Cat owners can probably relate that cats love to give surprises. From bringing home a small dead animal as a “gift” to you, or seeing them relaxing in high, unreachable places such as your balcony, cats will keep you on your toes.
Cat owners may wonder, is there a possibility that my cat will jump off the balcony?
The answer is yes, but it is usually part of hunting and chasing squirrels, birds, or other prey that they saw. Because of this, cats may lose their balance and fall.
Cats do not fear heights and live happily in high-rise areas, but they would not jump off unless there’s a good reason.
Incidents of cats jumping from balconies and getting injured are very common, that’s why there exists a term for this phenomenon called “high-rise syndrome.”
To prevent your cat from this dangerous situation, here are ways to keep your apartment cat-safe:
1. Enclose your balcony
The easiest way to enclose your balcony is by putting plastic mesh, wire, screen, or net around the space. This will enable your cat to still enjoy the view outside without the danger of jumping off and falling from the balcony.
However, cats are sneaky and clever. If you did not properly enclose your balcony, they may find a spot where they can sneak outside the barrier.
2. Make your cat his own “catio”
A cat patio, or “catio”, is a great way to make your balcony a safe home for your cat. You can buy an already built catio from your local store, or online, or you can make your own!
Just keep in mind that cats do get bored easily, so make sure to change out their toys and items from time to time.
If you have the time and want to make it more customized, why not make your own catio? It’ll take some time, effort, and skills, but seeing your cat safely playing on his catio is surely rewarding!
To start, some items you’ll be needing are:
- escape-proof wire
- cedar shelves
- roof materials
For accessories and décor, you may consider having toys, scratchers, rugs, grasses, pillows, blankets, and of course, the essentials – food and water bowl, and litter box.
Of course, it is important to have a plan first to minimize the waste of your resources. Also, make sure that your cat has its own door or a way to get back inside your house just in case the weather turns unfavorable.
3. Walk your cat on leash
Aside from staying on the balcony, the best way to get your cat engaged outdoors is to, obviously, go out! But don’t let them run loose. Instead, buy a cat leash, or harness, and use it to control your cat as you take him outside.
If it’s the first time that your cat is going out of your house, try to observe his behavior first. Does he get agitated when seeing other animals?
Or is he always curious and wanting to explore anything he sees? Some cats do not enjoy walking outside, so make sure your cat is amenable to going out first.
You can also use a leash to limit your cat’s movement while he’s on the balcony. However, before using a leash for your cat, it will be very helpful to train them first how to wear it so they won’t feel uncomfortable and confused once they start wearing a harness outside, or on the balcony.
4. Give them their own relaxation area by the window
Instead of setting up the balcony, why not create a cat window perch?
You may install a small rectangular box with a pillow to keep them comfortable, or you may also use a cat hammock for a better and more relaxed experience. That way, cats won’t need to go out to your balcony, but they will still be able to enjoy the view outside.
5. Buy a huge dog crate for your cat
If you don’t have the time and money to build your cat his own catio, then a large dog crate would be enough. Just make sure to place it on a high, yet safe area since we all know that cats love to get a good view of their surroundings.
Also, since your cat is technically confined in the large crate, never leave him without his food and water bowl, as well as his litter box.
This is a quick way to have your cat enjoy the outdoor views safely.
6. Consider having a kitty compound
A kitty compound is a good alternative for owners who have a large balcony, or a backyard. This can be purchased at your store, or online, and is placed on the green spaces of your area. A kitty compound is more like a safe playing area, or a play house for your cats.
This isn’t necessarily something that will make your balcony cat-safe, but consider having a plant that is safe for your cats to have.
An ideal cat garden should have catnip, cat grass, lemongrass, or a spider plant. It is also important to identify which plants are hazardous to your cats, and of course, make sure to avoid them.
Balconies will surely take your cat’s home experience to a whole new level, but it is important to take proper precautions and never, ever leave your cat on the balcony alone.
You never know what will happen. They’re easily distracted, and with one fast-moving animal, our precious felines will jump without a second thought, exposing them to injury, or worse, death.
And that was it for today’s article. I hope that you were able to learn a lot on how to keep your balcony cat-proof. If you find this article helpful, or know someone who might need to read this, please feel free to share this article with them.