I know there are similar questions here, but I think this one is a little different and I need an answer somewhat urgently.
My house is two-story, with an upstairs living room overlooking the first floor entryway:
Our cat, visible in the bottom right of the image, is about 4 years old. Since we got him (as a kitten), he's enjoyed peering through these metal bars to see downstairs. Up until this month, we've had no issues and he's been very safe around the edge.
However, after two close calls, I'm getting worried. Both times we hear pained/scared meowing, and have to pull him back after his front paw slips off the edge. It happened today, with nobody managing to get to him for at least half a minute, and he was panting and gripping the metal bars in fear.
We've considered some sort of net around these edges, but it would take quite a lot (this wraps around a lot of the upstairs), and would not look nice. If this is the best option, I'll gladly accept it, but are there any other things we could try?
Thanks in advance for any help.