How To Keep Cats Away From The Fireplace / Wood Stove: Screens, Guards, Repellents

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If you have a fireplace and a cat then you know how important it is to keep cats out of the fireplace.

There’s nothing worse than sooty paw prints crossing your lounge room floor or ash being thrown about your home.

Even worse: a cat on fire!

While many might think that fire itself may be enough to deter cats from the fireplace, it isn’t always the case.

Thankfully there are a few effective things we can do to keep cats out of the fireplace that I can share with you here!

Cat Proofing Your Fireplace Or Wood Stove

Steel Mesh Fireplace Screen

  • Powder coated steel screen
  • 47.75 x 0.75 x 29 inches
  • 4 color choices
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Fireplace Glass Door

  • Steel surround with clear glass
  • 37.5 x 1 x 28 inches
  • Stops drafts
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Cat Repellent

  • Safe for indoor use
  • Deters cats from ceratin areas
  • Lavender, lemon, eucalyptus scent
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The worst-case scenario when it comes to cats and fireplaces is that they get burned somehow.

Fireplaces with a screen are generally pretty safe, but wood stoves can cause more problems because cats are more likely to jump on top of them while they’re hot.

My parents have 3 or 4 cats (I can’t keep track of how many exactly) and their wood stove is burning for 6 months of the year. Their cats have simply learned not to jump on the wood stove and it’s not an issue.

They don’t use a fireguard or anything like that, and it’s OK. 

You can train your cats not to go near the fireplace or woodstove while it’s off by using the spray bottle technique and things like that.

Training your cat is the best option and will cost you less than having to buy guards, doors, or other products.

1. Fire Guards

fire guard for cats


Fireguards are a good way to keep cats out of and away from the fire.

You can pick them up reasonably cheaply and they will prevent your cat from having direct access to the fire. There’s nothing really stopping them from jumping over the guard, but they’re less likely to, especially if it’s hot.

Guards around wood stoves are good at preventing pets from getting too close to the fire as well. We always have a fireguard in place to keep our dog and children away.

One of the most effective ways to keep cats out of the fireplace is by installing a sturdy, pet-proof screen or gate. These barriers not only prevent curious kitties from getting too close but also protect them from flying sparks or embers.

Regularly check the screen for any holes or gaps and ensure it’s secured firmly in place. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use scent deterrents. Cats have a keen sense of smell, and certain scents like citrus or menthol can be off-putting to them.

Place orange peels or menthol sachets near the fireplace, ensuring they are out of reach but close enough for the cat to associate the scent with the fireplace area.

There’s usually space behind the screen for your ash bucket and other fireplace tools as well.

But how can you keep cats out of an open fireplace?

2. Fireplace Doors

keep cats out of fireplace


Fireplace doors are great for keeping pets out of the fireplace.

They are installed on the front of your fireplace and completely seal it off from your living room. The benefit is that it also stops drafts and fireplace smells.

There are different-sized fireplace door screens available depending on how big or small your opening is, but they have clear tempered glass fronts that allow you to see the fire.

It’s a great option if your cat is getting into the fireplace ashes while the fire is out, and it will keep them from getting burned as well. If your cat is getting into a mess in the fireplace, a fireplace vacuum is another option for keeping things clean.

But what can you do when even these steps fail?

3. Cat Repellant

repellent to keep cats out of fire


When all else fails and your cat is still trying to get into the fireplace or woodstove, cat repellant might work.

The product pictured above is fine for indoor use and is non-toxic for pets and children.

It’s designed mostly for keeping cats off furniture and stopping them from scratching doors, but it can work for this type of application as well.

It comes in a range of different scents that we humans quite enjoy but contains elements that cats do not.

A cat by the fireplace is OK, but a cat in the fireplace is not, and a good cat repellant will keep them out.

Cats And Wood Stoves

wood stove cats
Our cats love sleeping in front of the wood stove

Wood stoves, while efficient and cozy, can pose a different challenge when it comes to cats.

Due to their all-around warmth, cats might find them inviting. To deter this, consider placing a pet playpen or a free-standing gate around the stove, creating a clear boundary.

If the surface around the stove is tile or another cold material, lay down a mat or rug that contrasts with the floor. This visual marker can help cats recognize it as a no-go zone. Educating your cat with a firm “no” and redirecting their attention when they approach the stove is essential.

Over time, consistent training can teach them that the stove area is off-limits.

Cats And Fireplaces

cat proof fireplace screen
Cat in front of an electric fireplace

How do you keep a cat out of the fireplace?

If fireplace guards, screens, and doors, in combination with cat training and repellant, don’t work, it’s likely nothing will.

If you feel your cat is in danger from your fireplace you may need to consider getting a good electric fireplace insert instead. It’s a pain to have to do something that drastic, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

You don’t want your cat jumping onto a hot stove or trying to get amongst hot coals in the fireplace, but it’s more than likely you can train them out of bad habits.

After ensuring your feline friend’s safety around the fireplace, it’s essential to consider other areas of your home too. Cats are known for their love of scratching, and your furniture, especially your couch, might be at risk.

If you’re looking to invest in a cat-friendly sofa, check out our friends over at Whimsey Soul’s list of best couches for cat owners. Not only will it help preserve the look of your living room, but it also provides a comfortable space for you and your pet!


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