Fresh air and sunshine make your apartment or condo balcony a perfect spot for your cat to watch the world go by. But before giving your kitty access to your apartment or condo balcony, it is essential that you make this a safe place for your cat – with a few special touches for comfort, of course.
Most housecats are content to remain indoors for much of the day. But giving your cat safe access to the outdoors can provide stimulation that indoor spaces can’t: the wind in their fur, smells wafting from a nearby restaurant, and a ray of sunshine to bask in. And once your apartment or condo balcony is cat-proofed, you and your cat can spend relaxing moments together on the safe balcony.
Table of contents
- What is important to consider when cat proofing your balcony
- Are there any tenant restrictions you should be aware of?
- Will the cat proofing changes be permanent?
- Making the space safe
- Remove plants toxic for cats
- Remove bug repellents and torches
- Close off or move garbage and unnecessary furniture
- Sealing off the balcony
- Cat balcony netting
- Plexiglass panels
- Bamboo or reed fence
- Cat railing guard
- Make the balcony cozy for cats
- Cat-friendly plants
- Outdoor rug
- Litter box
- Food and water bowls
- More ideas for keeping your cat safe on the balcony
- Keep tall furniture away from the railing
- Don’t let your cat onto the balcony unsupervised
- Remove bird feeders and wind chimes
- What if I can’t cat proof my balcony – can I still bring my cat outside?
- Use a dog crate
- Build a small catio
- Common safe cat balcony questions:
- Is it safe to let cats on balconies?
- Will cats jump off a balcony?
- How to prevent cats from slipping through the railing?
- Help your cat live their best balcony life
What is important to consider when cat proofing your balcony
Your outdoor balcony can be a respite from work and chores inside your home. And who better to enjoy it with than your furry friend?
Before you allow your cat onto the balcony of your apartment or condo, look at your balcony space with fresh eyes – the eyes of a cat, in particular.
If you were a cat, would you be able to leap onto the railing and walk it like a tightrope? Or squeeze through the railing?
If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you will need to modify your balcony before allowing kitty outside. But first, think about a few issues that could affect the end result.
Are there any tenant restrictions you should be aware of?
Does your building allow pets? It’s best to get this squared away before you begin cat proofing the balcony. If your cat starts hanging out on your newly-modified balcony, the neighbors are sure to see your little furball basking in some rays and the building management may be alerted. Check your rental agreement or Home Owners’ Association (HOA) literature to see if pets are allowed.
Also check if there are restrictions on what can be left out on your balcony and if any temporary alterations, such as adding balcony netting, are permitted.
Will the cat proofing changes be permanent?
Before you approach the HOA or your landlord, try to have a rough idea of the modifications you are proposing. Are you actually building a barrier, attaching materials to the walls, or altering the railing with hardware? If so, these could be considered permanent changes and may not be allowed by your building’s management. On the other hand, attaching some clear plexiglass panels or cat netting with heavy duty cable ties might be OK.
If you find out that modifying your balcony is not permitted in your building, it’s still possible to get your kitty outside safely – more on that later.
Making the space safe
Safety is number one when planning your cat-proof balcony. No one wants to consider the devastating results if your cat slips and falls while perched on the balcony railing or leaps out after a flitting bird.
Clean up the balcony in advance of cat proofing to create a “blank slate” as a starting point for cat proofing your balcony. Now you can reimagine the balcony and make it just right for you and your cat to enjoy together.