Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

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Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Bob Willar » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00



Jordan,

They might be just fine with it, but I personally wouldn't chance
letting your cats out onto a fourth floor balcony.  They probably
wouldn't survive the dive if any of them decided to take it, and that's
not a chance I would like to take.

Bob

Quote:

> The last few months have been fairly hectic for myself, Pirate, Josie, and
> Lucky.  (Those are cats, in case you couldn't guess.)  We have moved to a
> new apartment in the Chicago area, and they had various ways of expressing
> their displeasure.  (Pirate, in particular, seemed to want to "say it with
> vomit" for about three days.)

> Anyway, we're all settled in now, and the cats enjoy the view out of the
> fourth-floor windows.  The apartment also has a balcony (you knew I was
> getting to that, didn't you?).  At first, they showed no interest in going
> out on the balcony (and I showed even less interest in having them go out
> there).  But, they've become more brave, and now they look for
> opportunities to zip past the screen door.

> So far, there haven't been any attempts to fly, but I'm worried.  Is it
> safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them little emergency
> parachutes?
>      Jordan

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Mary Schmi » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00


Why not "cat proof" the balcony .. because, yes, they can and do fall ..
not often maybe but, for your piece of mind it could be done, quite
easily and inexpensively.. Mary Schmidt

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Jordan H. Orzo » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> Why not "cat proof" the balcony .. because, yes, they can and do fall ..
> not often maybe but, for your piece of mind it could be done, quite
> easily and inexpensively.. Mary Schmidt

Several people have suggested screening to me.  That sounds like an option
worth pursuing.  I'll have to see what the building allows.

Thanks!
    Jordan

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by robert a. moes » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00




:...Is it safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them
:little emergency parachutes?

my understanding is that sooner or later, a butterfly (or whatever)
goes by, and any good sense the cat may have had goes, er, right
out the window with the cat, or in your case, right over the balcony.

i suggest supervised visits on the leash, or fencing it in. it is
also possible that a variation of the cat-proofing used for regular
fences could be adapted to cat-proof the railing.

or you could get a cat-sized ball-and-chain setup, so they just wouldn't
be able to jump when they were out there.

my other cat Scsi ("scuzzie") was allowed out on our balcony - i had him
trained as to the limits. he wouyld go right up to the forbidden zone
and stick his nose in deeper and deeper... then he'd sneak a paw in,
but the minute he did i'd give him the signal. he obeyed, but this was
one sure way to get his unvoiced snarl.

bottom line: better safe than sorry.

-- rob

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by i.. » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
>So far, there haven't been any attempts to fly, but I'm worried.  Is it
>safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them little emergency
>parachutes?
>     Jordan

I think some kind of screen on the balcony may work better.
My family manages a couple of very tall condo buildings and
we know that cats fall to their death from time to time.

I. Atcravi

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by pascha » Mon, 06 Oct 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> The last few months have been fairly hectic for myself, Pirate, Josie, and
> Lucky.  (Those are cats, in case you couldn't guess.)  We have moved to a
> new apartment in the Chicago area, and they had various ways of expressing
> their displeasure.  (Pirate, in particular, seemed to want to "say it with
> vomit" for about three days.)

> Anyway, we're all settled in now, and the cats enjoy the view out of the
> fourth-floor windows.  The apartment also has a balcony (you knew I was
> getting to that, didn't you?).  At first, they showed no interest in going
> out on the balcony (and I showed even less interest in having them go out
> there).  But, they've become more brave, and now they look for
> opportunities to zip past the screen door.

> So far, there haven't been any attempts to fly, but I'm worried.  Is it
> safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them little emergency
> parachutes?

My Grandma had a white cat named Snowball, when she was growing up in the
1890's, in the Tidewater of ***ia.  She also had an older sister, very
prissy, who didn't like it when Snowball settled himself on her upstairs
feather-bed.  One day when Granny was coming home from school, she saw
Snowball flying out the upstairs window - the sister had pitched him out,
on finding him on the feather-bed.

I think my grandmother resented that sister forever, for that; though her
mother told her, "Don't worry - cats always land on their feet!"

Fortunately, Snowball did - and I've seen on a PBS show, a slow-motion
movie of how a cat rolls in fall. But I live in a balcony apt., and don't
dare let my cat out on it - things don't always work out, you know.  

Over time, cats will learn to confine
themselves to the spaces that their people consider safe - they're very
adaptable, and creatures of habit (a well-known writer who has written a
couple of books about his cats has said that all cats are Republicans.)

Squirt bottles work marvels, to train and discourage them from dangerous
behaviors.

(If you do decide to let them out there, I wouldn't put up a screen.  They
are safer, to my mind, seeing very clearly where they are and the danger
they are potentially in, than trying to jump up on the rail to get beyond
the screen. Cats are pretty smart, unless you obstruct their ability to
know exactly where they stand.)

