Balcony

Our new catio !

Catproofing the balcony of our new apartment was very tricky.

It’s relatively easy to cat-proof a balcony when you’re not living on the top floor: in most cases, you only need to lattice the distance between the handrail and the balcony above. And best of all – you can actually buy adjustable poles to fasten a cat net without drilling! Simple, effective and surprisingly cheap. (I had no idea that it was so easy and cheap to secure standard balconies, so I thought that some of you may find this information helpful)

We faced several challenges: first, we live on the top floor, so our balcony doesn’t have a roof. Second, I wasn’t allowed to drill holes into the outer wall. And third, but not last: a 10 cm gap (for snow / water) between the floor and the handrail. Plus some smaller problems which are too complicated to explain here. Thank you “Äiti” Karin, for your help – she actually designed our catio!

The basic design is a cuboid of wooden poles. I fastened the net with a staple gun to the poles. The frame itself is secured with cable tiers to the ceiling.

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

I put under each corner clothespins to allow water running underneath the bottom poles.

The white wall is attached to the exterior wall of the house with small joints – perfect for cable tiers!

I also had to secure the white wall because of this 10 cm gap between floor and wall.

The clothes rack was a perfect opportunity to attach the upper pole to the wall.

I paid about 150 € for the material (not including tools and transportation). I took my time to choose the wooden poles: it’s often more expensive and very time-consuming to buy cheap wood because you need to protect it with waterproof paint. I recommend fence material as fences are typically designed to resist the weather of your region!

Please pay attention to different sorts of cat nets – you need a material animals can’t bite through. I wrote “animals” instead of “cats” for a reason: even if your cats don’t have teeth, you’ll still need to protect your net against squirrels and other animals!

I’ve no idea how I succeeded, but I actually build the catio all by myself without any help (apart from the design). You’ll need a power drill and staple gun to save a lot of time and nerves.

 

Why cats are more successful managers than humans

We’ve to acknowledge that Mom has learned from her mistakes: the first thing she saw when she met the real-estate agent at our new place was a thief.

Do you remember that we didn’t have any squirrels at our old residence  ?? When she saw this little fellow, she decided immediately that she’d do her very best to get this apartment. Indeed, we’ve trained her so well that she would have signed the lease on the backyard without even looking at the apartment!

We’re sorry for the poor quality, but Mom didn’t want to frighten Mr. Squirrel away before he got to meet us. A wise strategy which really paid off – look who welcomed us when our moving van arrived! Bad luck that we were in our transportation boxes, though.

Now it’s important to praise humans every now and then because praise keeps servants motivated and happy – that’s at least what most leadership courses will tell you. So Kajsa followed the books when she got really excited to see our new neighbor climbing on the fire escape ladder next to our balcony.

Can you imagine that Mom didn’t open the balcony door?? She said we can go out after she has cat-proofed the balcony. Bummer. These business school rules about praising inferiors are clearly not working, and frankly, we cats have known this for centuries!

Dear feline friends, what’s the best reaction to anything humans do for us? Exactly. Ignoring any human effort is a worldwide well-known and very successful feline approach to absolute power.

 

%d bloggers like this: