How do we keep our HDTV safe from our cat?
July 22, 2012 4:44 PM   Subscribe

We are ready to buy an HDTV. We need help figuring out how to anchor it -- not to the wall, but down to the shelf where it will live.

We have built-in bookshelves with a special nook for a TV. The TV will sit on a slider (it pulls out and rotates, I can't think of a better term for it, sorry). We want to anchor it down so that our cat, who enjoys testing gravity and is stronger than he looks, isn't able to get behind it and knock it off.

I know there are kits to anchor flat screens to the wall, but I've googled around a bit and haven't found anything that tells me if there are kits to anchor these puppies down. Are there? Can you give me some suggested search terms to use to find out about them?

Alternatively, do you have any tips, tricks, or hacks that will help keep our TV safe from our bloody-minded pet?

I'll put up a pic of the cat as soon as I can find one. In the meantime, help?
posted by That's Numberwang! to Technology (8 answers total)
Look for "earthquake straps". I saw them at Fry's when we were buying our first TV in California. We have not, shamefully, bought any for that base-standing TV yet, but it's on the list. There were various flavors for anchoring to walls and flat surfaces (I found more of the latter in the monitor section, actually).
posted by Lyn Never at 4:51 PM on July 22, 2012

Here is the cat in question: obligatory cat picture
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:52 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mine came with a very heavy, wide metal base that would be very hard to tip over. I think it may have also had holes in it to screw down, but I didn’t use it so I’m not sure.
posted by bongo_x at 4:54 PM on July 22, 2012

I will confirm what bongo_x says about there being holes in the base for screwing down to a flat surface. Our 40-some inch Vizio has them, at least.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:54 PM on July 22, 2012

FWIW, HDTV's, while lighter than ol' fashioned tube TV's, are fairly heavy. We have a 42" HDTV and it's very unlikely a cat could ever knock it over (we have 2 furry beasts)'s on a super heavy media console, so getting shaken from below is not possible...your bookshelf situation might be more precarious. My concern is that the center of gravity of your bookshelf might be thrown off when you have your TV shelf extended, which could cause the whole thing to fall over. Probably depends on what size TV you will be getting.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:14 PM on July 22, 2012

What purity control said about the bookshelf losing its center of gravity. You might need wall straps to keep the bookshelf from falling over when the shelf is fully extended.

Your cat would probably need to put on 30 pounds and get a good running start to knock over the TV itself. The cat would also need to hit it the top with the force to get it to topple. My cats like knocking things down too, but they've not had any success with the TV. A human might knock it over if they fell toward the TV when it is extended. I did that once at a hotel but the TV was bolted to the shelf.

My TV only wiggled a little (something that freaked the cats out more than the shaking bed) during the Easter 2010 Mexicali earthquake.
posted by birdherder at 7:27 PM on July 22, 2012

Our cat is a mad genius who knows how to break, knock over, and/or ruin many, many things. We're trying to plan for a worst-case scenario. I should also say that we live where the possibility of earthquakes is very real, so this is really just about preventing a TV from falling over and hurting someone. I just framed it in terms of the cat because, you know. Kitties!

The shelves are built into the wall and the slider shelf sits on top of a cupboard at the base of the built-ins, so tipping over the shelves themselves is unlikely (but alarming to contemplate, nevertheless).

The biggest TV our space will hold is 32".
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:30 PM on July 22, 2012

My Sony came with earthquake straps. They work and are simple to install. It's a pair of nylon straps, comes with screws that match the wall-mount screws on the back of the TV. Screw one end to the back of the TV, screws the other end to the bookcase/bookshelf/wall/cat.

If your TV doesn't come with them, it's basically this thing.
posted by Ookseer at 7:46 PM on July 22, 2012

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