How To Cat Proof A Balcony (15+ Low-Cost Simple Solutions!)

Orange cat enjoying himself on balcony. How to cat proof a balcony feature image.

A balcony is an ideal spot for a feline companion. Not only are cats intelligent and playful, but they are also excellent acrobats. Therefore, it is crucial that you learn how to cat proof a balcony, as falling from these heights can be fatal.

Don’t worry! There are solutions for your issue and in this article, we have combined cat proofing options with video examples and tutorials for your guidance!

How to cat proof your balcony

Below you’ll find several ways to make your cat safe on your balcony space. For example, you can buy a safety net from Home Depot or a wire mesh screen from any hardware store.

But, before we dive deep, let’s take a look at our brief summary with tips and tricks on how to cat proof your balcony:

Cat-Proofing OptionLevel of DifficultyEstimated Cost
Safety net or wire mesh screenEasy to moderate$10 – $50
Heavy duty hardware clothModerate$20 – $50
Balcony cat netEasy to moderate$30 – $100
Catio for apartment balconyModerate to difficult$50 – $500
Balcony mesh for catsEasy to moderate$10 – $30
Balcony fence for catsEasy to moderate$20 – $100
Balcony enclosures for catsModerate to difficult$100 – $500+
Cat-proof window boxEasy to moderate$15 – $50
Bamboo fenceEasy to moderate$50 – $300
Cat repellant sprayEasy and affordable but temporary solution$5-$20 per bottle  
Solid boardEasy to moderate$10-$50  
Cat railing guardModerate to difficult $20-$200  
Clear cat screen Moderate$30-$60   
Vinyl lattice panelsEasy to moderate$50 – $200
Cat window perchEasy$30-$100   
Build a custom catioModerate to difficult$100 – $500+
Motion-activated deterrentsModerate to difficult$50 – $200

Also, we do recommend putting artificial grass on your balcony (as seen in the first video below) before placing a catio on it or fencing it, as this type of flooring simulates nature and is more comfortable for your cat.

In addition to suitable flooring, it is also a good idea to microchip your cat if it, against all odds, should somehow escape.

How to screen in a balcony for cats

If you don’t want to spend lots of money, you can always purchase a balcony screen for your feline friend.

However, the problem with balcony screens is that some of them can be easily shredded by a cat. It might be best to avoid using balcony screens unless your cat is declawed and has no claws.

Instead, you can use heavy duty hardware cloth. This way, the barrier will prevent the cat from escaping and will prevent any damage to the railing.

To protect your cat from falling off the balcony you can also use protective meshes or chicken wire (more on that below). Or, you can train your cat to stay in a harness and leash.

Installing balcony cat net

A balcony cat net will protect your feline companion from falling out of windows and balconies. The simple installation process allows you to leave your cat outside without sacrificing safety or comfort.

A good-quality balcony cat net should last at least 10 years. Depending on the material you buy, a wire-reinforced netting might be more visible than mesh or fabric.

Two silouttes of cats looking out from a balcony behind a balcony safety fence or netting.

Image from Pixabay

Some of the best balcony cat nets are made from weatherproof polypropylene fabrics. Unlike other types of netting, a balcony cat net won’t hinder your view.

You can also find an escape-proof version that secures to windows, patio doors, and tilted balconies. However, if your cat is a particularly active creature, it is best to purchase a heavy duty one.

Amazon (link) has a variety of solid cat nets to choose from.

Catio for apartment balcony

A cat condo, or catio, is a large cage that is designed for one or more cats. Unlike a traditional fence, these units are easy to transport from one location to another. Besides providing a safe place for your cat to play outdoors, you can also sit next to them and enjoy the balcony time together.

The only difference between a balcony enclosure and a catio is the style of the enclosure. If you have an open balcony, a catio will be an excellent choice. A catio is a great option for those people who want their feline companion to have the same freedom as them.

The simplest catio is a wire frame or an inexpensive plastic structure. You can build a catio for apartment balconies if you have basic DIY skills and a strong desire to keep your pet safe. You’ll need chicken wire and lumber.

Alternatively, you can modify an existing large playpen to fit on your balcony.

You can also buy complete catios online, here are some great options on Amazon.

The only downside of a catio is that it’s not very practical if you have very limited space.

Using balcony mesh for cats

Investing in a balcony mesh for cats is another great way to protect your cat. While a cat can get into just about any place, a balcony is a particularly dangerous area. A bare balcony can cause your cat to fall from the railing or a tree, causing injuries.

There are several options for balcony mesh for cats. The mesh must be tight enough to keep your cat from trying to escape. You can even attach the mesh to your railing to seal up gaps. Be sure to secure the mesh to the railing firmly to prevent your cat from jumping out!

However, if your balcony has a window, you may want to consider a mesh cat barrier also for the window. These barriers are available in different sizes, so you can find one that will fit your windows and balcony. You can also get a woven mesh for cats, which is even stronger.

You’ll find cat mesh nets in your local hardware store or here on Amazon.

