Cats in high rise buildings

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iBlue, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #1
    I'm curious if anyone has any experience or insight into this. I am completely missing having pets and I badly want a cat. However I live in a high rise building and if the cat ever got bold and jumped from the balcony there is absolutely no chance it would survive, nor would it want to. :eek: :( I'm not sure if I can live with that constant worry because I am sure that balcony door will be open plenty in the summer time. The balcony front is glass (and there are windows everywhere, including two perfect cat height windows that don't open) so the cat could definitely see down.

    If you get a cat as a kitten, do they learn spacial/height awareness and get the idea that jumping would be the last thing they ever did?

    I am considering getting a ragdoll because they are notoriously mellow cats and have no issues with being kept indoors to lounge about. An overactive cat may have bigger and more hyper ideas about jumping. At least that's my theory and hope... should we make the decision to get a cat.

    Obviously I would be devastated if the worst happened so I'm hoping there's a positive story or two about this. And if the contrary is true, I need to know that as well.

    Thanks MRers.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Lived high up in a block in South London, had a balcony and two mongrel moggies... never any problems with them on the balcony. They'd sit and peer over it, that's all. I'm fairly sure they have great depth perception.

    Bigger problems imo: lack of exercise leading to overweightness, fitness and joint/limb problems, lack of stimulation so they end up peeing or chewing where they shouldn't, dealing with the litter tray on a regular basis, having them freak out whenever they have to leave their little world e.g. to the vet.
     
  3. scottness, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #3
    I'm in a high rise with a Siamese/Tabby and we don't have any problems. I do have chicken wire fencing in the balcony railing, but we've never had a problem.

    As far as living in an apartment... make sure you have a lot of things to easily climb up on so your cat lives in 3 dimensions. Makes your place a lot bigger and interesting to a cat.

    edit: forgot to mention that we got him as a kitten... I think that makes a difference.
     
  4. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #4
    Im not sure what type of height awareness domestic animals have. Ive taken my dog hiking, and she has gotten frighteningly close to cliff edges. When I am out hiking and approach overlooks cliff edges I usually make sure she is on a leash.

    If you want a pet, go for it, maybe just dont let you kitty-cat out on the balcony>?
     
  5. iBlue thread starter macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #5
    Thank you for these replies. I knew this would be a good place to ask. :)

    My Father in law is really discouraging about it but they have extremely overactive cats that are left out to roam. I wouldn't put a cat that had previously had the taste of outdoor freedom into a place like this. (hence the ragdoll kitten consideration... expensive buggers too)

    Very good points about exercise and having plenty of things for the cat(s) (?) to play with.

    I had a cat from a rescue shelter several years ago that wouldn't bother jumping up higher than a couple feet because he was mellow to the extreme... and a bit chubby. If I could find one like him I'd be set. He'd never try to leap up the balcony.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    If you go with rescue kittens, you can get two. That way they can keep each other company when no one is home.
     
  7. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #7
    I live on the first floor and my cat never tried to jump from the balcony, even though he could do it safely. I think cats jumping from balconies is a lot less common than people make it out to be.
     
  8. iBlue thread starter macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #8
    Then someone goes and shows me a photo like this and scares the crap out of me:

    http://upc.*************/uploads/catmacros/BalconyCat.png

    But I'm thinking hoping Photoshop!
     
  9. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #9
    Oh crap. I need to go find my cat now. I'll never sleep again...

    It's gotta be photoshopped. Please just agree with me.
     
  10. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #10
    i have always lived with cats.. love those little guys :) .. and i just cant see them ever jumping out a high rise building or ever falling out if they can help it.
     
  11. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    #11
    There can always be a freak accident.
    This summer my aunt had her cat jump up onto the balcony railing (like the cat in the above picture) but I guess lost his balance or miss judged the jump., Fell about 10-15 floors. Broke every bone in his body and had to be put down.
    Was EXTREMELY sad!
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #12
    Best to create a small landing pad, just below the railing, by, say, 3".

    That way the cat has a perch, and can still look over the railing, in safety.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    That's always been the advice I've heard... Older (and mellower) is better. Your furniture will thank you.

    When I read that, at first I thought you meant outside and at ground level (lol).... but I agree. Having a stable perch just below the railing allows the cat to jump up with confidence. I'd make sure the railing was not useable as a cat walkway though. Put some double sided sticky tape down and the cat will learn to avoid the top of the railing.
     
  14. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

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    #14
    Cats have a survivable terminal velocity, generally. So a cat hypothetically could fall from an airplane, land on his feet, and survive. He'd probably be hurt and scared, but totally alive.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-rise_syndrome
     
  15. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #15
    Oooh...you just gave me an idea of what to do today. Now where the hell is that neighbor's cat....
     
  16. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #16
    Do you have a flight, and do you have a little oxygen mask for the test subject?
     
  17. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

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    #17
    That would change his terminal velocity.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    Yes, the added weight did occur to me.

    Perhaps a small drogue chute, to compensate?
     
  19. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

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    #19
    Perhaps, but first you'd have to do some model studies to find the exact center of gravity of the cat in order to know where to attach the chute without creating an additional force vector that off-centers the cat's ability to right itself, and similarly you'd have to do some airflow modeling to make sure the change in airflow dynamics that the chute creates doesn't also create airflow dynamic changes around the cats body.
     
  20. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #20
    Sounds like a job for the Mythbusters. Can cats survive a fall from a plane.
     
  21. Blaine macrumors 6502a

    Blaine

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    #21
    Just don't open the door to the balcony, or lock the cat in another room when you have it open. It's not worth the risk.
     
  22. iBlue thread starter macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #22
    Thanks for the responses. Many I was hoping to hear, some not. :eek: :p

    Though certainly interesting, I don't want to REALLY know the terminal velocity of cats. I'd prefer not to inspire any confidence in it taking any leaps. Also, FWIW, I wouldn't be allowed to alter the outward appearance of this flat. There actually is a small ledge off the balcony and it's a smooth, downward facing thing that was definitely built more in mind for rain than living things. Anything that touches it will slide rapidly with little resistance right onto the unforgiving solidity of ground. Even the railing is slightly curved. The cat really needs to never jump.
    I wrote the thread hoping for some insight into cat experience one way or another, not theories or construction tips. It is what it is and I just need to decide whether or not I should take the risk.
     
  23. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #23
    my kitties always thought they wanted to go explore the outside world.....until the opportunity arrived.......then they wanted inside as fast as possible
     
  24. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

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    #24
    Oh, that answer is easy. If you *don't* adopt a cat from a shelter, then one additional cat will wind up being killed. So in the absolutely worst case scenario of your cat taking the plunge just a couple of months after you got him, well in that case you *already* helped a cat live for one more month than he otherwise would've. And in the most likely scenario, your cat will never go over the edge, and the two of you will wind up living and loving each other for many many years. It's a no brainer. Get the cat. Just make sure to adopt rather than buying one from a breeder.
     
  25. iBlue thread starter macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #25
    I've been starting to think the same thing. At first I thought a ragdoll bred for their mellow temperament would be a good idea but it's no guarantee. In fact, "luck" would probably have it that paying so much for a cat when so many others need homes would serve me right if it jumped. Of course I'd be horrified if ANY cat jumped but it would have that little bit of extra ouch.

    I did have a rescue cat many years ago that was the most easygoing cat I've ever met. He was the cat that when let out of his cage, laid on my lap on his back and purred up at me like a big dope. The only place he was interested in jumping to was the sofa, for a nap. So if I could find one like him, I'd be all set.
     

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