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6 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Falling Out of a Window

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

tabby cat leans its paws on the window

6 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Falling Out of a Window

Our feline companions adore looking out windows, and who can blame them? After all, we go a little stir-crazy sometimes when we’re cooped up for too long, and the outside world is the only remedy. It’s similar for our kitties; the world outside the window offers them tons of entertainment because there’s so much to see. The problem with cats and windows is that animals can sometimes fall out of windows.

You don’t want your cat falling from a window, but how can you prevent that from happening (other than not letting them near windows at all)? The good news is your pet can still enjoy window time, as there are six ways to stop your cat from falling out of a window! Here’s a look at what you can do to prevent this.

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What Is High-Rise Syndrome?

Did you know cats falling from windows is so common there’s a name for it (or rather, a name for the injuries that result from such falls)? The phrase “high-rise syndrome” came about in the 1980s in New York when there was a rash of cats falling from windows (a total of 132!). All of these felines were treated at the Animal Medical Center; this center was the first to report on the phenomenon. They found that cats falling from windows happened much more often during the warmer months (which makes sense) and that the most at-risk felines lived in apartments with screenless windows or a balcony.

What sort of injuries can result from a fall out a window? A few of the more common injuries include a ruptured bladder, broken pelvis, broken limbs, spinal fractures, shattered jaw, and punctured lungs. If your pet falls from a window—even if you only live on the second floor—take your kitty to the vet immediately.

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The 6 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Falling Out of a Window

To prevent your cat from suffering high-rise syndrome, here are six ways to stop them from falling out of a window.

1. Close Your Windows

a woman closes a window in a room
Image by: valerii vysotkov, Shutterstock

The most obvious way to keep your cat from falling out of a window is to keep your windows closed. Of course, we realize that may not be an option for everyone, especially if you live in an area where air conditioning isn’t common. For those who must open their windows to stay cool, the rest of this list is for you.

However, do remember to close your windows when you leave your home. While you’re there, you can keep an eye on your kitty when they’re near a window, but there’s a greater chance of your pet falling out a window if no one is home.

2. Limit Openings

If your windows need to be open, limit how large that opening is. How you do this will vary by the type of window you have. Some windows have top and bottom portions, so opening just the top portion may keep the kitty safer (provided the window is high enough, they can’t jump up there!). Or if a window has a bottom portion that slides up, you can open it just an inch or two, then use a stopper to prevent it from being opened further.

‘A window that cranks out could have a lock on it, so it can’t be opened more than a couple of inches. If your cat can’t squeeze through the opening, they should be fine. But make sure they cannot get their head stuck, either.

3. Childproof Windows

net wire screen on house window
Image Credit: Kwangmoozaa, Shutterstock

You might not have children in the home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some childproofing! Plenty of items are available to prevent tiny humans from falling out of windows, and many of those will work equally as well for your cat. However, we don’t recommend the type of childproofing that involves putting bars on the windows, as a cat may easily be able to squeeze through those. Instead, try a strong netting or a guard mesh that can withstand a lot of pressure.

4. Reinforce Screens

Don’t let the fact that you have screens on your window fool you into thinking your kitty is safe from falls. If your pet takes a flying leap at a screen to chase after a squirrel, that screen may not hold up to the pressure. You’d be surprised how easily screens can get popped out of windows (unless you have some heavy-duty screens). The best fix for this is to reinforce screens from the outside by using nails or screws to make them less liable to be knocked out of a window. (Although, this may not be doable if you rent an apartment on the 30th floor.)

5. Get Creative

Lattice from wooden planks close-up
Image by: AY Amazefoto, Shutterstock

If nothing else works, you might have to get a bit creative with your windows. You could build latticed window shutters so air can come into the home but the cat can’t fall out. Or you might install something such as decorative aluminum mesh on the inside of the window to accomplish the same. There are many ways to block access to open windows; you just need to look around the house and see what you have that can be used to create something!

6. Create a Perch

One way to discourage your cat from getting too close to windows is to create a cat perch that’s close enough for them to see outside the window without being close enough to fall or jump out the window. This could be a cat tree or other similar perch placed where they can see the entire world outside the window. Or you could make a perch right next to a window that’s never opened. Making a cat perch will work best for windows that have screens on them or are reinforced in some way. This probably isn’t a viable option for homes with screenless windows, though.

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The best way to stop your cat from falling out of a window is to always keep your windows closed. However, keeping windows closed isn’t always a possibility. Luckily, there are a few ways you can reinforce your windows or ensure they don’t open too far to keep your kitty safe. Do remember to close windows when you leave the home, though! With no one there to watch them, your cat is at more risk of falling out of a window.

Featured Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

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