roaches like to eat glue. Anyone ever have trouble with cockroaches inside their piano? YUCK! We could start a new thread.....
Posted by: Roux The Day

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 07:52 PM

HHHhhhmmm... you don't yet know for sure whether the cat will actually want to get into the piano while you're playing it? A wait-and-see approach seems obvious here.

Then, if it does prove to be a temptation, wouldn't the easiest and most logical solution be to simply shut the cat in another room whilst you play?
Posted by: currawong

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 08:13 PM

So, to summarise:

[1] It seems like no-one knows of a device specifically designed for your purpose. That's not to say it doesn't exist, but it's looking unlikely.

[2] Will the cat want to get inside the piano? You know your cat \:\) . Try it and see.

[3] If it does, you can:
(a) try disciplinary/training measures (see SCoD)
(b) lock the cat out (or yourself in) (not favoured by you)
(c) try a string cover for the inside. This should protect the innards to some extent, but it may just seem like an invitation to the cat.
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 08:28 PM

Shutting the cats out of the room is not an option, so I think the device will have to be a custom job if cat seems determined to get in the piano. I can envision something that would actually look pretty nice. Who knows, maybe the niche market will allow me to retire young and spend all my time at home playing the piano.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 10:30 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
I started the thread....is there a way for me to change its title? I'll look at the "move topic" button and see what that does. [/b]
To edit a post - including the title of a thread you have started - click on the edit button (sheet of paper with pencil). That will allow you to change the title of the thread.

Regards,
Posted by: msks

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/18/08 10:46 PM

If you leave the lid up they will probably try to get on top of the sloping outside surface and slide down....are they declawed???? You will wish you had shut the lid...I have had cats and grand pianos for years.... best to keep the piano closed and keep a blanket or cover on the lid. Cats will barf on top of the blanket rather than your nice finish.... :p Also this cuts down on hair balls on the sound board. We once rebuilt a Steinway that had become a litter-box...don't even think about that job!!!
Posted by: Famous Pies

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/19/08 12:31 AM

Three pages and no one has yet submitted the foolproof 100% guaranteed way to prevent the cat from leaping into the piano:

Get Rid of the Cat \:D

+++++++++++++++++

If anyone asks I would be pleased to post the instructions for giving a pill to a cat.
Posted by: eromlignod

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/19/08 09:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by DragonPianoPlayer:
Well, if Don Gilmore's tuning system takes off, maybe he can add in the circuitry for an "electonic fence." Tune the piano and chase the cats away all with one button! [/b]
The voltage is way too low.

How about an ultrasonic CatScram?

http://www.odordestroyer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=CatRepellents

If you like, I can turbocharge it for you!

Don A. Gilmore
Kansas City
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/25/08 07:51 PM

Msks - yeah, they might try to climb but I won't "leave" the lid up, although I may want it up while playing. I really think they'd only try this if the top were covered with fabric or something. Mojo might try to jump up there, though. He's more of a jumper. My cats are not declawed, except for the one who came that way from the shelter. Once I learned that declawing is not a removal of claws but rather is actually an amputation of their toes, I could never do that. I'm not really too concerned about the aesthetics of the finish....but hairballs on the soundboard would NOT be cool. I doubt anyone would use the piano as a litterbox. For one thing, it will only be open when I am playing it. For another, none of the cats ever seems to consider using anything other than the litter boxes, of which there are three in the house. But the hairballs and cat barf....well it's a force to be reckoned with!
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/25/08 07:53 PM

Well, Famous Pies, getting rid of the cats is not an option. When you take an animal into your house, you are responsible for it for life (its natural life, not however quickly you can contrive to shorten it...). I was merely asking whether anyone knew of the device I had described. Apparently not.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/25/08 08:06 PM

I persist in suggesting a string cover. No hairballs on the soundboard!
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/25/08 08:22 PM

Oh, I didn't dismiss your suggestion, Currawong. It was also suggested by someone else, earlier. Still just fixated on my fancy cage, tho.....

