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Cat Proof Display Case – How Can I Protect It?

If you have a cat that keeps destroying your display case you may be getting frustrated and looking for reasons why, and more importantly, what you can do about it…

Why do cats play with display cases?

Cats are famously curious about things but they also really love getting inside of places where they know they aren’t supposed to go. When they notice that you’ve locked things away behind the glass in a display case, they will naturally want a closer look.

Once the cat gets close enough to bat at the glass, then they’ll notice that it is both cool and smooth to the touch, and now the case has become even more interesting. Don’t think they don’t notice how it vexes you, either, as when you come running to shoo your cat away then they are amused.

Unfortunately, small cases can be knocked over and sometimes cats do manage to get things open and crawl inside, so while they aren’t making progress just yet, this is behavior that you don’t want to encourage.

What is a display case?

A glass box display with a trophy inside.

A glass box display with a trophy inside.

Display cases are bits of furniture that are designed to safely house items and also to provide high visibility so that you can still see them and enjoy them. They could be something as small as a half-oval dome on a pedestal or as large as a bookcase or even wall-length, it all depends on what you are displaying.

While the composition is usually stronger acrylics, sometimes they incorporate wood, metal, or other materials to provide a basic framework while still retaining high visibility. Some models will even include a few child and pet-proofing options, such as locking, sliding glass, special sealing, and other security measures.

If you are picking one out and have children or a curious kitty, then you’ll have to be very careful in your selection as these cases are often quite vulnerable and potentially even dangerous if knocked over.

What could a cat do to a display case?

If the case is heavy, your cat might not be able to knock it over, but they might still get inside and this could be a problem. Items inside are likely to get damaged and if the shelf supports are only designed for a very small amount of weight, then the shelf could even break and hurt your kitty.

Sliding and locking glass doors can prevent this and should be enough to keep most kitties out, but you should also keep in mind that if small items are housed inside, your cat might be able to knock them around just by the force of swatting against the glass.

This is top-notch entertainment indeed for kitties and if this is happening in your case (pun intended), then you might want to find a way to secure the items inside so that they won’t move around. Once that happens, your cat will typically find another area to work their merry little mischiefs.

How can I cat proof my display case?

To protect your cat and your collection, it’s a good idea to integrate a few selective strategies into your display case arrangement. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to secure your case a little more fully!

Use glass windows to protect the item

When selecting your display case, many popular vendors such as IKEA offer models which have glass windows set firmly into wooden doors. Said doors may easily be further secured with plastic baby-proofing locks that require thumb pressure and pulling to gain access.

These are quite cheap and will foil your cat’s plans very nicely.

Glue the items into the display case

Hand aplying glue on a piece of wood.

Hand applying glue on a piece of wood.

If your cat is trying to see how much they can make the contents of the case bounce around, then you could always try securing the items to decorative, heavy bases by the means of glue or with metal items, you could even use magnets. Once the items don’t move around, your cat will quickly lose interest in them.

Keep it high up (Out of reach)

Your cat can’t hurt what they can’t reach, so another option is to simply relocate the case somewhere a bit loftier but beware… cats can jump 4 to 5 feet on average, or roughly 5 to 6 times their height. Another solution might be more practical and safer for your persistent cat.

Place it in a locked room

The simplest solution is to put your display case in its room, which you can securely close the door on and keep your kitty out that way. You might miss having the items in your living room, of course, but you will certainly sleep easier knowing that your cat won’t be getting into your collection anytime soon.

Spray the display case with citrus

Humans love it, cats hate it – we’re talking about the scent of citrus, of course, and it’s a harmless way to secure your display case and get your kitty to leave it alone. Commercial citrus sprays are typically made with 100% citrus oils, so they are nontoxic and completely safe for your cat.

Just be sure to check the label to ensure that the scent is not artificial or enhanced with anything that might be toxic.

Can I train my cat to keep away from my display case?

You can, but it’s going to be very time-consuming. Training your cat to keep away from a spot involves keeping treats ready and whenever your cat approaches the case with curiosity and mischief on its mind, you can firmly say ‘no, kitty’ and show your cat the treat.

Your cat will come over to eat the treat and after that, it’s just a matter of slow repetition of this process. In time your cat will understand that you don’t want them in the case and will generally start to leave it alone unless they get extremely bored – then all bets are off!

Should I discipline my cat for damaging my display case?

No, you should not discipline your cat for damaging your display case. By the time that you do, your cat is not going to understand why you are angry, and even if you discipline them mid-dash as they flee the scene of the crime, it’s not going to work out the way that you think.

Your cat will just interpret your actions as pure meanness and you might get a bite or swat for your troubles. Your cat will also trust you a little less, maybe even more than a little! The best thing that you can do is to clean up the mess and secure the case against future visits from your kitty.

Lindsey Browlingdon