I am an Affilate!

I hope you enjoy any product or service that I recommend. :) Just so you understand, I may take a share of any sales or other compensation from the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks if you use my links, I really appreciate your support.

Cat Proof Fan – Can This Be Done?

If you have a fan, and your cat keeps playing with it, you may be getting frustrated, worried, and looking for ways to stop this from happening…

Why do cats play with fans?

Cats have a fondness for fans, to begin with, as they soon notice that they have a cooling effect and quickly settle somewhere comfortable nearby. Generally, this isn’t a problem, due to the speed of the blades, but if anything ends up inside the fan that shows obvious motion then the cat might be tempted to investigate.

With fans that aren’t shielded, there is a definite risk, as cats will learn that the blades are often easily turned and may view the fan as a toy, though when it is turned on it could cut and seriously harm them.

The only other typical danger would be something caught in the protective grill, as a cat might try to fish the item out and could have its claws or toes harmed by the spinning blades. More likely, however, a cat might simply knock the fan over but the protective grill should do its job and the kitty will remain safe.

What are the main types of fans?

A yellow metallic table fan.

A yellow metallic table fan.

As far as the types of fans that we will be discussing today, there are 4 main types that we use and thus to which our cats will be exposed. Let’s take a quick look at each and how they relate to your cat when you are using them in your home.

Self-standing electric fans

These are the most common. Self-standing electric fans can be small, medium, or large-sized, and come in a few different permutations. Most often you’ll see a small, oscillating variety, typically shielded with a metal framework of thin bars, although sometimes these fans are uncovered and thus a potential hazard.

The ‘box fan’ variety is also quite common and is basically a square shape, with blades in the center, and a plastic grill framework in place to minimize exposure to the dangerous blades.

In most cases, the blades themselves are plastic, which is good, but with older or higher-output modern oscillating and box fans you can occasionally find dangerous metal blades.

Hand-held electric fans

Hand-held electric fans are designed for a quick cooling-down on a hot summer’s day. These typically are fairly harmless, unless your cat tries to sniff them when you aren’t paying attention.

The blades don’t usually move fast enough to cause harm and they are made from a light plastic that smarts a little if you touch it but doesn’t turn fast enough to break the skin.

Hand-held manual fans

The ‘Japanese fan’ style handheld fans are no danger to your cat but are often attracted to them from the motion and some cats might even jump right on one and shred the fan. That said, these are harmless to kitties as they are completely reliant on you for their movement.

Ceiling fans

Aside from hand-held fans, ceiling fans are of no consequence, as there is simply no way for your cat to get to them. This makes them a good alternative to standing fan options so that you can keep cool with absolutely no risk of your cat making mischief with the fan.

What could a cat do to an electric fan?

A plastic black little fan with a cat figurine on it's base.

A plastic black little fan with a cat figurine on its base.

Your cat might urinate on the fan when it is not running, but this is unlikely unless they are suffering from a health issue. Generally, cats love fans and the blades are moving too fast to be attractive to them as potential toys.

Simply put, if your electric fan is in good repair, it’s not going to hurt your cat – it’s only a problem if there are holes big enough for your cat to put toes or a paw inside. As such, they are great ways to keep your kitty cool, as long as the protective plastic or metal grill is intact and firmly in place.

What could a cat do to a hand-held fan?

The most that will happen with a handheld fan is that your cat might manage to bat at it and briefly get a sore paw for their troubles.

While it could harm a cat if it got close enough to its face, as you are holding the fan and depressing a button to decide when it turns or remains stationary, it’s not a risk.

Even if your cat strikes the blades, they cannot move with enough force to do any real damage, so you shouldn’t worry about handheld fans and your cat.

How can I cat proof my self-standing electric fan?

If you are worried about your fan harming your kitty, there are two basic, but effective strategies that you can use to pretty much reduce or eliminate the chances of this happening.

Use the supplied safety fan grill guard

The first and easiest way to make your fan safe is to use the safety option provided with the fan. The protective grill of an electric fan consists of a plastic grid-style barrier that allows for ventilation but has holes small enough to keep fingers (or in this case, kitty toes) from coming into contact with the blades.

Metal variations are also common and accomplish the same thing with a protective network of thin, metal wires.

Place the fan behind a DIY mesh barrier

If you have an older fan or simply want to reinforce your existing one, you could DIY a solution with a mesh barrier. A light frame of wood with a screen mesh stapled or otherwise attached could provide the same protection that the standard protective barrier would, should you be dealing with an old fan with unprotected blades.

How can I cat proof my hand-held fan?

If you are worried that your overactive kitty might manage to come in contact with the whirling plastic blades of your handheld fan, then you have some simple ways to minimize the chances of this happening. Let’s take a look!

Store it in a locked drawer

Cats won’t likely hurt themselves with handheld fans, but they might well be tempted to try to bat them around, and this could accidentally engage the blades and cause a little household damage. Storing away your fan in a drawer will prevent this by keeping your cat from accessing it unattended in the first place.

Only use it when standing

While a cat could walk up from behind you on the couch and potentially bat at the fan, if you only use it when you are standing then this will ensure that the fan is out of reach and inaccessible – or you could simply install a ceiling fan for a little light cooling when you are comfortably sitting down.

Lindsey Browlingdon