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How to cat-proof your balcony

How to cat-proof your balcony
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 2 min

You’ve got a cat. You’ve got a balcony. And you’d love to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine together. But the thought of your cat taking a nosedive sends shivers down your spine. 

No need to fear. Because with a bit of effort and creativity, you can turn your balcony into a safe haven for your cat. Here’s how.

Step 1: Secure the Perimeter

The most crucial aspect of cat-proofing your balcony is making sure your cat can’t slip through or leap over the railings.

Install cat-proof netting or mesh around the balcony. It’s transparent enough to keep your view intact. But strong enough to keep your cat from getting out. Secure it tightly from floor to ceiling.

You could also consider installing sturdy screens around the balcony. Which can be attached to the railings and the top of the balcony to create an enclosed space.

For a more durable option, use plexiglass panels. Attach them to the railings to stop your cat from squeezing through or climbing over.

Step 2: Create Safe Climbing and Perching Areas

Cats love to climb and perch, so give them safe options to satisfy their instincts.

A cat tree or climbing post on the balcony is a designated spot for your cat to climb and lounge. And sturdy shelves or ledges along the balcony walls for your cat to jump up and down.

Step 3: Provide Shaded and Comfortable Spots

Your balcony should be a comfortable retreat, not a sun-scorched nightmare. So set up an umbrella, awning, or shade cloth to protect your cat from the harsh sun. And add some cosy bedding or a cat bed in a shaded area. Your cat will appreciate a comfy spot to relax. If the days get hot, consider placing cooling mats or tiles on the balcony for those hot summer days.

Step 4: Make the Balcony Entertaining

A bored cat is more likely to try and escape. So keep them entertained. Scatter some toys around the balcony. Like interactive toys, balls, and feathers. Cats also love running water. So a small, cat-safe water fountain can be a fun and practical addition.

Step 5: Use Cat-Safe Plants

Not all plants are safe for cats. So make sure any greenery on your balcony is non-toxic. Plants like catnip, cat grass, spider plants, and marigolds should do the trick. Because they’re safe and can add some greenery to your balcony.

Steer clear of plants like lilies, azaleas, and sago palms, which can be deadly to cats.

Step 6: Regular Maintenance

A safe balcony requires regular upkeep. Check the netting, screens, or plexiglass panels regularly for any wear and tear. To make sure they remain secure. Try to keep the balcony clean and free of any debris or small objects that your cat might swallow. And look out for any new potential hazards like sharp edges, loose nails, or toxic substances.

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