Always Supervise Your Pets
Just like you keep an eye on your children when they play outside, you should also watch your pet. Never leave your pets alone on a deck or balcony. Small animals can fall between posts or crawl under them, and large pets might be able to jump over a railing. Sometimes a pet will panic due to the height, and other times, they will spot a squirrel and throw caution to the wind. In any case, its important that youre there to spot and prevent potentially dangerous situations. If you do want to let your pet play outside for a few minutes unattended, put up a gate on your deck or patio.
Balcony Covers For Cats
Apartments in most urban areas are small, and we are constantly figuring out ways to maximize space. If you have a furry best friend, space becomes even more important. Cats love fresh air and sunshine just as much as humans do.
An enclosed balcony will allow your cat to be outside without the worry of them falling over the edge. Plus, it will give them more space, a precious commodity in an urban apartment. Read on to learn more about how to create a cat-proof balcony.
Are Balconies Safe For Cats
As the temperature increases outdoors, so does the incidence of high-rise syndrome in cats. A cats access to the balcony should be restricted for this reason.
High-rise syndrome is a term coined in the 1980s when cats were brought into a veterinary clinic in New York over a 5-month period due to falling off balconies and high-rises.
The cats had significant injuries, such as head and facial injuries, broken legs, and chest trauma. Despite a cats ability to land on its feet, its not uncommon for a cat to die after falling from a balcony.
Do not be fooled by its name. Although high-rise syndrome refers to Manhattan skyscrapers, any fall is dangerous. As we will discuss shortly, falling from the 4th floor could be more hazardous than a fall from the 14th story.
Always assume that a cat will fall from a balcony. Fall is the key term here. Your cat may not willfully leap from height from recreation, but this does not make an unwitting descent impossible.
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Can My Cat Or Dog Go On The Balcony
Provided youre willing to take steps to prevent mishaps and watch her closely, your cat or dog can enjoy time on the balcony. Before you head outside, take a good look at your balcony setup.
The safest balconies are those with screened-in enclosures , says Olson. These enclosures wont be effective, however, if she can escape from it, so inspect it carefully for tears or gaps. Pets are ingenious escape artists,” she adds.
If you do opt for a screened-in enclosure, Olson recommends making sure your companion has an approved cat or dog door so they can get back inside the home. Also, make sure they have food, water and shelter from the sun.
Look carefully at any other items that may be potentially hazardous to animals, such as grills. Additionally, Consider the ornamental plants that may be placed on the balcony and make sure they are not toxic plants, Olson says.
Youll also want to move furniture away from balcony edges to prevent animals from using it as a way to jump over the railing, Bierbrier says.
Finally, consider keeping your pet in a harness or on leash when theyre on your balcony, says Olson. So if they suddenly pursue that bird flying by or the squirrel in the tree nearby, they do not fall off the balcony railing or go through the balcony slats.
Regardless of any precautions you take, experts stress the importance of supervising your companion while on the balcony. It takes just one moment of not being vigilant for an animal to harm herself.
How Do I Make A Grass Bed For My Cat
Its actually very easy to make your own outdoor cat grass bed. One trip to your local garden center is all it takes to get the items you need:
- a garden bed
- canvas to prevent leaking
- grass seeds
The idea behind this cat bed is pretty simple. Its very similar to having a small vegetable patch on your balcony or patio. Only, in this case, the greens youre growing is a plot of grass.
The technique to make this grass bed is very simple. Line your garden bed with the canvas. Make sure you cover all the nooks. Fill the entire space with the right kind of potting soil.
Sow the grass seeds following the instructions on the packaging. Water the bed and wait for the grass to grow. Cover the bed lightly with canvas or a blanket until the grass is starting to show.
This way you can keep your cat from digging in and using it as her personal litter box.
Before you know it, your cat will be lounging in her own personal grass patio, enjoying a nibble from the grass surrounding her.
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Can Cat Toys Help To Keep Her Off The Banister
Can cat toys help to keep her off the banister?
If you are still looking for more options to keep your cat off your banister you may want to keep reading this for another potential solution.
Cat toys can keep your cat off the banister. This is more of an indirect solution but using cat toys can help to entertain her and divert her attention away from the banister.
