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Cats & Balconies

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Is it safe to allow the cat out on the balcony? Or is it going to jump down? I have heard stories of cats falling out of 2nd and 3rd story windows. Are they really that curious that they will jump 15-20 feet off a balcony??
post #2 of 42
I wouldnt leave them on a balcony at all. My cats are inside only, but my niece left the door open and one of my cats went out on the balcony. Just as I noticed, the cat jumped up onto the side and was on her way over the side, when my niece grabbed her by her fur and kept her from going over. If my niece had not grabbed her when she did, my cat would have gone over.
post #3 of 42
I wouldn't either. we had a deck that we let ceasar out on here & there. I was out with him & he saw I was going to bring him in and jumped on the ledge then fell (2nd floor) scared the crap out of me, i 've never run so fast in my life. thanks god he was ok though
post #4 of 42
They won't necessarily JUMP but things can happen and they can fall. My Paisley fell from the 2nd story down to the 1st (inside the house)...and it scared the %$#@ out of me. Luckily she was fine, but I don't ever want to see it happen again.
post #5 of 42
I agree. I used to live in a multi-level building, and I used to let my baby, Kitkat (RIP) out to play on the balcony. She was a tubby thing, and therefore was not all that agile. I used to have a heart attack everytime she would jump on the railing and slip or stumble. As graceful as cats are most of the time, there are times when they can slip, even just jumping onto a table or the bed!
post #6 of 42
Reading this thread made me think... I have a loft bedroom and the walls are short... about 4 to 4 1\\2 feet tall. So therefore you can actually look from the bedroom over the wall into the living room. Well, PHX always jumps up there and lays on there and looks down.. Is this safe? It's quite a fall... I mean It's like falling from 2nd story to ground isn't it? Hmmmm.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yeah, just after I posted the message I saw her dart across the room after a butterfly on the balcony (the sliding door was closed)...I hate to think about her getting carried away and jumping off.

No balconies for them.

As far as the falling goes, from what I have read, I don't think falling 10-15 feet has a high chance of harming the cat. But maybe people can share their experiences.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
As far as the falling goes, from what I have read, I don't think falling 10-15 feet has a high chance of harming the cat. But maybe people can share their experiences.
Yeah, the thing about "always" landing on their feet is in their favor...however after Paisley fell, I did some googling and found too many stories about broken ribs and punctured lungs from falls. It still freaks me out. She landed on her feet, but she sat there just stunned for several minutes. Then she finally got up, verrrry slowly, and ran off. But it still scared me.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
My Paisley fell from the 2nd story down to the 1st (inside the house)...and it scared the %$#@ out of me. Luckily she was fine, but I don't ever want to see it happen again.
Yeah... Max did the same thing, fell from a bannister on the second floor, to the first, and broke a tooth which later became infected. I've been nervous about cats and heights ever since.
post #10 of 42
I have a balcony that is about 8 feet off the ground and had been allowing my cats out there, but only if I was with them. About a week ago, they actually OPENED the screen door (it doesn't latch, just slides, but I never thought they'd be able to slide it open!). By the time we realized they were gone, it was dark outside, and they were out there, on the ground underneath our balcony! These are cats who have never been outside, so I guess because the fear of the unknown they didn't stray far. We have some very big dogs in our apt. building and their owners don't always have them on leashes, and if one of these dogs had gone outside while they were out there who knows where they'd be now? This was unbelievably scary for us. Even my husband (big macho guy) really was freaked out. Cats are so sneaky, I don't think it's safe to have them on baloneys unless there is some kind of enclosure.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
Is it safe to allow the cat out on the balcony? Or is it going to jump down? I have heard stories of cats falling out of 2nd and 3rd story windows. Are they really that curious that they will jump 15-20 feet off a balcony??
do you own the house? maybe you make an encloser if you do. I always wanted to that...one day if I own!
post #12 of 42
We let ours out, but only under supervision. They just love being outside. last weekend was sunny, so I hung out there with the boys most of the day. They were content to just be out there in the sun and wind, spying on the neighbours.
We have a bird feeder up, and I've actually caught Wiggies mid jump as he was about to leap off the 4th floor balcony in pursuit of a bird. They have no idea really, how high we are and can't be trusted out there alone.
post #13 of 42
Cats are amazing for so many reasons.

Anatomically is just one of the reasons. Cats possess extra lumbar and throracic vertebrae, and with the cat's caudal vertebrae in their tails, this gives cats a great advantage when it comes to balance and dexterity.

But it doesn't make them infallible.

