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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cat-proofing Balcony

I recently moved into a 2nd floor apartment. I want to allow the kitties some supervised outside time on the balcony. I'm just worried about them falling through the bars. Even if I'm sitting out there with them, I can't exactly catch a kitty as they fall! Plus, on the side, there's a "ledge" where they could walk onto from the balcony. It's slanted, and I don't think it would hold their weight, but I'm afraid it's still too tempting. I've gone out where with Lexi and blocked the ledge, but she will still put her front legs through the bars to look down, which pretty much gives me a panic attack.

Does anyone have any suggestions for cat proofing a balcony? It would have to be kinda discrete, or at least not completely hideous. I don't want to go through the trouble of putting something up and my apartment complex telling me to take it down! I've looked into plastic poultry netting, but it only comes in green and black, which I'm afraid will be to obvious.

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Note the tempting ledge...

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:29 PM
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I'm the only one here that advocates letting a cat fall? I mean it sounds terrible but plenty of cats never fall off the balcony and I've never heard a cat die from falling a few feet unless it lands on something bad or hits things on the way down. I just finished saying in another thread that both of my cats fell from the first floor and two of my aunt's cats fell from the third - unharmed. If you live on a very low floor I wouldn't worry about this. I see cats sitting on first and second floor railings all the time. Also none of the cat I've known that fell ever fell a second time.

If you have laws where you live about the look of your places I don't think any kind of netting will work. Once at our apartment we had an empty bird feeder on our deck, it never even had seed in it... But people removed it, without even telling us!


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:45 PM
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Yeah I agree I wouldn't worry about your kitty falling and hurting themselves from that height. There are plenty of kitties in my complex that hang out all day on the balcony as the door is left open.
If it was any higher than third then I wouldn't let them out (I had a friends cat fall from 20 floors).
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeLuMonster View Post
Yeah I agree I wouldn't worry about your kitty falling and hurting themselves from that height. There are plenty of kitties in my complex that hang out all day on the balcony as the door is left open.
If it was any higher than third then I wouldn't let them out (I had a friends cat fall from 20 floors).
20 floors? Oh my! I hope the kitty survived.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 11:04 PM
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Deer netting can be attached to the rails with cable ties and will be barely noticeable. Not sure how you attached it at the floor level....maybe you can run a thin strip of wood with some small eye hooks to attach the cable ties to. But you'll need to attach the wood strip to the floor or walls.

I'm sorry, but I disagree with letting the cat fall. While the cat may right itself and avoid injury...what happens between the time the cat falls and the OP runs outside to get the cat? Maybe s/he's in shock and stays right there...but just as likely the cat runs off in fear to hide somewhere...into the road as a car comes by, under a car, or just simply disappears. That's not a chance I'd take.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 11:11 PM
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No the kitty passed away
And it's not that I'd let my cat fall but the cats in my complex haven't tried to jump so I was just using them as an example, I think they know it's not worth it ya know? Well until they see a bird I guess ....
Maybe just always go out supervised and with a harness and leash?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 11:54 PM
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 12:31 AM
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Sorry for the double post. When I was taking pictures of the window screen barrier I snapped one of the fruit tree netting twined through my railings. I tugged it down slightly (it's anchored to the top railing) to show how noticeable it would be. These are extreme closeups though.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 12:39 AM
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I'm sorry, but I disagree with letting the cat fall. While the cat may right itself and avoid injury...what happens between the time the cat falls and the OP runs outside to get the cat? Maybe s/he's in shock and stays right there...but just as likely the cat runs off in fear to hide somewhere...into the road as a car comes by, under a car, or just simply disappears. That's not a chance I'd take.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by doodlebug View Post
I'm sorry, but I disagree with letting the cat fall. While the cat may right itself and avoid injury...what happens between the time the cat falls and the OP runs outside to get the cat? Maybe s/he's in shock and stays right there...but just as likely the cat runs off in fear to hide somewhere...into the road as a car comes by, under a car, or just simply disappears. That's not a chance I'd take.
I realise it's not a chance a lot of people will take, but when you're not allowed to place netting up due to building restrictions it's a chance I am willing to take. My cat loved going outside all hours of the day and night on the balcony, I left the door open almost 24/7 except in the winter. He never even jumped up on the railing (although he must have once to fall off...) and again it's one of those quality of life deals.

I can understand why people wouldn't do this, and reasons why, but from all experiences I've had (the four times it's happened with cats in my family from floors 1 and 3) the cat has remained in the bushes below and has been unharmed, and never done it again the rest of their life even though all of the cats have had free access to the balcony their entire lives. There's also two cats in the family that lived their whole life under the same circumstances of free balcony access and never went over the ledge their entire life. I will add though, that after the third floor I would not allow my cat on the balcony if I could not put netting up.


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Last edited by Carmel; 06-02-2011 at 12:54 AM.
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