We all know how kitties are curious, especially when they are young. They want to go everywhere, see everything. If they see a pigeon on the balcony or another cat outside, they’ll most likely jump. My cat fortunately never tried something like that but I know many people whose cats did jump and hurt themselves.
Some of you may think “Mehhhh, cat always land on their feet” but that’s unfortunately not true, same goes for the saying that “Cats have nine lives”, they do not. If you’re living on a high building floor not only there is a possibility of your kitty getting injured, she could even die. In fact, it is better to cat proof a balcony if you live on a property that is higher than 2 stories.
Why Do Some Cats Jump?
Cats are well known for their great survival instinct. And a cat that jumped from the balcony didn’t want to commit suicide, but she was too focused on a pray. Like I already mentioned she was probably trying to catch an insect or a pigeon. This is called a high-rise syndrome, and it it’s very common among cats.
So how can you be sure that you can leave cat on a balcony without any worries, and how to keep your cat off balcony railing? If you’re interested to find out, keep on reading!
How to Cat Proof a Balcony and Make Sure that Your Kitten is Safe?
Use Cat Netting For Balconies
Protective nets are a great way to keep your cat safe while giving her a taste of freedom. For me, personally, this is the best way to secure a balcony for your cat. She can move around, jump, or just stay all day at the sun (my cat loves tanning) and you don’t have to worry because there is protective net. These safety nets are more popular in Europe, then USA, that’s why I only managed to find one protective net for cats on Amazon.com while there are many good safety nets like Cat Safety cat run netting, weather resistant and uv resistant.
Cardinal-Deck Shield balcony is also great, but it is not very high, only 36 inches or 91cm. You can’t cover your whole balcony with it, only balcony railing. If you get this net, you’ll still have to watch your cat so that she doesn’t jump of the railing. This net is easy to install and UV protected.
Keep Your Cat on a Leash
This is probably the easiest way to keep your cat safe on a balcony. But if your cat isn’t used to being on a leash, you’ll need to train her first. This process is time-consuming because cats are not huge fans of leashes. It is different with every cat, but it’ll probably take a couple of weeks until your cat is completely used to it and until she starts to walk with harness on.
While training your cat to use the leash, it is best to do it indoors, until your cat is adjusted to it. Do not go on the balcony the first time you get a leash on her, because she may go bananas trying to take it off. When your cat learns how to walk on a leash you may take her out on the balcony. Or you can leash her to an immovable object, but do not allow her to get close to the rails. You can use Escape Proof Cat Harness or ONSON Cat Harness to leash your cat.
Get a Catio
Catios are great because you can leave your cat to enjoy while you go to the store or do daily chores around the house. It is however much pricier then protective net or a leash. If you’re not too busy with work, you can build a catio yourself. There are many ideas on Pinterest. In case you’re not interested in doing that or you don’t have the time, there are many catios available to buy, such as Kittwalk Cat Enclosure.
They are great because not only does your cat get protected from the fall but they are mainly made to protect you from the insets. It is a win-win situation. The only downside is you will not be getting as much sun with them. Screened-in balconies are a little bit darker due to the net that stops the insects from coming.
Conclusion: How to Cat Proof a Balcony?
First of all stop listening to the people who say to let your kitty fall, and that she’ll learn not to jump the next time. Kitties could get seriously injured by the fall or even killed. Cats are hunters and their basic instinct is to catch whatever ends up on her territory.
There is always the option not to let your cat on the balcony, but kitties do not like to be restricted. No matter how careful you are, she will get out at some point, always happens. Cat-proofing a balcony is affordable unless you’re getting a catio and even if you can’t afford one, you can make it yourself. You would have so much fun building it and your kitty would love it to. So if you have time, I say go for it. If you’re not interested in either buying or building cat condo, you can always get a protective net or screened-in balcony or train your cat to get used to a leash.
Know Something We Don’t?
Hello dear reader! Did we forget to mention something important? Would you like to share with us your input and experiences? Awesome! Leave a comment down below and join the debate! Don’t forget to share this article with the other cat owners you know. Have a great day!