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?

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.

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."high+rise+syndrome"&btnG=Google+Search

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.

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.


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.

My cat is really bright and has no problem with balconies. The first time I let her out on it, I was a little concerned. But with time she’s shown me that I can trust her.

If your cats our prone to doing stupid things from time to time, maybe you should only let them on the balcony under close supervison.

Since I have a few who regularly fall just to see if gravity is still working, I would definitely keep them away from the balcony.

Ok, this made me laugh out loud.

I had a kitten who fell off a balcony. There was a round metal rod that served as a railing, and my two cats – if I remember correctly – liked to try to walk on it. This was eight years ago. One of my cats fell off the balcony while I was at work, and we didn’t find her for two days. She had a broken leg. I’ve always assumed she lost her footing on the rail, or was overzealous in her pursuit of an insect or bird.

She survived the experience, though, and after eight years she is still my companion.

Bus wife and I have made a hobby of shopping model homes (she claims we’re getting “decorating ideas”). Many new homes have what we have come to name the “cat ledge of death”. This is usually a shelf, or ledge 12 or more feet above a floor that can be accessed through the upper floor stairwell or balcony railing.

I envision one of the kids (probably Scarlett, she’s the one that would do it), sneaking past the railking to wander or nap on the CL of D, roll over to show us how cute she is, and drop onto an unsuspecting hardwood floor.

Hijack is over, your original programming will now resume.

Scarlett trying to relax

Scarlett is beautiful!

Rick and Mick are fine with high places, but not when they’re together. One of them will do something show-offy, the other will try to one-up him, and pretty soon they’re both on the floor.

I’m glad you’ll be keeping them off the balcony.

That’s pretty much what I had envisioned happening.

Plus, they still haven’t figured out that if something is hanging off the side of a table, like a newspaper, that you can’t walk on it.

Is there any possible connection to the adjoining balcony? Knowing that cats aren’t satisfied with what they can see, they’ve got to check out what’s over there, too (Particularly if they shouldn’t be getting into whatever’s over there).

cats love to jump on high things, such as trees, or the refrigerator.I have never heard of a cat falling out of a tree, or off the refrigerator.

I once had a cat that not only loved to walk on the 2-inch wide balcony railing–she would JUMP onto the neighbor’s window sill, down onto his balcony railing, onto the next neighbor’s window sill, down onto his balcony railing, etc. She would walk the entire length of the building, three storeys off the ground–6 apartments, jumping onto and balancing on the 2-inch railings the whole way, in both directions.

I only put a stop to it after she came home to me once with a piece of fried chicken.

Well, the additional problem is that one of the cats has very bad hip problems, and has for about five years. So, he thinks that he can jump, and it usually ends up that he can’t. He has somewhat figured out his limitations, and will sometimes line up a jump and then think better of it. But, often he lines up the jump, and falls short.

But, I wasn’t so much worried about them trying to jump because I doubt that they would. I was more concerned about them falling or knocking each other off.

I would say a balcony is a great place for a cat, IF you line it with chicken wire that is angled over their heads at the top to discourage jumping. It would make a great enclosed outdoor space for them to feel like they’re getting out without any danger to them. We did that with my husband’s old apartment, which was a very similar situation - 4th floor, with a cat who would jump up on the railing and fall off almost guaranteed, and it worked beautifully. See, the thing about angling the wire over their little heads is that if they look up and see the wire, they won’t try to jump up, and the chicken wire fencing itself keeps them from wandering through the railings.

What the hell? That deserves a promotion!

promotion? naw…she brought me a wing, and I only like the drumsticks.
So I fired her.
(but ,boy, did she look cute) :slight_smile:

Bet you wish you’d have had a camera ready when she came in with dinner!