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Creating a Safe Climbing Space for Your Cat: Tips and Tricks

Cats are known for their curious and playful nature, which often leads them to climb. Climbing is a normal behavior for cats as it allows them to explore and have a different perspective of their environment.

However, excessive climbing can damage furniture, curtains and window screens, which can be frustrating for pet owners. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why cats climb, both as a normal behavior and as an underlying health issue.

Understanding these reasons can help pet owners provide an appropriate environment for their furry friends.

Normal Behavior of Cats

Cats are naturally inclined to climb and explore their surroundings. They are curious creatures and enjoy the challenges of high perches and narrow spaces.

Climbing provides cats with a physical and mental workout, keeping them active and alert. Moreover, it is also a way for cats to mark their territory and keep themselves entertained.

Vertical Spaces

Cats are instinctively drawn to vertical spaces, which offer a safe retreat from other animals or people. High perches allow cats to observe their surroundings and to feel in control of their environment.

This is an essential part of cats’ natural behavior, which stems from their wild ancestors who had to rely on climbing to escape from predators.

Horizontal Spaces

Cats also enjoy climbing on horizontal surfaces such as tables, countertops, and bookshelves. This behavior is often seen in cats who have a strong hunting instinct.

Climbing on horizontal surfaces gives them a vantage point to observe potential prey or to pounce on unsuspecting toys.

Climbing for Fun

Climbing is not only a natural behavior for cats but is also a fun activity that they engage in. Cats enjoy the challenge of climbing up high and the thrill of jumping off.

Climbing also offers cats a way to expend their excess energy, especially for indoor cats who have limited space to run and play.

Acceptable Behavior

Pet owners should allow their cats to perform normal behaviors, including climbing. However, it is essential to train cats to distinguish which items are acceptable for climbing and which ones are not.

Providing a designated scratching post or a cat tree can help redirect this behavior to an acceptable location.


It is essential for pet owners to provide unrestricted access to spaces that are safe and acceptable for climbing. This can prevent cats from climbing furniture, curtains and window screens, which can cause damage to household items and potentially harm the cat.

Underlying Health Reasons for a Cat’s Climbing

Excessive climbing can be a sign of an underlying health issue or discomfort. It is important to pay attention to changes in your cat’s behavior and to consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Stress and Anxiety

Cats that are stressed or anxious may climb to seek refuge and create a space away from others. This behavior is often seen in multi-cat households or households with other animals, where cats may feel threatened or overwhelmed.

Providing quiet places where cats can retreat can help them feel more comfortable and reduce their need to climb excessively.

Multiple Surfaces

Climbing could also be a sign that your cat needs multiple surfaces to climb upon. This behavior is commonly seen in cats that are bored or not given enough space to move around.

Providing a multi-level cat tree or shelves can give your cat more vertical spaces to climb upon.

Hyperthyroidism and Medications

Hyperthyroidism, a common metabolic disorder in cats, can cause them to become more active and agitated. Cats with this condition may become more prone to climbing and other hyperactive behaviors.

Moreover, some medications such as steroids can also cause increased climbing behavior. If you suspect your cat has a metabolic disorder or is on medication, you should speak to your veterinarian.


In conclusion, understanding why cats climb is essential to provide them with an appropriate environment that allows them to express their natural behaviors. Climbing serves as both a natural behavior and as a sign of underlying health problems.

By paying attention to your cat’s behavior and providing the necessary support, you can help them live a happy and comfortable life. Kittens are naturally playful and inquisitive.

They love to explore their surroundings, play with toys, and climb different surfaces. However, this behavior can sometimes lead to destructive habits such as climbing screens and drapes.

This article provides tips for pet owners on how to train a kitten not to climb screens and drapes, as well as strategies for training older cats.

Training a Kitten Not to Climb Screens and Drapes

Boredom is one of the primary reasons why kittens climb drapes and screens. Kittens need a rich environment with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

Provide your kitten with plenty of toys, including scratchers, balls, and interactive toys. This will give your kitten an outlet for their need to explore, play and scratch, while also providing an alternative to climbing.

Developmental Importance of Climbing

It’s important for kittens to climb, as it helps them develop their coordination and balance. Climbing can also help improve their confidence and provide an outlet for their high energy levels.

As such, it’s important not to discourage climbing behavior altogether but rather redirect it to acceptable surfaces such as cat trees or scratching posts.

Good Behavior and Treats

When kittens are caught climbing curtains or screens, it’s important to redirect their behavior to an acceptable surface and reward good behavior. Treats and positive reinforcement can be used to encourage good behavior.

When the kitten is climbing an acceptable surface, such as a scratching post, reward them with a treat and praise. This helps them understand which behaviors are acceptable and reinforces good climbing habits.

Training an Older Cat to Stop Climbing Curtains

Limiting a cat’s climbing behavior can be difficult, especially for older cats. However, by providing a diverse environment, pet owners can introduce alternative climbing surfaces and redirect destructive behavior.

