Where to place your violin with cats around

June 9, 2009 at 03:53 PM ·

This may be a stupid question, but I'd still like to know where most of you keep your violin .. when you have cats in the house.

I'm told to leave the violin out instead in the case, but I can find no where safe to place the violin. My violin is currently placed inside the case without closing the top, and is placed on top of a bookshelf which is about my chest high.

Although I close the door every time I leave the room, however, there are still times when I'm in the room but doing something else, and the cats just jump right on top of my violin... (god that hurts). The room where I keep my violin is my study, and where I usually practice violin. The other safe place I can think of is the closet... but I don't think it's any better then in the case.

What I can think of is hang my violin on the wall, does anyone do that? Is it a good thing to do? Anything I should take a note of? I don't want to hurt the back of my violin by placing it against the wall...Although it's not an expensive violin, but still I spend some money on it...

Replies (47)

June 9, 2009 at 04:07 PM ·

Keep it in the room with the pit bull.

June 9, 2009 at 04:09 PM ·


I hang mine on the wall.  Here's what I use.  I love it.  "String swing."


June 9, 2009 at 04:10 PM ·

one thing though..... you'd have to consider how low the bow would be.  My bow is about 3-4 feet off the floor. 

June 9, 2009 at 04:34 PM ·

suspending the instrument's weight by the pegs...VERY UNWISE

June 9, 2009 at 04:54 PM ·

Maybe I'm confused - why not keep the instrument in the case? i.e. closed. What's wrong with that? I have two cats at home and the violin stays in the closed case unless it's in my hands.



June 9, 2009 at 05:05 PM ·

Put it on the other side of what ever door the cat wants to go out at the time. 

June 9, 2009 at 05:10 PM ·

Be mindfull about a cat sharpening it's claws on the violin's f holes or to mark it as territory or you'll have a Kittenwald for shure!!!!!!

June 9, 2009 at 05:55 PM ·

I've always been told that the safest place for my violin (when it's not being played) is inside the case, with the lid closed.

June 9, 2009 at 07:24 PM ·

I took a look and the string swing actually supports the violin from the curve in the neck, not the pegs.  I've never had a problem.

June 9, 2009 at 07:36 PM ·

Royce - there are probably worse ways for a male cat to mark your violin as part of his territory.

June 9, 2009 at 08:42 PM ·

Maybe there are some kind of cat-repelent you can use so the cats don't come into your study? 

Closing the door while making sure they are not in your study is another option.

June 9, 2009 at 08:46 PM ·

Please don't do gut strings with them because they annoy you (too cute!).  There must be a way. Can't you put it in a closed closet?

Good luck!


June 9, 2009 at 10:59 PM ·

My violin teacher has lots of gorgeous cats and his method seems very simple and workable - in that they aren't allowed in his music room while his violin is left unattended out of the case.  It does seem that the cats know they are not supposed to be in that room too.

You might also clip their claws as short as is possible to minimize the risk of scratching.

June 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM ·

So will someone answer as to why NOT to keep it IN the case?

Thank you :)

June 9, 2009 at 11:55 PM ·

+1 Sandy on the String Swing, and anging from the curve of the neck (not the pegs).


Why not keep it in the case?

Well, if like today I'm off and on practicing today most of the day, it is FAR more convenient to hang my violin on a string-swing style contraption than completely put  my violin away for 10-20 minutes-only to get it right back out again after I'm done listening to a recording of myself.


I don't trust my feline for 30 seconds with my violin on a flat surface....never had an incident-but now is not the time to start.

June 10, 2009 at 12:40 AM ·

I think everyone is missing the obvious.

When I leave my violin out of the case, I put the cat in the case, just to be safe.

June 10, 2009 at 01:18 AM ·

Well Roland,

There are three problems with this idea:

1) Getting the cat into the case

2) Getting the cat out of the case

3) Do you really expect the folks at the Local Violin Store to believe you when you walk in and ask them for help dealing with your cases' hairball?

June 10, 2009 at 01:28 AM ·


a cat shaped case?



June 10, 2009 at 02:00 AM ·

Cats will be cats. You, on the other hand, have a much greater capacity to understand actions versus consequences.

Put the violin in the case. I don't think it takes more than about 10 seconds. If you think it takes longer, time it, and get back to us. The cats may initially act displeased, but they'll get over it, and be OK in the long run. :-)  I have three cats.

See the "should you hang your violin on a music stand" thread.

June 10, 2009 at 02:38 AM ·

Thanks for the kind reply. I like the "cats in the case" idea....they actually once jumped inside my case (while I'm playing violin), and just sit there stare (laugh?) at me.

I'm told not to keep (constantly) violin in case (lid close) becuase of the humidity. (I live in Taiwan, it's humid...). I'm told that it's better left out in the room with the natural air.