-P.

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by A. Greeblin » Tue, 07 Oct 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
> So far, there haven't been any attempts to fly, but I'm worried.
> Is it safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them
> little emergency parachutes?

Well, even though they will surely know better than to just
leap off, I'd be worried about things like a bird landing on
the ledge and a cat pouncing on it and being so engrossed
that he/she jumps off while in pursuit.  Also, accidents do
happen - cats are sure footed but they're not perfect either.
After all, nothing in a cat's evolution prepared them for
life 4 stories off the ground!

If I were you I'd either arrange it so they cannot get onto
the balcony, or make some sort of safety enclosure.

______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Mary Schmi » Tue, 07 Oct 1997 04:00:00


If you purchase some thin strips of wood, a staple gun and .. the best I
can discribe it is .. like a plastic coated chicken wire .. they sell it
in some garden supply places as something to protect shurbs from the
deer .. I was able to purchase 100 feet long and 12 feet high for less
than $8.00 .. you could probably enclose your entire balcony and no one
looking at your balcony would know .. great place for .. in the summer
.. for vines in pots to grow .. Mary Schmidt

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by entrop » Tue, 07 Oct 1997 04:00:00


Quote:



> > Why not "cat proof" the balcony .. because, yes, they can and do fall ..
> > not often maybe but, for your piece of mind it could be done, quite
> > easily and inexpensively.. Mary Schmidt

> Several people have suggested screening to me.  That sounds like an option
> worth pursuing.  I'll have to see what the building allows.

> Thanks!
>     Jordan

I used wooden privacy lattice to rail in my balcony when I lived in an
apartment on the 4th floor.  Somehow one of the cats got it into its
head to jump up on the railing one day, and there's nothing like that
heartstopping moment of stepping onto the balcony and seeing all three
cats, including the fat, clumsy one, teetering precariously on the rail
over the steep dropoff to make one willing to enclose the balcony.

Most apartments won't even notice if you screen the balcony in (my
privacy lattice was only allowed in some complexes).  If it's a covered
balcony, that makes it easy; just stretch the stuff from the roofline
down to the rail and staple it.  Keeps bugs out, too.  But watch for
kitty climbers!  They have to be taught NEVER to touch the screening
material with their claws, or they'll rip it, and risk falling after
all.  --Geni

 
 
 

Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Linda Webe » Sat, 11 Oct 1997 04:00:00


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I didn't get a chance to see the original message, but I get the gist.  I have a cat, she really loves the outdoors.  We moved to DC and had to live
in high rise apartments.  We put up chicken wire which kept her from going through the balcony railing and over the edge.  She appeared to be quite
content with her situation, being able to sit on the balcony in the fresh air while I sat in the living room.  For some reason, over time, this did
not satisfy her any longer.  She started to jump up on the railing and walk the railing...we were on the 12th floor.  Needless to say she did not go
out unsupervised anymore.  We had to keep an eye on her all the time.
Now, if you want to hear more antics of my daredevil cat...On day, we had the balcony door open and we were watching her.  She came inside and was
fine and we were standing in the foyer area of the apartment.  All of a sudden her ears went back and she raced out the door to jump on the
railing...must have thought she could do it before I got to her.  Well, she overshot with the speed she had built up.  There we were, I was staring at
her*** on the wrong side of the railing...she was staring at me*** by her paw tips.  By the time I could get to her, she had somehow managed
to pull herself up and back over the metal railing.  Apparently, the chicken wire helped her keep her back feet planted on something so she could push
herself up.  I grabbed her and brought her inside...her eyes were as big as saucers and both of our hearts were racing...thankfully she has eight
lives left.
Now, after all that, you would think she would learn...naw...after a few months, she would be back to her antics of trying to get up on the railing as
I was sitting out on the balcony with her...so her outside priviledges were pulled.  She wasn't very happy, but I felt better.  (We now live in a
house where I let her out on the ground floor...much safer!)
So, the whole question depends on how suicidal your cat is...  personnally, I recommend screening off the entire balcony because you just never know.

Quote:


> >So far, there haven't been any attempts to fly, but I'm worried.  Is it
> >safe for the cats to be out there, or should I buy them little emergency
> >parachutes?
> >     Jordan

> I think some kind of screen on the balcony may work better.
> My family manages a couple of very tall condo buildings and
> we know that cats fall to their death from time to time.

> I. Atcravi


--
Respectfully,
Linda
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Cats and balconies: Am I just asking for trouble?

Post by Miner » Fri, 17 Oct 1997 04:00:00


      My cats are allowed out onto my second floor balcony only when I am
with them and only one at a time.  I discovered one cat walking on the
roof after I had turned away for a few seconds.  I can't watch both of
them at once.  However, I have found that they like being brushed outside
and AI can just let their fur drift away.  Saves the mess inside.