But, you will need to invest 10 to 20 minutes a day to play with her to make this work. So, now you know that cats can benefit from having toys to keep them away from your banister and what you need to do to make it work
Close Off Garbage And Compost Bins
The garbage might attract mice and other rodents, making your cat jump for joy. But youre probably not so happy when your cat follows his hunting instincts.
Aside from the fact that your cat will like to rummage through your thrash, you also have to keep in mind that he might take a bite from spoiled food or other thrash.
Save yourself a trip to the vet and keep all garbage containers tightly sealed and out of your pets reach.
Have you turned your outdoor space in a pet friendly haven? Do you have any pro tips for other pet lovers?
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Can Cats And Dogs Fall From Balconies
Both cats and dogs are at risk of falling from balconies, although its more common with cats, says Dr. Sonja Olson, a senior clinician in emergency medicine for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Cats and dogs can squeeze through balcony railings, but cats are more prone to jumping onto and over them, Olson adds.
Although cats have an innate reflex to right themselves and land on their feet, they arent immune from harming themselves, says Dr. Lori Bierbrier, medical director of community medicine at the ASPCA. In fact, she adds that balcony injuries are so common in cats that a term has been created for it: high rise syndrome.
In one report of 119 cats who had fallen from high rises during a four-year period, about 97 percent survived, but many sustained serious injuries, including 46 percent who presented with fractured limbs.
In addition, a balcony doesnt have to be very tall for it to do damage. Folks may not think that two stories is that high, but yes it is, says Olson. Even a one-story fall can sometimes cause injuries, she says, especially with dogs, who are not as graceful and springy as cats.
How To Keep My Cat Jumping From The Balcony If I Only Live On A Lower Floor
Its less likely that your cat will be harmed if it jumps off of a balcony on the lower ground floor.
However, if you have left your cat alone it could escape and/or get stolen. Also, if it is not streetwise it could then get injured.
It may not be necessary to enclose it fully if it is on a lower level. Although I think that is the best solution.
Cats dont like to jump out over things so you can have a 5-foot fence then have a curved inward top. Your cat wont try to jump over it. I feel this is a little cumbersome with a balcony though.
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Never Block The Steps
Aside from clumsiness and curiosity, one reason why pets stray off of decks and balconies is because they feel trapped. Lets say your son or daughter left a pile of toys on the deck steps or you accidentally forgot to move your patio furniture away from the steps after sweeping. If Fido and Fluffy cant travel along their usual steps to get to their bathroom, they are more likely to try and find a new way off of the deck. Just like you regularly check to make sure your backyards gate is shut, always make sure your decks steps are easy to access if thats how your pet reaches the yard to use the bathroom or play.
Another way to make your pet feel free to roam is to add a pet door on your homes lower level. This will also encourage him or her to avoid using the balcony or deck for entering and exiting your home.
Catios: The Ultimate Cat Enclosure Solution For Apartment Dwellers
When it comes to providing a safe balcony space for your pet, you have two options.
You can either buy a pre-made cat cage / cat patio or catio, or you can build your own. While the former is the most expensive option, you do have the security of knowing it has been built by professionals. If you choose to make your own, not only can you save money, but you can also design your catio to suit your needs.
If you rent, then you will need to ensure that your landlord is happy with you making modifications to the property. If you own your property, then its worth checking any residents association rules to avoid causing a problem.
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Build A Catio Yourself
To give you an idea of how you could build your own Catio, watch this video from Addicted to Happy on YouTube where they cat-proofed their balcony for under $30.
As you will see, there are two areas of concern. The first is the space between the railings if your balcony has them. You need to make sure that your cat cant squeeze between them, either by blocking them with solid board or adding mesh or wire. You will also need to think about how to prevent a fall from the balcony railings. Netting or wire are good options here as they wont obstruct your view but they will keep your pets from falling. For more information, have a look at this article from Wikihow.
Keep Your Cat On A Leash
The easiest way to keep your cat safe on the balcony is using a leash. If you never used a leash on your cat, youll need to train your cat first. This will take some time, depending on the cat, it can take a few weeks for your cat to accept the leash and actually start walking with a harness on.