The extra vertebrae allow a cat to twist and realign themselves when necessary. They also lack a collar bone, freeing them up more. They are basically little gymnasts.

Sometimes with LONGER falls, cats actually do better. This is because their bodies have more time to realign and position for landing.

Sometimes with SMALLER falls, the event is too quick and cats on average sustain more injuries this way.

And sometimes it's a crapshoot. Too many variable. Not a risk I want present.

But small and tall falls alike, cats are mortal. I had a scare when Kowe slipped off the 3rd floor balcony. Kowe is our 'indescructable' cat, our 'human' cat. She has survived so much....I watched her slip..I think she was weaving in and out of the rails....then I saw her claws hang on for dear life. I ran downstairs and outside in nothing but a long t shirt. There was Kowe, happily munching grass!

THank GOD there WAS grass. She was checked and fine. But I have seen enough cases where a cat was NOT fine. And even if they survive, they often deal with chronic tendon/ligament stress, which will lead to joint issues, and a myriad other injuries are risked.

Not a risk I would ever take again. We are building house and the original design was for a loft style overlooking the foyer. A straight shot down to hardwood floors. I changed the plans. Cats are a great judge of distance but there is always that ONE TIME (swiping at a dust particle, a gnat, a bird...a loud sound startles them....)

Enclosures are the way to go. And offer window perches and cat trees. My cats love their window time and I create little havens for them all over the house.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpawz View Post
We are building house and the original design was for a loft style overlooking the foyer. A straight shot down to hardwood floors.
That's exactly where and how Paisley fell...the floor here is stone tile, though. I bet that really stung. Now there's 2 layers of thick carpet there...a crash pad. Of course, it's never been "used" but that's fine by me.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
That's exactly where and how Paisley fell...the floor here is stone tile, though. I bet that really stung. Now there's 2 layers of thick carpet there...a crash pad. Of course, it's never been "used" but that's fine by me.
Yeah, shock absorbancy is a huge factor. The builder thinks I am nuts haha (apparently that design is popular)

But now, instead of that risky drop, I have extra sq footage upstairs in the loft, with a huge arched window letting in all day sun -- perfect cat sunning spot away from kids and commotion
post #16 of 42
to add to all that.........theres things that fly past and you know how cats are with birdies.......my friends cat did jump after a bird and fell 4 floors he broke a leg and some other bones - I forget now, so long ago - anyways he was sorted by the vet, but she never let him out on the balcony again
post #17 of 42
i live in a 3rd floor apartment. we also have a balcony. the kitties have never been allowed out there. ever. i've heard too many stories about cats falling/jumping and being severely injured. i've seen some tenants letting their cats out on the 3rd floor balconies and i cringe.
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladycat View Post
do you own the house? maybe you make an encloser if you do. I always wanted to that...one day if I own!
Yeah we own the condo, but there are HOA restrictions in place which would probably prevent me from doing something like that.
post #19 of 42
We used to live on a 2nd level apartment and we got to the point that we enclosed our balcony so that they could go out there and relax in the sunshine. All 6 of them loved it, it got to the point we had to drag them in at night. I never left them out when I wasn't home, but if I even went near the balcony door they would all come running. I am not sure if your complex will allow this but it may be an idea.
post #20 of 42
i wouldnt allow my cats on the balcony if there was a drop. i have enough of a heart attack when they jump onto the stair bannersters. and belive me they have feel from that before luckliey always been ok but its only a 7-8 foot drop. but scares the **** out of me.
post #21 of 42
I live in a small 2 bedroom condo and if I didn't let my cats out on the balcony at all I feel I would be depriving them or keeping them in prison. I'm not one of those people who can have a large house. But at the same time I love my cats so much that I must keep them no matter how small of an environment I live in(as long as I don't live in a one room studio, which I never will). But I do not let them out unsupervised. I had to train Spotty not to jump on the railing with a spray bottle and clapping my hands and if I don't watch him he may do it. Fortunately I live on the 2nd floor so it would not be a very big fall but I do not want to lose a cat. Rosie never jumps on the railing but I make it a rule that someone must be home and watching them when they go out on the balcony.

The balcony is a pleasure for indoor cats as long as they are supervised. They can sun themselves and watch the birdies and buggies and get lots of fresh air. They need that.
post #22 of 42
I let my cats out on my 2nd story balcony all the time. My cats are laid back and don't try to jump and they love to lay out there in the sun. Something you can do is put screening or fencing around the bottom portion so they can't fall out. That's what I do. Also, mine doesn't have a ledge for them to jump up on so that helps.
post #23 of 42
Our balcony is secured with telescopic rods that attach directly to the handrail, and so-called "cat net", which is basically the same as fishing net, and available in black, green, and transparent.

