Do Cats Like Window Perches?

The Appeal of Window Perches for Cats

Cats are naturally drawn to heights and elevated vantage points. According to animal behavior experts, this instinct comes from cats being predators who like to survey their territory from above (1). Window perches allow cats to satisfy this innate desire by providing a high up place to perch with a view outdoors.

Sitting atop a window perch gives cats a bird’s eye perspective of the world outside. It allows them to look out over their domain and keep an eye out for potential prey, threats, and interesting sights. Cats enjoy watching birds, squirrels, and other wildlife through the window from this lofty vantage point.

Window perches also give cats a comfortable and warm spot to relax in the sun coming through the window. The warmth and ability to observe the outdoors seems to make window perches an attractive spot for many cats to lounge and take cat naps.


Benefits of Window Perches

Window perches provide numerous benefits for cats. One of the biggest advantages is allowing mental stimulation and reducing boredom. As natural hunters, cats crave environmental enrichment. A window perch gives them a front row seat to all the action outside, providing entertainment by letting them observe birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. This opportunity to watch the outdoors helps satisfy their curiosity and predatory instincts. According to an article on, window perches “allow cats to marvel at, stalk, and chatter at the wildlife and neighborly characters right outside the window” (

Another benefit is providing a space for cats to relax and sunbathe. Cats love basking in the warmth and natural light coming through windows. A window perch gives them a designated spot to comfortably soak up the sun’s rays. The warmth from the sunshine and glass is soothing and can help cats relax.

Additionally, window perches give cats a sense of security from being up high. Cats have a natural instinct to seek out high vantage points where they can survey their territory. Perching on a window allows them to look out over their domain. According to, “The height allows your cat to look out over the yard or street from a higher vantage point which makes them feel safe and secure” ( Positioning up high satisfies their desire to oversee their surroundings.

Considerations When Choosing a Window Perch

There are several important factors to consider when selecting a window perch for your cat to ensure it is safe, comfortable, and suited to your cat’s needs. The perch should be very stable and secured well to prevent tipping or falling. Perches that use sturdy suction cups or screw into the window frame tend to be more secure than lightweight options that just rest on the sill (1).

You also want to make sure there is enough space on the perch platform for your cat to be able to turn around comfortably and lie down if desired. Perches that are too small can feel cramped. Consider the size and weight of your cat when choosing the perch size. Larger, heavier breeds may require a bigger platform for ample space (2).

The perch design should also fit your cat’s age and physical abilities. Older cats or those with mobility limitations may need a perch with lower edges for easier access. Kittens and rambunctious young cats, on the other hand, do best with very sturdy perches designed to hold up to their antics (3). The perch location and height are also important factors we’ll discuss more below.

Taking these considerations into account will help you select the ideal window perch to create a comfortable viewing nook your feline friend will enjoy.

Training Your Cat to Use a Window Perch

Getting your cat used to and comfortable with a new window perch may take some patience and positive reinforcement. Here are some tips for training your cat to use their new perch:

Place treats and toys on the perch to encourage your cat to jump up and explore it. Food motivation works wonders for most cats. You can start by placing a treat on the perch while your cat is watching, so they make the association between the perch and receiving a reward. Then progress to placing toys or treats on the perch when your cat isn’t in the room, so they discover them there later.

Be sure to praise and reward your cat with pets, treats or playtime when they use the perch. This positive reinforcement will help them see the perch as a place for good things to happen.

If your perch is adjustable or installed high up, start low and gradually increase the height over days or weeks as your cat gets accustomed to it. This allows them to gain confidence with the perch before you make it more challenging by raising the height.1

With a little training, your cat can come to love their new vantage point for bird watching, sun bathing and resting in comfort!

