Do Dog and Cat Proof Blinds Exist?
53% of Californians have at least one pet in their home, and our pets are our family members. Much like toddlers, they can also be destructive and our window coverings are no exception. Many a pet owner has thrown a cheap plastic mini-blind into the trash after a furry friend bent and broke them to pieces in their desperation to be able to see outside. Choosing pet-friendly window coverings can seem like a daunting task, especially with puppies and kittens.
So how do you enjoy the benefits of window coverings that aren’t shredded to bits AND have your pets in the same space?
We put together some great tips and suggestions for Fido-and-Fluffy-friendly blinds, curtains, shades and shutters just for you.
Pets just want to see what’s outside. The mailman, a squirrel, that pesky neighbor cat that just doesn’t understand that he’s in the wrong place no matter HOW many times they bark at him… and when they’re trying to get a good look, they’re pushing their heads, paws, faces, and whatever else through the blinds impeding their view to do it. When it comes to blinds, there are a few ways to make them survive the onslaught of deadly cat curiosity or dog … I don’t know an alliteration word here but you get the point.
- Mini-Blinds: Although there aren’t any complete cat-proof blinds or dog-proof blinds, the popular and easily affordable mini-blinds are one of the worst choices, since they’re pretty much a goner with pets. The slats are narrow and close together so pets will bend them open to get a good look, and vinyl and aluminum get bent and destroyed quickly and easily. It’s not uncommon for an animal to bend them so much that they just shove their entire body through and get tangled in it. Not only does that destroy your window covering but it’s actually really dangerous for your pet as well who can be strangled by the cords.
- Faux wood and real wood blinds are much sturdier than vinyl or aluminum. Larger slats allow the blinds to be closed but tilted open for a larger viewing area for your pet, which may help prevent them from trying to wedge them open to get a good view.
- Vertical blinds can part easily, be cordless, and allow pets to easily slip through. They’re also not nearly as fun to chew on. They’re better on larger windows, though, or even covering sliding doors.
The downside is dogs love slats in general and often chew on them. Blinds can be perfect chew toys for anxiety-ridden dogs, but according to pet experts, this is often a behavior thing to address, which may mean creating or wearing him out before you leave the home.
Also provide great NON-window toys for chewing, since even calm dogs need to gnaw on something. When all else fails, spraying safe but gross-tasting Bitter Apple/sour flavored spray on blinds can encourage a dog to find something more palatable to gnaw on.
Pet-Friendly Shades & Shutters
- Roller shades are another great choice. Without the gaps in-between the slats, they can slip behind them much like a curtain or drapery without damaging them. They also don’t collect nearly as much pet hair which is always a win.
- Roman shades look amazing, as they block the view entirely, can be made without any cords, and are one-piece – meaning no slats to stick heads, paws, or entire bodies through. You can still add valances and other decorations over them as well for a classy, sophisticated look that’s not boring at all.
- Bamboo shades tend to look like a hanging scratching pad to cats. They often even have nice dangly cords, perfect for attacking. They also aren’t the sturdiest out of all choices, so if you’re going to combine them with pets, choose wisely.
- Interior window shutters however are incredibly sturdy and can look amazing. They even work on french doors and other places you wouldn’t think to put them.
Pet-Friendly Curtains & Draperies
- Puddled draperies (the kind that makes, well, a puddle of fabric on the floor), are just calling to your pet to curl up on it like a bed. Helllooooo, pet fur. Plus its so much fabric you do risk your pet getting tangled up in it.
- If your cat insists on climbing fabric but you definitely want fabric window coverings, keep their claws trimmed or try putting caps over their claws. Soft Paws and similar products are little rubber tips that you, a groomer or vet can put on your cat’s claws and make it where they can’t dig into your beautiful curtains or draperies to climb them.
Dogs fortunately usually leave curtains alone, aside from sometimes trying to wrap themselves up in them and getting fur stuck everywhere as they maneuver around them.
Ensure your pet can’t have any fabric wrapped around their throat if they decide to play.
Other options & safety concerns:
- Avoid dangling cords – not only are they attractive prey for your pet, but they’re also a danger to them and your kids. Even dogs want to chew on and pull on cords. Cordless options are the way to go. The Humane Society even warns that your pet can strangle themselves by getting the cord around their neck or choke on the pull piece that they’ve gnawed off the end. Plus cordless honestly looks classy. They’re more streamlined and modern.
- If your dog just can’t help but let the mailman know every single day that he’s in Ruff’s territory, consider an opaque window treatment that doesn’t let your dog even see the offensive parcel-bearing man, to begin with. Many window coverings provide very full coverage. You can, of course, leave window coverings partly open while you’re not home, eliminating some of the problems for dogs.
- Give your cat a designated window that’s for them. You can even install a cat bed on the window ledge. Put sticky tape on the others so they quickly learn only this one is their place to be.
I already HAVE blinds and they’re totally pet-wrecked. What do I do?
If you ordered from us, give us a call. We’ve got a lot of warranty information we can discuss and figure out together what the next step should be.
If you didn’t order from us, let us help! Our in-home consultants can work with you to figure out what window coverings will best fit your budget, your style, and your pet’s unique needs or destructive tendencies.