Once you’ve decided to give your cat access to the balcony, there are several steps you can take to make sure your furry friend is safe and secure while enjoying the outdoors.
3 Ways on how to cat proof a balcony
Here are 3 methods of cat proofing your balcony.
This is the most budget friendly and easy to install option to cat proof a balcony. We have a guide on selecting materials for a cat proof balcony. But here’s what you need:
- Wire mesh or netting: These can be made from metal, plastic or nylon. It depends on your budget and how bendable/structured you need the material to be. If you can spare it, go for something with UV coating to help it last longer as this material will be exposed to the elements year round. You would want a material that is strong enough to withstand the weight of your cat. Depending on the balcony layout and placement of the netting, your cat might be inclined to scale the netting. We have a guide on selecting materials for a cat proof balcony.
- Scissors or clippers: To trim the wire mesh or netting material
- Cable ties: These are the easiest to find and use, you can of course opt for more specialized tools like wire mesh clips.
What we’re looking to achieve is to enclose the entire opening of the balcony. This can be done by fixing the mesh to the walls, railings or even a combination of both.
Cats can squeeze into holes that look impossibly small to your eyes. Also keep an eye out on any damage to the netting, a hole in the net where your cat can slip out. Make sure to leave no gaps between the mesh and the wall and secure it tightly with cable ties. Also keep this in mind for gaps in the guard rail, always err on the side of caution. Go ahead and enclose it fully unless the guard rail is a solid piece of metal or glass.
Wire mesh with frames
If your balcony doesn’t have the structure to allow the netting or wire mesh to be attached, then you need to consider this option. It’s also a good option to consider if you want a tidier and neater look. While the first option may end up looking quite sloppy with the netting having a lot of slack, setting up it up with frames will make sure that the wire mesh or netting stays taut.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Wire mesh or netting
- Scissors or clippers
- Cable ties or wood U-shaped staples: This depends on the type of material you’re using as the frame
- Frame: Wood batten is a good option, but PVC pipes can work as well.
Plan out a layout that covers the opening of the balcony. By using frames, you can outfit even the most awkward of space. Put the frames together and then attach the wire mesh to the frames. Then attach the frames to the wall or railing.
“Invisible” safety grille
These are quite popular in countries like Hong Kong and Singapore, where the majority of the population lives in high rise buildings . They’re commonly used to safeguard children using the balcony. These safety grille are metal wires professionally installed to enclose the balcony. They are typically installed vertically, with a 1.5 to 4 inches gap in between each piece of wire. For cat proofing purposes, you should consider a 1 – 1.5 inch gap.
The grille needs to be tighten every couple of years. Keeping the wires taut is key to it’s effectiveness. This is a permanent solution that is probably most practical for home owners and not renters. The cost of installation is high but the solution is much more elegant.