Safety Tips for Window Perches

When installing a window perch, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to ensure your cat’s window perching experience is accident-free:

Don’t place the perch near curtains or blinds with cords. Cats can get tangled in hanging cords, which poses a strangulation risk. Opt for cordless window treatments or tie cords up and out of reach (

Check for any small gaps your cat could get stuck in between the perch and window frame. Look for perches designed to fit snugly or use silicone caulk to seal gaps (

Use a cat safety harness if the perch is very high up to prevent falls. Attach the harness to the window perch or a secured eye hook (

Choosing a Good Location

When selecting where to place your cat’s new window perch, you’ll want to consider a few key factors for the ideal viewing spot:

Place the perch near a frequently used window that your cat already likes to look out. Observe where your cat spends time gazing out your home’s windows so you can identify the prime location to install their perch. As noted in this article from Angi, cats like having a good vantage point from a favorite window: [1]

Avoid placing the perch in a location with direct sunlight shining on it for too many hours of the day. While cats do enjoy sunbathing, too much direct sunlight could make the perch uncomfortably hot. Opt for a window that gets some indirect sunlight or mix of sun and shade.

Consider easy access to the perch and views from multiple angles. Choose a window where your cat can easily jump up onto the perch without having to struggle. Make sure the view allows looking side-to-side, not just straight ahead out the window, for more mental stimulation.

Types of Window Perches

There are a few main types of cat window perches:

Enclosed vs. Open-Air

Enclosed perches have sides and a top to create a cozy, cave-like hideaway for cats. These provide more security and warmth. Open-air perches allow for better ventilation and views, but less privacy.

Heated vs. Unheated

Heated perches have a built-in heating element to keep cats warm. These are ideal for cold climates. Unheated perches rely solely on ambient warmth from the sun.


Common materials for perches include:

  • Wood – Attractive and durable, may retain odors over time.
  • Fabric – Soft and cozy, machine-washable for easy cleaning.
  • Cardboard – Affordable option good for short-term use.

The type of window perch you choose for your cat depends on their preferences and needs. An enclosed heated perch may be best for anxious or chilly cats, while active, playful cats might prefer an open-air perch with good visibility.

DIY Window Perch Ideas

For cat owners looking to build their own window perch, there are several simple yet effective DIY options to consider. One easy DIY window perch can be made using a thick piece of plywood cut into a ledge shape and mounted with screws or suction cups ( The wooden ledge can be left unfinished, carpeted, or covered in a soft fabric for comfort.

Another DIY approach is to repurpose a cat tree, shelf, or other furniture into a window mounting. Small cat trees or wall mounted shelves can be adapted with suction cups or brackets to hang in the window securely. Make sure to test weight limits first. Hanging perches with suction cups are also a simple DIY window perch solution, using a plastic or wooden shelf with built-in suction cups on the back to temporarily adhere to the window.

When designing a DIY window perch, be sure to make safety a priority by securely mounting the perch and testing weight limits. Focus on creating a comfortable, stable place for cats to perch and view the outside world from the comfort and safety of inside.

When a Window Perch May Not Work

While window perches can provide enrichment for many cats, they may not be a good option for all felines. Older cats with limited mobility, for example, may struggle to climb up to a window perch or have difficulty balancing once there (Franklin and Ollie). The height and instability of a perch could present a fall risk resulting in injury for elderly or disabled cats.

Similarly, aggressive cats that tend to get overstimulated may not react well to a window perch, as the constant visual stimulation and temptation to pounce can exacerbate stress and undesirable behaviors (The Happy Cat Site).

Additionally, kittens or particularly clumsy adult cats prone to accidents could be at risk for falls from window perches. Without well-developed balance and coordination, these cats may tumble from elevated perches if unsupervised (Jupiter Hadley). Close monitoring and supervision is advised.

While window perches offer mental and physical enrichment for many cats, owners should consider the individual abilities and temperament of their feline when deciding if a window mount is appropriate.

Providing a Window View

If a traditional window perch doesn’t work for your cat, there are other options to provide them with a view outside. Place a cat tree or tall cat furniture near the window so they can look out even if they can’t sit on the sill itself. You can also install clear shelves directly on the window for them to lay on ( Make sure they are securely installed. Another option is to apply a UV film to the window. This allows the cat to see out, but birds and other wildlife won’t be able to see your cat staring at them from inside.

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