Best way to get a cat not to bite nylon blinds?
November 24, 2018 1:28 PM   Subscribe

My daughter's cat has chewed himself a hole in the nylon miniblinds that are by her window. He's done this before, to the old set of blinds, but this time he is really going to town with the chewing. We'd like to dissuade him so that he doesn't accidentally swallow any little bits of them.

Sputnik (aka Sputtbutt) likes to sit on the top shelf of my daughter's desk and peer out through the blinds, and meow at anyone he sees, especially the grandchildren of our neighbor whose door is right outside ours, much to their delight.

So he's a serial blind-destroyer, which wasn't too huge a deal - we live in an apartment, blinds are like $20 to replace, so it's ok overall and it's cool that he likes to see outside. Landlord doesn't get on our case about them or anything, so we don't have to replace them often. Whenever we move out, we'll replace them again, no problem.

We weren't too worried when he was shoving them aside with his paws and other parts of his body, but now we see a lot of teeth marks and are worried he will ingest a piece. The blinds are made of nylon, just a cheapo kind from Home Depot.

Here is the little scamp including action shots of him pushing aside and chewing on the blinds.

What's the best way to dissuade him from further chomping? I have heard of people using hot sauce on cords and such, is this something that sounds like a good idea? Presumably it is diluted a whole lot I would think? We currently have some Cholula, but I believe we are out of Sriracha.

Also, should we start with a fresh set of blinds? There are lots of scraggledy bits in the areas he has already chewed on (see pictures linked above).

Or I suppose we could go with a different option altogether and hang up a makeshift curtain of some kind? Landlord is okay with anything that shows white behind the window.

Thank you for any advice you can give.
posted by cats are weird to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
There are special products just for this.
Bitter apple spray is a good bet, it goes on clear. The Nature’s Miracle brand is widely available, though a quick google suggest there are a few other similar choices that probably work just as well and are cheaper.

You can DIY with hot sauce but it’s perhaps an eyesore to have a red smear on blinds, and it isn’t all that much cheaper than the clear sprays. If I went that route, I would use Tobasco sauce and not dilute it. It will not harm the cat and the whole goal is to make him learn to regret chewing on certain things.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:35 PM on November 24, 2018

Is it that he is just trying to problem solve the fact that these weird thingies are getting in his way? Cats are put on the earth to stamp out chaos, and chaos is anything moving around. Anything blocking his view of chaos is itself chaos and his only job is to stop that the only way he knows how. So you can try to get him to think that chewing the blinds is more trouble than its worth, or you can just get rid of them. What about vertical blinds or curtains (they don't have to be makeshift!) so that you can keep the window mostly covered but leave an area that he can see through with nothing in his way?
posted by bleep at 1:59 PM on November 24, 2018 [9 favorites]

Seconding bitter apple spray. I've had success with it when one of our cats was determined to pull the stitches out of his healing tail... and one lick was all it took to convince him that this was NOT a good idea. It's indeed colourless, and has no odour that I could detect.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:33 PM on November 24, 2018

From the pictures it looks like you've already tried trimming the blinds (cutting off damaged bits, trying to make a little window for Stuttbutt to look out of).

Assuming that's Sputtbutt's little corner of the bed where he likes to sit and look. Make him a little periscope like box that he can poke his head/body into when he wants to peek outside. But make it so he can't see/bite the blinds while he's up in his own little blind.

Cut out that edge section of the blinds again, then put a cardboard box of suitable size on the bed so that it overlaps the opening in the blinds. Cut the back of the box and the bed-end of the box to let Sputtbutt be able to sit in the box and look out the window. Cut the box so that the rest of the blinds are outside of the box and unavailable for biting.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:48 PM on November 24, 2018

You might be able to do the same with a shelf-like thing... Cut the hole, mount a shelf and box of the end over the hole so Sputtbut can sit in that corner and look outside. Bonus shelves.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:54 PM on November 24, 2018

posted by carmicha at 5:38 PM on November 24, 2018

Can you pull them up and leave them open? Seems like he wants the view so putting bitter stuff where he needs to move them seems a bit mean. He didn't chose for the blinds to be there.
posted by kitten magic at 11:01 PM on November 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

You might Google “top down bottom up blinds”. We got a stunningly expensive set of these for the bathroom five years ago and I see they’ve become reasonably-priced. You could open the top for the kittuh and still cover the rest of the window. I didn’t see your photo so it is possible this wouldn’t address the problem—if so, sorry.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 1:33 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

All the sizes of mini blind are available in painted aluminum as well as plastic. Generally speaking, animals will not chew on metal. The metal ones are more expensive, but are much more durable. If buying the metal blinds prevents you having to replace them once, they've paid for themselves.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:49 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

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