If you're a cat owner who lives on at least the second floor of a building, the mere idea of your cutie going near a balcony may make you feel weak in the knees. Although a cat probably won't jump, that doesn't mean she won't accidentally fall off -- yikes.
Purposely Jumping Off
Cats are hardy and tough little creatures, so the odds of one choosing to leap from a condo building are probably very low, according to the ASPCA. However, that definitely doesn't mean that a cat won't accidentally fall from a high balcony. For example, if a cat spots a bird and gets a little too excited about the prospect of capturing it, just one step closer could mean a quick and sudden fall -- not good.
Although jumping off seems like an anomaly, falling off of balconies happens decidedly with much more frequency. The phenomenon is so troubling that it even has earned a name -- "high-rise syndrome." When a cat suffers a major fall from a high balcony, window or fire escape, she could incur extremely serious consequences -- think death or broken bones. The ASPCA cites injuries from pelvic fractures to trauma to the lungs.
Spring and Summer
During the mild-weathered spring and summer months, cats experience dangerous falls more than other times of the year, likely because owners are more apt to open up access to balconies when it's nice and warm outside. The ASCPA-Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital reports up to five severe falls a week in the spring and summer.
Prevention is key in protecting your fluffball against potential jumps or falls off a condominium balcony. Do what you can to minimize any harm to your precious pet. Firstly, never allow your cat free access to the balcony. Always keep the entrance securely shut. If you do wish to her your little one some time taking in the scenery, always closely monitor her -- don't let her out of your sight for even a second, because that's all it takes. Examine your balcony's railing to ensure she can't slip through it. If she can, don't allow her onto the balcony under any circumstances. If possible, go the extra mile and consider installing a garden trellis on your balcony. Your kitty's safety is invaluable, after all.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.