A lot of kittens play around the bottoms of curtains and some cats climb them; all of which can be a problem if they damage the curtains or start to pull them down. If your cat is destroying your curtains, there are a few things you might be able to do to prevent this. Read on to get some tips on how to stop cats from destroying curtains.
Curtains need to be a little longer than the bottom of the window that they’re hung in, but try to ensure they’re not overly long; like floor-length curtains on a standard height window. If your curtains aren’t at your cat’s level there’s less chance of them catching their attention initially, although of course many cat’s obsession with curtains starts in the window in the first place.
If your curtains are not at floor level this reduces the chances of your cat climbing them, just for starters.
Keeping curtains out of the way when they’re open can minimise their profile and make them less likely to catch your cat’s attention. Using tie-backs or hooks can help with this, and hooks are often a better choice as tie-backs can server as their own source of entertainment for cats!
If your curtain tie-backs are tassels or ribbons or otherwise made of hanging fabric, these might serve to attract your cat to interfere with them in and of themselves.
If your cat cannot see out of any of the windows in your house (particularly those with an interesting view) they might be damaging your curtains trying to move them aside. Ensure your cat can get to and see out of at least one window without curtains occluding it.
The breeze from an open window, or someone opening or closing a door and so on can all cause the fabric of your curtains to move, and this will often be what catches your cat’s attention and makes them decide that the curtains need pouncing on!
The more lightweight the fabric your curtains are made from, the greater this effect will be and this can result in cats that do fixate on curtains attacking them and clawing them up in short order.
Curtains made of heavier materials, that are lined, that are treated with a stiffening agent, or that have weights in the bottom to help them to hang correctly will move less and so be less likely to be targeted by your cat.
Problems with curtains and cats often begin when the cat is a kitten, and what we find a problem and destructive in an adult cat, we often don’t correct or even inadvertently encourage in kittens because they’re tiny and cute.
Playing in and around the curtains is one such thing, and cats will often get behind a curtain and stick a paw under it to swipe at things, or use it to watch from behind before pouncing on something.
Encouraging this behaviour by playing with your cat, tapping the bottoms of the curtains, or deliberately moving the fabric, can all result in problems later in the adult cat that you will wish you had avoided!
Cats sometimes climb curtains (particularly floor-length ones) either for entertainment or to sit on the pelmet or at the top of them. Giving your cat attention for doing this, such as by picking them off the curtains to get them down or shaking treats and giving them a treat when they get down, can all worsen the problem.
Try to avoid the way you open and close curtains from getting your cat’s attention
Opening and closing the curtains makes them move and again, potentially appeal to your cat, so try and do this in such a way as to minimise the disturbance or wait until your cat is in another room!
If your cat climbs the curtains to sit on the pelmet or uses them as a way to get to something else high up, you might be able to negate the entire problem by providing your cat with an alternative high viewpoint that they can get to and that is less destructive.
Cats like to be up high, so if there is a better spot that your cat can use instead, they might ignore the curtains entirely if they were only really using them as a steppingstone and not a form of entertainment in and of itself.
Finally, blinds can and do get attention from cats at times, but far less than curtains. Assuming you can keep the blind controls out of reach, you may find that blinds will resolve the problem if everything else fails!