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Old 06-11-18, 07:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cats and Vivs

Anyone have any ideas on how to keep cats off the tops of vivs? My cat broke through the screen top on my BPs viv today. The snake is fine, she didn't even regurg the mouse she ate last night, and the cat is fine too. And we repaired the screen top with no problem. I keep the screen top covered with plastic to maintain humidity but she broke the plastic before she went through the screen.


Please don't tell me to get her into a PVC cage (it's on my someday list but I don't have the space right now) and please don't make this another torturous tanks v. plastic v. custom campaign.


I'm looking for practical suggestions on how to keep a really stupid cat off the screen top.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

If you catch the cat on the screen top, you can spray it with water. We did it when we found one of our
cats on my sister's mouse cage.
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Old 06-12-18, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Keep the enclosure where the cat can't get to it.
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Old 06-12-18, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Keep the enclosure where the cat can't get to it.

Easier said than done, at least at my house. I did the best I could to make access difficult & worked to train the cats to stay off. Even so, we found a cat up there on occasion. Though the cats couldn't get into the tank, they could stress the snake by acting like their predatory selves.



Phenyx, my ultimate solution was to get a pvc cage with a solid top. I know that type of cage is pricey & not feasible for some, but for me it was the best solution. However, before I was able to buy one I had to find a way to keep my snake safe in his tank. Though the tank had a sliding screen like that seemed pretty sturdy, I opted to put a Zilla Fresh Air screen on the top as well. I opted for the type that is one solid piece of screening. It has no door & no hinge, both of which appeared to make the screen weaker overall. It was the sturdiest screen I could find. The way the screen is constructed, the walls of the tank actually help support the screen material itself, not just a frame the screen is in. Am not saying it is totally cat proof, but it's as close as I could get at the time.
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Old 06-12-18, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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Keep the enclosure where the cat can't get to it.

My house has an open concept floor plan. My entire downstairs is essentially 1 big room. All the bedrooms upstairs are in use.
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Old 06-12-18, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
Phenyx, my ultimate solution was to get a pvc cage with a solid top. I know that type of cage is pricey & not feasible for some, but for me it was the best solution.

Believe me, I wish I could, but they're all 24" deep. I've got an 18" deep enclosure on top of a shelf that's setting on top of a 14" deep cabinet right now (which is what she's in), but I have no furniture on which I can set a 24" deep viv with any stability.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
However, before I was able to buy one I had to find a way to keep my snake safe in his tank. Though the tank had a sliding screen like that seemed pretty sturdy, I opted to put a Zilla Fresh Air screen on the top as well. I opted for the type that is one solid piece of screening. It has no door & no hinge, both of which appeared to make the screen weaker overall.

I've got a Zoo Med tank with a 2 piece screen top. The cat hasn't torn the screen, just popped it out from under the spline around the edges. It's an easy fix, just annoying. I know the Zilla Screen's you're talking about though - it wouldn't necessarily keep the cat off, but they look to be sturdy enough to keep the cat from falling in the viv. I'll look into it next time at the store.



Thanks!
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Old 06-13-18, 03:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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... - it wouldn't necessarily keep the cat off, but they look to be sturdy enough to keep the cat from falling in the viv. I'll look into it next time at the store.

Yeah, that worry is the reason I added the second screen. Unfortunately & embarrassingly, I can attest to it's ability to hold the weight of a large cat. And that's not a fact of which I'm proud. Actually training the big cat to stay off was the easy part. It's the little cat who is such a pain in the @$$. Cats are so frustrating sometimes.
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Old 06-13-18, 03:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

If it wouldn't interfere with any lights or anything you might have on top you may want to try laying down one of those sticky or textured mats they sell to keep cats off countertops.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Put a heavy duty 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth top. You cat will not be able to break through that. You can get the materials at any big box store or hardware store.
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Old 06-14-18, 03:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Not trying to be a jerk here, but the issue isn't going to resolve itself. Moving the enclosure seems to be the only logical solution.
Whether the cat is falling into the enclosure (ugggh!!) or just sitting on top of it, I'm sure it's not doing the snake any favors.
I'm sure a large, predatory mammal constantly around (with 3 cats/4 dogs) and sometimes on top of the enclosure it must stress the snake constantly.
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Old 06-18-18, 02:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Bookshelf with adjustable shelves? That way you can keep the snake on one shelf, and the next shelf up can be just low enough to allow space for whatever fixtures you like to keep on top of the tank, but certainly not enough space for a cat to jump up!

And hey, you'll get all kinds of new shelf space too!

Joke Response: buy a really expensive cat bed and put it right on top of the snake's viv. Your cats will *never* approach the tank again.
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Old 06-18-18, 06:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Predators sometimes getting on top of the cage is the reason I switched to front opening cages with solid tops. It was much easier to find a cat-proof spot to place the cage if I was only trying to keep them from getting to the front.

Phenyx, how handy are you at building. Could you make a removable lid out of something like wood or plastic? Am not sure how to describe my idea, but it would basically be a platform that rests on top of the cage. It would have three walls, like rear & 2 sides. The front could be open for ventilation. That way the cats not only couldn't fall through but couldn't see through it either. Just as important, your snake wouldn't see the predators on top.

ETA: My idea was an offshoot Noh's cat bed suggestion. It would basically be an elevated cat bed.
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Old 06-18-18, 08:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

Quote:
Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
Predators sometimes getting on top of the cage is the reason I switched to front opening cages with solid tops. It was much easier to find a cat-proof spot to place the cage if I was only trying to keep them from getting to the front.

Phenyx, how handy are you at building. Could you make a removable lid out of something like wood or plastic? Am not sure how to describe my idea, but it would basically be a platform that rests on top of the cage. It would have three walls, like rear & 2 sides. The front could be open for ventilation. That way the cats not only couldn't fall through but couldn't see through it either. Just as important, your snake wouldn't see the predators on top.

ETA: My idea was an offshoot Noh's cat bed suggestion. It would basically be an elevated cat bed.

Snakes would have been extinct long ago if they only sensed predators through sense of sight.
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Old 06-18-18, 08:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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Joke Response: buy a really expensive cat bed and put it right on top of the snake's viv. Your cats will *never* approach the tank again.
Ha! That was good I got a good chuckle out of that.
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Old 06-18-18, 08:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Cats and Vivs

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Snakes would have been extinct long ago if they only sensed predators through sense of sight.

True, but isn't it better than nothing? Also, if cats can't see into the cage from above they are less likely to get up there.


A series of these smaller measures can add up to making a snake's life a lot better.
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