You could probably use a "portable outdoor enclosure" if enclosing the balcony isn't allowed: http://www.wildwhiskers.com/OutdoorCatEnclosures.htm
Shop around for sizes/prices, though.
post #24 of 42
I didn't have a cat personaly that jumped off, but my aunt did. She had second story balcony and the cat either jumped or fell, but it didn't make it. It broke something and had internal bleeding
post #25 of 42

i had a cat on my balcony 3rd floor and nothing ever happened to her... i reeally had no choice but to leave her outside and bring her inside at nite time because of my mum but nothing happened to her and cats always land on their feet and cats are not dumb... 26.gifdont wrry ur cat will be fine on a 3rd floor but no more floors higher

post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sara12345 View Post

i had a cat on my balcony 3rd floor and nothing ever happened to her... i reeally had no choice but to leave her outside and bring her inside at nite time because of my mum but nothing happened to her and cats always land on their feet and cats are not dumb... 26.gifdont wrry ur cat will be fine on a 3rd floor but no more floors higher



I knew a cat that fell to his death from the 1st floor. Yes, cats often (not always) land on their feet but their legs often get broken and their jaws too because their head sometimes slams on the floor on impact. I know several people that have had to take their cats to an orthopedic surgeon to get the leg fixated  on the outside with six weeks to several months of confinement to a cage. I even know a cat that had to have his jaw fixated on the outside.

 

Please don't tell people not to worry, it is misinformation. You have just gotten lucky.

 

One of my fosters was allowed on the balcony by his owners because she thought he was to shy to jump down. He didn't, he fell off the railing because he was startled by someone tooting a car horn. He wasn't injured but he was lost until they got up the courage to inform us he was missing, in the end we caught him with a trap. He had been missing for 11 days in miserable weather and he had lost a lot of weight.

My former upstairs neighbour had a cat that almost fell on my head twice because it wanted to look at me while I was under his balcony. The balcony railing had a small gap on the underside, I still don't understand how that fat cat fell through it. First I would see some fur drifting down on me and then  the cat would follow. He would go sit in front of my neighbours door and howl to be let in because he was terrified of being outside laughing02.gif

 

My former upstairs neighbours on the fifth floor have a cat that fell from the balcony, he had some wounds but fortunately he was otherwise all right. Even so, they realized they had to do something and came over the next day to look at the netting on our balcony. They put up a net themselves.

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 42

Our cat just jumped from the 7th floor into the parking lot beneath. Gave us quite a scare, and, sustained some serious injuries, she´s limping at a front leg, and had some internal bleeding, we took her to the vet immediately, and recieved emergency treatment, doctors say the first 24 hours are critical, afterwards they will treat the injured leg.

 

She was sitting on the railing alongside some flowers, and got spooked when the phone rang. I really hope she will be ok.

 

The vet told us that he had cats that survived falls from the 10th floor, but anything over 5 floors and your cat will sustain serious injuries. 

post #28 of 42

How terrifying I sure hope everything will be okay. Is kitty still at the vet? Any update on her condition? vibes.gif

post #29 of 42
That's really frightening! vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif that she'll be okay. There are way too many cats that fall victim to "high-rise syndrome", so it's extremely important to make sure all balconies and windows are secured.
post #30 of 42

     She's doing a lot better, the vet gave her some medication to get her out of shock, and some other cocktail of medication. We were lucky to get her to the vet within 5 minutes after the fall. After treatment he sent us home and said if she has some massive internal bleeding there is nothing he can do, and the best thing for her is to feel safe and calm down at home. We were very concerned, but she survived the first 24 hours that were critical, the bleeding stopped, she is now eating again, and limping around the house. We went back for a check up, as told by the doctor, and she received some antibiotics, to avoid infection at the wounds.

    The concern now is that she is breathing a bit heavily, and more towards her stomach, the doctor suspects a Diaphragmatic Hernia, apparently this is a common problem with cats or dogs in car accidents, falls, or when they are kicked. Here is a link about Diaphragmatic hernia http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2139&aid=262 .

     Tomorrow morning we will be taking the cat for an X-ray and the doctor will be able to tell us, if a surgical intervention is necessary, and weather she has any broken bones.

    We really hope she will get better, It has been a horrible ordeal for us, it's hard to see your pet hurt so badly, but we're really glad she's doing better, and that she survived the fall at all. She missed a metal railing and some wooden spikes on the way down, and landed on a patch grass.

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