Installing balcony fence for cats

If you have a balcony and would like to keep your cat from falling down, then you may want to invest in a robust balcony fence for cats. These enclosures are a great way to keep your cat out of danger while also allowing them to experience the outdoor environment.

Investing in a cat cage can be expensive, and you may not want to spend that much money on a cat enclosure. A better option could then be to purchase balcony fencing. A balcony fence will protect your pet and keep it safe from falling out, as well as other outdoor hazards.

The easiest way to find suitable fencing is to visit your local hardware store.

Using balcony enclosures for cats

There are many advantages of using balcony enclosures for cats. One of these is the ability to keep the cat safe and secure. A good cat-friendly balcony enclosure is large enough for the cat to stretch its legs and exercise.

However, balcony enclosures can be costly, and they are not suitable for people with smaller balconies. In these cases, a small, lightweight cat-safe enclosure can be the perfect solution.

In addition, a cat-safe balcony is also a great way to protect your property and increase your home’s value.

A balcony enclosure for cats is an excellent choice if you want to give your feline companion a comfortable space to explore.

Putting a cat-proof barrier will prevent your cat from jumping over the fence. If the space is large enough, a solid wall is ideal.

Installing a cat-proof window box

When considering how to cat proof a balcony, one of the best ways to protect your cat is to put in place a cat-proof window box. A window box is inexpensive, portable, and easy to install.

Simply place it on the balcony and your cat will be safely inside. Once your cat has access to the window box, you can forget about the problem!

Balcony window boxes are safe and non-toxic and are a great alternative to netting and shades. A window box is also ideal if you have more than one cat. It will provide shelter from the elements, while also keeping your feline friends out of the sun.

A pet window box should be located close to a place where the cat can rest during bad weather and placed near a comfortable place for the cat to sleep. You can also install a water fountain for cats to get fresh water from when needed.  

How to keep cats off balcony railing

One of the best ways to deter a cat from leaping onto your balcony railing is by installing a cat fence. This method requires very little maintenance and cost. Although it is not permanent, the fence will keep your cat safe and secure while you’re away from home.

For older, inactive cats, consider installing a bamboo fence. Place it higher than the balcony railing. This will help keep your cat from climbing the railing. If you have plants, try planting them along the side railing to create an enjoyable environment for both of you.

Another solution is to use a high-quality cat repellant spray (Amazon link). These are effective at keeping your cat away because they work on your cat’s sense of smell. The cat will run away from the smell of the spray and stay away from your balcony.

However, it is hard to know for how long these will last, and if you forget to spray, the cat might sneak out on your balcony and get into trouble.

Another option is to block the railings on the balcony. This can be done by putting a solid board or netting over it. If you don’t want to block the view, you can cover the railings with wire or mesh. Just make sure that the barrier is totally enclosed, or you might end up with a problem.

Using a cat railing guard

Adding a cat railing guard to a balcony or a railing is a great way to keep your pet safe and secure. The design of the cat barrier or railing guard will affect the safety of your cat. If your cat is used to climbing stairs and has not been trained to avoid the railing, this barrier will prevent her from doing so.

There are cat railing guards in different materials suitable for different balconies and patios.

Using a clear cat screen

Another popular option is a clear cat screen. This kind of cat screen is easy for your kitten to see through and will match your home’s decor. It wraps around the railing and is sturdy enough to withstand a knock or two from your feline friend.

It’s easy to cut the screen with a pair of scissors, making it a versatile and durable accessory for your balcony. Aside from protecting your balcony railing, it’s also easy to install.

How to cat proof balcony DIY

One of the first things you should consider when learning how to cat proof a balcony DIY is the type of railing. A solid board or mesh or wire can block these, and the cat will be unable to get out. A wire fence will prevent a cat from getting out, but it will also prevent them from climbing on the railings.

Adding netting to a balcony is another simple way to cat proof the rest of the balcony DIY. Simply attach some netting somewhere over the balcony and drape it over the entire area.

Make sure that the netting has no gaps for the cat to squeeze through, so if there is still a gap, you can use mesh to cover the railing and keep the feline out. This solution is easy to make and costs little.

Use vinyl lattice panels

Vinyl lattice panels are a great option to prevent your cat from climbing over your balcony while still allowing your cat to safely enjoy the plants and things on your balcony. These panels are affordable, easy to install, and come in a range of colors and styles.

By enclosing your balcony with vinyl lattice panels, you can create a safe cat patio where your large cat can roam around without any danger. This will also help your cat stay away from any harmful objects or substances that may be around your balcony.

Install a cat window perch 

A cat window perch is a perfect addition when making your balcony safe for your indoor cat. If you have a sliding glass door or a window placed towards your balcony, you can install a secure cat window perch (on the inside) that allows your cat to spend time looking out at the balcony without the risk of falling.

Cat lying on a cat window perch looking out the window.

Image from Pixabay

This elevated spot provides your cat with an excellent vantage point to “enjoy the outdoors” while staying safely indoors.

