Hello everyone, I’m looking for some advice on stopping my cats from escaping from my balcony. Seeing as I’m a member I thought this would be a good place to ask.
The weather is so nice and they’re dying to come enjoy the sun with me, but I live in a fifth/top floor apartment with a balcony which spans the entire flat forming part of a terrace which runs all the way along the building so it’s too risky for them to be out here.
Autumn already escaped without me noticing and ended up in a neighbours’ and I had to go round and get her. My heart was beating out of my chest and I can’t go through that fear again.
There is nothing above me to fix any netting to, so I’m looking for any ideas or products that would work to stop the cats escaping. It’s been my biggest worry while I’ve been away, and I would also like future sitters to enjoy the balcony without worrying about cats going missing.
Hi @Koba and welcome. As the netting option won’t work in your situation then I suggest you Google Catios. If you can’t get one to fit it may give you some ideas of how to make one.
I don’t know if it would be a good idea but I I’d build a frame out of PVC pipe and attach the netting to it if there’s no where else to attach the net. It would take a bit of pipe and connectors but would allow your cat out without being able to escape.
It might just be my inner child playing with tinker toys but I’ve built a lot of things with PVC pipe including a stable for an outdoor nativity set.
Dan and Nan
Thanks, that sounds like it could work and it would be quite cheap to make too
Have you considered just using a harness and a leash tied to an immovable object? I’ve done sits where the cats were allowed on the deck like this.
For obvious safety reasons, the leash has to be quite short so the cat can’t reach the rail and put themself in danger. Although I believe you can buy equipment that is rated as a car restraint that would technically “catch” them if they fall and not snap, but it seems easier and safer to me to just keep the leash short and always be out there with them.
I’m currently at a short sit in a first floor apartment with 2 cats who like being on the balcony. There is nothing to restrain them although I would only allow them on the balcony when I’m in, as the owners do. They don’t seem to be interested in trying to get out (fortunately) even though they could.
Hi @Koba thank you for bringing this to our community as I’m sure there are many cat parents/owners in a similar position to you, wanting to let kitty have the freedom of the outdoors in a safe way.
This article from our blog may prove helpful when looking to cat proof a section of your balcony. Do let us know how you get on as your experience and research could not only help your felines but other feline members too.
Great question @Koba. I’ve done sits with a cat I had to out a harness on to go on the 2nd floor balcony (as he’d jumped from it previously) but the sit I’ve just finished on the 4th floor where the cat was allowed out on the balcony without any fencing. He’d even sit on the ledge (which made me nervous) without issues. On the other hand I sat on the 8th floor with balconies where the HO had put up a bamboo fence and netting.
I guess knowing you’re cats is important.
We looked at different options and ended up doing it ourselves. We read somewhere that it’s best to use more flexible netting as the cats can not climb up this way.
So we bought one of the cheaper nets and some metal pipes. We attached the pipes to the banister (in 3 places) with zip-ties and made holes through the top of the pipes so we could tie the rope to it.
The net was too big. We cut the length but decided it was easier to just keep the top together and kind of loop through it with the rope to tie it to the metal pipes.
It may not be the prettiest option but it was way cheaper than getting a professional to do it for us
Maybe you could do something similar.
Thank you everyone for the different ideas.
So, I remembered these fencing pins existed, and I came up with a similar idea to @sihtamilo
They work well with the railings I’ve got with and I’m using steel cable ties to keep them tightly in place. This is my progress so far:
I shall post another picture when it’s finished.