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screens and christmas trees

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
hey all! i have two 3 month-old kittens that i adore immensely...my girl, blossom is the smart one; very dignified and not really given to mischief. snooker, however, is 200% boy and loves to get into EVERYTHING. My dilemma is this:

we have floor-length glass double doors with screens that can be pulled up and down like blinds. the screen is just (barely) tucked into the tracks on the sides of the window. snooks just loves to push the screen out and slip out onto the patio and then hide outside...how can i keep him away from the screen? blossom will also sit in front of the screens, but she doesn't try to get out (yet). i have GOT to have my fresh air every day, but i can't stand guard at the windows! we have tried spraying the screens with a type of 'stay off' pet training aid, but he isn't put off by that at all. we live in government housing (Go Navy!) and cannot make any modifications to the screens.

i checked out the article about controlling scratching, but i think snooks would just jump over any kind of barrier i could lay out on the floor.


also, how do you keep curious kittens from scaling your christmas tree? of course we don't have ours up yet; i'm just thinking ahead.

it is so great to have a site like this for all of us newbies out there! many thanks to all who can help
post #2 of 11
Originally Posted by snookerblossom
also, how do you keep curious kittens from scaling your christmas tree? of course we don't have ours up yet; i'm just thinking ahead.
Oh I'm so glad you posted about this! Haha, I have been wondering about that as well (glad someone else is thinking ahead! ) I hope that someone can post with an answer! I can just imagine that Harley will be having a grand old time with our tree this Christmas...maybe by that time he will be calmed down a bit... i hope!
post #3 of 11
I can't help ya with the screen problem. My screens stay put and no one tries to scratch them.

Re: the Christmas tree: what a fine dilemma!!!

When Zorro was a kitten, he made it his own personal treehouse. Little sucker would get up inside of the thing (FAKE tree) and peer out, waiting to ambush the girlcats. He was sorta wild though that first year. Now he just falls asleep under the tree & he's too fat to climb it.

Hammie still attacks the tree though. He does not climb it; he just chews on the branches (then pukes the fake greenery back out), bats at the pretty sparkley ribbons, and removes some ornaments.

My suggestions are, use plastic or unbreakable ornaments (NO GLASS); NO tinsel or anything "too" shiny (how about all wooden ornaments, sorta country lookin?); Anchor your tree stand with bricks (I use 6 bricks, piled on top of each other on the legs of the stand, and then cover that with poofy stuff & a pretty tree skirt).

And just realize that the Christmas tree is a giant, sparkling, frilly toy that cats cannot resist. Most of the time your kitten will just want to sleep underneath it; the other times? Climbing, batting, chewing, and watching that sparkley ornament go back & forth as they stand there mesmerized!
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advice about the christmas tree...i read your post to my husband and we both had a good laugh. funny you should mention 'country' decorations...i am the cracker barrel queen and have a nice collection of nonbreakable ornaments from there. weighing the tree down is also a great idea. i feel a bit better now!
post #5 of 11
Re the screens - is it possible to tack them in place with thumbtacks? Those won't leave a big mark, surely? I'm having trouble picturing these screen doors. Or could you use duct tape- or maybe stick it with double sided tape so snooker gets his paws all sticky when he tries to move it. Removing tape residue can be a pain though. We put double sided tape everywhere in a vain attempt to train the cats to stay off counter tops etc. We just got cats who learned to avoid the tape, and big mess to clean up!
post #6 of 11
My first thought at your saying you would like to have fresh air, if you can afford it, is to go out and buy an air purifying machine. They make the air really fresh-smelling and feeling. My aunt has one, and I found myself looking for the opened window the first few times I visited, until I realized it was an air purifier. Check it out. It will end your struggle with the screens, and at the same time allow you fresh air all the time.
post #7 of 11
Oh, I cannot wait until Christmas tree time gets here either. I'm sure my boys will be holy terrors. I figure my options are to put it in the basement, where I never go and will never see it, or in my office, which I keep closed when I'm not in it. I have a lot of glass ornaments...will have to make sure none of them are close to the bottom of the tree and watch them like a hawk when we're in here.

Someone once mentioned they had a motion activated thing that started playing Christmas carols when the cats got too close and that scared them off. Anybody know anything about this? Of course, I tried the coins in a can trick last night and it seemed they couldn't care less, so I doubt this would help either!
post #8 of 11
Tape residue isn't hard to remove, so if you can tape the screens down, it'll be fine. Just buy some 'Goo Gone' when you want to clean up. It's everywhere... I bought my bottle at WalMart, with the rest of the house cleaning stuff. They might even have it at your NEX.

Tacking them down seems like a good idea, if you don't use the door as a door very often. If you do, could you do some sort of hook thing? Put round metal fasteners on the screen, and hooks into the door frame? Maybe that wouldn't be too destructive.

I can't imagine how often Bella would get out if my screens were like that.

And Christmas trees... There was absolutely no way to keep my childhood cat out of the tree. She was small enough as an adult to have no problems getting in, but she didn't ever really swat at the ornaments, she just wanted to get away from the cousins.

My kid brother's cat, Loki, is entirely too large to be able to get into the tree, but two years ago, he tried and brought the tree down on top of him. Luckily, only an ornament or two broke. After that, my father put a couple of hooks into the wall (make sure that it's in a stud, so you don't end up with a tree on the floor *and* a hole in the plaster) and we tie the tree in, so it can't fall over. The tree always goes in the same corner, so the two wires from the two walls, and the two walls themselves keep it from falling over.

I think that we tried squirting Loki, and I know that we tried the pennies-in-a-can, but he doesn't really mind being wet, and after the second time, he didn't even look at the can. Now, he just likes to lie under the tree (and he'll move presents out of the way if they are in 'his spot').

I read somewhere that a bowl of orange or lemon peels will keep a cat away from the tree, but some cats (read: my cats) actually don't dislike the smell of citrus, and they might eat them (read: I found Bella eating out of my bowl of pudding and mandrin oranges yesterday).
post #9 of 11
When it gets closer to the holidays, there will be an article about cats and christmas trees pulled out of the archives.
post #10 of 11
Josie isn't a tree climber, but she won't leave it alone either. I have a 2-foot-high perameter around the bottom of the tree where I put less ornaments and non-breakable ones. She also likes to take the ribbon off the tree and play with the lights. I keep a very close eye on her with the lights. I don't want a National Lampoons Christmas on my hands. Sometimes she's content to just lay under the tree. It's a very cute picture op.
post #11 of 11
I agree with the gal that suggested duck tape..and yes, Goo Begone works great to remove the "stickies" afterwards.
As far as the Christmas tree goes....my 2 "Boys" will be a year old this month...so this coming Christmas will be their first with us...and I`ve been wondering the same thing about the tree.
Recently my son (the human one) bought a little air horn (found it in with the party stuff) and the cats really do not like it....so I`m saving it, hoping I can get them to associate the noise with getting too close to the tree.....will let you know how it works....and if it does`nt , then pehaps I`ll consider hanging the tree upside down from the ceiling! (He he he).... Weeeeeelllll...on second thought, even though I was actually just kidding,....maybe that`s really not too bad an idea after all, huh? Stampit3d
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