Tilting Windows Are A Danger To Cats

We had a tragedy in our street this weekend. A young cat was trapped in the small gap at the top of a tilting window, she must have been trying to get out of the house and it cost her her life.

tilting windows can be dangerous to cats

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

We first noticed an RSPCA Inspector knocking at the front door of the house, but no one was in. We then saw him go down the side of the house to the back and then he was talking to a woman hanging out of her bedroom window of another house behind that. Of course we couldn’t see what was happening there but then a fire engine pulled up, one fireman was carrying a ladder. The crew joined the Inspector who then went back to his van to collect a cat carrier.

At the time I was busy receiving phone calls from BT about a dispute we had with them over our internet usage (now thankfully resolved in our favour) but Babz was out in our front garden with our own cats

She asked him what had happened, because they are cats we are concerned about, very young and out long hours and now sadly pregnant. Apparently the woman in the bedroom window opposite the back of their house had noticed a cat trapped in the top of the tilting window and phoned the RSPCA.

The inspector said that as it is usual for no one to be at home the plan is to climb up outside and open the window further and push the cat back into the house. So, shockingly this must happen often. We were frantic of course, wondering what was going on and meanwhile the two women returned home.

Babz was able to ask the RSPCA Inspector if the cat was OK. Sadly she wasn’t, no one knew how long she had been stuck there as no one had been in the house for hours. He thought she’d broken her back, she was being taken straight to the vets and most likely would have to be PTS.

Worse was to come! She had a litter of young kittens in the house! Eventually the Inspector returned with bad news and collected the kittens who the women had to sign over to him.

This tragedy has affected us deeply and this is to warn everyone that cats are not safe, even indoors. They can usually manoeuvre even the smallest spaces but an unscreened partly open window can be a death trap.

It made me think again of how vulnerable cats are, how we must be very careful always about windows, especially upstairs ones. How we must always close doors very carefully, because cats especially young ones, are unpredictable, they can make a dash for an open door and be shut in it and hurt that way.

The only good thing to come out of this tragedy is that the other cats of the family will now be under RSPCA scrutiny, so that young mother did not die in vain and her story might save other cats lives.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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Tilting Windows Are A Danger To Cats — 27 Comments

  1. Yea there can be just as many dangers inside as well as outside. Its really hard sometimes esp with Having Jasmine inside. She trys her hardest to outsmart us. We keep the Cat door locked at night. Which, means we have to open the door for the other Cats so its an open and close game most of the night. She sneaky manages to escape,and found where she was escaping last night. There is a small gap in a broken window which we have bordered up. Am hoping either next week or week after will take Jasmine to get fixed. Which be great as she so full of energy.

  2. They’re rare where I’m at.
    I’ve seen them in a few old warehouses though.
    Most windows here slide up and down these days and “catch” at various levels so there’s no chance of slamming shut.
    Some older homes from around the 1960’s may have the jalousie (louvre) windows still that crank open.

  3. Ours are sort of door windows, which is wonderful for downstairs as Walt and Jo come and go by that one, see the pic. But the upstairs windows are the same, so to have them open we need to put a mesh screen up to keep our cats safe.
    At present because of the noise and stink from those dogs just the other side of the fence I never have mine open at all anyway.

  4. I think being paranoid about cat safety is healthy – at least for me. But, no matter how hard I try, I know that !00% cat proofing is impossible. There are probably 50 dangers inside that I haven’t even thought of. And, I hate surprises. So, it’s like always being on edge waiting for a cat to encounter one. Always watching, always listening inside and outside. Always on the move.

    • Another of them gone today Dee, very poorly young mother with 4 kittens signed over to CP, only one left due to give birth any time now.

        • They phoned CP because the mother couldn’t feed the kittens and when Marion came to collect them and saw the state of the mother I expect she persuaded them in her own inimitable way to sign them all over.

          • This makes me so sick that the poor little mama had to reach that state before CP was called.
            The pregnant one that’s left needs to go too.
            At least, it’s comforting to know that CP helps and doesn’t kill.

            • Yes that’s the RSPCA and CP both know about the situation now and intervened, a huge relief to us!

  5. This is a tragedy It is so very sad. So many people don’t “cat proof” their houses and just don’t THINK about what can harm them.

    Awhile ago I wrote about the dangers of pet doors. They also are extremely risky. Kittens can escape since these doors aren’t small enough. Stray animals can get into the house through these doors, and wreak havoc with any pet that is inside.

    Thanks for writing this article, Ruth! There is so much education that must be done to keep all of our pets safe. I really feel for this kitty. This is just so very, very sad.

    • Thanks Jo, we have just one rule in our house, it’s ‘think cat’
      I think most long time cat caretakers have the same rule, but that little cat has paid with her life because of her owners carelessness.
      Hopefully they have learned a lifelong lesson that you can’t be too careful with cats around.

  6. Yea its definitely a wake-up call. As you just never know. They can get themselves in small areas. Thats often when they may get locked in garages and in other areas.

  7. We thought the biggest danger to those cats was being run over as toms chased them desperate to mate, or hurt by the huge dogs in that house, never for one moment thought about a window being the cause of one’s death.

  8. Oh Ruth & Barbara this is just so horrible. It reminds me of a window I had when i was living alone. It had a push pulley, was like an Victorian type House. Where u pushed the window Up and Down. You are so right, Cats & Kittens can easily get into small places. Even I find with Cat doors, they can easily get their wee paws caught in the door. I’ve had to help My cats a few times as they got Caught. Thing I’ve noticed with mine,they are very clever at Jumping on to high objects like onto Wardrobe, then sometimes they get stuck. Its definitely makes you more aware of closing some windows and doors, to make sure this sort of thing NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. Its very traumatic and i know you guys been worried for awhile, about that Cat and its so sad.

  9. It’s such a tragedy for that poor cat and her kittens. I was speaking to one of the women yesterday evening after asking her what the outcome was and she said the RSPCA man had told her that the little cat had broken her back from her neck down to her tail and that no amount of money would pay for an operation to mend it. They seem to think that she had been out of the window (apparently the cats have been using that window to get in and out because there is a conservatory roof below that they use to jump onto and from to get back inside) and the accident had happened as she tried to get back in, as she had kittens she might have misjudged the size of her body or perhaps the window wasn’t open as far as usual, or maybe she slipped and fell in but got her head edged but anyway it seems that she hung by her head for something like 3 hours, the RSPCA man told them that the lady opposite had phoned them at 9.30 but they say they didn’t leave the house until 10.30. Either way that cat has been hanging in distress several hours and must have twisted and writhed to try to get free, whether or not the fact that she always had two collars on made a difference there is no way of knowing, apparently the blinds at that window were torn to shreds so she must have been trying to get a hold on them.
    The women have had to sign a statement acknowledging what has happened and declaring that they will not leave the windows open while the cats are unattended in the future, they have also been advised to have their other cats spayed. We told them also to remove the cord that runs through the bottom of their blinds and they have done that. It’s so sad, so needless, people have to realise they can’t just bring an armful of kittens into the house and let them fend for themselves, they need feeding, spaying and caring for – just like babies and puppies do!

  10. I would never have thought this possible. Did the window slam shut on her back as she tried to get through it? It looks like that. I am surprised she was trapped where she was – at the top of the window. Tragic. Very sad.

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