We’ve all heard that cats have nine lives, but sometimes that can cause cat owners to overlook serious threats to their pet’s health.
As much as they are intelligent, a cat’s curiosity may get the better of it, especially when they lock their eyes on a target. Your cat will end up jumping from the seventh floor after seeing a squirrel running in the garden.
Moreover, accidents happen, and cats may slip while on the balcony rails, tumbling down multiple floors and ending up with broken limbs. It’s so common that it’s actually called “high rise syndrome” by veterinarians.
If you want to help your cat enjoy your patio, without endangering them, we’re happy to say that you have a few good options.
Install or Build a Catio
A “catio” is a cat patio that allows your pet to sniff and see what’s on the outside while still in a protected space. “Catios” are more suited for city-dwellers living in high-rise buildings or lacking backyards and would like their cats to get exposure to the natural environment.
Here’s how you can build a catio.
- Enclose all or a section of your balcony by attaching a plastic mesh or wire to the walls and rails. Inspect well to ensure there are no gaps, as cats are pretty sneaky.
- If your cat is young and playful, ensure that the mesh goes all the way to the top rail. Cats get easily distracted and are intelligent to spot openings in the mesh from where they’ll jump.
- If you’ve sealed the lower parts of your catio with an opaque material, ensure to provide perches and posts for your cat. Your pet is a curious animal that enjoys the outside view, just like humans.
Use a Large Dog Crate as an Outdoor Enclosure
Using a large dog crate is a great idea to allow your cat to enjoy the outdoor scenery on your balcony. Here, use a large crate that gives your cat enough room to play and roam within it.
Cats love higher grounds, and you should provide a high perch within the crate. Also, as crates are quite small relative to the balcony, you must provide enough water, a litter box, and shade.
Install a Balcony Cat Net
Another way to make your balcony cat safe is by installing a cat net. Here, you can build yours using the floor-to-ceiling netting or opt for a ready-made one.
Good quality nets are simple to install and are durable, with some lasting more than 10 years.
Keep Pet-Friendly Plants on the Balcony
Animal safety also entails what our pets eat and interact with on a daily basis. If you have plants on the balcony, here are some that you can add to keep your cat happy while enjoying the outside scenery.
- Cat thyme
- Oat grass
- Bean sprouts
Close Off or Transfer Trash Bins From Your Balcony
Some people keep garbage bins on balconies to create more room in the kitchens. If you belong to this group, remember to close their lids or transfer the bins before keeping your cat on the balcony.
Cats are curious animals that get easily distracted by flies, mice, or rats that may come to the bins. Keeping the balcony garbage free reduces the chances of your cat jumping off the balcony while chasing the rodents.