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I have a friend with several cats, one of which destroyed the material of their bike tires and is presumed to enjoy doing so.. having acquired new tires and tubes (but not yet put them on), how can we prevent the cat from chewing/scratching the new pair?

We had thought

  • bag the tires (no good; likely too thin and they love bags too)
  • move the bike outside (no, it will definitely be stolen)
  • spray the tires with lime juice, vinegar, etc. which the cat will find unpleasant (this at least works for ferrets which love chewing cables)
  • decoy tires (see: cats on keyboards)
  • some sort of removable, thick rubber coating (perhaps a second, larger pair of tires cut to fit over mounting)
  • hard case for bike (probably too expensive)

Other details

  • bike is a Schwinn road bike without fenders
  • no garage is available and it is impractical to store at my place
  • the cats are otherwise delightful
  • bike will be left unattended indoors for long periods of time (weekends/workday..)
  • open to trading in the bike and getting something heftier if that's the only solution

Likely also suitable for Pets StackExchange, but I doubt this is an unheard-of problem in this community

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    What about suspending them from the ceiling or a wall, the bikes obviously! ;-) – Carel Jun 29 at 17:03
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    I’m voting to close this question because it fundamentally about stopping cats damaging things. The fact that the damaged things are bike tires is incidental. Should be migrated to pets.se. – Argenti Apparatus Jun 29 at 17:04
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    @juhist Yes, any bike left unattended will be stolen or vandalized beyond use – ti7 Jun 29 at 17:57
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    @DanielRHicks while now this is really a topic more suitable for the pets SE, I believe vets and owners in the US are increasingly accepting that declawing is not best practice, as it's very traumatic for cats. There are almost surely behavioral solutions available for the OP anyway. – Weiwen Ng Jun 29 at 20:14
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    A pets-answer would be to give the cats a scratching post. – Criggie Jun 30 at 11:59
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Have you thought about a bike cover or bicycle wheel covers ?

This seems the most logical form of protection for little outlay, the most effective method would be to move the bike out of reach of the cats but if that’s not possible then a cover of some sort may suffice.

Bike Cover

If the cover isn’t suitable or the cats destroy it, you could easily make a bike stand from some 6mm mdf, make it wide enough to stand the bike in but tall enough to cover the wheels

If I was on a PC i would draw up a quick image / diagram of a simple stand.

If you have hydraulic brakes do not stand your bike upside down.

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    The cats will shred that in an instant. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 30 at 12:04
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    I'm getting a very Madonna vibe from the middle one ! – Criggie Jun 30 at 21:21
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I think your idea "some sort of removable, thick rubber coating (perhaps a second, larger pair of tires cut to fit over mounting)" would probably work. I would store the bike upside down and use old mountain bike tires. If that fails, perhaps try inexpensive hard plastic tubing used for underground sprinkler systems, about 1.5 inch diameter. With luck the hardware store will split it for you lengthwise with tin shears.

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Do the cats do it while people are around? Then a spray bottle of water can be used to deter them at the instant they start. Yes, its slightly mean to the cats, but once they learn then the problem goes away.

Or store the bikes in a room with a closed door, keep the door closed.

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    Unfortunately there's no cat-free room, but I'll find out if it's to be expected while present! Most pets do seem to understand being punished for wrongdoing and will behave in such a regard unless agitated (where some cleverly misbehave for attention!), though a hands-off approach where some seemingly input-less fate befalls them (such as a surface being covered in tape aluminum foil or loose strips of tape) seems to build memory and response better than active punishment (likely something about assigning blame to a figure or the environment). – ti7 Jun 29 at 21:23

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