Are your Window Screens Pet Safe?

Dog sitting on a chair in front of open windows with sunlight pouring in.

Your beloved pet is Boss, regardless if it’s a dog or a cat, a guinea pig or an iguana who has free roam of your home. They’re your baby, furry or not. Your pet’s happiness is at the top of your priority list; however, you still want them to be safe. 

You probably have a specific chair for them and another chair they’re forbidden to mount on. They have their corner for food, rather than eat with you at the table (?), and you have your language, so you understand when they need to go out to do their business (mainly talking cats and dogs here now).

The window screens you’ve chosen for your home should be of the same caliber to resist pet scratches and tears, to be strong enough to prevent your pet from getting out while also maintaining the primary benefits of installing these screens. 

You can get pet-safe window screens. We provide them here at Screenmobile! But let’s talk about them first to be confident you’re making the best purchasing decision. 

 

What are pet-friendly screens?

There are two factors to consider when analyzing a screen for its pet-friendliness:

  1. The mesh
  2. The frame

The Mesh: this is the screen, the wonder material that allows you to keep your windows open in summer without worrying about an onslaught of mosquitos in your home. A cool breeze can safely circulate through your home, carrying the benefits of fresh air with it. They help cut your dependency on the AC and, most notably for you, prevent pets from running out.

The Frame: a screen is only as good as its frame, as we say in the trade. If you already have window screens installed, answer these questions:

    1. How old are these frames?
    2. Did you change the frame the last time you replaced the screen?
    3. Do you live in an area with extreme weather changes?
    4. Are your screen frames solidly in place? Do they shift if you put pressure on them?
    5. Are there any cracks in the frame or gaps around them?

Should I replace or hold onto my window frames? 

Age

  • >10 years: It’s advisable to change window frames after 10 years of use
  • <10 years: If your frames are in good condition no need to change them!

Last Changed

  • >15 years: Sometimes products last longer than projected, but 15 years is risking it.
  • < 5 years: you shouldn’t need to change your frames in less than five years unless they have been damaged.

Weather

  • Extreme fluctuations between hot and cold for wooden frames.
  • Temperate weather conditions

Firmness

  • The frame wiggles when you press slightly. You don’t want it to pop out suddenly.
  • Frame is firmly in place, even when putting pressure on it.

Cracks and gaps

  • Cracks and gaps are present due to age, weather, or pets hurling themselves against your screens.
  • No gaps or cracks present in or around the frames

 

Do pet-resistant screens work? 

Put simply, yes, pet-resistant screens are strong, durable meshes explicitly designed to resist pet clawing and scratching work. The screen material is more robust, usually a vinyl-coated polyester fabric.

Vinyl is commonly used as a shorthand name for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. In summary, with the exception of paints, glues, and certain films, “vinyl” as a product description almost always means made of PVC.

Source: https://healthybuilding.net/uploads/files/sorting-out-the-vinyls-when-is-vinyl-not-pvc.pdf

The mesh is thicker but still allows ventilation while stopping bugs from coming in.

 

Here’s a scenario

Your cat loves to sit at the kitchen window and watch the world go by. You like seeing her there and enjoy her company. You chat away to her while you prepare lunch and you’re secretly relieved you can keep your eye on her. 

Open windows, though. A bird flies by, a neighboring dog barks, or a less-tamed street cat prowls close by, inviting your cat out to play. The last scenario you want is your cat fleeing and you spending your afternoon searching for her or anxiously awaiting her return.

Best to get a cat-proof window screen

 

Installing a pet-resistant screen will:

  • Keep your pet indoors, even if they push or scratch to get out,
  • Leave your windows open for ventilation,
  • Stop bugs from coming in, and
  • Preserve your view.

 

Are pet screens worth it?

By all means, yes! Regardless if you have one or ten fur friends running about. If anything, for peace of mind. Plus, a specifically designed pet screen will last longer, saving you money in the long run.

 

What’s the difference between a pet screen and a regular screen?

The difference is the material of the mesh. The fabric is heavy-duty and costs extra. However, a cat screen, for example, can withstand clawing and scratching. Over time this leads to gaping holes in your screens, rendering them useless for their primary service. Your cat won’t be able to pop the screen out with her animal force, either. 

 

Where can I install pet screens? 

Pet screens are not just for your kitchen window. They can be installed over any opening and entry in your home. At Screenmobile, our technicians can prepare custom-sized pet screens to fit anywhere in your home.

Entry doors 

Front and back doors can be installed with a frame and screen strong enough to keep your pet indoors. 

Patio doors

Why not turn your patio into a Catio? Reinforce your patio doors with pet-resistant screens. Create a safe space for your pets to roam and enjoy your patio benefits without running out onto the street.

https://www.screenmobile.com/blog/what-to-know-about-french-doors-with-screens/ 

French doors

We’ll bust the myth right now: you can install screens on french doors. Whether they lead to the exterior or a room where your pets are not allowed, installing screens is a synch, especially retractable screens. 

Windows 

You’ll never know which nook or cranny your pet will find himself in, windows included. Don’t risk leaving an open window unprotected.

 

How to maintain pet screens?

Pet screens have similar screen maintenance guidelines to regular screens, except they require more frequent care. 

  1. Pop out the screen from its frame (gently)
  2. Use warm soapy water and a light brush (no chemicals)
  3. Run the brush over the screen in circular motions
  4. Leave screen to dry before reinstalling

You can use a damp cloth twice a week to clean off any residue or build-up, but consider a deep clean every six weeks.

 

How to remove a pet-safe window screen

Here’s the thing: you don’t want to remove just the screen. You need to remove the frame and the screen. Feel around the edges for clips and gently remove them from the window. When your screen is clean, you can simply clip it back in. Only remove the screen if it’s damaged and aim to replace it.

If you’re having issues, or are worried about doing more damage than harm. You can reach out to your local Screenmobile expert for a hand.

 

Pet resistant screening

Pet screens tend to get dirty real quick. You have muddy streaks and animal hair caught in the mesh. There’s nothing weird or strange about vacuuming your pet screens once a week!

 

Screen replacement

First of all, do you need to replace your screen?

Liz from Screenmobile has outlined three things to consider before replacing your screen. With a quick explanation on how to change them. Like the guy in the video, maybe DIY is not your thing. Our fully trained Screenmobile technicians can expertly remove, measure, and replace your old, broken screens and frames.

 

Upgrading your window screen to resist pets

Now, you can see the benefits of pet-resistant window screens and how they can slide in nicely with any home decor or design. We hope you can make the right choices for yourself, your family, and your furbabies. 

Contact your local Screenmobile today to discuss your needs and book an appointment.





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