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We live together with a cat in a flat in the second floor (one above the ground). She has been an indoor cat all the time so far. When she was at my girlfriend's parent's house she could have gone outside, but did not want to.

Now in the flat, she tries to get onto the balcony when I am doing laundry or so. Once I am back in, she will sit in front of the glass balcony door and meow. I have the impression that she wants to go out. A couple of weeks ago, she started to go onto the balcony, and we watched her. She just sat under the dryer and looked around. A couple of days ago she slipped through the railing onto the neighbor's balcony and went a bit into their flat. Today, I was putting up clothes and she darted from the flat onto the balcony and through the railing. Luckily, the other door was closed, but it took a while until she came back.

My girlfriend is very worried that she might harm herself somewhere, and we are not really sure how the cat would get outside and inside from the second floor anyway. The ground is just some 2.50 meters down, so I guess she could get up with some sort of rope or ladder if she really wanted. We live rather close to the city, so there are some larger roads in reach.

She often wakes up from dozing in another room and meows continuously until she is in the other room and I pet her a bit. Often, she will come close to me and meow in a demanding tone, then behave like “pet me, but don't touch me!”. I do think that she might feel a little bored since there are no other cats around and she does not care for any toys, except a laser pointer which I do not want to use.

Would you think that it would be good for her to go outside on her own or on a leash? Or would that confuse her in a way that would be negative overall?

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I don't think you're going to get a "yes, if you do X, then Y will happen" kind of answer to this question. The real answer to this is, well, maybe and so I'll give you my anecdotal experience bearing in mind that your mileage may vary.

I live in a house in the country, so a slightly different circumstance, but nevertheless I have a cat that likes to go outside with us, or so he often indicates. Sometimes when we bring him out, he immediately turns to run back into the house. Other times, he will stay out for quite a bit and eat grass and bugs. In either case, we have him hooked up with a harness and 30 foot light dog lead primarily to avoid risk of him running onto the nearby road (there have been far too many animals killed on our road for my comfort).

If you have a balcony, you have a few options you can experiment with depending on what you're allowed to do. In some places, you can effectively fence it in with sun screening and that would allow you to let her out onto the balcony without a risk of her taking off and being unable to get back in. If you can't do that, then you can try a harness and lead, but then the really critical thing is that it has to be short enough so that she can't go over the closest railing and hurt herself (less of an issue if you're with her). That probably doesn't give her a lot of roaming capability, but may be enough for her to enjoy that odd "room" that she's never allowed into to. :)

In the end, the only way she's going to know if she likes it is to do it.

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