Especially indoor cats need to enrichment to prevent boredom. If the home has a balcony, cat can enjoy the life outside in a safe surrounding. For the balcony not to become a hazard there are a few things that need to be considered.
It is important to make your balcony cat-safe, to prevent your cat from climbing onto the roof or even falling from the balcony. Attach a cat net that surrounds the entire balcony is a great step to prevent these dangers. You can either drill hooks in the walls and to which the net can be attached, or if you want to avoid damaging the masonry, telescopic poles can be a useful alternative. These are stretched between the floor and the roof as well as from wall to wall and thus serve as a suspension option for the net. Do not leave a gap through which your exploratory cat can disappear.
Cat net – what to look out for
When selecting the net, make sure that the net strength is correct. If the cat likes to climb, it needs a strength that prevents the material from tearing. If your animal likes to gnaw at the net, it is advisable to attach one with a built-in wire. Also take into account the size of the mesh; it must be so small that the animal's head cannot fit through it. In order to guarantee the longer durability of the net, make sure to use weatherproof and UV light-resistant material.
Provide your cat with a number of elevated places from which they can watch what is happening outside the balcony. If you enjoy it, use your do-it-yourself talents and build a climbing landscape. There are no limits to your imagination and your cat will be happy to have options of different platforms.
Make sure your cat has access to everything it needs. This includes fresh water (for the beautiful design of your balcony you could consider decorative cat drinking garden), a litter box, a place to cuddle up (a comfortable bed) and also a shady spot (don't forget: the sun changes; your cat always needs a place in the shade).
Cat on balcony with decorative cat drinking garden.
Beware of poisonous plants
When decorating the balcony with plants, you need to be careful not to plant plants that are dangerous to cats. Avoid plants with spikes such as roses. Playful animals can injure their paws and face with the spikes.
This is what the cat balcony can look like
There are a number of plants that cats enjoy specifically. The best known are catnip, which also blooms abundantly, cat grass and valerian. Less well-known are cat's gambles, Indian herbs and clary sage. These plants are non-toxic and ideal for nibbling. Appropriate seed mixtures are available from pet shops. You can also plant a lawn for your indoor cat: All you need is a large, flat pot in which to plant the grass.
Ask your landlord
Do you live in a rented apartment / house? If yes, you should inform your landlord about your plans and obtain their consent (especially important when it comes to structural changes).