Applicable for all Ages

Limiting climbing behavior is achievable regardless of the age of the cat. Providing an enriching environment with plenty of toys and interactive surfaces can help to distract the cat from undesirable behavior.

Scratching posts and cat trees provide appropriate surfaces for climbing, and toys provide an outlet for energy.

Providing Diverse Environment

Cats love to explore new environments. Offering a diverse environment with different surfaces and textures can help to redirect unwanted climbing behavior and keep an older cat entertained.

Every cat has its preferences on textures and surfaces, so it’s important to experiment with different options. Try placing blankets, towels, and beds in various locations for your cat to explore.

Climbing Alternatives

It’s important to provide alternative surfaces for older cats, especially those who may have a stronger desire to climb. Cat trees and scratching posts are perfect examples of such alternatives.

Scratching posts should be tall and sturdy enough to support the cat’s weight and are best placed near curtains and drapes. Cat trees provide cats with a more complex climbing structure, which helps them fulfill their need to climb.


Cats are naturally inclined to play, so providing plenty of toys can help to deter undesirable climbing behavior. Investing in interactive toys such as feather wands, lasers, and puzzle feeders can provide both mental and physical stimulation to a cat, which can help to reduce destructive climbing behavior.


Training your kitten or older cat not to climb curtains and screens can be challenging but achievable. By providing alternative climbing surfaces, enriching environments, and rewarding good behavior, pet owners can redirect their cat’s behavior and keep their furry friends entertained.

Remember that it’s essential to provide your cat with plenty of toys, scratching posts, and climbing structures to fulfill their natural instincts. Cats are natural climbers, and providing them with a safe and enriching climbing space is essential for their physical and mental well-being.

In this article, we will discuss tips for creating a safe climbing space for your cat, including options for vertical space, DIY solutions, and the importance of providing safe climbing alternatives.

Third Dimension of House

Cats need a third dimension of the house – the vertical space, to explore and climb. Adding climbing structures to your home can allow your cat to climb safely while keeping them entertained.

Hammocks, shelves, cat condos, and cat trees are great options for providing your cat with a safe and engaging climbing space. Additionally, scratching posts should be included as they provide a perfect spot for cat’s natural instinct to scratch.

Cat Trees

A cat tree is a great way to provide vertical space for your cat. It is a multi-level climbing structure that allows your cat to explore and climb.

The cat tree should be tall enough for the cat to climb and have different textures, like carpeting or sisal rope, for scratching. The tree should also have various levels and perches where the cat can rest and play.

The base should be sturdy and heavy to prevent the tree from tipping over.

Cat Shelves

Cat shelves are perfect for pet owners who have small spaces or who don’t want to clutter the room with a large cat tree. Cat shelves can be placed on the wall and come in various shapes and sizes, providing your cat with a climbing area without taking up too much space.

They can be installed above furniture or windows, and can also serve as a resting perch.

DIY Solutions

Creating a safe climbing space for your cat doesn’t always have to be expensive. DIY solutions can be simple yet effective.

A step-ladder with a cushion cover or a cardboard box with enclosed surfaces can be transformed into a makeshift cat climbing area. This simple DIY solution can offer your cat new heights to explore and jump from.

You can also make use of old bookshelves by adding cat perches and scratching pads on them, providing a multi-use area for your cat to climb and play.


It’s essential to make sure that your cat’s climbing space is safe and enriching. To make the area more fun, adding toys, puzzles, or even catnip can keep your cat entertained while climbing.

Interactive toys like laser pointers, puzzle feeders, and feather wands are perfect for engaging your cat while also keeping them active. Importance of Providing Safe

Climbing Alternatives

Cats need safe and interesting ways to climb and explore.

Providing a safe climbing space can help prevent destructive behavior, such as scratching furniture, curtains, or other household items. A climbing area can also help to stimulate your cat mentally by providing various opportunities for exploration and play.


In conclusion, creating a safe climbing space is essential to your cat’s physical and mental well-being. Providing vertical space and various scratching surfaces can prevent damaging behavior while also keeping the cat entertained.

A DIY solution can be an affordable option for pet owners who want to provide a climbing area for their cat. Remember to place climbing structures in areas that don’t block traffic or walkways, and keep toys and puzzles available to enhance the cat’s experience.

By providing a safe climbing space, you can give your cat the opportunity to explore, play, and fulfill their natural instincts. In summary, providing a safe climbing space for your cat is essential to their physical and mental well-being.

Cats naturally love to climb and explore their environment, but providing a safe alternative to climbing furniture and drapes can prevent destructive behavior while also keeping them entertained. Vertical space, scratching posts, and cat trees are great options for creating a safe climbing space.

DIY solutions can also be affordable and effective. Remember to provide toys and puzzles to enhance your cat’s experience.

Overall, giving your cat the opportunity to climb and explore safely can keep them happy and healthy, while also preventing damage to household items.

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