City living and apartment life doesn’t mean your cats have to miss out on sunshine and fresh air. Urban cats have the same needs as cats who live in the ‘burbs and love to breathe in fresh air and stretch out in the sunshine.
There are many ways you can provide a safe outdoor space for your cat on a balcony or veranda with either a freestanding Catio or by using cat netting to secure the area.
Of course, building a catio on a veranda or a balcony can pose challenges including limited space and safety with height, and so should be approached differently to building a catio in your back yard. In contrast, building a catio on a high-level balcony can provide protection away from adverse weather, and other threats such as coyotes.
Here are some important points to consider when planning and building a catio for your veranda or balcony:
1. Measure your space carefully ensuring you have included all side walls and openings your cat can escape from.
2. Ensure netting is secured correctly and as taught as possible with no gaps for your cat to escape.
3. Take extra precautions on high rise apartments to ensure you have effectively secured your space.
4. You may need to build a frame to attach your netting if you are renting and unable to secure the netting directly to your balcony. If so, ensure there are no gaps between the frame and edges of your balcony and ensure your frame is secure and can withstand outdoor conditions such as strong wind and rain. Alternatively, and if space permits, a Freestanding Catio may be an option for you.
5. Cats can get bored quite quickly, so be sure to include access to your indoor space through a door, window or cat flap, and be sure to provide stimulation for your cat on the balcony such as climbing or scratching platforms.