Wouldn't a string cover muffle some of the sound?
Posted by: currawong

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/25/08 08:30 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SantaFe_Player:
Wouldn't a string cover muffle some of the sound? [/b]
There are lots of threads about these (I don't have one myself). Here's one .
Posted by: apple*

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/26/08 08:57 AM

i certainly wouldn't do anything until it was proved that you had a problem..

i used to gently suggest to my cat that he not get on my 'in the works' paintings. they do obey.
Posted by: annifirst

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/26/08 11:38 PM

JeanieA, please be careful with those sonic bark collars. My daughter used one on a particularly yappy dog. It seemed to help some, not enough, but the family was enjoying relative calm, when she discovered that the dog's throat beneath the collar had been literally burned raw. (Not from the collar being too tight.) The collar immediately came off, and the dog still yaps.
Posted by: LadyDpiano

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/27/08 10:57 AM

I like this idea: "Just teach them to play"
I wish I had thought of this earlier w/ my Siamese cat "Jazz", you know like Nora's cat on youtube...
http://youtube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM

All the best,
~ LadyD
Posted by: JeanieA

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/27/08 02:48 PM

Anni...thanks for the warning. That sounds more like a shock collar burn than a sonic one though. The shock collar gives the animal a static shock when it barks; the sonic only emits this really annoying beep. I couldn't stand the idea of actually hurting one of my babies on purpose, no matter how annoying they can be!

However, the collar usually hangs around the doorknob on the front door; it beeps when either dog barks at the door...two for the price of one!
Posted by: whippen boy

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/27/08 04:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by annifirst:
My daughter used one on a particularly yappy dog. It seemed to help some, not enough, but the family was enjoying relative calm, when she discovered that the dog's throat beneath the collar had been literally burned raw. (Not from the collar being too tight.) The collar immediately came off, and the dog still yaps.
That made me think of the Simpson's episode where the whole family was given shock collars for therapy - they began shocking each other to the point that there was a power outage in the town.

Posted by: JDelmore

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/27/08 04:39 PM

Before I took up pianos, I was a chemist (well...I guess I still am...). Got an email from a technician colleague not too long ago with a chemistry question. A cat had gotten "hung up" in a fairly new Baldwin grand...with the inevitable terror-induced loss of bodily functions. Eeeeewwwwww!! Sure was glad it was him and not me...green strings, 'goo' all over the soundboard. Call HazMat...
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/30/08 12:08 PM

Yikes, JDelmore! That's all I can say about THAT. Love the Simpsons cartoon, whippen boy. I think I've seen that episode.

Having been somewhat involved in dog training for awhile, I've explored the psychology of the bark collars. Those that emit the shock apparently work on some sort of STA/LTA ratio and a lot of dogs figure this out. If it's quiet for awhile and the dog starts barking, he gets a shock. But if he keeps on barking, the LTA goes up enough that the device does not trigger....so he can keep barking with impunity, without consequences. It has amazed me with some of them that they don't just end up giving themselves laryngitis but so far I've never seen that. If they did, the problem would be self-correcting.
Posted by: kenny

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/30/08 12:36 PM

1. Place cat in piano
2. Close lid
3. Play Liszt's Crash Bang Boom Sonata Opus 112154 at full volume
4. Cat problem solved


Calm down, just kidding. :p
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 06/30/08 05:14 PM

Kenny -

It might work, but it might also result in the problem described by JDelmore.....not desirable....

Personally I've seen far fewer cats eliminate inappropriately due to sudden stresses than dogs, but....ewwwwwww.....
Posted by: Digitus

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 06:33 AM

I have a suggestion: How about cutting some large flattened cardboard cartons to fit over the plate, and then criss-cross the top-side with packing tape sticky-side up. You could also tape a couple of SCoDs onto the cardboard to accentuate the 'yuck' factor of jumping up onto the sticky tape.

If the disincentive is strong enough then you could have relative peace for a while before needing to repeat the negative reinforcement.

