Cats and balconies

Katrina

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Just wondering what your views are on this. Should cats be allowed to go out on a balcony even if you're super high up?

I've been letting mine do it because she is so much happier out there. The problem is that the railing is more of a concrete wall with a ledge along the top, wide enough she can jump onto it. She is becoming a little too comfortable on it. She was laying on it the other day and when I went to pet her, she got excited and tried to roll onto her back! She was rolling away from me so if she fell off it would be to her death. We are 9 floors high. There is netting up to keep out pigeons, but I don't know if it's strong enough to stop her from falling. I've been limiting the amount of time she spends out there now. I am so worried she'll kill herself. crazy cat!

What would you do?
 

Pickle Juice

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Oh I'd be terrified, and I don't scare easily. Just reading your post gave me a nervous tummy ache. I've seen enough cats in my lifetime do some really clumsy things, so I don't subscribe to that myth that they are always careful and in control. I wouldn't let mine out there unless I had enclosed the top in metal screening.
 
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Katrina

Katrina

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thanks...yeah I'm thinking I may have to get some sort of fencing material to attach around the top.
 
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mlp

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I agree with Pickle Juice. Cats have all sorts of accidents, contrary to popular belief.

And any city vet can tell you that cats do injure and kill themselves by falling or jumping out of windows and from balconies.
 
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thefadedone

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I agree with MLP and PJ as well. I'd be terrified to even risk letting a cat out on a balcony.
 

Fyvel

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We are on the 7th floor and I used to take one of my cats (the big fat lazy slow one) out on the balcony with me while I was reading out there. The railing is round so there is no way he could land on it. One day he looked up at the railing, did a little butt wiggle like he was going to jump for it. I yelled at him which startled him out of it long enough for me to grab him and take him inside. That was the end of that!

I also spoke with someone once whose cat fell from a balcony and landed on a car. Did a bunch of damage to the car and the cat broke a toe. Lucky cat that the car broke its fall and not concrete :/

So yeah, I don't think cats and balconies are a great idea.
 

jeneticallymodified

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holy crap on a stick. :eek: :sniff::cry:

PLEASE: do not let any cats out on balconies unless they're fully and securely screened in with metal screening- top to bottom, sides, and roof.

i volunteer for a cat rescue charity and you would not believe how many sad sad stories i hear and read from people every single week - telling me about how their last cat jumped or fell from their balcony, and died horribly. even my neighbour lost a cat that way.

i wouldn't be confident with the pigeon screening- cats can weigh 12lb easily- pigeons generally don't. a cat can jump a good 5 feet high, and they're like a coiled spring or a taut rubber band- all that potential energy gives them a lot of power and force behind them- they'll easily take out a simple fibre screen if they want to get through it badly enough.

honestly, it's just not worth the risk. it'll take just an hour or two, and not cost a fortune, to make that balcony totally safe for your little feline friend. just get to a home reno place, get a roll of heavy duty pet fencing wire (ideally plastic coated) and some pvc pipe to build a frame if you need it... cable ties can work to attach things if you don't know how to do screwdriver stuff... there are instructions online... or ask a handy person to help you out.

please do so before they're allowed back out there- you can set it up with a cat climber, scratching posts, shelves, etc... make it into an awesome kitty playground- just make sure that she's not at risk of harm- it's your duty as her caregiver. :)

i've heard enough people crying and telling me that they don't know why their kitty jumped, or whether she fell, or what happened, and about how they'll never forget what she looked like when they found her little body on the ground, how they'll never forgive themselves for not keeping her safe... you don't want to experience it, trust me. it's bad enough talking with people who have. :(
 
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jeneticallymodified

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I do scare easily but I don't think that matters with regard to this. I agree with PJ and mlp. :)

How awesome would any one of these be? I have the space, just not the funds!

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm

i'm actively saving up to build my own catio- we're ripping out an existing crappy deck and replacing it. :D i have $100 stashed away so far from looking after a friends 3 cats when she went on a short vacation (i wanted to do it for free, but her mom insisted- kitty #3 is diabetic and i gave him his shots 2x daily- she would have paid more for a stranger to do the same thing, and she knew i'd pet and fuss over them too :p).

it's gonna be off the patio doors from my kitchen, cedar framed, 5 feet off the ground outside, floor level to the kitchen... maybe 12 foot long, 4 foot deep, 8 or 9 feet high, with a roof that lets sun in but blocks uv... i'mma put cat trees and shelves and all sorts in there- plus a table and chairs for human peeps. .

it's a nice shady spot with a crab apple tree pretty close alongside it, plus it's frequented by obnoxious local squirrels, so i'm gonna double screen it (heavy duty pet screening inside, then mosquito screen 6 inches back on the outside of the frame) so that no wildlife-vs-cat paw-on-paw wrestling matches happen. they can just chase teach other around like overzealoused idiots- the cats have all their shots so i'm not dreadfully concerned about the 6 inches of distance- i'll keep an eye out for fleas, etc, of course. i might manage to put a bird feeder nearby- if i'm clever- so they can birdwatch. i'm gonna try and make a grass bench too, so they can put their paws on decent lawn, and might pot some catnip too. we'll see. i've been told to keep myself reined in already by the poor bf who won't let me loose on the circular saw and who will end up making it. :p

i'm so excited- even though i've been planning and saving this for absolutely ages, and still need more than $100 more- i KNOW missy and soup are gonna LOVE it.
 
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Rosie1

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This makes me think of this photo:
brave-cat.jpg

(from here)

And that just freaks me the hell out.
 

Fyvel

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I would love to fence in the entire balcony and let the cats out there. The condo association won't allow that though :(
 

Muggle

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Well hopefully that picture is either photoshopped or the perspective gives the illusion of great height. That house could be on a hillside and the ground only five feet below the railing.

Nope. :(

'A cat balances on a balcony railing 17 storeys high above the Chilean capital, Santiago. Ivo Berg was visiting a friend when he took the photograph. He said: "As soon as I got to my friend's apartment I fell in love with the view but I was also very worried about the suicidal behaviour of his two cats. They would chase each other through the apartment, fighting and playing. But they would also jump on to the balcony and the railing. I was afraid that they could fall, but my friend told me that he tried stopping them from doing it several times, but that they wouldn't." '

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pic...Pictures-of-the-day-30-June-2011.html?image=6
 
M

mlp

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Someone had posted this photo on FB a while back, and everyone was commenting on how cool it was. Idiots. I commented on the utter lack of responsibility on part of the cat's owner.