J as in Jail. Building window screens for my cats

I know, I’m dramatic, but I can’t help it. What I hate most about cat-proofing my home are window screens. I wanted to have inside-outdoor cats, because I didn’t like the idea of a golden cage. I’ve accepted that the Finnish law restricts outdoor cats, but it was hard to think like an adult whilst making the screens.

It doesn’t really help that my house is from 1890.
No window is alike, and I don’t want to make holes in the wooden frame. Additionally, the windows contain of two panes, one opens outward and the other inward. I couldn’t use any standard window screens and needed to become creative. I decided to build an additional frame, a removable passe-partout. I spend over 5 hours and 60€ (63$) in a hardware store, and came up with a solution.

1. I bought baseboards and sawed them.

DIY window screens


DIY window frame2. I constructed a square of four baseboards. I recommend to use your brain. Please remember your original plan and think before you’re working. You have to connect all parts identically. Your work won’t pay off if you skip this step. Sigh. I also recommend to use both nails and screws – pounding nails is a great way to manage your aggressions!

3. Attach chicken wire to your wooden frame. Again, use both nails and screws!


chicken wire wooden frame


4. It’s impossible to push the frame out of the window, because it’s located on the window board: your frame is thus larger than the window frame. However, a cat could pull the window screen towards the room, so you’ll need to fasten your frame. I didn’t want to make holes in the 120-year-old window frames, so I came up with a very elegant solution (I admit – I’m proud of myself): I used the hooks of the outer pane. I don’t need the hooks whilst the outer pane is open, and I won’t need the window screen when the window is closed.

cat-proof windows


window screen for catsHere’s the result. It’s perfect. Only minus: I have to remove the frame when I want to close both panes. I need to find a good place for the frame; I don’t want my cats to play with it. I usually only close the outer pane in summer, because I’m lazy. I can’t do that during the cold season, because I need the second pane for isolation. During summer, the window screen can stay on the window board, and I’m not sure how much I’ll need it during winter. I normally don’t need to air that often; this is a very old tree house, and ventilation is not a problem. Unfortunately, I may add, but in regard to escaping cats, it may be an advantage.

My neighbor admired my frame, yeah! He’s very handy, so his recognition means a lot. Even better – he wants to help me with the remaining two frames!

P.S. I needed ages to write this post. I don’t normally talk about construction work in English, and I hope I used the right words. My apologies.