Building a custom catio

Building a custom catio is an excellent option for cat owners who want to create a safe outdoor space that their cats cannot escape. By constructing a catio, you can make sure they’re always safe and secure while spending time on the floor of your balcony, of your apartment or home. 

Building a custom catio requires more planning and investment but it’s an effective way to make a cat proof balcony that’s tailored to your preferences and design. This ensures your outdoor space is both fun and safe for cats, so they cannot reach outside without supervision. Customizing your catio will also help you cater to any unique requirements or limitations in terms of space or design.

Use motion-activated deterrents

Motion-activated deterrents like ultrasonic devices or sprinklers can be a great way to make the balcony safe for your cat. By using these devices, in combination with other measures already mentioned, you can ensure that your cat cannot reach any potential danger on the balcony.

These motion detection devices emit a high-pitched sound or spray water when they detect movement, providing an effective solution to keep cats off of balconies.

However, this option has some drawbacks as it might startle your cat and provoke accidental jumping in the wrong direction, or harming neighbors below with water from a sprinkler (which is never appreciated by the way!). Therefore, consider placing the equipment in strategic areas and making modifications to make sure these problems can be avoided. 

Final note on how to cat proof a balcony

Orange cat relaxing in catio on balcony.

You have now learned several clever and popular ways how to cat proof a balcony and we hope one of these options will be particularly suitable for your specific balcony space.

As we’ve seen, one of the main concerns for balcony owners is the railings. A barrier with mesh or wire can prevent a cat from climbing over the railings, and you must attach these properly.

Besides cat nets and fences that are often DIY projects, we’ve also learned that a “catio” can be the perfect solution for many balconies and that these can be easily bought online with the click of a button, or in a local shop.

When making your balcony safe and enhancing your cat care in general, you might also want to consider adding cat grass and a litter box to your own catio or the corner of your balcony. This will enable your cat to spend lots of time out in the fresh air.  

The goal here is to create the best image and environment possible for your feline friend that would make other cats in the neighborhood jealous. With a combination of the measures mentioned above, you can create a perfect cat proof balcony.

With that said, we wish you all the best and good luck with cat-proofing your balcony!

PS. Here are 13 additional ways to make your balcony space safe for both people and pets.

Frequently asked questions

How to cat proof a Juliet balcony?

When you have a Juliet balcony, the best way to keep your cat safe is to keep her indoors. Alternatively, you can put in a screen door, preferably in metal, that is strong enough to keep the cat inside.

How to cat proof a balcony on a high-rise building

If you live in a high-rise building and your cat wants to be on your balcony, you may be wondering how to cat proof a balcony. If your balcony is high up, this can result in serious injury for your cat if it jumps over the railing.

Keeping your cat inside is essential for their safety. In addition, to prevent accidents, always use a leash and harness to control your cat before you open windows or the balcony door.

Why is my cat trying to fly off my roof?

Cats love perching on high places, and they’re expert climbers. As hunters, they love to pounce on birds that fly outside your yard or window. While you’re on the balcony, your feline friend may jump from a height that is too high.

Then, when it’s time to play, the height will be even more tempting. When your cat falls from a high place, it can suffer a serious injury. In fact, experts have even named this syndrome “high-rise syndrome.”

Another reason why your cat might try to jump off the roof is that it loves to climb. While cats can hold onto wooden surfaces, they cannot grasp concrete or plastic. If your cat is declawed, it’s even more likely to fall off. Keeping your cat safe is your job.

From how high could a cat fall onto hard ground and not be injured?

While there is no clear limit to the height from which a cat can fall without injury, the highest known point that cats could land from was about seven stories. However, this was exceptional and most cats might not survive such a fall.

In fact, a cat can break a leg while falling from a five-story building. If your cat is experiencing any kind of distress from any fall or jump, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.

How do you cat proof a balcony without roof?

The best way how to cat proof a balcony without a roof is to keep your cat indoors. If there is no roof, consider buying a mesh or netting for the balcony. Make sure that you tie the netting or mesh down securely to prevent escape.

Thus, the only way to completely cat proof a balcony with no roof is to cover the entire open area. Make sure to fix the netting securely to the railing.

How to cat proof a balcony in the UK?

The methods for cat-proofing a balcony in the UK do not essentially differ from how you do this in the United States.

For city dwellers, the best way to keep your cat safe on your balcony is probably to install a “catio,” a small enclosure for your cat. Although this is not a true cage, it is a much safer alternative than putting your cat in a regular cage. Not only does a catio prevent your pet from wandering off, but it also keeps them from escaping.

Another way on how to cat proof a balcony in the UK is to make sure that your cat is not allowed to wander off onto the balcony. The next step is then to install a leash to control your cat.

Your cat will have to be trained to be on the leash before it will be allowed out onto the balcony. While a leash is one of the simplest ways to keep your kitty away from a window, it takes time for your pet to accept it. As a result, you should be prepared to wait a few weeks before you can use your new leash on the balcony.

Elle Peters

Elle is a self-described “balcony nerd” and spends a lot of time on her balcony planting flowers and vegetables. She loves writing about new balcony decoration and gardening.

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