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.
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.