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Discussion Starter #1
...how do you keep your cat safe from falling out of the window?

I keep my windows almost totally closed, but I just found my cat walking on the air conditioning box outside the window (5th floor). I almost had a heart attack. I'm not sure if he managed to open the window or was able to squeeze himself so small.

In summer I won't be able to keep the windows closed...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
kwarendorf, don't they manage to tear it apart or push it aside?
 

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The screens are wire/metal screens, not the flimsy fiberglass ones. Every once in a while I will see one of my guys scratching a screen and I will discourage the behavior in a fairly loud fashion. The screens are pretty durable and fit well in the window frames. It's worked for me, and them :)
 

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High rise

I live on the top floor of a three story building. I have a balcony, with a vertical metal grills, roughly every 12 inches apart. Ritz could conceivably fit her head in between those grills. So shortly after I got Ritz I put chicken wire all along the metal grils; at the very least, it would prevent herfrom slipping through the cracks although not--goodness forbid--jumping on top of the grills. Obviously I keep the screen door closed 24x7x365.

I came home one day from work and saw Ritz looking at me from OUTSIDE the patio screen door. There was a small hole in the screen and she pushed through, no doubt to lunge at a bird(s). That chicken wire probably saved her.

You can buy special screen doors specifically for pets; the mesh is extra sturdy. Not that much more expensive than regular mesh.

As an aside, I have let Ritz go out onto the balcony twice and watched her like a proverbial hawk. My reasoning was that, if she satisfies her curosity, she'll be less inclined to try to push through the screen. So far (after one year) she shows no interest in going outside the balcony door. Though the front door holds some interest....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I have to look for something sturdier than the one against mosquitos. I'll go check in Home Depot.
 

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That's yet another thing I have to save up for this summer (along with about a couple dozen other things!) is a sturdy screen door.
My ex-husband's cat who I'm "babysitting" is an indoor/outdoor cat - by ex's wishes (even though he's lost 2 previous cats on the busy road by the house...but oh well). I however did not want the stress of losing yet another one, even if she isn't mine, and got a screen door for the patio...but I'm poor, and got a flimsy one. She put 3 different holes in it, within a month. So now I want to get a metal screen, even though it'll probably cost twice as much.
My cats are content to watch through the door, and even after the holes (which I patched up, of course), they never bothered to go through them. Nebbie seems awfully tempted, but I think she can tell I have "Ack! NO! Danger!" vibes when I see her getting too curious about pawing at it.
 

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I solved the "can't open the windows because my cats shred and push out the screens" problem by installing baby gates in front of every window I want to be able to open. Not exactly an attraction solution, but a very effective one. Now I can open my windows wide, and the cats can't get through the baby gates (though they can still stick their paws through and tear the screens if they're really determined).

Laurie
 

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I need to figure out a solution to this problem, too. I'm only on the second floor, so it's less a worry about injury and more about escape (though I'm sure he could get hurt from the jump, too), and I live on a very busy intersection. My windows are all very old (building is over 100 years old, and aside from my two bedroom windows, I'm not sure if any of them have been redone, ever!) and of odd shapes and sizes, so normal screens wouldn't fit. The windows in my living room are all curved. And I hadn't even thought about him opening the window when the AC units are in. Gah. Lots to figure out, and soon, because I am very warm natured and only leave windows consistently closed during the coldest months (and normally, even when it's freezing out I usually have a window cracked for fresh air--this is an adjustment for me).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hepburn, sorry to say this, but lower floors are the most dangerous for cats, because the fall is too quick to give them time to adjust their bodies for the impact with the floor. If I lived on a 10th floor, I'd be less worried than on my 5th floor.
 

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^^ My Kobie hurt himself when he jumped (or was pushed, we never found out) out of my second story window. There was a screen in place but he pushed it out (or it broke when he was pushed out by the other cat) SO it can still be a problem. The baby gate in the window solution is a good one!
 

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Eek, well I pretty much figured as much, and regardless, I of course want there to be NO WAY for him to possibly get out a window.

The baby gate is an interesting idea. That could work to secure one of my bedroom windows, which already have screens, are regularly shaped, and aren't a million years old. Not sure about the others. Thank goodness I have a couple of months before this will be a real issue! I have so many things to figure out re: cat parenting. :)
 

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When I lived in my loft apartment I really had no need to open the windows that much except for a few burnt food incidents and then I just put Boo in a extra large dog crate for when I babysat my dads dog Harvey.Before Boo I'd been living there since I was 18 and only had babysat one cat who never went near the windows even when they were open(with screens of course).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm indeed looking at these baby gates. As I rent, I can't hammer screws into the windows.
 

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I have slider windows (they open side to side not up and down) I put a wire cooling rack (for cooling cookies) in each one. I set the cooling rack into the window track and slide the window shut until it's locked in place.

MowMow is always lunging at birds and now instead of me worrying he's going to take a header down 3 flights he just bounces off the metal cooling rack. Also, it doesn't look too ugly from the inside and you can't tell from the outside.
 

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You can buy cat nets quite cheaply - I just have for my balcony but haven't assembled it yet. Be careful with the open windows, I left one ajar a couple of inches to air the room, tied with string so it couldn't open more, and my normally timid kitty found her way onto the TOP of the window over a four storey drop within a minute (the window opens like a door)! Luckily she was addicted to shoelaces at the time...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did she fall?
 

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Did she fall?
No, luckily she just perched there for a few minutes until I attracted her interest with the shoelace, then got her hunter face on and came straight back in. Huge relief! Probably helped that it was night and the birds were all asleep.

I've read that 4th-8th floors are the most dangerous - any lower and they can more likely handle it, any higher and they have a better chance of readjusting during the fall.
 

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By the way your new cat is beautiful - calico males are pretty rare aren't they?
 

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The most likely suggestion is screening of some kind, it shouldn't be hard to find some, measure your window size and go looking in likely stores.

My mother's cat fell 8 stories to her death in the middle of the night - my mother woke up to the sound of her falling, so I don't take these kind of things lightly, if you're going to have a window open at all, make sure there is no way your cat can get out that window.
 
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