Cat stairs/ramp advice?

mokaneeMarch 22, 2010

As most of you have read, my cat Kitty just underwent an amputation of her front left leg. I will give updates on the other thread but I am still looking towards the future here and need a little advice from you wonderful people if you have any good or bad experiences with cat stairs or ramps...

I have been scouring amazon.com to see if there are any great ones out there...but nothing has been jumping out at me...too many mixed reviews on everything...

For now she is not going to be jumping or climbing anything but like I said I am looking towards the future and would like to be ready with something for when she is ready to take those first steps (or hops!) to come back up on the couch with me....

Anyone have any experience with amputees, or just very senior cats?

Thanks all,

Mokanee

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calliope

My little kitty with a front leg missing, didn't have any problems at all with jumping up on anything she wanted to jump on .... at least waist high. She also used to tight-rope walk along a long metal rod suspected at least twenty feet above the floor above the staircase in our old pre-civil war house .....where star bolts had been put in to reinforce the brick walls. That used to scare me, but evidently she felt sure footed enough to lift that one leg up and have no legs on the front to keep on the rod. She was also our best mouser.

IOW the amputation didn't leave her any different than the other cats. If she does have osteoporosis however, you are smart to want to provide her with ramps so she won't be prone to breaking the only leg she has left in front. That is an issue. My DD's tripod cat has a rear leg amputation and she fell a long ways one time and injured her only hind leg. She had to be confined to a cage for total rest for two weeks, and thankfully mended. Had she not..she'd have been totally immobile and not had a good outcome. She is BTW still cranking, is prolly sixteen and doing fine.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:08PM
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mazer415

I agree, dont be too quick to get a product and spend money you may not need. I have seen houses set up with boards attached to the walls and the cats used these "cat walks" to gain elevation, the boards ran all over the house and the cats loved them - I have to say it was a bit unnerving to have a cat sitting over your head while visiting their place....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:50PM
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mokanee

Hehe... I know most cats adapt extremely well to the amputation, it's just that she is already 15 years old and I already had a few "steps" in place for her to help her jump onto the bed and the couch before the amputation, but it will not likely be enough now... she will definitely need more than one step in between the couch and the floor...

I am not holding my breath for the bed though, as it's a high one at 31"... the couch is a regular height...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:27PM
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annzgw

I've built ramps and purchased a few, but the one linked below is the best I've found. Click on 'other views' to see other ways it can be arranged.

Here is a link that might be useful: pet ramp

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:05AM
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ilovepoco

Ditto not going out and spending a lot of money on something you may not need... I'd check out Target, Home Goods, Building 19, etc. and try a small inexpensive ottoman or footstool first.

Susan

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:33AM
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rivkadr

For couches, etc: we bought some cheap step stools at Ikea and distributed them around the house in front of various pieces of furniture. They were just the right height for our cat to jump on and then onto the piece of furniture.

Beds: When I was looking for a set of stairs for my senior cat, none of the ones in the stores were any good -- they were all too short. So my husband and I built a set ourselves (see link below).

It was pretty simple -- Lowes had the risers in half-lengths (i.e. only 4 steps high). We used 2x4s for the back legs and dowels to make it all more steady, and the boards on the steps held the two sides together. Some cheap outdoor rug stuff that they sell on rolls at Lowes is what we wrapped around the steps for her to step on. I think, all in all, we spent around $40 for the supplies for it, which was a bargain compared to the plastic steps we saw advertised online. Added bonus: we got to paint them whatever color we wanted ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Stairs

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:13PM
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mokanee

Wow, Rivkadr, those steps look amazing and look to be exactly what I would like!

I may have to do a trip to RONA or HOME DEPOT in the near future!

Thanks for sharing :)

Also to ilovepoco, I was currently using a single step stool for her to get to the couch and the bed, but I think that jump is too steep now... but I may as well wait until I get the results of the bone analysis anyway... cancer or osteoperosis... or something entirely different... before I go out and spend money...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:08PM
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saintpfla

Those stairs came out fantastic! Great idea!

Mokanee: you may want to try a chair combined with the step stool. That's what I did for my geriatric kitties. Not convenient for ME, but, it helped them join me on the couch/bed. At least, until you find a more permanent solution that you can live with, it will give kitty an option.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:15PM
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