View Full Version : How do you keep your cat from climbing the window screens?

10-15-2001, 09:13 PM
Cooler weather and I want to open my windows, but can only open them a couple inches because I'm afraid one or both of my cats will jump on and climb the screen in attempt to get at the birds. I fear the screen would give way and my cat(s) would fall out. (I'm in a second-floor apartment.) The windows slide open horizontally, exposing the screen from top to bottom. How do you deal with this? I doubt if you'd be able to change the instinctive hunting behavior, so I wondering what I can do to the window or screen to keep them off it.

10-15-2001, 09:25 PM
Declaw them.

10-15-2001, 09:29 PM
Cover each paw in saran wrap.

Or: Can the cats still get on the screen if you open the windows from the top??

10-15-2001, 09:31 PM
.22 shell works fine.

Sorry about that but I have spent a good deal of time today repairing such damage. Rebuilt one screen with a micro-switch wired to a buzzer, if it works I'll let you know.

Other ideas that might work. Over lay the inside with a much heaver screen. I'm using 1/4" hardware cloth. It's a bit ugly but if it keeps kitty inside she'll (my Sister) put up with it.

10-15-2001, 09:44 PM
Spritz a little eucalyptus oil on the screens a couple of times a day until the kitties learn to stay away.

scampering gremlin
10-15-2001, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by rastahomie
Declaw them.

That's a solution if you vow a solemn oath never to let your cats outdoors for the rest of their lives, or if you really wouldn't care if they got pummeled and starved.

Cats are intelligent and trainable. To keep yours off the window screen, first spray the screen with orange degreaser. It's nontoxic and leaves an odor that humans like and felines detest. Reapply every other day as needed.

Then fill a squirt bottle with water. Douse a misbehaving kitty while speaking a command such as No! or Down! If the squirt bottle isn't handy, clap your hands while giving the command.

Be consistent and that should solve your problem. In rare cases you might need to trim kitty's claws for a few weeks. Claw clippers are available in any pet store.

Bob Scene
10-15-2001, 10:31 PM
Every time your cat climbs the screen, spray him thouroughly with ice water and let an angry pit bull loose on him. If your cat is as smart as mine, then after several weeks of applying this method consistently, he will start to look kind of nervous when he climbs the screen because he'll be getting a sort of vague idea that you don't like it when he does that.

10-15-2001, 11:15 PM
Every time you catch kitty in the act, spritz him with the water bottle and say "No, bad". Keep this up, and after a month or so, all the horizontal wires in the screen will have been torn loose and kitty will no longer be able to climb the screen.

10-15-2001, 11:17 PM
Or, you can use the method my Dad used. Every time he caught the cat scratching on or climbing up the screen door, he'd open it and pitch the cat outdoors.

This was a completely and totally successful exercise in cat training.

Every time the cat wanted out, he'd scratch the screen.

10-15-2001, 11:58 PM

10-16-2001, 12:11 AM
Are your screens made of metal wire? Are they conductive? (hint, hint...) Nothing an old rewired electric fence system can't cure.

10-16-2001, 12:32 AM
Put one nail on each side of the window sash and string wire or twine across. If the cats can see the twine(use white-colored twine or a shiny silver wire) they might avoid jumping up on the window sill to avoid getting all tangled up in the twine. Then again, cats love string, but it still might work.

10-16-2001, 12:42 AM
This sounds dumb, but it works. Get some balloons and blow them up and affix them to the areas you want the cats to avoid. Tape works well. Don't use string. My cats will do anything to get to a string.

Cats don't like the balloons -- they don't like the static if they rub against them, and if one pops, well... they don't like that either. This will make them stay away. Also, I have a window perch for mine, and they are NOT declawed, and they have never, ever climbed a screen. Ever.

It will be hard to keep them away from the windows entirely, but a citrus air freshener or spray on the windowsill usually bothers their eyes.

Get a kitty tree! Cats love their own 'furniture', and if it is near the window they would rather sit on their carpeted perches than the sill anyway. The water spritzing works well too.

Oh, and if you suggested doing something horribly evil to the kitties in question in this thread, you suck. Just had to let you know.

Heath Doolin
10-16-2001, 01:26 AM
I shot my girlfriends cat with the hose on the other side.

Stopped it from doing so..with hilarious results (ever seen a cat jump 8 feet horizontal)

2 things though:

-Make sure your girlfriend does not see it

-Make sure girlfriend does nto see you laughing at it

10-16-2001, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Booker57
.22 shell works fine.

I think that is a bit extreme. Why commit suicide simply because a kitty is being a kitty and has not been lovingly trained yet?

10-16-2001, 09:55 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Definitely no to declawing; even though they are strictly indoor cats, I don't believe in declawing. Can't open the windows from the top - they slide open toward the middle of the window and expose the entire length of the screen. I was thinking in terms of some kind of barrier, like the heavier screen or draping twine across. I've had cats all my adult life and know they are trainable -- with consistency and a great deal of patience and time -- but I'm not inclined to go through that. I wouldn't feel confident that that would be a permanent cure anyway; I mean, if a bird flits by or sits on the balcony rail,which the cats can see from the window, I think the cat's hunting instinct will take over regardless of behavioral training. As for a barrier, I have to consider possible damage to window frame/walls, since I'm in an apartment. Maybe some kind grate - metal or wood. I'll have to browse Home Depot. You've given me some good ideas (well, most of you) thanks.

10-16-2001, 10:13 PM
OK, OK, a real suggestion, what the hell --

Based on my <ahem, hrrumph> experience as an inmate in psychiatric institutions, I can tell you that there exists an entirely diffent gauge of screen, one that you could not kick out with boots on, nor cut through with diagonal pliers. Your cat could climb and climb and might occasionally end up at ceiling level but never do any damage to the screen.

And it doesn't look remarkably different unless you stand quite close to it.

Admittedly, I don't know where you would look as far as obtaining it. Maybe you could tell your hardware store rep that your cat is kinda crazy?

10-17-2001, 05:08 AM
to respond to the OP:

you don't.

:D *d&r*

10-17-2001, 03:14 PM
shoot the cat and go to the local humane center and get a stray cat (they usually keept them 48 hours before they gas them). keep this up until you get a good cat. evolution in high gear.

10-17-2001, 06:30 PM
AHunter3, next time you're in one of those <ahem hrrumph>
institutions, see if you can smuggle out a couple of those things (if they let you back out) ;)

10-17-2001, 06:39 PM
As for a humane way to do it....
I had lizards and everytime the cat woudl try to get into the cage I'd pray the cat witha spray bottle. I'm assuming the same would work on a screen.

10-17-2001, 06:44 PM
i said it before, and i'll say it again:

i hate cats.

10-17-2001, 09:50 PM
Sycorax, they'll never catch me alive :D

If I had to guess, I'd say "security screens" would be the phrase to use. They would have other legitimate ongoing uses, such as for people in high-risk areas who like to open the windows without worrying what kind of knife-weilding drug addict is going to try to get IN.

PS--if you're ever in psychiatric lockup, forget the windows. Concentrate on the doors, particularly double-doors that latch against each other in the middle. (I used a table knife as screwdriver, myself).

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