Cat Proof Window Screens: A Guide


With the weather in the Northern Hemisphere getting nicer, you might want to start leaving your windows open, but this can be a source of worry for Ragdoll cat owners since cats can jump or fall out of windows – like Charlie and Trigg did when a screen failed.

A lot of cat owners ask about solutions to this problem, and there are quite a few things you can do too, though cat window guards don’t necessarily make for the most elegant home décor. It’s also good to keep in mind that some cats might scratch their way through screens, whereas others might be able to actually push through the screen with their body weight, so you have to either proof your window for both or keep in mind what your cat is capable of. Here are some of the top suggestions for cat proofing windows:

  • Putting double stick tape on the windowsill to deter cats from jumping up.
  • Metal grids or grill guards
  • Reinforcing screens from the outside with duct tape, screws, or nails
  • Clips or window locks you can attach – you can use the same kind available for child safety
  • Magnetic window screens – there is a company in New Zealand called MagicSeal that one reader recommended, or you can try to DIY
  • Replacing or doubling up your window screen with heavy mesh or pet screens, which you can cut and fit into a screen frame or simply tape to your regular screen. Here are a few suggestions for different kinds of screen guards for pets:

Again, the solutions aren’t the most beautiful, but there are a lot of options if your cat’s safety is a concern. Note that sometimes screens advertised as pet safe actually just guard against scratching damage, rather than effectively keeping a cat from getting out a window.

Cat Proof Window Screens

You might also think about designating an outdoor area for your Ragdoll kitties to let them out occasionally so that they will be less tempted by the call of the outdoors, but this involves a separate set of considerations (i.e. beware of fleas).

After this post published, one of our readers, Lynn, was kind enough to share what she does: “I put 15 inches high extension window screens on all my windows. They were used years ago before screens came with windows. They slide to make them wide enough to fit the window. The wooden frame fits in the grove just after where the window slides down.  They come in different sizes. ”

Frost King 15-Inch x 25-45-Inch Extension Window Screen

Photos of Lynn’s set-up:

extention screen added

Tobee showing how it works
Tobee showing how it works

What tips do you have for cat proofing window screens?

Comments (5)

  1. Thank you for such an informative post. Yes, this always worries me and I make sure that the screens are securely affixed by clips every year. it would be horrible if one of my babies fell out!
    Thank you for bringing this to our attentn as the warmer weather is on its way!

  2. I have the Phifer Pet Safe Screening in the 4 windows I leave open in the nice weather (never when I am not home) and I also have it in the sliding door onto my upper deck. It is stretchy and has some give to it, so when the cats claw it, it doesn’t get damaged or torn like regular screening. Of course, the screen could still fall out if pushed on as yours did, but I always check (did it this weekend) to make sure the plastic ‘shims’ that hold the screen in place have not loosened or cracked over the winter. So glad your cats are safe, and that you noticed them outside right away.

  3. Very good topic, Jenny! I am so very sorry that Charlie & Chiggy fell/jumped out of that second story window back in 2012! My goodness! How scary for you when you saw the blood on Chiggy’s chin. Glad that incident had a happy ending with both kittehs being okay and also it resulting in a great discussion about this issue among cat owners. 🙂

    For us, it’s not an issue as we don’t open the windows or sliding glass door in our apartment that often. Usually, by the time the warmer months are here it’s air conditioning time for me (my heat intolerance is so crazy and cannot be explained by medical science so far…all tests come back normal…hmph). On the rare occasion when we have had our sliding glass door open, we are always in the living room to keep an eye on Miss PSB. She’s stretched out again the screen a few times and we have the claw marks to show for it on the screen. Another reason we don’t open that sliding door too often.

    Lots of good ideas offerred and I’m sure that this information will be very helpful and foster great discussions in the comments.

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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