Balcony cat enclosures are a great solution when living in an apartment with a cat. Space in an apartment or flat can be smaller than in a house, so there’s even more pressure on you to ensure your house cat is entertained and happy.
Keeping an indoor cat mentally and physically healthy and engaged is important in reducing unwanted behavior, but there are only so many times a day you can run around your apartment with a piece of string dangling behind you. If you have a balcony, there’s the added risk of your cat going on a great adventure or falling off.
The solution to this is a balcony catio.
What is a Balcony Catio?
A balcony catio is a safe cat enclosure that you can position on your balcony. There are loads of different designs and styles, and which one to get depends on the size of your balcony and the appearance you’re after. They can be as simple as attaching wire or mesh to the balcony so your cat can’t jump or as fancy as having their catio for the apartment balcony – door, swing, plants, and all.
The purpose is the same, whichever you decide will be best for you. Your cat can enjoy being outdoors, looking at its surroundings, being mentally and physically active, and being safe and unable to jump or fall.
What types of catios for an apartment balcony are there?
Balcony Mesh Enclosures
This is the easiest way to create a balcony cat enclosure that’s not too intrusive. Attach wire or mesh to the walls, balcony, and ceiling to keep your cat safe. This works particularly well if you have a covered balcony.
DIY catio for Apartment Balcony
This can be as elaborate or as simple as your budget and DIY building skills allow and are a great idea if you don’t have a covered balcony. Putting wooden posts in the corners can help to elevate the mesh, or you could also build a more solid, porch-like structure (or get someone else to do it)!
Building a separate balcony catio
Building a separate cat enclosure for your apartment balcony could be the best idea if you have enough space and still want a mesh-free view from your balcony. You could build or buy an enclosure at one end and use a cat tunnel as a safe way for your cat to get there.
However you decide to make your balcony cat-safe, you also need to make it interactive for them. Use toys, things to climb, scratching posts, plants that are non-poisonous to cats, and cozy areas to nap in.
Why do you need an apartment balcony cat enclosure?
Not sure if a balcony catio is right for you? Have a look here for other types of cat enclosures.
Cats are naturally really inquisitive creatures. And if they can get closer to birds on the balcony, they’ll try and get out there. Whilst they’re also really intelligent animals, they could be tempted to jump if a particularly interesting insect or animal is close by. Having a catio on your balcony not only keeps your cat happy but gives you peace of mind that they are safe, and so is the wildlife around them.
There are also many benefits to an apartment cat having a bit of outdoor space. Weight can often be an issue for indoor cats as they naturally move less than outdoor ones. Creating a fun outdoor area with games and toys will encourage them to move their bodies and keep healthy. New sights, smells, and fresh air will also keep their minds busy, which is crucial in preventing your cat from becoming bored or frustrated.
I’m an indoor cat convert and created My Indoor Cat to help other indoor cat owners make the best choices for their cats and kittens.