Cats like to climb -- there’s no way around it. If Felix has decided your new curtains are just the thing to use for practicing his technique, you don’t have to accept shredded fabric as a decorative statement. Think like a cat to stop this destructive behavior.
Curtain tension rods use spring tension to hold curtains in place. When the cat tries to climb the curtain, his weight will pull down the rod along with the curtains, startling him. Kitty learns that climbing the curtains results in an unpleasant experience. This method won’t work, though, if your kitty enjoys the commotion and romping around in the pile of curtains.
Cats hate to be surprised. If you catch Felix using your drapes to practice his tree-climbing abilities, use a water bottle, a loud noise (coins in an empty cola can, for instance), or a sharp “No!” to startle him. Lead him to an appropriate alternative, such as a cat tree. This method only works when you’re home and catch him in the act.
Vertical blinds are an alternative to curtains and a good way to cat-proof your window coverings. Felix can’t climb them, most vertical blinds don’t shred, and he can push them aside to look out the window to check out what’s going on. You can also loop your curtains onto the rod so the cat can’t reach them.
You’ll have to try different things, because cats are not the same when it comes to what deters them. Double-sided tape or aluminum foil attached to the curtains might work. Try the commercial scent deterrents, but make sure they won’t stain the fabric. Provide alternatives at the same time or he’ll just go back to the curtains when you stop using the deterrents. Natural rope on a cat tree or scratching post might be exactly what your kitty is looking for.
Leslie Darling has been a writer since 2003, writing regularly for "Mississippi Magazine" and "South Mississippi Living," specializing in food and wine, animals and pets, and all things Southern. She is a graduate of the University of New Orleans.