I don't leave my violin unattended with cats inside the room, but the problem is they're always one step faster then me, sometimes a turn of a head or stare at the computer screen for one minute... there they are on top of my violin. (Yes I do spank them for being naughty, they never learn.)

Besides, it gets really hot if I don't leave the door open, and they like to sit outside the door screaming to get in if I don't let them.

I've seen someone hang the violin on the wall by a string around the scroll (not peg), anyone seen that before?

June 10, 2009 at 04:49 AM ·

Keep it in it's case with the lid closed whenever it's not in your hands.  It takes just a few seconds to do so...

If humidity is a problem you can put dessication packs in (they come with any crunchy food in humid regions.  I don't know if you have these in Taiwan but I take them from packs of sea weed or rice crackers).  Also, I think in Taiwan they make special cases for long term storage with a small fan attached for circulation (anyway, I've heard of the thing)

The wall hangers don't keep the violin on the pegs, they hold it by the base of the pegbox instead, which is safe unless you have a badly grafted on pegbox...Most of them also have bow holders, but I'm SURE that cats can get to a violin on one of those things. 


Also hitting your pets (or any other punishment like unpleasant smells/noises) really has no positive effect unless you can do it as soon as your pet does something wrong or else they won't understand what they're being punished for.  If you hit them later on you're just being cruel to them. 

one option is to put an alarm on top of your (closed) violin case.  They make pet alarms that make a high pitched wail if they're moved even slightly and you can probably use them to train your cats that a certain table is off limits.  They're also great because you can have them set even if you're not in the room and they learn that the table is off limits at *all* times. 

June 10, 2009 at 05:50 AM ·

I have no problem getting the cat into the case; I simply tell it to stay away from the case.
I have no problem getting it out; I simply ask someone else to open the case; so far, none of the suits have gone to court.
The hairball thing is a bit strange, I must admit. however more important is the fact that rosin seems to increase the effectiveness of the cat's claws... my spare bow will never be the same.

June 10, 2009 at 11:23 AM ·

Tom Holzman- Too Much!!! Hahahahahaah! X^D

June 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM ·

ha, i've got the solution,,,

get a cage for cat transport.  but, put your violin inside.  this way, it is protected and it is airy!  :)

i think hanging the violin may be a bad idea esp if the cat recognizes the violin.  it is a way to taunt the cat,,,can you jump up and reach me, can you, huh?

June 10, 2009 at 12:19 PM ·

Very very curious - what is the link between cats and fiddles - or cats' obsession with fiddles - remember the old rhyme -  the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon?

June 10, 2009 at 01:13 PM ·


My solution? My practice room has this old roll top desk.  I keep my violin there on a cushy velvet pillow.  With the top rolled down when I'm not using it , it has lots of open space at the back for good air circulation, but not enough space for my cat to get to it, or even care.  I guess out of sight out of mind.  When I'm playing its not an issue, she won't come anywhere near the room.  Funny, my playing has that same effect on humans .

As to putting it back in the case, that's fine if you're done for the time being, but its kind of a pain to keep taking the shoulder rest off and putting it back on if you're only gone for a short break.  Besides, I like to keep my violin out and ready, so I can just pick it up and play.  I get a lot more practice time in that way. 

My teacher has 3 cats.  Usually, one or another of them is in my lap during the lesson, the other two are usually napping in my case.

June 10, 2009 at 03:29 PM ·

I like Al's cat carrier idea. It's not quite as secure as Stevens roll-top desk (the carrier could get knocked around) , but you wouldn't even need to take the shoulder rest off. And there is beauty in the irony which just can't be denied. :-)

Or you could get someone's throwaway case, and drill a bunch of small holes in it, too small for a cat's paw to fit through. Make sure the fiddle isn't inside when you start drilling....... ;-)

June 10, 2009 at 03:39 PM ·

get an extra large cat carrier...move in with violin...leave cat outside looking in...now that will be one confused cat.. Also leave literature around for the cat to read on the construction of Pirastro Eudoxa and Oliv strings. The cat may choose to move out altogether.

June 10, 2009 at 03:37 PM ·


June 10, 2009 at 04:05 PM ·

I hang my violin on the wall in my music room.  I purchased kit for just this purpose.  My three cats will pad into the room, stare at my violin way out of their reach, and slink away.  I have had this setup for quite a while with absolutely no harm coming to my violin.  I have woken up some mornings to find things (like my case, rosin, etc.) all moved around in my music room during the night, but my violin has always remained safe mounted on its holder on the wall.

--Ann Marie

June 10, 2009 at 04:12 PM ·

June 10, 2009 at 07:21 PM ·


Jealous of your teacher's lap cats! I would love for my cats to enjoy curling up on my lap. They do, but very seldom.

