Cats and dogs love to be outside. Heck, we all love to be outside, but some of our pets have a tendency to be escape artists at the mere chance to sneak away.
Our fellow apartmentite, KHouse, shared a story with me about how her cat, Snowball, loves to leap over the patio railing or even squeeze under it when she is left alone on the patio for just a couple of seconds. Thankfully, she lives on the first floor, so the cat doesn’t have much of a fall. Apparently, though, getting the cat back over the railing and into the apartment is quite the challenge as Snowballdini will cower in a corner and hiss and mew anytime you get close to her.
My mother had a dog who would bolt out the front door anytime my grandmother opened it because he knew she was too slow to stop him. It was amazing to watch, but very tiring to chase him down. You would have thought that animal was on some sort of performance enhancer.
So, what steps can you take to prevent your pets from escaping your apartment?
On the patio, you want to create a barrier without sacrificing the looks. Stapling some chicken wire across the bottom would serve the purpose splendidly, but would look really trashy. Plus any loose ends in the wire could be sharp and may harm you or the animal. An alternative would be to take a 1 x 6 piece of strip wood and place that along the bottom to block the escape area. Then run potted plants in front of it to hide the bored look of the board. Heck, you could even paint and decorate the wood if you wanted. Just don’t leave it looking like a plank. That’s almost worse than chicken wire.
Regarding the top railing…cats like to jump. That’s a certainty. +team +building The best way to prevent a cat from leaping onto something is to place items there that block their landing. They’re smart. Most cats will see this and won’t take the leap. Potted plants work great along the railing and should take up enough space to keep them from leaping. Almost anything will work, just make sure it looks good. Remember not to sacrifice your style. How your apartment looks, is a reflection of you…so are your pets, so that’s a delicate balance.
The easiest and one of the most common solutions to keeping dogs from running out of the front door or running into rooms that they aren’t allowed to, is putting up a baby gate. No dog owner should ever be without one of these. Even when you are training them as puppies, a baby gate comes in handy for keeping the little un-potty trained puppies in the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom and off of the carpet. If you want to give your dog some fresh air, but don’t want him running out of the door, just throw up a baby gate and let them hang out right there soaking up the sun. They don’t look bad either!
There are number of methods and tips out there to help prevent the unfortunate event of an escape artist pet. Losing a pet is always a very saddening experience, so please take these tips and apply them or find something to keep your little lovable creatures in your apartment. If you know any great tips, please send them my way so that I can share them with your fellow apartmentite pet lovers.
Jeff’s just a regular guy with a funny goatee that really enjoys people and life. On top of that he is a bit of an expert on apartments, living in them, and getting the most out of the apartment living lifestyle.
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