The balcony is a real treat for furries and is especially appreciated by indoor cats. Relaxation in the fresh air is an attraction for cats not only in summer, but also on cooler, autumn days (after all, what's fur!). Being on the balcony gives a cat a substitute for freedom, so it's quite obvious that it wants to explore the area, even if it’s several meters from the ground and the air smells like rain! Knowing that your cat is ready to peek into every corner, stick its paws in every gap to say hi to neighbours or jump on the railing, when tempted by a bird flying by or something shiny, looming in the distance, you need special "equipment" and this is what we’ll be talking about today.
First of all, cat net!
We can bet your cat will go crazy on the balcony (too much fresh air or stimuli! :)). So that nothing bad happens then, properly prepare the cat's run. For starters - the net! Cats generally fall on their feet, but not always, and cannot be expected to do so, especially after falling from a great height. Therefore - for the peace of the cat caretaker and the safety of the furry - it is better to install the net regardless of the height of the balcony. This type of prevention will not only prevent your pet from harming itself, but also keep the animal from escaping.
Ok, net, got it! But what kind should I choose?
There are different types and before making a purchase, consider your cat's temperament:
- transparent nets - usually aren’t expensive, and thanks to the high transparency, have become popular among cat caretakers, however, this type of protection isn’t the most durable - it has a weak structure and stretches (easy to destroy by cat)
- polyethylene nets - resemble fishing nets. Definitely stronger than transparent nets or mosquito nets and can easily withstand contact with a cat, which is rather not passionate about climbing, and practices extreme sports only from time to time,
- reinforced nets - in this type of protection, the material is additionally interlaced with a thin wire, which increases the strength and life of the net,
- metal nets - these are the most expensive ones, but they guarantee quality and will be perfect for cat who loves jumping and climbing.
I’ve got a net. What next?
Time to assemble! Unfortunately, this is a more difficult matter and if you don’t feel up to it, it’s better to call for a specialist. A balcony without a roof will require the most work, as an additional structure in the form of a roof or frame will be needed to evenly protect the entire balcony space.
If you decide to assemble it yourself, remember that the net should be tight and all edges must be well protected, so that the furry can't find a way to slip outside (and we know it can!). Of course, also remember to be extremely careful during assembly! Unlike a cat, you only have one life, and if you fall, it's only "on two feet." ;)
Important: make sure that there are no sharp edges and protruding elements on the balcony that could endanger the health of the cat. If the pet is on the balcony, don’t put any chemical substances there (which, for example, were left after the last renovation) - your cat will taste it fur sure!
Plants on the balcony
Do you already have a net installed? Congratulations! Your cat will not fall out, nor will it run after your neighbor's dog. But does that mean the furry is safe already? Well no. This is the moment when it’s good to look around the balcony in search of other threats - for example plants that are dangerous to cats, which are usually abundant in homes. We wrote about it in one of the previous articles, so instead of repeating ourselves, we refer you to it (you will find more interesting facts there).
As we are already on the subject of plants ... Once you are sure that no dangerous greenery is near your cat, also provide one that will have a health-promoting effect on your pet. Make the time on the balcony more enjoyable and ensure healthy and ecological snacks for your cat. :) Ready to use list is in another article:
Comfy cat bed
What would a rest on a balcony be without a proper bed or scratcher? Cats love to lie in the sun and definitely deserve a good quality sunbed. It just so happens that we know where to look for them, and there’s an opinion among cats that it’s a choice worth recommending. :) If you already have a scratcher and a cat bed, put them in the place where the cat most often stays on the balcony (if it’s a place prone to rainfall, remember to hide cat furniture - at least cardboard or cotton - to the apartment during inclement weather). Wicker or wooden furniture works well during the rainy “balconying”.
Important: even if you already have a fully secured balcony, only allow your cat to use it when you are nearby. Furries can be unpredictable, and this character trait can get worse when there is no caretaker around, so it's better to always keep that in mind.;)
As you can see, it’s not so difficult to provide your cat with a safe rest on the balcony. After the most difficult stage - the installation of the net - there’s actually little that prevents you from relaxing together - still at home - and yet outside.
How about you, fabCats? How did you secure your balconies? Or maybe you would add something else? Let us know in the comments!