Cats are fond of sitting high on a windowsill and watching the outdoor world – it’s common knowledge. That’s why the balcony often becomes the favorite place for your fluffy home mates to spend most of the day. So why not create all the comforts for your four-legged friend here?
Balcony safe and comfortable ideas for cats.
There is a risk, though. If you’ve not had your balcony glassed, it poses as much a treat to your pet’s health, as an open window. The prey drive, curiosity or an intention to have a walk on the balcony railing may result in an accident. They say a cat always lands on its paws, but it’s just a myth. If your apartment is situated higher than the ground floor, such a fall may result in very sad consequences: from your cat’s injuries to broken hearts of your family members. Therefore, refuse from testing the pet’s vitality unintentionally, and de-risk your balcony.
Important note: Ensure that your balcony-kept cat always has access to clean water, food, the litter-box, and a shelter from sunlight (and rain – if the balcony is open).
Ideas For Open Balconies.
Keeping the pet on an open balcony is dangerous, unless you see about the necessary safety measures.
- Netting. The simplest way to make an open balcony cat-proof is to line its inner perimeter with a fishing net or an anti-mole net. The former is resistant to deformations and barely visible; however, such a net becomes brown soon and is hardly resistant to weather impacts. Therefore, it will wear out quickly. The anti-mole netting is more durable – and more expensive, too. Textile netting is unsuitable, since the cat can tear it with his claws.
- Frames and grids. Some owners of non-glassed balconies install wooden frames and attach grids or a metal mesh instead of glass. The idea is not difficult to DIY, although it’s recommendable to employ US professionals.
- Open-air cages and verandas. Such an enclosure is offered in two designs: floor-standing and suspended (attached to the balcony railing, or to the window). Store-bought units are made of a special metal grid; they come with all the necessary fixtures.
Important note: Double check that the enclosure you’ve created has no gaps or weak places where your cat could leak through.
Cat’s Safety On A Glassed Balcony.
Glassed balconies may also be dangerous for a cat – that’s when you want to aerate the interior and open a window. Even if the aperture is fitted with an insect screen, it won’t be able to withstand the weight of your cat. That’s why all the open-able balcony windows must be fitted with special protective nets, which are called “pet screens.”
Professional pet screens include a durable aluminum or steel mesh and reliable fixtures. They not only prevent the cat from falling out of the window, but also protect the interior from bugs and flies. In terms of design and visual appearance, pet screens hardly differ from regular insect screens.
Cats Versus Balcony Plants: Ideas To Appease The Situation.
Chewing the plants you keep on the balcony or digging in the pots will definitely interest your cat when he starts to explore his new home. However, be aware that many herbs you grow as decorations are poisonous. In most cases, they are unlikely to kill your pet, but he or she will still feel unhealthy for a while after eating them.
The list of popular pot plants that are harmful for cats includes:
- dumb cane;
- Swiss cheese tree.
Remove these from your balcony as soon as you’ve decided to make it your cat’s home. If you don’t know the name of a plant or whether it’s safe for cats, you better remove them – just in case. Ideally, you should place such plants in a room, which the kitty is forbidden to enter. Chlorophytum and Сyperus are harmless and even delicious to cats, but you probably don’t want the pet to feast on your balcony decorations.
To prevent the cat from eating herbs, try growing a patch of oats or wheat, which he will be allowed to chew whenever he wants. USA and UK feline specialists believe it’s healthy for cats to eat a little juicy green grass once in a while. You can buy the seeds either at a pharmacy, or at a pet store. Every time the pet intends to bite at a wrong plant, direct him to the pot with tender wheat sprouts. The fluffy thing will definitely help himself to his personal greenery lot.
Excavating the pots is another pastime that attracts idle balcony-kept cats. Below are four ideas to help you eliminate this behavior drawback in your pet.
- Your cat may be simply bored. Add a few new toys to his balcony keep.
- Watch the animal closer. Maybe he wants to create a hiding place in the middle of the pot with plants. Arrange a comfortable and cozy lair, where you pet can hide to feel safe and undisturbed. If you’re on a budget, a cardboard box will suit as a temporary variant.
- If your cat digs for the sake of digging, think about decorating the balcony with some uninviting pot plants. Cacti and the ornamental plant called ‘euphorbia milii’ will drive the pet off with their thorns. Rosemary discourages cats with its smell.
- For determined and prolific diggers, you may try the ultimate measure. Stick the pot soil full of toothpicks – your cat won’t dare to try overcoming such a stockade.