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Older cats gain bone and arthritis problems that are exacerbated by hard landings after a jump.

We have an older cat in this place, and want to give them the best of both worlds:

  • a multi-stage tower with various landings to suit their whims that day, and
  • a series of ramp that go from floor to top.

We see the cat's mannerisms are to jump up to landings, and also to leap down from them. The jump-ups are not that much of a risk, provided they keep their footing. The jump-downs are a risk with the arthritis.

Does anyone have experience with making cat towers that have ramps that disincline the cat from jumping down? The cat will always jump-up if they have the will, and we don't intended to inhibit this.

We would like to know what slope and arrangement of ramps will naturally incline a cat to take the ramps down rather than leaping down. I have seen this with some elder dogs, but I think that dogs have a different temperament to jumping up/down.

Ideally someone has experience with this or has built it. Target height is 4-5 feet.

  • How high do you want the ramps to take you cat... up to bed/sofa height or higher? Bed/sofa height is no problem, but higher might need a series of steps affixed to a wall for exmaple. – ColeValleyGirl Oct 23 '18 at 14:45
  • I think it's likely that with any ramp, either the cat will use it in both directions, or not at all. – Kai Oct 23 '18 at 18:31
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At the shelter where I volunteer, we don't use ramps for older\overweight cats but we do give them "stairs" wherever possible. I put it in quotes because sometimes the stairs are a scratching post against a higher scratching post. We also have jungles that are built as stairs that they use to get to and from the ceiling. It seems to me that if a cat thinks they can manage the landing, they'll jump and there's not much to do about it. Moreover, they might feel insecure by the slop of the ramp. By providing them with stairs, we can at least try to encourage them to jump lower. Hope this helps!

Edit: Sorry it took me so long to provide a picture, but here it is, more or less: This is an example of using jungles to create "stairs" for cats. We've also put smaller jungles next to windows for the same reason

  • Your work in a shelter does make this an interesting answer – New Alexandria Nov 1 '18 at 12:40
  • Can you please add a photo of the steps/structure that goes to-and-from the ceiling? – New Alexandria Nov 4 '18 at 4:31
  • We've built this solution, and I can say it works. Accepting this as an answer, but I'd encourage others to answer with even-new-better options they've found work. – New Alexandria Dec 2 '18 at 18:22
  • Sorry it took me forever but I did add a picture in the end, for posterity. – lpytel Dec 3 '18 at 19:50
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We ended up buying a modular cat condo that includes stairs, given the idea from @lpytel They use it just at intended.

Armacat modular cat tower

  • I'm so glad it worked! Great implementation of stairs. I hope others chime in with better ideas as well. We're always looking to improve our environment. – lpytel Dec 3 '18 at 19:51

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