The Dangers of Drape and Curtain Rods for Your Pets

Picture of a dog looking out a window

If you share your home with a dog or cat, you know your draperies and curtain rods can be at risk. Since dogs and cats love to look out the window, there is serious cause for concern that your pet may step on your drapes, putting excess strain on your curtain rod. This can lead to disaster. But depending on the fabric, there are a lot of things that could happen to befall a far less than friendly relationship between your pets and your window dressings. Nails can snag or get caught in delicate fabrics leading to tears and even the pulling of your entire curtain rod out of the wall. When the drapes and the rods holding them come tumbling down, the damage is not just limited to the fabrics and metal rods. It can also mean injury for your pets. Is it possible for dogs, cats, drapes, and curtain rods to live peaceably together?

The Cat Approach

When it comes to cats, you face different challenges than what dog-owning families need to concern themselves with. Cats love to climb, so your drapes and curtain rods aren’t just at risk of being stepped on; they also take quite a beating from determined cats on a mission to climb to the top. Of course, most standard curtain rods simply aren’t up the task of a cat with a penchant to climb. With this in mind, experts recommend using tension rods for homes with cats. Though this will not initially stop the climbing, it will cause the rods to release under pressure, sending your cat for a tumble he won’t soon forget. In theory, your cat will remember what happened that last time he decided to make his ascent to the top of the draperies and will choose a different activity instead.

But this approach will not work for all cats, given the legend that they have nine lives. With this in mind, it might be time to pull out some known cat deterrents. Cats are not fans of certain types of commercial scents, making them the ideal spray to douse your drapes with. Many cats will run a country mile to avoid unpleasant odors, leaving your drapes and curtain rods safe from mischievous cats. Other deterrents include natural cat repellers such as aluminum foil and double sided tape, two items cats truly hate. If your cat is proving rather stubborn when it comes to giving up on their “ascent to the top,” you could consider noisemakers or spray bottles filled with water which can provide a distraction to stop unwanted behavior.

As a last resort, you can always provide a cat scratching post or catnip-filled toys or other items which can add a pleasant distraction and defer your cat’s attention from your drapes to something they can’t harm.

Always remember that it’s not just the dangers of climbing that are problematic when it comes to cats and curtains. Though curtain rods can easily tumble and cause your cat injury, it is not the only consideration when it comes to your household window furnishings. Curtains are expensive; particularly if you opt to have them custom made. In order to climb your curtains, your cat must obtain “grip” them somehow, and that grip comes from their ever sharp nails. These nail marks can destroy the fabric of your curtains. An easy solution to avoid this problem is to purchase nail covers. This simple strategy removes the cat’s ability to climb as well as to scratch, snag, or tear your drapes. A win-win for you though Frisky most likely will pout that his favorite pastime has been taken away.

The Dog Approach

Though dogs don’t climb, they do love to chew! Chewing on draperies can also lead to curtain rods being pulled out of the wall due to the excess pressure placed upon them. When a rod falls, it can easily hit your dog, causing injury, but regardless, it will give him a terrible fright! However, dogs do tend to attempt unsuccessful behaviors again, so a more proactive approach may be necessary to keep your curtains from suffering doggy destruction. Deterrent sprays such as Bitter Apple can safely be sprayed on your curtains to prevent even the most determined doggy from chewing on them. Bitter Apple can be purchased at most veterinary clinics and high quality pet retailers. Once sprayed upon an item, it gives it an unpleasant taste that dogs like to stay as far away from as possible.

If your pooch is of the more stubborn sort and resists pet deterrent sprays, you may need to change the length of your curtains to reduce your dog’s access to them. Though many dogs are ingenious at finding ways to get to things that interest them; when it comes to your drapes, it most often is out of sight, out of mind.

Another thing that you can attempt with your dog is to make use of the “Leave It” command. If you have taught your dog that he must not touch something when asked to “Leave It,” you can transfer this same skill to staying away from your drapes. This of course will require some active supervision in the initial stages in order for your dog to learn what is expected of him when he is near your drapes. However, over time, your dog will simply lose interest, leaving your drapes alone.

Other Possible Hazards

But it’s not just climbing drapes, snagging them, or falling curtain rods that could potentially cause injury to your dog or cat. Since both dogs and cats find it hard to resist things that dangle such as cords, your pet just might find chewing on the cord that closes your drapes or blinds irresistible and decide to snack on it. If your dog or cat eats this cord, the string can wrap itself around their intestines, causing serious intestinal damage and even death.

Some dogs and cats don’t find chewing the cord appealing but do manage to get their heads stuck inside of it. Once they realize their head is trapped, their attempts to free themselves can lead to strangulation, a terrible tragedy. To avoid this, it is always best to reduce access to any cords or dangling materials that your pet might be attracted to. To solve this problem, you can install a hook just outside of your dog or cat’s reach where you can place curtain or blind cords to keep your pets safe from possible strangulation.

Another excellent idea to window coverings that don’t befall pet destruction is blinds. Installing blinds or shades can be the perfect solution to removing your pet’s interest in your window fashions. Mini blinds pose no challenge for pets as they can easily move them aside to see out the window. Because they are made of material that is not durable, they are also easily damaged, and their sharp vinyl edges can leave your pets with painful cuts on their paws. A better solution is wooden or vertical blinds. Many are available with electric settings, meaning there is no cord at all for your dog or cat to be tempted by!

Shades pose another excellent option. Since shades provide total window coverage, they remove your dog’s access to seeing the great outdoors and also are bulky, meaning they are harder to chew. Roman shades are available to fit your window precisely and have no cords for your dog or cat to apply their teeth to. Always bear in mind that a very determined pet could pull down an entire shade causing themselves harm and destroying the shade in the process.

Yes, there is no doubt that drapes and curtain rods can be dangerous for your pets.

Supervision is the key to preventing accident or injury. Since you can’t be home all the time, the best course of action is to reduce your dog or cat’s access to drapes and curtain rods until you can be home to watch them.



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