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How to Keep Cats from Climbing Window Screens (5 Proven Methods)

Nicole Cosgrove

Nothing feels better than opening the windows on a warm, sunny day to let some fresh air in. But all your good vibes can be quickly crushed when your indoor cat starts scratching and climbing the window screen. Not only is your feline’s bad behavior damaging to your window screen, but it can also be dangerous for her. What if the screen breaks and your kitty gets loose? Or worse, what if she falls out?

Understanding your feline friend’s behavior will help you establish a method to stop her madness. Here’s why cats climb window screens and how to stop it for good.divider-cat

Why Do Cats Climb Window Screens?

A cat will scratch, paw, claw, and climb at window screens and curtains for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Her love of elevated spaces and wanting to climb higher
  • Natural curiosity
  • She’s trying to get to a bird or other type of prey animal outside
  • She has a metabolic disorder that makes her super hyper

After you establish a culprit behind your cat’s window screen climbing, it’s time to put an end to it once and for all. Here are five proven methods to stop climbing.

1. Scratch Deterrent Sprays

If you stop the screen scratching, you can deter the cat from climbing as well. If your pet enjoys scratching and climbing the window screen, your first port of call should be to discourage the behavior altogether. Cat scratch deterrent sprays can do just the trick.

You can either buy one from the store to whip up your own solution right at home. Commercial cat deterrents are odorless, heavy sprays that won’t stink up your house. However, they release a smell only detected by kitties that they downright loathe.

If you want to go the DIY root, pour some tap water into a spray bottle, add some citrus essential oils, and spray down your screen. Cats hate citrus smells.


2. Positive Reinforcement

cat-eating-catnip
Image Credit: Olga Malinina, Shutterstock

It’s a well-known fact: cats love catnip! Train your kitty to spend less time near the window screen and more time in other areas of your home by using positive reinforcement training techniques. One way to accomplish this is to place a catnip plant inside of a birdcage. This allows your cat to have access to it without knocking the plant over. Put the cage in an area of your home where you want your cat to spend a lot more time. This can be in your bedroom or near her cat bed. The catnip will help your cat to start associating happy emotions with that space. In turn, she’ll be less tempted to sit in the window.


3. Water Spray Bottle

Spray bottle
Image Credit: Squirrel_Photos, Pixabay

Most cats don’t like water. If you see your pet trying to climb up the window screen, simply grab a spray bottle and spritz her. This harmless yet effective technique will dissuade your feline from problematic climbing.


4. Sticky Strips

Place double-sided tape or Sticky Paw strips on your windowpane and screen. Cats don’t dig the sticky sensation on their paws and will avoid that area of the home.


5. Physical Barriers

If your cat can’t access the window, she’ll be less likely to climb the screen! Block your windowsill with heavy books or other large items to block your cat’s path.

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Final Thoughts

Curious kitties love spending time in the window. However, if your cat’s climbing becomes an issue, try one of these five proven tricks. Or, just simply shut the window!

Looking for more information on cat behavior? Try:


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.