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Are balconies safe?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Both my cats are currently indoor only cats. I don't intend on ever letting them run free outside. However, I will be moving soon to a new apartment with a balcony. I'm sure the cats would love to be able to go on a balcony and get a closer look at the birds. But I just know I'll get nervous about them falling off or jumping off. It's only on the second floor but I'm sure it would still be a painful fall.
Is a balcony safe for them?
Would it be safe to put a little platform for them to climb on? (I'm thinking that would be safer than them trying to keep their balance on top of the barrier)

Has anyone ever heard of a cat really jumping or falling off a balcony? Or am I just worried over nothing?
post #2 of 16
No! Cats falling from balconies have been in the news lately. Death can happen easily.
I live 3 stories up...my kitties are not allowed on our balcony.
Only if I could enclose the whole area would I allow my kitties out on our balcony.
post #3 of 16
Here's a funny (not so funny at the time) story about a balcony.

I used to live in a building on the 7th floor which had a balcony and sliding glass doors & screen. In nice weather, I would leave the glass sliding door open to the balcony with the screen simply shut but never locked. Being on the 7th floor, I figured no one could break in except Spiderman himself At that time, I had four adult cats, one of them being Persian.

Well...one day I came home from work and instead of my conceirge greeting me with his usual "hello"...he was in a complete panic trying to spit out that some tenants buzzed him that there were cats jumping from balcony to balcony.

I flew up the stairs (no elevator for me that day) and those little fuzz nuts apparently opened the screen door to the balcony with their claws.

There they were...jumping from balcony to balcony from the "7th Floor". My heart was in my stomach! I tried calling them and seemed to giggle at me...if that's possible. I ran inside...grabbed a can of Pounce (believe it or not) and shook it. One-by-one, including my not-so-great-jumper Persian, they jumped back to my balcony and I scooted them all inside.

So...in answer to your question, "Has anyone ever heard of a cat really jumping or falling off a balcony? Or am I just worried over nothing?" YES!! They will jump and hopefully will not fall!!
post #4 of 16
They can fall. I know personally of a cat that had fallen in between the stairs of a fifth floor, so, they dont' all have great coordination.
post #5 of 16
I let mine out on my balcony but it is enclosed on both sides and i have had a fine mesh put up over the open end just in case. im lucky cause the bappier is real narrow and is far too thin for the cats to even dare jump on.
post #6 of 16
only if fully and securely enclosed
post #7 of 16
My cat fell from our balcony inside the house (It is about 12 feet in the air) and landed with a loud thud on our hardwood floor but was not hurt. It still scares me to death when they jump onto the thin handrail on that balcony. But I can't keep them off becasue it is inside the house! I need suggestions too as to what I should do to keep them safe. I thought of putting that screen that is a sun shade that you can buy in rolls at the home depot from floor to ceiling in front of the balcony opening but it probably will make my house look tacky and worse it's the first thing you see when you come in the front door.
post #8 of 16
growing up, i remember i had a cat who jumped from our two story balcony, and afterwards, she always would try, so the door had to be locked. it is a dangerous place for kitties, as they can hurt themselves badly. it is a myth that cats alway land on their feet, and they can break their legs trying.
post #9 of 16
My experience with cats and balconies is rather humorous. Years ago, I shared a second floor apartment, with 2 other girls, and five cats. One of the cats favorite pass time would be to sun bathe on the balcony. Young as each of us were, we never thought about the cats falling or jumping off the balcony. Well, the yougest cat, Witchie, a stray we had taken in, had a few lessons to teach us. One beautiful sunny day, the cats were sun bathing on the balcony, (dare I say, unsupervised ) when all of the sudden cats come tearing back into the apartment, meowing like crazy, and racing back and forth towards the balcony. After, taking a quick head count and realizing Witchie was missing; we flew out onto the balcony, fearing the worst. Unable to find the missing cat, we hesitantly, looked over the balcony. What did we find?... the missing cat, tearing after a baby bunny!

After, a few stunned moments, we girls raced down to the ground floor, charged outside, and around the building to try and save this poor cat and bunny!! We get around the building, only to find our high jumping feline has actually caught the tiny bunny!! Then, once Witchie caught sight of us, she very proudly saunteered back to us and laid her prize catch at our feet. ( She had the bunny by the scruff of the neck, and it was apparently frighten, but unharmed) Oh was Witchie proud of herself!! Puffed up and preening! The bunny, though, quickly recovered from his shock and made a dash for freedom. This in turn, set Witchie out on the chase again. Fortunately, she never caught the bunny again, and quickly grew tired of the chase, and we were able to get her back inside without any harm coming to her or the bunny. All was safe in the end, and we had learned a good lesson. It's funny now, but back then, not so much!
post #10 of 16
When I lived in a flat with a balcony, I used to let my two out on the balcony, but ONLY with their harnesses and short leads on. They could only reach to peep over the edge, not jumping or anything!

I just put their condo by the doors of the balcony and they tended to sit on there to look out - even when they had their harnesses on!
post #11 of 16
I don't have a balcony, but one of my two likes to sit on the top of my bedrrom door (he kind of scales his way up there via the coats hanging on doorhooks ). He can sit up there fine, but I've lost count of the number of times he's slipped or lost his balance when turning around - luckily he lands on the bed, but I'd hate to think what would happen if it were concrete two stories below him.
post #12 of 16
My mom has a friend who's cat fell from the balcony on the 27th floor (not a happy ending).

I know in Brazil people buy nets to put over their balcony, which still allows you to see out and everything, but provides safety, they are actually for people with small children, to prevent them from jumping/falling out, but they would work for pets as well. Maybe it's something to look for, I'm sure they sell similar things here.
post #13 of 16
Balconies are bad news!!

When my boyfriend and I moved a couple of years ago, we left the balcony door open and Reilly (being very upset about the move) panicked and tried to make a break for it. He tried to crawl off the balcony...luckily my boyfriend was there and caught him before he fell.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Would something like that help?

do cats usually jump / fall from the balcony by going through the gate or over it?
post #15 of 16
A neighbour's cat lept from the balcony a few weeks ago and died. Just went to prove I'm not crazy to have been paranoid about Napoleon and Jo not going out there. We have mesh netting to keep pigeons out, but I don't trust them not to squirm into the little openings around the railing.
I'd say balconies = no.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by marie-p
Would something like that help?

do cats usually jump / fall from the balcony by going through the gate or over it?
This seem to only cover the railings, not the top part. If you can get something for the top part (from railing to ceiling) it would solve your problem, but this is still too limited...
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