Truly cat proof curtains don’t really exist, there’s only some good enough ones. And one of the best ways to get your cat to stop climbing curtains is to provide them with alternatives that are just as attractive. But before we start, let’s develop an action plan based on our understanding of why your cat is climbing curtains in the first place.
Action plan: How to get your cat to stop climbing curtains
Our action plan is a multi prong approach: we need to get them off the curtains but still satisfy their instinct and/or need. To help us understand the issue better, we should try to determine the underlying cause of this behavior.
Is your cat trying to do the following?: Get to a higher spot or vantage point or Satisfy their play/hunt instinct
Get to a higher spot or vantage point
Some cats are more inclined to be in higher spaces than others. If you find them always trying to get high up in the cupboards or above the fridge or bookshelves, then you might have the answer. In the wild, cats do this to get to their prey, but also to avoid predators. So if you have young children or dogs that your cat rather not come in contact with, they will often retreat into a higher space to get away from them.
Solution: Provide alternative climbing spots nearby
If your cat is trying to get to a higher spot, any spot in fact, then you can try providing them with an alternative high-up spot nearby. This can be a tall cat tower or window perch that you can place next to the curtains. Make sure this is out of reach of the young child or dog that your cat is trying to get away from. This way, they will have somewhere else to go if they want to get away from a situation and find a higher up spot.
Satisfy their play/hunt instinct
If you have noticed that your cat doesn’t just climb the curtains but also starts batting and pawing at them, then they might be satisfying their play/hunt instinct. Cats love to swat and catch things like moving flow-y objects like strings, ribbons, and unfortunately curtains. Kittens and younger cats can be very destructive playful in this way, but healthy senior cats enjoy being active as well.
Solution: Provide alternative play outlets
To help satisfy their need to play you can provide them with alternative toys such as long fabric strips and feathers. You want toys that imitate the movement and tactile feedback of playing with the curtain. In many case, cats are playing with the curtains because the lightweight fabric move and flow easily with the slightest wind or swat.
Solution: Try blinds and/or heavier fabrics
If you have curtains that are delicate or easily damaged, then consider replacing them with something more durable such as heavy-duty plastic blinds. Blinds are typically more challenging to scale and climb, especially vertical blinds. Blinds made with slippery, smooth and slick material is a good idea. Anything that is not easy to hold on to, or difficult for your cats to dig their claws into it, is the goal.
Heavier fabrics and materials such as velvet or corduroy are also more difficult to climb. They also tend to have less movement, making them less attractive to play with. Refer to our guide on finding what fabrics are cat proof to get more inspiration.