Warszawa ( mapka )
ul. Chrzanowskiego 13
tel.: 535 870 225

Dangerous Windows

During conversations with people who want to adopt a cat from me, inevitably there comes a point when I ask about the safety of the cat, the security of windows and the balcony. As it turns out, few people are aware of what can happen to a cat, if the windows are wide open, or even tilted from the top. And when I start talking about security - nets and window stops, I often hear, "But I will not turn my apartment into prison!" I wonder why so many people do not even want to think about securing the safety of their pet...

Broken four paws
The cat always lands on four paws. Assumingly so, but I would add - usually breaking the paws. A fall, from even seemingly low height, often ends in tragedy: broken limbs, internal injuries, a broken spine, disability or death...

I remember a big, red-haired cat, whom I met once at the clinic. Majestically and calmly the cat lay under the drip. There was a young guy with him - I asked whether his beautiful cat always tolerates treatments so patiently. Well no, the cat was in the hospital after falling from a window, three storeys. Spinal fracture, paralysis of the rear half of the body. That's why this cat was lying so quietly and patiently, occasionally glancing with trust at his guardian. The beautiful red cat fell out of the window because someone failed to secure it, he left the window open. And now the cat was lying under the drip, and his guardian was waiting for the results of x-rays and the opinion of the vet - what's next ... The next day I was again at the clinic and again I met this young guy. He was leaving the doctor's office with teary eyes and an empty transporter. His big, red, loving friend could have lived, if the window had been secured.

It is not true that a cat always lands on its paws, it is not true that once it falls out of a window or balcony it will learn and won't do it again. Cats have a very strong hunting instinct, when a fly or butterfly flies near the window, a cat does not think about the danger, but it hunts - it jumps. It's a reflex. Cats are very dexterous and do well walking on the balcony railings - but a paw can slip, a noise may frighten the cat and a disaster is inevitable.

And yet it is so easy to secure a window or a balcony, there are so many ways! You can find instructions for safety devices and do them yourself, or you can order them from a professional. Materials can be purchased at any construction store or ordered over the Internet. Window nets are installed without damaging the windows and are easy to dismantle. Mosquito nets do not protect the cat, because they tear easy (and insects sit an them and then the cat tries to catch them and destroys the mosquito net), as don't gratings on the balcony (most have a large spaces between bars and a cat can pass through). Balconies can be secured with fishing net. It is also a protection from visitors from outside - pigeons and their droppings.

Tilted windows kill
Cloud is dead. Yesterday morning I found her jammed in the window. X-ray showed a crushed spinal cord, in theory, there was a chance for treatment, because the spine was in one piece... but the cat began to drift away on the table, nothing could be done.

I'm not going to explain and describe how I feel, because it's pointless. It was the first time I have experienced such a horror, I will never forgive myself for it.

I knew that the windows are dangerous - in theory. I did not think that they are SO DANGEROUS. It seemed to me that it threatened a cat with an injury or escape at the most. I have never thought about it, because there hasn't been a reason. I have never had even had a glimpse of what could happen, none of the cats was interested in windows, Cloud wasn't either....

Cloud was stuck in a half-open window, the head and the whole front part of her body were on the outside, and the hind legs, and hips - inside. A cat trying to get free struggles, panics, and this causes it to slide further down in the crack. She was at the bottom. I slashed my arm when I was pushing it as low as possible to get the cat out. I barely reached her... the crack was maybe 5 cm there.

After returning from the hospital I started cleaning. The window -both panes, window sill, curtains, floor by the window ... smeared, splashed with urine, blood, faeces, I don't know what else. In the plastic window, there were traces of claws looking as if they were left by nails. Horrible, horrible suffering. I still have it before my eyes. I would give a lot, to go back this one day. Shut the damn window.

Open window, a tiny crack. Seems impossible for a cat to get in there. And yet ... I could cite a dozen more firsthand stories, some have found their cat dead, others alive and wounded, but rescue attempts failed. A few days ago I met a lady at the clinic, whose cat hanged itself in the half-open window before her own eyes. It was a moment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8extTyg6ik

The windows can be opened safely for the cat. It is enough that we install window stoppers, which allow opening the window only a few centimetres - it won't open more or close. We have the effect of an open window while the cat is safe. These stoppers can be purchased in construction stores, at IKEA in the family and children safety department, you can also order them when fitting new windows. What's more, these stoppers are also considered as additional anti-theft security.

  • Window stopper from IKEA
  • Anti-theft security. Anti-theft security. First of all, these are special, highly durable locking elements: for example, mandrels or so called roll - which firmly hold the wing of a window in the anti-burglary hooks in the frame. They have a cylindrical shape, which ensures that they do not protrude from the hooks while break-in attempts, or when the wing is closed or tilted. On summer nights you can safely sleep with the window in microventilation mode or tilted.

Jana Zamięcka

ARGOS Foundation for Animals, 04-886 Warszawa, Garncarska 37A st., KRS: 0000286138
+48 22 615 52 82 | e-mail: fundacja@argos.org.pl | http://www.argos.org.pl
bank account: SWIFT: PKOPPLPW PL 47 1240 6133 1111 0000 4808 5915
The KOTERIA neutering clinic for feral cats in Warsaw, Chrzanowskiego 13 st., Warszawa, +48 535 870 225
Manager of KOTERIA Anna Wypych: tel. 603 651 044 | Chief vet Iwona Kłucińska-Petschl tel. + 48 502 642 932