The one attribute that has been assigned to cats for centuries now is curiosity. Cats are naturally curious creatures, and they want to observe everything and go everywhere.
Anyone who has parented a cat at some point knows how they want to be let inside a room only to itch to get out of the room in just a few minutes.
And it’s the same thing with balconies. Many cats love being out on the balcony just watching the people go by, trying to catch birds, or sunbathing because the environment inside is not warm enough.
But if you live in a high apartment, you might have concerns regarding cat-proofing your balcony.
If you haven’t considered cat-proofing the balcony, here are some reasons you should give it another thing:
Why Do You Need to Cat-proof A Balcony?
The main reason why people want to cat-proof their balconies is that the cat will jump over the railing.
Sure, cats are known for always landing on their feet, but if you live in a high-rise apartment, it will be hard for even a critter with nine lives to be okay after that fall.
And no matter how docile or meek your cat is, a single moment of excitement is all it needs to jump over.
Even if the cat doesn’t jump, it can slip and fall if the railing is wet after a light shower, or it can be excited because it saw a mouse or a bird and really wants to catch it.
Any of these reasons could prove to be harsh to your cat, and it could get seriously harmed in the process.
There are more reasons to cat-proof your balcony. If your cat’s curiosity extends to its taste buds, then it will want to chomp on any plants on your balcony as well.
Cats can sometimes be found chewing a leaf or a flower.
Now this will ruin your plant, and if the plant is toxic to the cat, it might just end up harming your cat as well.
Moreover, if you have any furniture on your balcony that has sharp edges, the cat’s excitement can make it bump into that furniture, which will also end up harming the cat.
This is why it is essential that you cat-proof your balcony.
How Can You Cat-Proof A Balcony?
People have been cat-proofing their balconies for many years now, and there are some surefire ways to make your balcony a safe and sound place for the little critter.
Here are some effective methods to keep your cat safe in this little chunk of the outside world.
One of the most effective methods to prevent your cat from jumping over the railing is to install some cat-proof netting on the exposed parts.
The netting is open enough to still allow the cat to look outside and let the sun in, but it is small enough to prevent the cat from falling over the balcony.
If you have a roofing structure such as an awning or pergola over your balcony, you can start attaching it from over the roofing structure and attach the netting to the railings.
This will cover the open area without blocking visibility.
You can use ropes and cables to hold the netting together over the roof or the railing to secure it in place.
Make sure that the netting is securely attached on both ends and does not come loose when jostled a little.
Pet Screens Work Wonders
Another effective way to cat-proof your balcony is with the help of pet screens.
Pet screens are screens made of a meshed fabric that you can attach to the railing and the roofing structure over the balcony.
The great thing about pet screens is that they can be used to keep any other pets you have indoors as well, not just cats.
Pet screens don’t block out the sun from the balcony either.
You still get enough light on the balcony to allow your cat to sunbathe and to allow your plants to photosynthesize in peace.
The mesh, however, is small enough to keep your pet indoors and prevent it from falling off.
Keep Safe Plants Out
Remember when we talked about cats wanting to munch on plants? They often do it because plants are vibrant and colorful.
The flowers often smell enticing, too, and the cat wants to know what it tastes like.
Usually, these plants don’t pose a threat unless they are toxic.
You will have to do some research regarding the plants that are safe for cats and make sure you stick to them.
If you really want to grow plants that are not safe for cats, you should put them in spots where it will be difficult for the cat to reach.
Install Plants to Prevent Escape
On the other hand, plants can also help prevent cats from escaping through the railing if you can securely attach plants to your railing to prevent your cat from hanging out on the railing.
You can even put plants up in planters in front of the railing so they can cushion a potential fall.
Alternatively, planting smelly plants such as lavender on the railing will prevent the cat from going up to the railing in the first place.
Plastic Spikes on the Railing Are Helpful
Spikes on the railing do not have to be sharp and metallic.
Of course, if you put up sharp spikes on the railing, your cat will not sit there, but it will also risk being seriously injured too.
So why not go for dull, plastic spikes instead?
These spikes will reduce the sitting area on the railing for the cat.
So if your cat does somehow manage to lodge itself on the railing, it will not be comfortable enough to assume that position for long.
Therefore, it will want to get off as soon as possible and will want to stay away from the railing altogether.
Keep Your Garbage Locked Up
Another universal cat trait is that they love playing with garbage.
The spillover from the garbage your cat plays with will dirty your balcony, and it can be toxic for your cat too.
On the other hand, if your garbage has any potential mice or other attractions for your cat, it could get your cat riled up.
If the cat starts zooming around the balcony chasing after a mouse, it might get hurt or be in danger of falling off.
So keep your house as free of rodents as possible, and make sure the access your cat has to the garbage is minimal.
Use Apt Furnishings
Many cats just want to lounge around on the balcony and soak up the sun. They are much too docile to chase after birds and get too excited and jumpy.
If your cat is like this, you might just want to put up cozy furnishings around the balcony where the cat can lounge.
It will want to secure its spot and view the rest of the balcony from there instead of wanting to run around and jump on things. Making a comfortable space for your cat is an excellent way to prevent harm.
Bamboo fences are quite trendy and thin enough to not be comfortable spaces for a cat.
If you can install bamboo or similar fencing on your railing, your cat will not have enough space to sit and this will prevent it from getting harmed as well.
Glass panels on the railing and other parts of the balcony make for a sleek and modern addition to any balcony.
The glass panels allow enough sun in the house for the cat and your plants to sunbathe, they do not block the view of the outside world either, or make for very modern additions to your house.
Keep A Watchful Eye
Always make sure you have an eye on your cat when it’s on the balcony. The most important thing you can do for your cat is just making sure it’s safe.
If you see it get up to any antics, you should try to bring it back indoors or entice it with something that will not be potentially harmful to it.
You can cat-proof the balcony to make it safe for your cat, but you should know what the little one is up to as well.
Don’t Get the Cat Too Excited
When out on the balcony, it is just a good idea to prevent the little one from being too excited.
Cats usually get in trouble when they are too excited and start running around.
While it is important to let the energy out, make sure the cat doesn’t do it in a potentially dangerous space.
Cat-proofing your balcony to make it safe for your cat is essential for the little critter’s well-being.
Your cat should always feel at home and be allowed to go wherever it wants without getting into any sort of danger.