June 10, 2009 at 10:55 PM ·


my cat is enraged by the violin.  If anthropomosrphism has any validity at all then the look on his face when I open the case is worthy of Charles Manson.

My friend Daniel Forro`s dog on the other hand,  actually sleeps on my feet when we play together.



June 11, 2009 at 04:45 AM ·

My three very loving cats are no where in sight when I play the violin, even if they were just begging for food or attention a minute ago, they'd be gone instantly the violin case is open.  My dog on the other hand always naps next to me when I play.  I always say dog is smarter.

I always put my violin in the case and close it if not in my hand.

Teabags can keep things dry for awhile too.

June 11, 2009 at 12:26 AM ·

Our cats pay no attention to my violin at all. They act as if it isn't there. My violin, however, is apparently deeply insulted by being ignored by the cats, and always purposely plays out of tune, no matter where I place my fingers on the fingerboard. I think I need to get a less oppositional violin.

June 11, 2009 at 06:28 AM ·

I raised a kitten some years ago. It used to play around in the room when I was playing around on the fingerboard, but when I played some high notes I always became aware of something furry climbing up my legs. The little thing seemed to be hypnotized by high frequencies. Funny feeling, those very sharp claws coming through my blue jeans... I never could finish my piece beyond the sections in high positions and had to release the kitten from my trousers and put the thing outside.

Never found out if it liked or hated the high notes. Since the climbing tour was always cancelled, I don't know if my violin was in danger.

June 11, 2009 at 03:18 PM ·

My family supports a managed cat colony of 23 on our farm, currently though there is a momma cat and three kittens residing in the house, when the kittens are out and about I always put my violin back in the case and close the lid, but when there aren't curious kittens around, i find the cats leave my violin well enough alone, they do like to sleep in the case if my violin isnt there though so I end up vacumming my case out regularly... I really think that if you are worried that you cats will harm your violin you should close the lid, you can stick the bow back in the spinner and take off the shoulder rest, you dont have to do the  full put away where you wipe it off and put the violin in the bag and loosen the bow until you're done for the day.


June 11, 2009 at 03:49 PM ·

"(Most likely a harmonically generated mouse being cats can hear up to 100,000 cycles.  Maybe a different rosin would help ? )"

I guess I shouldn't have been practising scales in the 27st position...

June 13, 2009 at 08:53 PM ·

Hitting a cat for a misdeed is not effective.  Saying "NO" is also not effective, at least with my two cats.  Squirt bottles filled with water are very effective.  A zap with the water, coupled with a loud "NO" does the trick.  It also works for naughty cats clawing the furniture, or naughty cats swinging from the drapes like Tarzan...


June 14, 2009 at 02:51 AM ·

or have a dog (can be as little as a Chinese Crested) guarding next to your violin.

June 16, 2009 at 08:42 AM ·

the first advice is good and sound. i do keep my violin in the same room with my pit bull. there have been no accidents :-) and my dog is happily entertained.

June 16, 2009 at 11:52 AM ·

Pfft I'm sure a cat could take a dog on anyday. The tables have been turning =]

June 16, 2009 at 03:39 PM ·

I guess I need to get a pit bull. I have two dogs, one an 80+ pound shepherd mix; the cat used her as a springboard, much to her dismay...
With an acrobatic cat, I'm not sure even a wall hanger would be a safe place..... maybe I need to velcro the dog's back? That would prevent any significant lift when the cat is trying to jump to higher places?

June 17, 2009 at 01:33 AM ·

 Personally I'd do a wall hanger for short periods.  Taking the shoulder rest off and on in a warm, humid environment multiple times can mar the finish depending on how soft it is.  A few minutes on a hanger shouldn't harm the instrument, esp if it is hanging from the peg-box vs. pegs.  The cat carrier for the violin also seems like a good solution, since you probably already have one!

June 25, 2009 at 09:16 AM ·

I think everyone is missing the obvious.

When I leave my violin out of the case, I put the cat in the case, just to be safe.

Practicing freely would then be a problem.

How would you know whether;

(a) the cat is still in there?

(ii) it is still alive?

Over to Schrodinger.......




June 26, 2009 at 02:57 PM ·


The answer is obvious, the cat is both in and out of the case until you look.

The real question is ... if a man plays his violin in the forest, and there's no one there to hear him, does he still sound like a cat locked in a case?

June 26, 2009 at 07:32 PM ·

there are lots and lots of replies to this question, eh?

1. dump the cat! (outside, maybe?)

2. keep your violin in your case, what does it take to get it back out? 2 minutes maybe?

3. close the door to the room where your violin is held

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