Cats are famous for being great climbers and are often seen jumping and climbing up your cabinets and windows. They have extendable claws that allow them to grip on things and strong and muscled backs and hindquarters that allow them to jump vertically or horizontally. However, it can become annoying if they start pushing things and climbing on your curtains, eventually ripping or destroying the material.
How to keep cats off curtains?
Here are some foolproof ways to keep cats off your curtains and drapery:
1. Install a cat perch or build her a cat tower.
If your cat is kept exclusively indoors, she likely climbs curtains to take a peek at the outdoors. Save your curtains and make your cat happy by installing a cat window perch that is easy to install and attaches to your window sill. You may also build her a cat tower so she can lounge and stay around an elevated area. Cats will naturally hang out on these kitty fixtures and will stop scaling the curtains.
2. Use vertical blinds instead of curtains.
Vertical blinds function much like curtains as they control the amount of light that seeps in through the windows. But unlike curtains, these blinds are impossible for cats to climb and rip apart.
3. Place tiebacks on curtains.
Curtains won’t be as tempting for cats to scale and climb upon if these are secured with tiebacks and other types of curtain accessories.
4. Install an alarm that goes off every time your cat climbs the curtains.
You cannot be on a constant lookout for your cat climbing up the curtains especially if you are not home most of the day. However, you can still deter your cat off your curtains by installing a motion detector alarm that goes off each time your cat attempts to climb the curtains. Your cat will eventually get the message and will likely stop attempting to climb to avoid the noise.
5. Place double-sided tape or aluminum foil on your curtains.
Cats hate the texture of aluminum foil which makes them good options to discourage your cat from climbing up your curtains. Place them on the bottom part or strategic areas that are your cat’s usual route when scaling the curtains.
6. Use a cat deterrent spray.
Deterrent sprays are also effective in discouraging your cat from getting near or climbing up the curtains. You can easily mix a deterrent spray solution at home by using citrus scents like lemon essential oil and adding a few drops of water to it. Spray the solution around the curtains daily so that your cat will stay away from the area. Cats also do not like the smell of eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint.
7. Use tension rods.
You can use tension rods on your curtains to give your cat a lesson. These rods are spring-loaded and use tension to stay in place instead of hooks or screws. Once your cat puts her weight on curtains and tries to climb it the rods will let go and the curtains fall to the ground in one heap. Unsuccessful tries will let your cat realize that she should give up but this strategy will not work if your cat prefers to play with the pile of curtains on the floor.
8. Keep your cat busy and preoccupied with toys.
Your cat may be climbing up curtains because she is bored and has nothing else to do at home. To prevent this, provide your cat with interactive and mentally stimulating toys like feather toys, treat puzzles and meal dispensing toys. Balls and catnip toys are also ideal playmates that she can chase around to keep her busy while you’re away.
9. Give her treats if she behaves well and leaves the curtains alone.
Give your cat some treats each time she chooses to play with her toys instead of climbing and jumping on the curtains. Positive reinforcement and reward system lets cats learn that staying away from curtains leads to a yummy surprise.
10. Consult your veterinarian.
While cats are normally playful and agile climbers, there is no harm in bringing her to the vet for a checkup. Her tendency to climb up curtains as a means of escape may imply behavioral concerns like anxiety or health issues such as an upset stomach.
Why do cats like to climb curtains?
Cats like to climb curtains because of their innate fondness for climbing. It is instinctive and their bodies are designed for it. Felines climb to hunt, to explore and to reach higher locations which make curtains a perfect tool to satisfy their urge to climb. They also like to play and explore and once they discover that curtains are a perfect area for swaying ala Tarzan that’s where the fun and ruckus begins.
Cats also like climbing curtains because they see it as a means to escape and go outdoors especially for unspayed ones that are in heat. If you adopted a stray cat that was used to being outside before, she may also resort to climbing curtains to go out again.
If you have been busy at work lately, your cat may also be climbing curtains to catch your attention and to let you know that she wants to spend some playtime with you.
Cats may also climb curtains to display dominance because it is how the feline world usually perceives it. For felines, positioning themselves on an elevated area is a display or show of dominance. Similarly, cats may climb to higher areas to seek solace, especially in a multicat household. Lastly, cats may be climbing curtains because of an underlying health concern or due to stress and anxiety at which point you should bring her to the vet for assessment and treatment.
Confusion and conflict ensues when your cat develops a penchant for climbing up your dainty curtains. Do not fret because you can keep your furry baby off them by placing tie backs, opting for vertical blinds and placing aluminum foil strips. You may also install a motion detector alarm, spray some pet deterrent solution and keep your cat preoccupied by providing her with interactive toys.
Image: istockphoto.com / Andrey Zhuralev