Or is your Bengal truly not too bright? \:D
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 12:52 PM

Hi, Digitus. Oh, he is truly a dim bulb, no doubt about that. But the double-sided sticky tape on the cardboard (w/ possible SCoD) just might be the key. Once he develops an aversion to something he seldom gives it a second chance, so it might not occur to him that the tape/can/cardboard could ever NOT be in the piano once he enounters it. Far more effective than any ideas of squirting the cat. Bengals happen to like water, and they are quite likely to climb in to the shower with you, so squirting him is no deterrent, although it works on the other three \:\)
Posted by: Digitus

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 01:41 PM

If you do try my suggestion please let us know how it went. I'm hoping that it will work with my two 'daughters', who are unfortunately pretty bright. One is a Singapura-like cat, the other is a calico. They know that when daddy's not around that they can do whatever they please. \:\(
Posted by: Genaa

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 01:55 PM

Apparently lion-poo can be used as an effective deterrent to prevent cats using certain areas for their own toilet arrangements.... works on theory that cats realise that a REALLY big cat lives somewhere thereabouts so they stay well clear.... you can get it from the zoo apparently or from the 'interweb' - might work if you place some 'interesting dung sculptures' under your piano...

Digitus - you seem to have done remarkably well with your two cats if they no longer think they can do whatever they please irrespective of whether you are around or not - that is about as accommodating as cats get I find! I have to give up sitting in 'their' chairs, feed them on time, fuss them but only on demand etc.... all very taxing - it's why I play the piano - to relax hehe ;\)
Posted by: Digitus

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 02:07 PM

Well, I've had to give up one very comfortable chair in my home office. :p Other than that my two girls are very good natured and not particularly demanding. Even bath time is not a major issue! \:D
Posted by: SantaFe_Player

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 04:58 PM

Ah. Mine dictate time to get up (between 4 and 430 a.m. on weekdays but no prayer of pushing it much later on the weekend!), and they expect their meals to be served at the regular times, although they will let me get the coffee going first so I don't sleepily mistakenly give them, say, turnips instead of ground bunny. I have finally convinced Mojo that the 'other' end of the piano bench is better to sit on than my lap while I'm playing, but every now and then he feels compelled to get up, walk along the keyboard (slowly, back and forth - I think he likes making the sound) then go sit on top of the piano. Mind you this is still the spinet, so getting INSIDE it isn't a concern and won't be until the grand arrives (which is starting to look like Christmas, she says pessimistically). But my cats - all four of them - will yield a chair if I want to sit in it. Depending on whom I have displaced, I will either get a nose-in-the-air miffed retreat or I will have a cat in the lap, except they know not to try this in a dining chair when I or anyone else sit at the dining table with food in view.
Posted by: kenny

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 08:28 PM

Make a cardboard cutout the same shape as the top of your piano.

Cover it with double-stick tape.

The first time the cat jumps up there will be the last.
Posted by: bkkmd

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/02/08 11:50 PM

When I had a cat a few years ago, I use squeeze bottle to train my cat. He used to jump on dining table often when I eat so I keep a squeeze bottle and spray his face a little bit every time he jumped on the table. If I caught him on the table and he jumped off before I sprayed him, I would put him back on the table and spray him anyhow. After 3-4 days, all I needed was that squeeze bottle on the table and he never got on that dining table again. Tough love is the way to go \:\) btw, I tried sticky tape, can with coins etc etc on the table but that did not work for my Siamese.
Posted by: G String

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/03/08 08:08 AM

Maybe someone more clever than I could design and build a miniature, indoor, under-the-carpet version of the outdoor underground electric-fence-and-collar system that some people have for their dogs.
Posted by: cs_carver

Re: Deeper probing on cats - 07/03/08 08:47 AM

Bird netting? The kind you cover cherry trees with?

I saw someone mentioned "netting" a few posts back, but it was dismissed.

I live near the Carnivore Preservation Trust. They keep their cats in with LOOSE chain link fence--they believe (and have some evidence) that cats do not like to climb wobbly supports. My own experience with cats and screen doors provides some support for this, although I trust their experience with tigers more.

Bird netting isn't too expensive. Suspect that a cat who jumped into it, and then became thoroughly entangled, just might think twice about trying that humiliation a second time. Worst comes to worst, you could cut the cat out of the netting with no major loss, and still have enough netting left to use again. Don't think it would interfere with the sound at all.

Depending on where you live, the agricultural supply or hardware stores may sell a similar product as deer netting. It's a fine plastic 1"x1" mesh, about 7' tall, and maybe 25' long. Cuts with ordinary scissors.

Good luck.