What Are Pet-Proof Blinds?
More than 50% of Californians have at least one pet in their home, and their pets are their family members. We love our pets, but they can also be destructive, and 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 see outside.
Choosing pet-friendly window coverings can seem like a daunting task, especially with puppies and kittens. How do you enjoy the benefits of window coverings with your pets in the same space?
We put together some great tips and suggestions for choosing pet-proof blinds, curtains or draperies, shades, and shutters.
Can You Truly Dog-Proof or Cat-Proof Your Blinds?
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.
When they’re trying to get a good look, they’re pushing their heads and paws through the blinds impeding their view to do it. When it comes to blinds, there are some smart choices and some not-so-good selections for homeowners looking to pet-proof their window treatments.
Here are a few pros and cons of various window blind options:
- Mini-Blinds: Although there aren’t any completely cat-proof blinds or dog-proof blinds, the popular and easily affordable mini-blinds are one of the worst choices for pet owners. 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 injured 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 slip through easily. 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 that dogs generally love slats and often chew on them. Blinds can be perfect chew toys for anxiety-ridden dogs, but according to pet experts, this is often a behavioral issue that can be fixed by wearing your dog out before you leave 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 unappetizing bitter apple/sour-flavored spray on blinds can encourage a dog to find something more palatable to gnaw on.
Pet-Friendly Shades & Shutters
Some potentially better alternatives to blinds if you want pet-proof window treatments are shades and shutters, as many of these options eliminate gaps and cables.
Consider some of the following if you’re looking for pet-friendly window treatments:
- Roller shades are a great choice. Without the gaps between the slats, pets can slip behind them, much like a curtain or drapery, without the shades becoming damaged. They also don’t collect nearly as much pet hair, which is always a win. Simply roll up however far you need to to create an unobstructed view at the bottom!
- Roman shades look amazing, and they are one piece, meaning no slats to stick heads, paws, or entire bodies through. They also block the view entirely and can be made without any cords. You can still add valances and other decorations over them for a classy, sophisticated look.
- Interior window shutters are incredibly sturdy and can look gorgeous. They even work on French doors.
On the other hand, natural woven or bamboo shades aren’t a great choice for cat-proof blinds. They tend to look like hanging scratching pads to cats. They often have dangling cords, which are perfect for attacking. If you’re going to combine them with pets, choose wisely. Certain materials may be a better fit and look less like Fluffy’s claw-sharpening station.
Dog-Proof and Cat-Proof Curtains & Draperies
- Puddled draperies (the kind that makes a puddle of fabric on the floor) are just calling to your pet to curl up on them like a bed. It’s also so much fabric that you risk your pet getting tangled up in it. Consider floor length drapes without a puddle which is also easier to keep clean in general.
- Top treatments such as cornices, valances, or even swag and cascades can provide the elegant finishes you desire, or even the decorative softness of fabrics without the risk of damaging the window treatment or harming your pet.
- Specific fabrics are better suited than others for not gathering fur as easily as others.
If your cat insists on climbing fabric, but you 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 your vet can put on your cat’s claws and make it so they can’t dig into your beautiful curtains or draperies. You can and should also work on general behavior with your feline friend to teach them that curtains are not for climbing.
Fortunately, dogs 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 won’t get any fabric wrapped around them if they decide to play.
Other Pet-Proof Blind Options & Safety Concerns
Consider the following options to address certain pet behaviors and make your window coverings safer for your pet.
- Motorized window treatments allow you to control your window coverings remotely, either with a smartphone app or a remote-control device. Our motorized window treatments can also be controlled with Somfy, which works with Google Assistant or Alexa via “if this, then that” tech (IFTTT). You can set these window treatments to automatically close at the time you know your dog barks the most during the day. You can even create a schedule for them to close when the mail carrier arrives or during high-traffic hours outside. That way, your dog won’t see any movement outdoors and will be less likely to bark. This solution also eliminates cords from your window treatments.
- 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 and pull 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 looks classy. They’re more streamlined and modern.
- Consider an opaque window treatment if your dog just can’t help but let the mailman know every single day that he’s in his territory. Many window coverings provide full coverage. You can, of course, leave window coverings partly open while you’re not home, eliminating some of the problems for dogs. Solar shades or even window films can be a great solution.
- Give your cat a designated window. If you have a cat and wish to avoid the issue of finding pet-proof blinds altogether, consider giving your cat a designated window to look outdoors. Either keep the window bare or install a window covering that allows them to view outside such as a shade you can open to leave an clear view from the bottom. You can even install a cat bed on the window ledge.
All of our pet-friendly solutions can be customized to meet your unique needs. No matter which style you choose, one of our design consultants will work with you to make sure your new window coverings match your desires while keeping your pets safe.
My Pet Has Already Damaged My blinds, shades, shutters, or drapes. What Now?
(The above photo is a real client “before” photo. Their dog apparently really disliked their drapes!)
If you live in Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley, get in touch with us!
We can help you design new window treatments for your LA home that are pet-friendly.
If you purchased from us, give us a call. We have warranty information we can discuss and figure out together what the next steps should be.
If you didn’t order from us, let’s design new! Our Design Consultants can work with you to figure out what pet-proof blinds or window coverings will best fit your budget, your style, and your pet’s unique needs or tendencies. Simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.