Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

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noth1ngness
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Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by noth1ngness » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi all,

I'm posting here to seek some advice because I'm looking to adopt a cat very soon, but I'm worried that my apartment isn't safe for a cat to live in. The aspect of my apartment's layout that is worrying me is the mezzanine on the top floor. My apartment is 3 floors, and the mezzanine is located on the top floor. I've taken photos to try to show the way it is situated within my flat, and they're below.

My question is: Is there any way for me to cat-proof this mezzanine so that there's no way for her/him to fall from it accidentally? Is it even necessary for me to be worried about this, or is a mezzanine such as the one in my flat not actually that dangerous for a cat to be exposed to? As you can see in the photos, my apartment contains a church window (I live in a church that's been converted into flats) with a very spacious brick sill that a cat could potentially jump down to from the mezzanine, which is what I'm worried the cat might do, underestimating how far of a jump it would be (about 2 floors down).

If I could get any insight on this issue, that would be amazing. Thanks for reading.

xx
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fjm
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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by fjm » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:37 pm

How old is the cat? Adults are usually very clever about knowing how to get around safely, but a young kitten might be a riskier proposition.

booktigger
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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by booktigger » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:41 pm

It is something I'd be concerned about if doing a home visit. It could potentially be cat proofed, is there a way to prevent access to the third floor?

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Ruth B
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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by Ruth B » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:27 pm

It would certainly be a concern for me with a younger cat, an older one not so much.

My thought as far as cat proofing it goes would be to put some type of screen mesh or boarding along the railing at the end of the bed to stop a cat going through, and then something similar across from the top of the railing to above the window there looks to be a white beam above the brick work but below the roof beams that might act as an anchor point on the wall.

I would also suggest contacting the charity (assuming you are adopting a rescue cat) and explain the situation they might have a nice placid, non adventurous, cat that would be perfect without a lot of DIY. Most places would much prefer to hear that you have considered any problems that might occur and want to make sure the cat is suitable for the home you can offer, than have some one that just turns up wanting a kitten because they are cute with no thought as to whether the home is safe for one.

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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by booktigger » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:33 pm

Ruth B wrote:It would certainly be a concern for me with a younger cat, an older one not so much.

My thought as far as cat proofing it goes would be to put some type of screen mesh or boarding along the railing at the end of the bed to stop a cat going through, and then something similar across from the top of the railing to above the window there looks to be a white beam above the brick work but below the roof beams that might act as an anchor point on the wall.

I would also suggest contacting the charity (assuming you are adopting a rescue cat) and explain the situation they might have a nice placid, non adventurous, cat that would be perfect without a lot of DIY. Most places would much prefer to hear that you have considered any problems that might occur and want to make sure the cat is suitable for the home you can offer, than have some one that just turns up wanting a kitten because they are cute with no thought as to whether the home is safe for one.
That's what I was thinking cat proofing wise Ruth. I'd still be dubious homing an adult, just being an older, placid cat doesn't mean they might not miss their footing behind the bed.

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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by Sniper1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:14 pm

It looks to me as though you could possibly extend the flooring that appears to be at the back of the bed up to the wall and I would imagine if you wished you could use clear good quality perspex it would need a supporting wooden sill along the wall to attach to and periodic cross supports but could be made to look OK and support the weight of a cat whilst still allowing for the effect from the window

noth1ngness
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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by noth1ngness » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:44 pm

Thank you all so much for your replies! I hadn't thought about implementing some kind of netting, so that is a good idea. The only catch is that the brick wall of my flat, since it's the original wall of the church, is protected in that us tenants aren't allowed to make any changes to it that would leave lasting damage or traces behind. So I'm not sure how netting could be secured.

Putting boards up behind the railing is also a good idea, and I might just have to do that as well as restrict access to my bedroom unless I'm in the room with my cat to supervise. There's a door that separates my bedroom from the third floor landing so I could just keep that closed at all times I'm not in the bedroom.

I don't mind adopting a cat that's a little bit older, but I do think I would still want to restrict her/his access to the bedroom unless I'm there in the room too. Cats do all their sleeping in the day anyway, don't they? So I suppose she/he won't want to be in my bedroom while I'm sleeping & unconscious anyway...

I think having someone from the shelter I choose come over and do a home inspection would be my best avenue forward! Hopefully whoever comes down might have dealt with a similar situation. If anyone's interested, I'll write an update here and maybe post more photos of however I manage to cat-proof this damn mezzanine! x

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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by el_wood » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:57 pm

H!

New member here,

How about using some fabric or net curtain type stuff and running it across the railings? You could also run it up and fix it to the ceiling. That way, light will stick get through. Another option is to use some kind of chicken wire. You can now get decorative chicken wire. Or use bamboo sheets like they have in gardens. Or Perspex.

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Re: Advice on how safe my flat is for a cat!

Post by Mollycat » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:20 am

Just like to bust a myth here about older cats being more sensible. Experience is what makes a cat sensible, not age. A one year old cat that has been allowed to do its thing and fall out of the odd tree has a better perspective than a 12 year old cat who has only ever lived on ground level. Same applies to any risk - a cat that has been exposed to some managed risks is better equipped to deal with those dangers than a cat that has never seen them before.

Accidental falling tends to be through play or chasing butterflies and bugs and not paying attention, I think that's the risk here. A deliberate jump could be if the cat had never had the chance to learn to judge height. Like my Ragdoll, who always lived in an outdoor pen and thought a second floor window ledge one inch wide might be fun to investigate. I was supervising closely wondering if I was being overprotective with my window locks, obviously they went back on and stayed on ever since.

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