Cat Ramp Ladder Thingy




About: Trying to learn faster than I forget. It will be cool to make some stuff along the way.

I wanted a cat door for my cats to get in to the house whenever they like. I didn't want to have an easy access for anyone else. The solution was to put a cat door upstairs so they can climb up to the roof and into the upper window cat door.

They could climb a tree, and have been doing so for a while, but it's quite precarious and I have seen the apprehension as they jumped the gap and scaled the limbs. I love my little kitties and I wanted to be sure they had a stress free way in and out.

Thinking cap on. Tinkering tools activated. I would build a rampy laddery thingy for them to climb up. A straight plank wouldn't work with the proximity of the tree, but one with a hinge in the middle would!

Supplies Used:
2 redwood fence planks 1"x6"x6'
molding brads (nails)
3 hinges

Tools Used:
Chop saw
Combination square ruler
Pneumatic brad nailer
Screw Driver


Step 1: Cut Wood

I brought my wood to the Tech Shop in San Carlos to do my cutting and layout.
They have all the tools I needed to complete this project. Check them out!

I got fence boards that had the corners cut off of one end... I didn't think that was helpful. I cut those ends off.
I also knew I was going to make a series of ladder rungs. I wanted them as wide as the ramp, but wanted them to have the linear strength from a rip cut as opposed to a cross cut. Measure the width, then cut the board that deep. I then cut those into 4 rungs by cutting in half, then in half again - it's not very scientific, but this way is quick and easy and produces good results.

Step 2: Attach Rungs

I made 6 sets of 4 rungs.
I spaced them out every 4" and had plenty.
I used a Brad Nailer to shoot 18 gauge x 1 1/4' brads into the rungs to hold them in place.
I made sure they were square on the plank with combination square ruler. You may choose to use wood glue at this point as well to be sure the rungs hold.

Step 3: Finishing Touchs

There were a few nails that went through - I cut off the sharp ends with some good cutters.
I chose to rout the rungs so the little cat paws wouldn't have to climb sharp edged rungs.
The two sections were hinged together with a brass hinge.

Step 4: Hang the Ramp

Another set of hinges was used to mount each end to the fence and roof.
Be sure to get help from a friend who isn't afraid of heights.

Step 5: Share It With Your Cats!

Cats are typically skeptical of new things right away. Ours were no exception. They were curious, and with some tasty treats they were lured to try it out. Once one cat trusts it, the others are sure to follow. Our cats use it all the time now!

To see more ladders for cats, check out Jimmy's Cat Ladders Blog. - thanks for sharing katerlyn

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    15 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for reminding people to router/taper/smooth the edges. A redwood sliver will take years before it can degrade enough to be removed by a cat. I myself have had one small redwood sliver chip in me for two years without it going away. I finally just took a knife to myself and cut a channel. Imagine the torture a cat would have not being able to tell you to help remove one.

    My favorite build was a 3 story cat condo - as we lived in an apartment, on the 7th floor, they didn't have in/out privileges, and three cats could easily become bored. It had a sundeck, central lounge, main lobby, and dark basement space all in one. Instructables didn't exist back then, or I would have posted it.


    Question 1 year ago on Step 5

    Great ramp - have made a small one so our cat can climb back into a second storey window from our kitchen roof because she gets stuck out there. I made the ramp hoping she it would solve the problem, but every time she get stuck she just sits next to the bloody thing and meows until I climb out and get her. Do you have any tips on actually getting your cat to use the ramp?


    3 years ago

    In raccoon territory, a jump would be needed somewhere, as nobody wants a hungry raccoon following your cat into the house. Raccoons will kill and eat cats; and they can climb as easily as cats, but are lousy jumpers.


    3 years ago on Step 5

    Good, thanks it gives me ideas..


    4 years ago

    Although I have been using a pet door here since 1984, only 2 possums and 1 raccoon have figured out how to use the door. Sometimes new cats find it. I will be installing an electricto-magnetic door soon.I the pet is not wearing a magnet, the door won't open. Since the magnetic collars are outrageously expensive, I will be making my own using salvaged magnets from a banned building toy that had strong tiny magnets on each end of small plasitic sticks.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You should send this to the international Ladders web site. I just googled ladders uk cats and got it, in case they won't post the website here. Congrats! Although we have to keep our cats contained here due to coyotes and fleas, dogs, etc.

    2 replies

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I take it you don't have raccoons around, because I assure you they'd have no problem using this to get into your house.

    Wow, a cat actually used something that was built for them?! Nice job! I have made and bought so many beds and play structures for my cats over the years and they still prefer my bed, my dog's bed or a cardboard box more than anything else, haha.

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    apologies for several mis-types. BTW neatly = nearly, lile=like, while = whole. ( very embarrassed)

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    fabulos idea. good instructions. though you neatly lost me at the rip vs cut part. lol. nice to see such a thoughtful loving safety minded cat's human. my mom will love love love this. i will lile thumbing my nose at her anti-cat, anti-personality(!!!) neighbors. Cats being able to be " up above " dogs and surly human neighbors is the most safe and surely happiest way, this could be the beginning of a whole new "high up kitty safe world". i can see a while map of ramps criss crossing the whole