If you think cats always land on their feet when they fall, think again. If they fall and don't have enough time to adjust their body, they can get seriously hurt. To avoid this, don't allow your finicky feline to jump into upstairs windows and offer tempting alternatives.
Remove your cat from the window if you catch her jumping into it. Pick your pet companion up, firmly say "no," and put her on the floor. Don't pet her or look at her -- just remove her from the window and walk away. With consistency, your furry friend will realize that jumping in the window only results in you removing her and ignoring her. She might decide not to do it anymore.
Surprise your pet companion with a cat tree or a window perch that can serve as an alternative to jumping in the off-limits window. Look for a cat tree with plenty of perches for lounging, and place the window perch in front of an acceptable window. Place a bird feeder in front of the window so your cat has front row seats to a good show all day long.
Make the windowsill surface uncomfortable to stand on. Cut out strips of a plastic carpet runner and place them upside-down on the windowsill. When your pet companion jumps up, the nubby surface feels unpleasant on her paws and she'll jump down. Alternatively, place sheets of aluminum foil on the windowsill or stick double-sided sticky tape on it.
Watch your cat like a hawk so you can catch her in the act. When she jumps into the upstairs window, squirt her with a spray bottle full of water. The sudden mist of water will startle her out of the window. Make sure she doesn't see you when you squirt her -- you want her to think her jumping triggered the squirt of water. Do this each time you catch her jumping and eventually she'll stop jumping to avoid the unpleasant water squirt. Alternatively, shake a can of coins to make a loud noise that startles your pet companion.
Booby-trap the upstairs window. Stack empty soda cans to form a pyramid on the windowsill. When your cat jumps into the window, the cans will fall and startle her, making her think twice about jumping up again. Alternatively, use a commercial motion-detecting cat deterrent that uses sound or light to startle your cat out of the window.
Clean the windowsill with a citrus-scented cleanser, because cats dislike the scent of citrus and will stay away from it. Alternatively, use a commercial cat repellent.
Items you will need
- Cat tree or window perch
- Bird feeder
- Carpet runner, aluminum foil or double-sided sticky tape
- Spray bottle or can of coins
- Empty soda cans or motion-detecting cat deterrent
- Citrus-scented cleanser or cat repellent
- Install a sturdy screen in the upstairs window. This way your cat can't jump or fall out of it and you can still enjoy the fresh air.
- Avoid yelling at your cat or shooing her away from the window -- she might fall and hurt herself or she might start fearing you.
- ASPCA: High-Rise Syndrome
- Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat -- Not a Sour Puss; Pam Johnson-Bennett
- The Humane Society of the United States: Just Say No: Aversive Training for Your Cat
- PetPlace.com: How to Keep Your Cat Off Tables and Counters
- ASPCA: Keeping Your Cat off Countertops and Tables
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images