When youre training your cat to use the leash, do it indoors until your cat has settled in and got used to it. Dont go out on the balcony the first time youve put the leash on your cat because your cat might freak out trying to get the leash off.
When your cat learns to walk on the leash, you can take them on the balcony to enjoy a nice view and warming sunbeams. You can also tie the leash to an immovable object but make sure that they cant reach the rails and keep an eye on them.
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Allow Your Cat Outdoors In Cages And Tepees
Cat cages, teepees, and large dog crates can be useful to create a safe area for your cat to enjoy. This can be positioned on your balcony and help you keep an eye on your feline, regardless of how long the cat decides to stay outside.
The main downside of this solution is that you might have to bring your cat into the enclosure and take him out after a while. Therefore, this might not be a viable strategy to use while you are away or at work. So, you might still need to keep all windows and doors closed when you are not at home.
Nonetheless, cages and teepees are often made of mesh and include a range of toys and courses your cat can use to kill boredom. These devices might also include tunnels and facilities for your cat to move around and keep in shape. At the same time, you can ensure that your cat is safe while enjoying the fresh air on your balcony.
Cats Activity And Entertainment Needs
Cats are highly active creatures who want regular stimulation to remain physically and mentally active, which is critical for their overall health and well-being.
But, you cant just give them a toy or a window to look outside and think that they will be happy forever.
Unfortunately, cats tend to get bored of things quite quickly.
Therefore, you need to provide your little furry friend with plenty of cat enrichment giving them space to play and varying activities to keep them busy, active and amused.
To make sure that the catio you are creating on your balcony will always remain your cats favorite place, arrange multiple activities, so it never gets bored.
Put some nice cat toys, or a cat tree so your cat can satisfy their innate desire for jumping, and install multiple platforms at different heights because cats love to rest on high places.
|Bonus Tips: Keep rotating the toys after every few days to keep the cats interest alive. Also, make sure to have at least one treat toy as it helps to satisfy their instinct for hunting and ensures longer engagement times.|
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Cat Friendly Plants For Balcony
Unfortunately, some of the plants that we most commonly use to decorate our outdoor spaces are also toxic to cats. The last thing you want is for your pet to accidentally poison itself by nibbling on your floral displays. Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, English Ivy, Daffodils and Tulips and more can all cause a problem. A complete list can be found here.
Symptoms of poisoning in cats include breathlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling or excessive swallowing. If in any doubt, consult your vet.
You could also think about planting a balcony garden for your cats entertainment. Plant a pot up with cat grass, catmint and catnip to please your pet. Add butterfly attracting plants like lavender and Thyme and not only will your balcony smell great, but it will have an extra source of entertainment for your kitty.
We all know how much cats love a sniff of catnip. Well, how about growing your own? Imagine the blissful expression on your cats face as they nibble through the fresh stuff.
Why Do Cats Jump On Banisters
If you are having problems with your cat jumping on your banister you may be stepping back and wondering why is she doing this, right?
Cats jump on banisters because they like to jump and climb in general. If your cat has no other toys or activities to satisfy this desire, such a good cat tree then they will get creative and use objects, like your banister as an opportunity.
To help them stop this you need to divert their attention from the banister. So, now you know why your cat in jumping on your banisters and what strategy you can use to divert them from this.
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Making Windows Safe For Cats
As for windows, you can buy a sort of lattice that protects cats from jumping out of the top or side of bottom-hinged windows, like this one by Trixie. These are for German windows in particular, which you can keep slightly ajar.
Alternatively, you can ask someone to build you a metal frame or window balcony that enable you to open windows entirely if you want to get some fresh air on or you put up two telescope bars* and affix some netting. Ive not tried this yet, but Im tempted to buy one so I can properly open the window when Im putting the laundry out to dry on the 8th floor. Not being able to open your windows wide is to me one of the biggest disadvantages to having a cat.
Lastly, Id like to give you some ideas as to how to make a balcony cat-friendly. I recommend planting lots of cat grass, which cats can eat and lie about in. Now your cat-safe balcony is a real paradise for cats!
I hope that you, too, will soon be able to offer your cats a secure balcony. If youd like to send me a picture of your cat-safe balcony, please do Ill be happy to publish it!
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