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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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New cats - balcony question

Many thanks to the people here who advised me about getting new cats in this thread: https://www.catforum.com/forum/37-beh...tml#post901954.
Yesterday I adopted a girl and a boy - 5 and 6 months old, and they're getting used to me and their new house. (see my last post in the original thread for details)

My QUESTION: My house is an open concept contemporary with high-ceilings, glazed ceramic tile floor on the first floor, and indoor balconies with a sheer drop of about 13 feet to that floor. The top rail of the balcony is about 6" wide, smooth urethaned oak, easy for a young cat to jump up on from the floor, and they've already started doing this. It scares me to death seeing them up there. I was worried about this with my last two cats, too, except that they seemed to have no interest in the balcony so I relaxed after awhile. But these two seem to love it. Any suggestions on how to keep them off?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 12:35 AM
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I wouldn't trust it. My friend had her cat fall 3 stories because she thought they were too high up. Luckily he was ok. But very shook up. Her other cat would walk on the roof. Young cats can get into all sorts of trouble.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 12:42 AM
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Of my three cats, I have one who likes to travel on the outside of the railing versus taking the hallway to get to the other side. It scares the heck out of me but I cannot stop her from doing this. One thing I do is I make sure I don't scare her but coming up behind her or yell at her to get down. I just hold my breath until she safely gets to the other side and squeezes through the railing and onto the carpet.

Happy to hear about your new babies. I believe pictures are in order here! Looking forward to seeing them.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty-The-Cat View Post
I have a 2nd floor outdoor balcony which I give my cat free access to via a pet door. You can get an idea of my situation via this video. Only once have I seen her jump down from the balcony, and that was a somewhat extreme situation. The drop there is probably also around 13 feet. I don't think most cats are going to be dumb enough to attempt a jump which they think might result in a harsh landing. There probably has to be a really good reason for them to attempt such a thing.

But the one time my cat *did* jump from there, she didn't get hurt on the landing. So if it does happen, it's probably not going to be a big deal. These *are* cats, after all, which have been known to fall from multi-story buildings and land safely on their feet.

If you have carpet on the floor beneath the balconies, it's probably even more of a non-issue. Think of some leopards hanging out on tree branches, and that's what your cats probably feel like when they're up there.
As I said - it's hard, ceramic tile - no carpet. I'm not so much worried about them jumping as falling - it's a narrow top made of urethaned oak so it's hard and slippery. They're still in their kittenhood so they're kind of crazy and uncoordinated.

I like your video.

Last edited by plnelson; 02-25-2013 at 01:07 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 02:11 AM
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You can put a thick throw rug in that area if you are worried about it.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 03:09 AM
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You might try one of those sprays that are supposed to deter cats from being in places that you don't want them to be in (or on). I think there's also a sticky tape kind of thing, though I don't know if that would damage the surface of the railing. If you can find some kind of material that they find objectionable and hang it over the railing, that might stop them. Or, if all else fails, maybe you can find some kind of nubby fabric to put on top of the railing so that they have something to grip. Of course, all of these entail the type of interior design style that only pet owners have.

6" seems wide enough that they've got enough room to balance, but I know what you mean. My stray jumps up on my 2nd floor outdoor deck railing, and it's only about 3 1/2" wide. I can't watch when I see him preparing to jump.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 05:14 AM
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I don't have any new or wonderful advice, I just wanted to say congratulations on your new family members . May they bring you many years of joy.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plnelson View Post
Many thanks to the people here who advised me about getting new cats in this thread: https://www.catforum.com/forum/37-beh...tml#post901954.
Yesterday I adopted a girl and a boy - 5 and 6 months old, and they're getting used to me and their new house. (see my last post in the original thread for details)

My QUESTION: My house is an open concept contemporary with high-ceilings, glazed ceramic tile floor on the first floor, and indoor balconies with a sheer drop of about 13 feet to that floor. The top rail of the balcony is about 6" wide, smooth urethaned oak, easy for a young cat to jump up on from the floor, and they've already started doing this. It scares me to death seeing them up there. I was worried about this with my last two cats, too, except that they seemed to have no interest in the balcony so I relaxed after awhile. But these two seem to love it. Any suggestions on how to keep them off?
Not sure how you could keep them off it 100% of the time but I would get some non skid tape from a boating or marine store and put that down on the railing to give them traction until you figure out a solution.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 08:37 AM
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I have an open concept condo where the rail between the loft and the first floor is a 16 foot drop. The rail is five inches wide but is a flat painted surface with pretty good traction. Nala prances along it all the time and I used to get scared that she'd lose her footing for some reason or Penny would jump at her and make her stumble. Four years later she still does it and I still worry, but I could never figure a good way to deter her from getting on it.

Off topic, I didn't see in this or your other thread ... have you named your new kittens?


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Jeff & Nala
Simon and Penny, waiting patiently at the Bridge
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 12:27 PM
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I live in a similar type of lofted condo as Nebraska Cat, with an 18ft. drop. The railing is slightly rounded urethaned oak and very slippery, with rounded edges but a narrow 2 in.width. In our previous house we did have a railing but it was flat and 6 in. wide and the cats were used to jumping on top of it. Alkitotle hasn't shown much interest this railing, but Zuba has looked at it intently as if he was about to jump many times. It gives me fits and I usually yell at him, but now if he wants to get my attention he gets on the arm of the sofa near it and looks like he's ready to jump. I actually swatted him with a newspaper one day when he looked as if he was about to leap. Now if he tests me, if I pick up a paper he runs off. So far he's never jumped up while we aren't home. I like Marcia's idea of the non-skid tape from a boat or marine store. I think that would give me more piece of mind, but it's a constant worry for me the way things are now. Another idea that just occurred to me is to wrap an artifical vine around the top of the railing....maybe that would work?

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Last edited by catloverami; 02-25-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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