Old 06-18-2005, 08:04 AM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is online now
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Cats and balconies....

I have two 6-7 year old cats that have always lived in apartments. I'm about to move to a new apartment that as a balcony (on the fifth floor), which will be a new thing for them. Now, these are purely indoor cats, and not terribly bright. Should I restrict them from going on the balcony for fear that they will fall, or knock each other off?

Anyone have experience with a similar situation?
Old 06-18-2005, 08:36 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
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The only thing I have to say is, the neighboring balcony owner has a cat that jumps from the top of the balcony to a closeby tree, and from there climbs to the ground. They don't even have to let it out. It also climbs back up the same way.

So I'd be careful there were no trees nearby.
Old 06-18-2005, 08:42 AM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is online now
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No trees anywhere remotely nearby.

I guess I'm mostly concerned that one cat will sit up on the ledge, and get knocked over by the other cat wanting to join him. Or spooked by the dog wanting to sniff his butt.
Old 06-18-2005, 09:00 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581

High rise syndrome is a veterinary term that describes cats that fall/are pushed from balconies. Fairly common scenario IME. Fractures of the mandibular symphysis are common.

Years ago PETA embarrased themselves by protesting an article in the vet literature about this syndrome. The paper was a retrospective study that detailed the outcomes of falls by height. PETA misinterpreted this to be a paper in which cats were dropped intentionally to gather data. Heh.
Old 06-18-2005, 09:10 AM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is online now
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I guess that answers my question. If any cats in the world are dumb enough to fall from a balcony, mine are certainly among them.

Old 06-18-2005, 09:14 AM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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Location: Portland, Obamagon
Posts: 5,165
Definitely restrict their access. Cats like to chase birds, and they don't often look where they are going, in my experience.

I grew up in a house with cathedral ceilings and a balcony on the third floor across the living room. The cats took great delight in walking along the handrail, and they often fell. Now, they only fell 20 feet, so it was more "look at the stupid cat" (who was, by then, nonchalantly licking a paw in a "I meant to do that" way) than a "my cat just fell five stories" shock.


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