Winterizing with cats
January 12, 2014 2:31 PM   Subscribe

I live in a drafty old house and have recently winterized the windows using a kit from Home Depot. It works pretty well! But these bad cats really, really like to claw through the plastic. Is there a more cat-proof option?
posted by munyeca to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Those cats have such a look of "Bad cats? Who? Us?" on their faces.

My first instinct would be to use the kit, then stretch some heavy duty duct tape over top the plastic for the parts that the cats can reach, but that's 1. Going to look ugly as hell, & 2. They're cats, I'm sure they can reach the whole window if they wanted to.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:40 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The temporary removable caulking is just wonderful. It doesn't give you dead air space like plastic does, but assuming you have storm windows like I do, it's stopping the drafts that is really the most important.

Be sure to follow the instructions, especially the one about not smoothing it after application. It can be kind of hard to remove but it's worth the trouble.

One of my cats noticed it at first and poked at it a little bit, but once it's cured that doesn't hurt anything - you just have to keep them away from it for a day or two.
posted by fritley at 2:40 PM on January 12, 2014

One thing I've used in the past, for larger windows, is taking a cheap velour blanket (also known as Vellux) and folding over about 4-5" on one end, using safety pins, and hanging it in front of say, a large patio door to block cold and wind. You can also use them to block off certain areas of the house that you'd rather keep warm air from escaping into.

Our cats helped by lying down on the bottom of the blanket at floor level and they loved chasing each other behind it. No climbing was involved, they save that for the nice sheers and cotton duck tab tops. Which is another thing I am using this year: blinds, plus cotton duck over those. We have one window where we raise the blinds 6" and keep the curtain closed and that way the cats don't stick their head through the blinds and wreck them. Another room, which is warmer, we keep a TV tray in front of the window and the blind raised a little so they can look out.

If you are seeing humidity or frost gathering at the edges of your windows, that is where you need to put the caulking, but it's hard to do in very cold weather, and means you need new windows, or if old and that's not possible, reglazing when the weather is warmer. We're getting warmish weather right now with the typical January thaw, so it might be okay to try and apply removable caulking before the February freeze comes into town.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:00 PM on January 12, 2014

I'm using a 3mm sheet of clear acrylic over my window, held in place by magnets. Getting it down is a nuisance to me, with my opposable thumbs. I don't think a cat could do much damage to it, really. A bonus is that it's reusable and doesn't affect paintwork or decorations.
posted by Solomon at 3:06 PM on January 12, 2014

Masking tape over the cracks is our simple remedy for drafty sash windows, and for doors that don't need to be opened over winter. The blue tape looks weird but comes off easily in spring.
posted by anadem at 3:26 PM on January 12, 2014

Try putting some double sided tape across the plastic spaced an inch or so apart as high as they can reach... Or, put some tin foil or double sided tape along the sill? I'm not sure if this is practical, I've no idea how many windows we're talking about..
posted by HuronBob at 3:35 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Curtains over the plastic, as suggested above by Marie Mon Dieu. If you want light, then get white gauzy curtains.

Those cats have such a look of "Bad cats? Who? Us?" on their faces.

Those cutes look so innocent... Not!

Our cats would never tear the window plastic. They would just do something else equally annoying. Like, um, sitting right in front this computer monitor right now, and start chewing on USB sticks, etc.
posted by ovvl at 3:48 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're anything like me, you probably want to let in as much light as you possibly can in these miserable winter months of gloom. What about putting up exterior plastic covering? They have a shrink wrap option, and if that wouldn't work for you, how about some strips of heavy cardboard stapled over plastic? We've used builder's plastic rolled at the edges and stapled on. Looks like crap, but better than an exorbitant power bill.

Also, those are bad cats. Very, very baaaaad cats. Rotten to the core. Evil cats, even. You wouldn't have any problem with your windows if you sent those evil, bad, rotten cats to me.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:29 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

While I was cutting the plastic, my cat rain all over it before I could even get it on my window. I now just tie a blanket to the ropes on my sash window and let it hang. Plugging all of the little spaces with goop also helped a lot. Heavy curtains on pressure rods also work well. I love your cats!
posted by analog at 7:44 PM on January 12, 2014

The "Who? Me?" look on the tabby's face and the smug look on the pretty white cat's face tell the whole story. Gorgeous cats, but the days of innocence are long gone.
posted by aryma at 9:37 PM on January 12, 2014

Best answer: Double sided tape should slow those bad kitties down. (So freaking cute!) They don't like the feel of it on their paws.

FYI, my sofas are basically scratching posts now, I never did the double sided tape thing. But Trust and Believe that I will be doing it when I get new sofas.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:51 AM on January 13, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, all! These are super helpful suggestions!

We're renters, so anything outside is a bit iffy. But removable caulking + double sided tape seem like they will keep us warm and the kitties at bay!
posted by munyeca at 6:30 AM on January 15, 2014

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