It's no secret that cats love sitting in windows and watching birds and other creatures outside. Often, all of that watching leads to temptation to try and nab a bird out of the air, leading to nasty scratch marks on your window screens. If you're having trouble with cats clawing your screens, don't just ignore the issue and keep dealing with unattractive, ripped screens. Here are four ways to protect your screens.
Open the windows from the top.
Many modern windows can be opened either by pulling up the bottom portion of the window, or by pulling down the top portion of the window. If you have this style of window, start opening them by pulling the top down, rather than by pulling the bottom up. There's no window sill at the top of the window, so your cat cannot access this area easily.
Now, the one issue with opening your windows from the top is that there's typically no screen in this portion of the window, so bugs and debris may fly in. You can prevent this issue by putting retractable screens in the window. These screens start out compact, but then you pull on either side of them to expand them to the width of your window. Many home improvement stores sell them, and they're rather inexpensive.
If you're thinking of replacing your windows in the future, it may be wise to purchase the type that opens from the top so that you can use this strategy to keep your kitty from scratching.
Put aluminum foil in the window sills.
Many cats do not enjoy the way aluminum foil feels under their paws, so they will stay off of surfaces that are covered in it. Lining your window sill with aluminum foil may prevent your cat from jumping up there in the first place, which should eliminate the scratching concerns. Keep in mind that this may not work for every cat. Those who are insistent upon seeing the outdoors may ignore the foil, so you'll have to have a trial run before you count on it working.
Eventually, once your cat is no longer used to jumping into the window sill, you may be able to remove the foil and have the cat still stay away.
Put retractable screens in front of your normal screens.
The previously mentioned retractable screens have another possible use. Try setting them across the opened portion of your window in front of the normal screen. When the cat scratches, he or she will scratch the retractable screen rather than your normal screen. The retractable screens will get ruined in the process, but since they're cheaper and easier to replace than a normal window screen, this isn't such a big deal.
Put claw caps on your kitty's claws.
Declawing your cat will certainly help protect your windows, but since it can lead to a number of unpleasant side effects, it's best to look for alternative ways to make your kitty's claws less harmful. One option is to cover your cat's claws with little plastic caps. Made specifically for cat claws, these soft caps press onto each claw, making it dull so that it does not cause damage to your screens or other items.
Some cats tolerate claw caps well, while others rip them off within minutes. You'll have to try them with your cat and see how they work. Likely, you'll want to combine this strategy with one of the ones mentioned above, at least at first, so your screens don't get ripped to shreds if your cat manages to get the caps off.
Shredded screens don't look good on a home, and they don't do their job of keeping insects and other debris out. If your screens are badly damaged, consider replacing them and then employing these tactics to keep them in good shape.
For more tips on keeping your windows and screens in great shape, visit http://www.randkaz.com.